When we were writing our book The Caffeine Advantage, we discovered that, even though the caffeine in coffee offers major benefits to the mind and body, caffeine pills and tablets had been shown to have some additional powers that the caffeine in coffee could not deliver. In fact, as was proven in a metastudy by a noted sports physiologist, there is some constituent of coffee (possibly chlorogenic acid) that actually mitigates against caffeine’s athletic benefits and may reduce other benefits as well. We weren’t very attracted to the idea of trading a good cup of coffee for a pill or tablet, but, eventually, we felt an obligation to try the pills to see for ourselves what they could do. We were amazed to discover that getting your caffeine from a pill does in fact deliver more reliable and more powerful effects. Another advantage of pills is that pills allow you to know how much caffeine you are actually taking, whereas you never really know how much your brewed coffee contains. And, surprisingly, when you use pills or tablets, you can take a lower dose of caffeine to achieve greater effects!
Before trying caffeine pills, Bennett woke each morning and brewed six cups of filter drip mocha java. He would drink this coffee throughout the morning and early afternoon, finishing most of it. There are about 150 milligrams to 200 milligrams of caffeine in a cup of filter drip arabica coffee. That means that he was consuming up to 1000 milligrams of caffeine a day! Now he starts his day with 300 milligrams in pill form, sometimes taking 100 milligrams or 200 milligrams more before the day is over. He sometimes still enjoys a cup of coffee with lunch or dinner. He testifies that he experiences a more a more reliable and a stronger boost, mentally and physically, with this drastically lowered dosage of caffeine in pill form than he experienced with twice as much caffeine in coffee.
So, even though coffee tastes great and delivers many of caffeine’s benefits, you might want to experiment with caffeine pills to see if they can do even more for you. Caffeine pills and tablets are widely sold in pharmacies over-the-counter under names like “Vivarin” and “NoDoz.” But the identical caffeine is also available at a better price under other brand names. The one we use has the advantage of offering a 100 mg dose as well as a 200 mg dose and also is the cheapest one we could find: “Jet Alert,” which you can order from Amazon.