Caffeine Review – Its Effects, Dosage, Benefits, and Risks

From our beloved morning coffee to the colas we enjoy at lunch, and during hot summer days, caffeine is a huge part of our society.

Most of the time, people use this to make themselves feel more aware mentally, but did you know that there are a lot of other uses?

To treat migraines, for instance, doctors can use caffeine. Doctors combine ergotamine, which is used to treat migraines. And aspirin and acetaminophen are used to kill the awful headaches.  

Caffeine is also used after people get epidurals for surgery-it helps treat the headaches involved. 

And that’s not all! People use this to relieve asthma, OCD, cramping, and much, much more. 

So, if you are ready to learn about what this great supplement can do for you, come check out our article!

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What Effects Does This Have on My Body?

Curious about what happens after you take your morning cup of coffee? How about that one you sneak in during the afternoon meeting? You’re not alone-over 75% of American adults get some form of caffeine each day. 

If you're really curious about how this works, keep reading. It has plenty of good effects on your body, and some that may cause you to rethink your intake.

The Good Stuff

Here are some of the great things that happen when you take in some caffeine. 

  • Decreased risk of suicide: The mood-enhancing effect of caffeine was connected to a lower risk of suicide.
  • Lower risk of developing Alzheimers and Dementia
  • Aids in suppressing the appetite, which can help you if you are trying to lose weight
  • Oral cancer risk may be reduced as a result of drinking at least 32 oz of caffeinated coffee.

The Concerning Stuff

  • Heartburn can result from the acid contained in sodas and coffee. 
  • You can become nauseous from ingesting too much caffeine. 
  • Achy muscles can happen if you are experiencing caffeine withdrawal. 
  • You can become irritable if you do not get your daily dose of caffeine. 
  • Too much caffeine can cause diarrhea. 
  • Having too much caffeine can cause you to feel jittery or keep you awake when you are trying to sleep.

Systems Affected by Caffeine

how caffeine works

You may be wondering what parts of your body caffeine affect. The answer is the Central Nervous System, digestive system, reproductive system, and circulatory system.

Central Nervous System: In terms of the central nervous system, you feel it in your brain right away-you feel alert, and perhaps a headache you had went away. 

On the flip side, caffeine could be the reason you actually end up with a headache. If you consume it on regular basis, and then stop, the result is a headache. In the worst cases, people end up with tremors as a result.

Reproductive System: In pregnant women, stimulants like caffeine can cause your baby's heart rate to increase. Too much caffeine increases the risk of miscarriage also. For expectant moms, a 12 oz cup of coffee once per day is okay, says American Pregnancy Association

Circulatory System: The caffeine is absorbed from the stomach into the bloodstream. It can cause a short-term increase in blood pressure. 

It is a point of concern for people with irregular rhythms of the heart because caffeine can cause the heart to exert more effort. People that have hypertension or other heart issues should speak to a doctor before consuming caffeine.

To really hear how the heart is affected by caffeine, watch this interview with Dr. Stephen Pollock of the University of Maryland. 

Digestive System: Caffeine increases the amount of acid contained in the stomach and leads to heartburn and quite possibly an upset stomach. 

Extra caffeine is not stored in the body and leaves along with your urine. It is why you have to use the restroom so often after enjoying a coffee or caffeinated drink.

Caffeine and Performance in Sports

Caffeine is likely what helps some of us put on our best performance at work or school. There is some truth to this. After all, we did learn that caffeine can lead to better mental alertness.

Aside from an improvement in mental performance, there is an increase in the physical aspect of things, too. 

Even the Special Forces of the USA use it as a means of increasing awareness and performance. 

Here are some ways caffeine affects us when we are trying to do our best. 

  • Caffeine activates parts of our brain to help improve energy and focus. 
  • Caffeine helps the body use the process of lipolysis to break down fat in fat cells, thus burning fat. 
  • Caffeine increases thermogenesis, that is, heat production, which burns up more calories. 

If you are an athlete seeking to increase endurance, caffeine has some great effects. Even the NCAA has forbidden it due to its positive impact on performance in the gym. 

One study, for example, showed that cyclists that consumed caffeine were able to endure a heavier workload. 

For those of us seeking to lose weight, caffeine can be a lifesaver. Taking caffeine before you work out helps release stored fat. 

Caffeine can also help you increase the fat burned during your workout. You experience increased thermogenesis, aiding in the burning of additional fat and calories. 

Supplementing Your Diet with Caffeine

caffeine in your diet

You should consult with your doctor first before you begin a supplement to make sure it is right for you.

The dose of caffeine that works for you will depend upon your body’s weight. 1.4 to 2.7 mg is appropriate, which averages out to about 200 to 400 mg for most individuals. 

Begin with a small dose, about 150 to 200 mg is appropriate. It will help you assess your tolerance. You can increase it to 400 to 600 mg to keep a performance benefit.

You may want to keep this reserved for special events for your sport so that you do not develop a tolerance for the dose. Just take it one hour before your event. 

You might want to test this out first on an off day to see how you feel when you take it if you're not used to consuming caffeine.

Caffeine and Kids

caffeine and kids

Kids everywhere are consuming caffeine. It can come in the form of chocolate bars, energy drinks, or sodas, among other sources.

But what effects does this have on children? First, let’s talk about kids still in the womb. 

Says the American Pregnancy Association, the effects can be dire. Parents need to educate themselves about caffeine intake for people who wish to become pregnant as well as those who already are.  

  • Caffeine can lead to birth defects, preterm delivery, reduced fertility, and low birth weight newborns.
  • Caffeine should be avoided as much as possible during pregnancy. However, a moderate amount-150mg to 300mg- does not show a negative effect on fertility.
  • Caffeine elevates your blood pressure and heart rate, which is not recommended while pregnant. 
  • The foetus cannot metabolize caffeine. Therefore, it can interrupt your child's sleeping pattern or movements during the later pregnancy stages. Caffeine can keep you and your baby up.
  • Caffeine is found inside sodas, chocolate, and tea. Be mindful of what you consume while pregnant.

Teens and young children are big consumers of caffeine if parents are not careful. Teens enjoy energy drinks and coffee drinks, while young kids favor the taste of sodas. 

Parents should be mindful of what their kids consume, as we sometimes don’t know EXACTLY how much caffeine is contained in these energy drinks, says Catherine Miller, MD. 

One teenage boy, David Cripe, passed away as a result of drinking a large amount of caffeine in just a matter of two hours in 2017. He had consumed a large diet Mountain Dew, caffe latte, and energy drink in that short period.

Caffeine and Nootropics: L-Theanine

L-theanine is a nootropic that can be combined with caffeine to produce an effect that is desired by many. 

Just what can you look forward to, exactly? For starters, greater focus is one benefit, says a study performed in 2012. 

Researchers discovered that those are participating who took 100mg of L-Theanine made fewer errors than individuals that were part of the placebo group. Combining this nootropic with caffeine also proved to be an increase in participants' focus.

Research also suggests that L-theanine could be beneficial to the health of the person taking it in both a physical and mental capacity. 

So far, all signs point to good news regarding L-theanine, but these studies are a few years old. More research is needed to see just what this can do for users. 

Wrapping It Up

When used correctly, caffeine can do great things for humans at large. It can work for you too-try it out!

You don't need to use for every purpose listed here-use it for what YOU need, whether that is weight loss, focus, or better performance at sports.

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