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Caffeine Pills vs Coffee
4 points by Cmccann7 on Mar 1, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments
I have a terrible addiction to coffee, I drink at least 5+ cups a day and get terrible headaches if I don't drink coffee for even a day.

With caffeine pills I can control the amount and dose of caffeine I consume and I don't get any of the acidity or discoloring of my teeth.

I've done a lot of research online and come to the conclusion that there is not much difference of caffeine pills vs coffee (in equivalent doses of course). But I was wondering what do you think? Especially from people who have taken caffeine pills for an extended period of time.

First, you're not addicted to coffee, you are addicted to caffeine. Remember that caffeine is a DRUG.

Second, switching from a diluted caffeine intake (such as coffee or soda) to a pure intake (pills) could lead to you worsening your dependency on caffeine. Think about it: you drink 5+ cups of coffee, but you probably can't drink 10 everyday.... but you CAN pop another handful of caffeine pills quite easily.

If you look to the past, you'll probably see that your caffeine intake has been increasing, but the effects have not been intensifying. That's because your body builds a tolerance to caffeine over time. I used to be super jittery after 3 shots of espresso, but now (after 2 years of heavy consumption of coffee) there's not much effect.

My advice: don't switch to caffeine pills to fix your problems. They'll only make it worse because it will allow you to consume more caffeine in purer form at a faster rate than drinking coffee. As you consume more on a regular basis, your body will build a higher tolerance. You'll find yourself taking more and more caffeine pills to avoid the headaches.

So don't take pills on a regular basis, and start decreasing your coffee intake. I've set my limit to 2 cups of coffee or 2 shots of espresso per day. Drink more water - you'll feel way better than when drinking coffee.

Everything is fine in moderation.

Keep in mind that a cup of drip coffee and a shot of espresso have wildly divergent amounts of caffeine in them. I read a National Geographic article on coffee that put a shot of espresso at 40mg vs a cup of drip coffee at 160mg.

A good way to decrease caffeine intake is to go for a mix of normal+decaf coffee instead of a cup of normal coffee.

While I'm not as close with my coffee mug as you are, my experience with coffee is such that a caffeine pill replacement would be a susbstantial difference.

By that I mean that a key part of my coffee experience is actually making (or walking to) the cup of joe. It's a brief break in my day where I can focus on something else, clearing my head even momentarily. Similarly, the act of drinking a coffee over ten minutes slows me down, allowing me to refocus on the task/s at hand. Popping pills might provide the same amount of caffeine, but in taking away that experience would detract from my coffee outcomes.

ya my co-founder is the same way too, he love coffee for coffee's sake. The smell, relaxation, break, etc.

Me on the other hand for whatever reason don't feel like that when I drink coffee. I'm almost doing it purely for the caffeine dose. Energy drinks, 5 hour energy shots, pills, whatever just to get some more caffeine.

I should probably lower my caffeine intake though.. I like the 1/2 coffee 1/2 decaf suggestion above. I'll try that tomorrow!

If you don't like the taste of that (decaf tastes bad to me) or just want more control over your intake, caffeine pills aren't a terrible way to go as a temporary solution.

Figure out how much caffeine you usually drink, and take that much with no liquid caffeine for a couple of days and make sure you're ok with that. Then slowly lower your dose until skipping only leaves you with a mild headache or none at all.

Also incase it gets overlooked and assuming that those caffeine pills have no sugar/protein:

If your coffee has sugar you may notice the drop in sugar. If it has protein then this can greatly change the effect of the caffeine (the amino acids tyrosine+phenyalanine are required for adrenaline synthesis for example)

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