Stimulants can come in handy when you need a quick boost of energy, motivation and focus. But the problem with most stimulant substances is that they often come with a host of unwanted side effects and risks, and many experts oppose their use by healthy individuals.
Two commonly used over-the-counter stimulants are adrafinil and caffeine; the former being a man-made compound and the latter a natural one. Caffeine is often used in combination with theanine for the reasons we will discuss below.
This is going to be a brief review of the pros and cons of each of adrafinil vs. caffeine with theanine.
Adrafinil is a synthetic eugeroic compound that has a mild psychostimulant effect. It was discovered in France, where it was approved as a prescription medication for narcolepsy or excessive daytime sleepiness.
It was later discovered that adrafinil’s primary metabolite, modafinil, was a more effective treatment and it replaced adrafinil as a mainstream medication that is approved in the U.S. and many other countries.
Since adrafinil is not regulated, some manufacturers sell it as an over-the-counter supplement, although it isn’t a dietary supplement.
Many people take adrafinil as a nootropic or cognitive enhancer that can supposedly boost alertness, focus and motivation.
- Can reduce feelings of tiredness and sleepiness resulting from lack of sleep.
- Can increase wakefulness and alertness.
- May have a positive effect on mood and motivation.
- It is a mild stimulant that does not have significant side effects.
- There are very limited studies on its effects and safety, many of which are animal studies.
- It is not proven to have any significant benefits for healthy individuals who do not suffer from sleep disorders/lack of sleep.
- Most of its benefits are based on varying anecdotal evidence and unproven claims by manufacturers.
- It does not work for everyone. Some users do not respond to this drug.
- It needs to be metabolized in the liver and causes a rise in liver enzymes. It may overtax the liver if used with alcohol or other medications that also increase liver enzyme levels. It may also not be safe for people with liver disease.
- Frequent, long-term use may cause damage to the liver.
- It is an expensive substance that costs around $1 per 300mg dose.
- Since it is not a dietary supplement or an approved drug, it is only sold by a small number of online vendors with authenticity and quality being major concerns.
Why Caffeine with Theanine?
Caffeine is most people’s favorite stimulant drug! It is found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and can also be taken in its pure form as a dietary supplement.
One of the common drawbacks of caffeine is that it can cause jitters, agitation, anxiety, and other side effects. In order to mitigate these side effects, caffeine is often taken alongside theanine.
Theanine, or L-theanine, is a naturally occurring amino acid that is found in tea leaves. It is used as a dietary supplement to promote a relaxed state of mind and better cognitive performance. Some studies suggest it may help reduce stress and anxiety while potentially enhancing cognitive function.
Caffeine with Theanine Pros
- Theanine works synergistically with caffeine. It enhances its positive effects on mental performance while reducing unwanted side effects.
- One of the most potent natural combos that can increase energy levels, focus, alertness, vigilance, and performance.
- Caffeine can boost metabolic rate and help you burn more fat — not on its own though, you still have to exercise to burn the fat!
- Despite having some potential risks, caffeine is generally considered a safe natural stimulant that works well for most people.
- Both caffeine and theanine are widely available at online and local health stores. You can buy them separately or combined in one supplement at a relatively low price.
Caffeine with Theanine Cons
- Some people develop tolerance to caffeine, so the more they use it, the less effective it becomes.
- Caffeine may cause digestive issues and a temporary increase in blood pressure for some people.
- Theanine is known to promote relaxation and calmness without causing drowsiness, however, high doses may induce sleepiness in some people. You may need to try different caffeine to theanine ratios to find the optimal dosage of each that delivers the best results for you.