Caffeine: Coffee VS. Pills

I, like many people in this world, have a daily intake of caffeine. It is wonderful in my opinion! I have taken it in various forms-pills, patches, teas, coffee and energy drinks.

My favorite ways to get in caffeine is by either having coffee or pills. Both of these ways of taking caffeine yields different effects for me. In this post, I wanted to compare them.

As always, remember that I am not a medical professional. I am not telling you what to do or not to do. I am simply presenting my findings and personal experiences.

Why caffeine anyway?

According to science and anecdotal evidence, there are some benefits to caffeine. I think a lot of people can attest to feeling these benefits and that is why it is popular.

There seems to be a lot of research that has been done on caffeine. This is especially true recently. Some of the conclusions from the studies are interesting. I can only hope that research continues to be done because like a lot of other things, the benefits are not solidly set in stone yet.

Here is a list of what caffeine intake can do to us:

1. Cardiovascular energy: Caffeine can provide physical energy. One may be able to withstand tougher cardio workouts when they supplement it beforehand.

2. Physical power: Caffeine can help with the strength needed to perform weightlifting moves.

3. Fat burn: There appears to be some fat burning effect when taking caffeine. This is why it is found in fat burning blends and stacks.

4. Mental energy: Caffeine causes one to feel more awake and can also increase cognitive functioning (mainly memory).

5. Mood: Caffeine may cause one to feel a sense of well-being.

6. Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease: Caffeine may reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease according to some research.

It is important to consider that there are some negative side effects that one can experience. They can occur if too much is taken (for most, over 400 mg) and/or if someone is just naturally sensitive to it.

Here are some of the negative side effects of caffeine intake:

1. Nausea and vomiting

2. Anxiety

3. Jitteriness

4. Anger

5. Headaches-Especially when quitting cold turkey!

6. Insomnia-You do need to sleep!

7. Loose stools

8. Heart palpitations

9. Possible negative affect on hormones

10. May interfere with fertility

My experience with caffeine intake

I started consuming caffeine when I was in eighth grade. It started off with a few cups of green tea everyday and then graduated to cups of coffee/energy drinks in 11th grade. I liked the energy it gave me and my friends would drink a lot of it too (peer pressure?!).

When I started going to college, I found out about pre-workout energy supplements as well as the ECA stack. These provided even more of a boost for me so I was able to engage in my new-found love of working out.

Currently, I take in about 350 mg a day. So that is under the maximum recommended dosage of 400 mg.

My opinion: coffee VS. pills

To get the bulk amount of caffeine I want during the day, I either have coffee or Jet Alert tabs. Even though they might have similar amounts of caffeine in them, there is a definite difference in the way I feel when taking one or the other.

Here is what I experience with each of these methods of consuming caffeine:


When I decide to drink coffee the affect takes a shorter amount of time to happen than swallowing a pill. I think this is due to the liver not having to break anything down (correct me if I am wrong!). I also rarely put any cream in it so I don’t know if that might be a reason too.

Shortly after drinking it, I notice a jittery and jumpy feeling in my body. I feel like I need to get up and move. It definitely does get me burning more calories!

I also find myself getting sweaty after it kicks in. This isn’t the best feeling for me but I deal with it. I usually end up having to reapply my deodorant. I guess that means that my metabolism is increasing?

In terms of pre-workout use, it definitely helps! Taking it 30 minutes before a workout causes me to be able to push myself more during weightlifting. I also have more endurance for the cardio aspects of my workouts.

With coffee, I could get by on just one cup (8 oz) a day. The energy effects can last for a long time for me. My go-to type of ground coffee to brew is Dunkin’ Donuts.

Jet Alert Pills

What I love about these pills is that they are so convenient. I can just swallow them down where ever I am and not have to wait for anything to brew. Also, sometimes I just don’t feel like drinking coffee but I still want the effects of the caffeine.

The Jet Alert brand pills are the only kind that doesn’t mess up my stomach. I have tried other brands of caffeine pills and they all made me feel really sick. The list of inactive ingredients in Jet Alert seems to be shorter than the others.

Unless I am taking these pills on an empty stomach, the effects take about 45 minutes to kick in. This is in contrast to coffee which has a near instant affect on me. This doesn’t particularly bother me though.

When the pills start to kick in, I feel a tingling sensation in my chest and head. It is actually kind of pleasant. I also experience a strange effect where I get a distinct smell in my nose. I can’t describe it very well but it happens every time I take them.

In terms of energy, it seems like the same amount as I get when I take coffee. The difference is that it doesn’t last as long. This is one gripe I have about taking them. Admittedly, I have taken 500 mg of caffeine in pill form before. I didn’t have any negative effects from it but I do know that it is probably not a good thing to do everyday.

Something that I experience with the pills and not with coffee is the unmistakable mood lift I get. It picks me up out of the doldrums and brings me to a euphoric state. I get the physical energy with coffee but not the mood lift.

In terms of exercise, I would say that I experience a little less power when I take a pill instead of a cup of coffee. I can still get in a great workout session though!

So which one wins?

I have to say that it is a tie. Even though they may affect me a little differently, I like both methods of caffeine intake. I will continue to have both of them on hand.

What worries me about caffeine intake

I do have to admit that the whole thing about caffeine possibly affecting estrogen levels worries me. Am I making my hormone wackiness worse? Am I decreasing the chances of me getting pregnant? I don’t really know.

I know that I got pregnant when I went through a phase where my intake of caffeine was higher than it should have been. Also, I have taken breaks from caffeine a few times and my hormone related problems (excess hair and stomach issues) were just as bad if not worse.

So I guess at this time I will continue to have caffeine on a regular basis.

Do you take in caffeine? If so, what way? Also, have you noticed it having any affect on your hormones? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!


#pcos #health #caffeine #coffee #exercise