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TeaCrine vs. Caffeine


There's no shortage of research to show how pre-workout supplements can help you take your workouts up a notch. However, most people don't know whether to add TeaCrine or caffeine to their pre-workout stack. These compounds have been linked to improved performance and mental alertness, but there are differences between the two that can make one more suitable than the other, depending on your goals.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll break down TeaCrine vs. Caffeine to help you decide which one is the better for you. 


Key Takeaways

  • Both TeaCrine and caffeine are natural supplements that can help improve focus and alertness.
  • Unlike caffeine, TeaCrine does not cause a crash or jitters due to its slow release of energy over time.
  • TeaCrine has been found to be more effective in improving cognitive performance without the risk of tolerance developing over time.
  • Research shows a combination of both TeaCrine and caffeine may be beneficial for those seeking maximum performance and alertness.


What is TeaCrine?

TeaCrine is a naturally-occurring compound found in the Camellia Assamica tea plant leaves. TeaCrine is a member of the purine alkaloid family, and it has a molecular structure that is similar to caffeine. It acts on the same receptors as caffeine, but without the jittery side effects associated with the latter.

TeaCrine operates through a dual-action pathway. First, it inhibits adenosine, a neurotransmitter responsible for signaling fatigue and promoting sleep. Secondly, it enhances dopaminergic signaling, thereby promoting feelings of well-being and motivation. 

This dual-action pathway allows TeaCrine to provide the stimulating effects of caffeine without the typical downsides like jitters or energy crashes.

Unlike caffeine, which can lead to tolerance over time, requiring larger doses for the same effects, studies have shown that TeaCrine does not lead to habituation. This means that users do not need to continually increase the dose to achieve the same benefits.


TeaCrine Effects

When you take TeaCrine, expect the following effects:

  • Non-jittery stimulation: You'll feel awake and focused but without the twitchiness or jitters that sometimes come from caffeine. The effects tend to last longer as well, making it ideal for endurance athletes.
  • Enhanced physical performance: Due to the fact that TeaCrine does not produce the same degree of physical stress as caffeine, it can improve your aerobic and anaerobic performance. It's also been shown to reduce fatigue levels during intense exercise.
  • Improved mood: TeaCrine can help balance and uplift your mood, leading to a range of effects from a general feeling of well-being to even euphoria. These effects can differ in intensity depending on your unique self and the dosage.
  • Improved focus: Those who are looking for an extra edge when it comes to concentration and focus may find that TeaCrine fits the bill. The effects can help you remain alert and sharp even during long study or work sessions. This is why it's regarded as the best drink for focus and concentration.

Note that these effects aren't universal. They vary from person to person depending on individual tolerance, metabolism, dosage, and other factors. Generally, however, expect significant improvements in physical performance, mood, and alertness when taking TeaCrine.


TeaCrine Benefits

TeaCrine comes with a wide range of potential benefits, including:

May Increase Energy, Motivation, and Focus

TeaCrine provides an energizing effect similar to caffeine without the crash. Users report feeling a jolt of energy and alertness shortly after consumption, with the effects lasting far longer than traditional stimulants like caffeine. This makes it ideal for athletes or busy professionals who need sustained focus throughout their day. There're several studies to back up this claim.

This study showed that 200mg of TeaCrine significantly led to subjective improvements in energy, willingness to workout, improved libido, and motivation to train.

This animal study showed that TeaCrine was able to increase physical performance and endurance more than caffeine in mice.

While more human studies are needed to confirm these results, the evidence suggests that TeaCrine could be a great way to get a sustainable boost of energy and focus.

May Improve Mood

The energizing effects of TeaCrine also come with an improved sense of well-being. Studies have shown that users report higher levels of happiness following TeaCrine consumption. Anecdotal evidence also supports this claim, with many users reporting an improved mood after taking TeaCrine.

This mice study showed that TeaCrine activates dopamine receptors DRD1 and DRD2 which are linked to improved mood. Various tests also showed that this compound decreased depression-like symptoms in mice. These results suggest that TeaCrine could be a great way to improve mood and overall well-being.

May Help Decrease Cholesterol

TeaCrine has been found to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Research shows that it may decrease levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), while increasing levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).

This is largely because it can obstruct the enzyme that converts cholesterol into bile acids. As a result, there is a decrease in cholesterol circulation and a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels.

May Promote Better Sleep

This animal study showed that low doses of TeaCrine may improve sleep quality and duration. This could be helpful in reducing caffeine-induced insomnia. Another study showed that TeaCrine boosted adenosine levels in the brain, which is important for promoting deeper and longer sleep.

Even though these are rodent-model studies, they point to the potential of TeaCrine for improving sleep quality and duration.

May Help Reduce Pain and Inflammation

There's evidence that TeaCrine may help reduce pain and inflammation. This mice study revealed that in certain doses, TeaCrine's potency was comparable to indomethacin, an anti-inflammatory drug. Another study on rats showed that TeaCrine could reduce inflammation caused by joint injury.

According to these findings, TeaCrine may be advantageous in mitigating pain and inflammation in humans. Nevertheless, further research is required to validate this effect.


TeaCrine Side Effects

Even though TeaCrine comes with a plethora of potential benefits, it has its fair share of potential side effects. They include:


Just like other stimulants, TeaCrine can lead to headaches. If you experience this side effect, reduce your daily intake of the supplement or discontinue it altogether.

Digestive Upset

There are also reports of digestive upset after consuming TeaCrine. This includes nausea and abdominal discomfort. If this occurs, reduce your intake or stop taking the supplement altogether.

Heart Palpitations

Some people have experienced heart palpitations after consuming TeaCrine supplements. This is a serious side effect and should be discussed with your doctor if experienced.


When taken in very high doses, TeaCrine can cause restlessness and difficulty sleeping. It is best not to take the supplement in the evening if you are prone to insomnia.

Remember, these side effects are rare and tend to happen when taking large doses of the supplement. However, if you experience any adverse effects, it is best to stop taking TeaCrine and consult your doctor.


What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a naturally occurring alkaloid stimulant found in varying quantities in some plants’ seeds, leaves, and fruits. It is a common component in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, and certain medications.

Chemically, caffeine is an organic compound with the formula C8H10N4O2. Caffeine, a xanthine alkaloid, stimulates the central nervous system by obstructing the adenosine receptors in the brain.

This blockage, in turn, triggers the release of glucose, increasing energy levels and keeping us alert. These receptors induce sleep and relaxation, but caffeine inhibits their effects, resulting in heightened alertness and wakefulness.


Caffeine Effects

Caffeine exerts its effects primarily through the blockage of adenosine receptors in the brain, but it also has several secondary pathways that contribute to its psychoactive characteristics.

Upon ingestion, caffeine rapidly enters the bloodstream, reaching its peak concentration within an hour. Once in the brain, it serves as an adenosine antagonist.

Normally, adenosine accumulates throughout the day, inducing fatigue and ultimately promoting sleep. But caffeine thwarts this process by binding to adenosine receptors without activating them, effectively reducing feelings of exhaustion.

By blocking adenosine receptors, the release of dopamine and norepinephrine is triggered, leading to elevated mood, reaction time, and cognitive function. This results in a boost to overall neurological performance.

Caffeine works in two ways to increase alertness and wakefulness: it stimulates the central nervous system and enhances activity in the autonomic nervous system. Due to these properties, caffeine has become a widely used ingredient in many popular energy drinks today.


Caffeine Benefits

Caffeine comes with several proven potential benefits, including:

May Improve Mood and Brain Function

Research has demonstrated that caffeine enhances mood, increases alertness and boosts concentration levels. It’s thought that caffeine can work on the neurotransmitters in your brain to make you feel more awake and alert.

Caffeine also has been shown to improve short-time recall, alertness, and reaction times.

May Boost Metabolism and Fat Burning

The consumption of caffeine prior to exercise can potentially increase the number of calories burned during the session. This study found that caffeine can increase the amount of energy your body uses by up to 11% and boost fat burn by 13%.

Another study revealed that consuming 300 mg of caffeine daily could help burn 79 extra calories.

May Enhance Exercise Performance

Taking caffeine may also help enhance physical performance, especially during high-intensity exercise. This study showed that caffeine increases the use of fat for energy during exercise, sparing glycogen. This delays the time until exhaustion, which can help you exercise for longer periods.

Research also shows that taking 2.3 mg per pound of body weight (5 mg per kg) of caffeine 60 minutes before exercising can improve your endurance, power output, and muscle strength.


Caffeine Side Effects

Some of the side effects associated with caffeine include:

  • Anxiety: Excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to an accelerated heart rate accompanied by uneasiness and nervousness. People with anxiety disorders may find that caffeine exacerbates their symptoms.
  • Sleep disruption: Consuming caffeine can adversely affect sleep patterns and lower the quality of sleep, resulting in insomnia or other related sleep disturbances.
  • Digestive issues: Some people find that caffeine can cause stomach discomfort, nausea, or diarrhea.
  • Dependence: While caffeine is generally safe and not addictive in moderate amounts, some individuals may develop a dependence on it. This can lead to caffeine withdrawal symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and irritability when caffeine intake is reduced.
  • High blood pressure: While the impact of caffeine on blood pressure has yet to be definitively established, certain studies suggest that it could trigger a temporary spike in levels.


Similarities of TeaCrine vs. Caffeine

Below are some key similarities between TeaCrine and caffeine:

Natural Origin

Both TeaCrine and caffeine are naturally occurring compounds. Caffeine is found in over 60 plant species, including coffee beans, tea leaves, and cacao pods. TeaCrine, on the other hand, is a compound derived from Camellia Kucha tea leaves.

Chemical Structure

Both TeaCrine and caffeine belong to a class of compounds called xanthines and have the same chemical structure, with the only difference being that TeaCrine has an addition of a ketone to the imidazole ring.

The presence of this extra methyl group changes the chemistry of TeaCrine and prevents it from being metabolized by the body in the same way as caffeine.

Mechanism of Action

TeaCrine and caffeine both work as adenosine antagonists by binding to the same receptors in the brain that are ordinarily activated by adenosine. This interaction triggers a series of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, which boosts energy and alertness.

Effects on the Body

The primary effects of both TeaCrine and caffeine on the body are increased alertness, energy, and focus. In addition, both compounds have been shown to improve cognitive performance, concentration, and reaction time.

Stimulatory Effect

TeaCrine and caffeine both have stimulatory effects on the central nervous system. They work by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain, thereby reducing feelings of fatigue and increasing alertness and wakefulness.


Differences Between TeaCrine vs. Caffeine

Here are some of the key differences between TeaCrine and caffeine:

Duration of Effects

Caffeine tends to work quickly, with effects usually felt within an hour of consumption. However, these effects generally wear off after several hours, leading to what many refer to as a "caffeine crash." 

TeaCrine, on the other hand, is often described as providing a smoother and longer-lasting stimulation. Users report a steady level of energy and focus that lasts for several hours without the abrupt come-down often associated with caffeine.

Tolerance Development

Regular caffeine consumers often develop a tolerance to its stimulatory effects over time, meaning they need increasing amounts to achieve the same level of alertness or energy.

In contrast, TeaCrine is believed to have less potential for tolerance development. This means the effects remain relatively consistent even with continued use over time.

Impact on Sleep

Caffeine is well-known for its potential to disrupt sleep, especially if consumed later in the day. It can delay the onset of sleep and reduce the quality of sleep. TeaCrine, however, does not seem to have the same impact on sleep patterns. This may make it a better choice for those who want to avoid sleep disturbances.

Physical Side Effects

High doses of caffeine can lead to physical side effects such as jitters, increased heart rate, and stomach upset. While TeaCrine also acts as a stimulant, users typically report fewer of these physical side effects.

This is likely due to its smoother, more sustained energy release.


Benefits of Taking TeaCrine and Caffeine Together

According to research, consuming TeaCrine and caffeine together is a great way to get the most out of both. The two compounds work synergistically, meaning that they enhance each other’s effects.

This makes it easier to stay focused and energized for longer periods of time without feeling jittery or anxious.

Studies have also found that taking TeaCrine and caffeine together can improve reaction time, help with mental clarity, and promote alertness.

In addition to these benefits, research has shown that the combination of TeaCrine and caffeine can reduce fatigue during long-duration activities such as endurance sports or working out.


Where to Find TeaCrine Supplements Online 

One of the best ways to consume TeaCrine is through a renowned on-the-go performance drink - TUNE IN. This nootropic and adaptogen-packed performance drink contain TeaCrine as a key ingredient, which can help you reach your peak mental and physical performance.

Combined with other natural ingredients such as ashwagandha extract, lion’s mane, alpha GPC, rhodiola rosea root extract, BioPerine, and B Vitamins, TUNE IN delivers an incredible boost of energy for hours on end. Order it today!


Final Thoughts

Understanding the differences between TeaCrine and caffeine can help you make a more informed decision when it comes to choosing the right supplement for your needs. Both TeaCrine and caffeine have their own unique benefits, but depending on your goals, one may be better suited for you over the other. 

However, if you want to enjoy both worlds, there are plenty of supplements available that contain both TeaCrine and caffeine in various ratios. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and understanding the impact each has on your body before making a decision.


TeaCrine vs. Caffeine: FAQs

Does TeaCrine Increase Dopamine?

Yes, TeaCrine does increase dopamine. It does so by stimulating the release of catecholamines in the brain, which increases energy levels and focus. This is similar to the way caffeine does but without the jitteriness.

Should You Take TeaCrine and Caffeine Together?

Yes! Taking TeaCrine and caffeine together can be beneficial because it increases the effects of each ingredient. It is important to note, however, that taking too much caffeine can cause side effects such as jitteriness and anxiety.

Therefore, it’s best to talk to your doctor before combining these two ingredients in order to determine an appropriate dosage for you.

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The information provided on the VYU blog is intended solely for informational and entertainment purposes. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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