We’re not sure how the Romans managed to build the Colosseum, hundreds of miles of aqueducts and roads and conquer most of the known world without caffeine. Because caffeine makes the modern world go round. Unfortunately, high quality coffee these days is expensive and the whole coffee ritual takes time to do right. So, in the best modern tradition we’ve replaced the hearty cup of joe with caffeine supplements. They’re cheap, fast and convenient. Below are the best caffeine supplements on the market today (Romans take note).
The Best Caffeine Supplement
ProLab Caffeine pills provide 200 mg of pure caffeine that will get you back into the game without turning you into a nervous wreck. Caffeine is the greatest natural stimulant ever discovered and when used wisely can help you pass your big exam, prepare for your important presentation, finish that project that’s been hanging over your head for weeks and provide you energy to toss the baseball with the kids.
ProLab Caffeine Tablets contain no superfluous fillers to muck things up. There’s no sugar to disrupt your blood glucose levels, no artificial flavorings to mess with your system and each tablet costs just a fraction of what a good cup of coffee will set you back. They’re the ideal alternative to energy drinks that depend on a massive sugar rush to get you going. ProLab Caffeine also has natural thermogenic properties and will not only provide you with energy and focus but will also help you lose weight and keep it off. Make sure you also check our guide to the best probiotics for men.
Works in less than 15 minutes.
Cheaper than coffee.
- Weight2.08 ounces
We appreciate that they don’t drown the caffeine here in sugar.
ProLab Caffeine Tablets really do provide a quick kickstart. Typically in about 15-20 minutes.
While they won’t completely take the place of coffee they’re perfect in a pinch.
You might be tempted to reach for them even when you don’t need them. Don’t.
Sports Research digs deep and tries to come up with a caffeine supplement that’s all things to all people. The remarkable thing is that they almost succeed. The 100 mg dose of caffeine is enough to get most people going, yet won’t turn them into jittery wrecks. The MCT oil is sure to bring a smile to the faces of those keto partisans in search of healthy fats to fuel their new lifestyle. And the L-theanine is going to appeal to those who may be more sensitive to the negative effects of caffeine.
The good news is the caffeine comes on slow and steady and picks you up without shaking you to the core and the L-theanine has a lot to do with that. The MCT oil however, seems like something of an afterthought and likely won’t appeal to the vast majority of humans who aren’t living a life of carbohydrate restriction. In general though, Sports Research L-Theanine & Caffeine with Coconut MCT Oil is a high-quality supplement that is going to appeal to a lot of folks who want the energy without the side effects. If you are looking for energy supplements, check out our guide to the best energy pills.
100 mg pure caffeine.
Coconut MCT oil.
Improves reaction times.
Keto friendly with no GMOs.
200 mg L-theanine.
- BrandSports Research
- Weight5.6 ounces
A really great caffeine supplement that will enhance your keto diet weight loss efforts as well.
Sports research has a well-deserved reputation for producing high quality energy supplements.
While you may not be completely jitter-free they do a remarkably good job cutting down on the shakes.
Some people might find the pill a bit hard to swallow.
The MCT oil won’t mean much to most people.
Bulksupplements has been around a long time and in many ways sets the bar when it comes to doing affordable supplements right. They forego fancy packaging and concentrate on providing high-quality products at lower prices. And we love them for that. These 200 mg Bulksupplements caffeine capsules are another feather in their cap. Simple, effective and affordable they just go about their job of lighting a fire under your butt and don’t make any apologies for not dressing up for the party.
For the most part we really appreciate this caffeine supplement. There’s no fancy additives and no promises that it will turn you into Einstein. It just does what it’s supposed to do and the price is right. We should mention that a number of people have complained that the pill count was not what it should have been when they received their product. As such we checked ours just to be sure when it arrived but found the count be spot on. That’s not to say those others didn’t get shorted. Only that that wasn’t our experience. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best amino acids.
200 mg caffeine per tab.
Lab tested for purity.
Reliable Bulksupplements quality.
100 tablets per package.
No dairy or gluten.
- Weight1.6 ounces
They provide one of the strongest caffeine jolts you’re likely to get outside of a double espresso.
There’s no junk fillers thrown in to make them seem to be more than they are.
Bulksupplements has a long-standing reputation for delivering quality, affordable supplements.
Some have complained of being shorted. That wasn’t our experience.
Zhou makes a full line of dietary supplements, including multivitamins, specialty supplements and several different caffeine-based energy supplements for different markets. Their Caffeine with L-Theanine however, may be the best of the bunch. Somehow, while other manufacturers promise jitter free performance via L-theanine and come up a shake or two short, Zhou hits the nail calmly on the head.
The caffeine dose here is a moderate 100 mg, which has at least something to do with enabling the L-theanine to do its job. If it were 200 mg of caffeine the odd jitter might work its way in. So it’s smart formulating by Zhou. If you are facing an important presentation and maybe stayed up a bit too late the night before preparing this caffeine pill will help get you through it without incident. They don’t provide a lot of capsules in a single bottle (60) which means the unit price is pretty high. But it’s still not as high as good coffee and the quality is undeniable. Our handy guide to the best vegan protein powders offers more great supplements so check it out.
Caffeine and L-theanine.
Energy without jitters.
100 mg pure caffeine per tablet.
No negative side effects.
- BrandZhou Nutrition
- Weight2.4 ounces
They do a good job of providing you energy without turning you into a jittery mess.
It’s a good choice for those who need to be up for a presentation but need to remain calm and have their ducks in a row.
The effect is so pleasant and generally positive it might (might) make you rethink coffee.
The effects don’t last as long as what you’ll get with some other caffeine pills.
Smart Vitamins produces Energy Boost Supplements with L-theanine and MCT oil and our reaction is similar to what it was with Sports Research (see above). That is, this is a fine, high-quality caffeine supplement that will undoubtedly appeal to keto dieters but will leave others scratching their head wondering why they need MCT oil in their caffeine pill. It’s not a big deal. MCT oil isn’t going to hurt anyone. But it is a curious ingredient.
That said, the L-theanine does a decent job holding the quivers and quakes at bay. But the caffeine load is a little too large for the negative side effects to be kept completely in check. Still, if you are in need of a serious jolt of energy and don’t have the time or ability to get yourself an espresso this caffeine supplement will certainly do the trick. Be sure to also check out our list of the best multivitamins for men for more great items like this.
Enhanced mental focus.
Ideal for your keto diet.
MCT oil for increased energy.
Crash free effectiveness.
L-theanine smooths out jitters.
- Weight0.6 ounces
The extended release of these soft gels works as advertised.
While it’s hard to tell if the focus boost is coming from the L-theanine or the caffeine it’s definitely coming from somewhere.
There was no crash for any of our test subjects.
The ingredient list seems to be missing a couple of things.
Vitafuse goes all in on the hype for their Extra Strength Brain Supplement Nootropic stating in no uncertain terms that it will succeed where other caffeine supplements fail. And it is a fine caffeine supplement to be sure. Which is how it wound up on our list. But there’s no need to trash the competition because frankly, there isn’t much of a difference between this and some of the other, more effective caffeine pills we reviewed.
They provide an energy boost, this provides one too. They help you get a bit sharper mentally, so does this. And many of them include L-theanine to help control jitters, and so does Vitafuse. So what’s their claim to fame? Essentially it comes down to bacopa. Bacopa is an aquatic plant that is sometimes used to, you guessed it, enhance brain function. But our experience is that the net effect here is not so different than what you get in other supps. So take these pills when you need a boost but take the marketing with a grain of salt. Love this product? Check out our review of the best protein bars for our top picks.
150 mg caffeine per tablet.
Bacopa for enhanced brain function.
No crash at day’s end.
Third party tested for purity.
TeaCrine enhances mental acuity.
Long-lasting energy boost.
- Weight1.6 ounces
It does a good job reducing your appetite and enhancing focus and alertness.
The energy lasts longer than most of our testers expected it to. That’s both good and bad depending on where you are in your day.
It provided more of a ramping up of energy instead of a jolt of electricity.
Effectiveness can sometimes waver from pill to pill.
If there is one thing that will set some caffeine pills apart from most it’s time release. If done right this can be an enormous advantage because you don’t get slammed with a caffeine jolt that turns your eyes into saucers and makes other people clear away from you because you can’t stop talking. Vali does time release right. So if you’re looking for a moderate amount of kick and a long-lasting, but controlled energy boost consider giving Vali Time Release 100mg Caffeine Pills a try.
On top of being an effective time release caffeine supplement Vali doesn’t add any junk to the formula so don’t worry about gluten, soy, nuts, GMOs or artificial colors or sweeteners. And don’t worry at all about sugar, because there isn’t any. Just effectively time-released caffeine that will get you through the day. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best pre-workout formulas.
100 mg pure caffeine.
Time released effectiveness.
No artificial anything.
No genetically modified organisms.
Third party tested for purity.
Made in the US.
- Weight2.4 ounces
The time release factor enables you to keep going longer with less caffeine.
Contains no artificial ingredients no gimmick additives and no calories.
Sugar free energy boost supplements that won’t generate jitters or have you crashing at the end of the day.
If you take a bit more than they recommend you’ll wind up with a stomach ache.
While time released caffeine pills appeal to a great number of people, so too do those caffeine supplements that are more of a blunt object. That pretty much describes Best Natural Caffeine Pills. Because they’re 200 mg of pure caffeine. No fancy additives that will gently massage your brain cells. No L-theanine to keep you in your seat. And of course no sugar. Just caffeine. Lots of it.
We love simple, effective products and it doesn’t get any simpler or more effective than this. Take one of these to start your day and you’re going to arrive at your desk ready to go. You don’t have to worry about them aggravating food allergies and there’s nothing artificial to worry about. Just caffeine and a dollop of calcium. That’s it. Our selection of the best supplements for runners may be of your interest so check it out.
Caffeine and calcium.
No artificial ingredients.
Free of sugar, soy and gluten.
GMP certified facility.
200 mg caffeine per tablet.
Made in the US.
- BrandBest Naturals
- Weight2.4 ounces
Doesn’t bog you down with lots of meaningless additives.
If you have food sensitivities you shouldn’t have any problems with this supplement.
200 mg of caffeine is enough to carry you through the fat part of even the toughest day.
Something of an upstart manufacturer who will need to prove themselves over time.
The last of our best caffeine supplements makes an unapologetic play for those who want a few nutritional bells and whistles with their caffeine. HVMN Sprint Energy Pills contain 200 mg of caffeine, 200 mg of L-theanine to help level you out and 400 mg of ginseng to help enhance brain function and provide you clarity and focus.
Does it work? Well the caffeine certainly gives you the desired jolt. And that’s the biggest reason you bought the product to begin with. The L-theanine also seems to keep the rocking and rolling to a minimum. As for the ginseng, well, some say that it very much makes them feel sharper and more focused, while others said any effect was minimal. On balance though it’s an effective caffeine supplement. You may also be interested in some of the best multivitamins for women over 50 from our list, so check them out.
Enhances mental acuity.
Takes effect in less than 30 minutes.
Lasts up to 6 hours.
No calories, no sugar.
120 capsules per bottle.
Anxiety free energy.
- Weight3.2 ounces
While “nootropic” is just a trendy way to say it enhances focus, it actually does enhance focus and make you a bit sharper.
The fact that it doesn’t just drown you in sugar is always a plus with any energy supplement.
It lasts a good long time so taking just one in the morning will hold you until mid-afternoon.
It costs more than others and the ginseng seems unnecessary.
Caffeine Supplement Buying Guide
How We Chose The Best Caffeine Supplements
This is one of those products most of us are at least partly familiar with. After all, we couldn’t get this site up and running and keep it churning along without the occasional jolt from a caffeine supplement. So we didn’t have to venture far from the office to find a deep well of experience to draw from. On top of that we brought in dozens of different caffeine supplements just for these tests and put each one through its paces.
Reviews - Regardless of the product before us we always take a look at both customer reviews and professional 3rd party reviews just to see what scuttlebutt we might dig up that could help inform our choices. At the end of the day however, we always make up our own minds based mostly on the experience of our testers.
Brands - Caffeine supplements might seem simple but it actually takes some experience and a great deal of expertise to create a caffeine energy pill that isn’t just going to rip a hole in your stomach and turn you into a quivering mass of nerves. Experience tells us that the companies that do the best job of creating useful caffeine supplements are usually (with some exceptions) the ones that have been in the business for a while.
Price - As with most every other type of product recognizable brand name energy supplements are usually going to cost a bit more than no name or new-to-the-market brands. And to a degree that’s understandable. They’ve earned it. At the same time though a more expensive supplement, regardless of who makes it, is still going to have to prove its worth or it won’t make our list.
Features To Look For In Caffeine Supplements
Use - Some people are just looking for something to provide them with a kick in the pants to get their day going. For them, any old caffeine pill will do the trick. Others are more concerned with staying sharp through a marathon meeting but don’t want to be jittery or anxious. They’ll likely want energy boost supplements with L-Theanine. Still others want a bit of a boost while they study in the evening but nothing that’s going to keep them up at night. They’ll want to avoid the 200 mg caffeine tablets out there and go with something smaller.
Ingredients - While some people will want the various brain enhancing bells and whistles like L-theanine and even ginseng that some supplements offer, others are after caffeine plain and simple. But if there is one thing nobody taking caffeine supplements needs it’s sugar. Make sure your supplement isn’t just a sugar rush masquerading as caffeine.
Taste - Let’s be real for a moment. You don’t buy caffeine pills for the taste. You buy them for the caffeine. If you want taste go to a real cafe (not a corporate coffee dispensary) and order yourself a nice cappuccino. Caffeine energy supplements are all about delivering the energy boost, hopefully without turning you into a basket case in the process.
Amount - As we said some people are looking for a day-long boost. They’ll likely want something in the 200 mg range. Others however, are either more sensitive to caffeine stimulation or simply don’t need the kind of espresso-like jolt a big tablet will provide. They want something that will lift them up a bit, clear some of the fog away, and get them going. For them 100 mg should be more than sufficient.
Effectiveness - To many people this is understandably the most important thing to consider. But there is effectiveness and then there’s effectiveness. One is crude and one is subtle. The first type of effectiveness provides you with a stomach ache, bug eyes and jitters. The best caffeine supplements provide you with a boost of energy and the ability to put that energy to productive use. Of course there is also the ineffective caffeine pill. And we certainly wound up testing a lot of them.