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Theacrine is an energy and focus boosting supplement that works in a similar way to caffeine. Its primary advantage is that a tolerance to its effects builds at a much slower pace. While a caffeine tolerance begins to set in after only a few days of use, studies have shown no formation in tolerance to Theacrine even after a week of daily use.
If you've never used Theacrine before, we recommend starting with a dosage of one 100 mg capsule taken in the morning. If necessary, increase this dose to 200 mg. It is not recommended to exceed 400 mg of Theacrine in one day.
Theacrine's properties are very similar to caffeine, and it's side effects are no exception. When taken at moderate to high doses nervousness, restlessness, nausea, and increased heart rate are all potential side effects.
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Theacrine (1,3,7,9-tetramethyluric acid) is a naturally occurring alkaloid that is similar in structure to caffeine. Theacrine is most commonly found in the kucha plant (Camellia assamica var. kucha), in the seeds of the Herrania and Theocrama plant species, and in the cupuacu fruit. (1,2,3) The kucha plant is a tea plant used for traditional Chinese tea and is believed to be the largest source of Theacrine. (1,2,3) Research indicates that in the kucha plant, theacrine is synthesized from caffeine. (1,3,5)
The structure differentiates from caffeine in that there is an additional methyl group in the 9-position and an additional ketone group in the 8-position that results in a carbamide. As theacrine is similar in structure to caffeine, it has become a popular supplement for energy enhancement and for focus and motivation. (1,2,3,4) Unlike caffeine, theacrine has shown to have a decreased tolerance formation even after weeks of daily use. (1) Theacrine has also shown to have analgesic (pain reducing) and anti-inflammatory benefits. (3,4,6)
Theacrine for retail sale is a patented as Teacrine® and is a compound containing pure theacrine. (14) Most scientific studies conducted on theacrine are conducted utilizing Teacrine®. Teacrine® was the first theacrine product tested on humans and is the only source for claims and validated efficacy. (14)
Other than possessing a reduced tolerance compared to caffeine, theacrine offers other benefits in comparison to caffeine. (2,3,20) A study was conducted to determine how to determine levels of theacrine in rat plasma, and caffeine was used as an internal standard. During this study, it was found that theacrine has a longer half-life than caffeine. (7)
Caffeine has shown to have a negative effect on blood pressure. (8,9) In a study of tea consumption on hypertensive individuals, kucha tea was one of three teas studied. Kucha tea was found to have no impact on systolic blood pressure or diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive rats where as teas without the presence of theacrine, increased both. (8) Additionally, theacrine itself had no pressor effects on either type of blood pressure during this study. (8)
A sleep study conducted with theacrine showed that it is less likely to disrupt sleep compared to caffeine. (10) While theacrine did shorten wake time, it had no significant impact on REM sleep. (10) Theacrine also aided to attenuate the effects of caffeine induced insomnia. (10)
While theacrine and caffeine have shown to have marked differences on their interactions with humans, they’ve also shown promise in their effectiveness when taken together. (3,11) A study that wanted to observe the interactions of theacrine, and caffeine, determined that the coadministration of caffeine with theacrine increases the bioavailability of theacrine. (11)
Theacrine’s primary benefit is to enhance energy and motivation. (1,2,3,4,16) Along with this increase in energy and motivation, there is a noted increase in focus. (16,17) These benefits are similar to the benefits associated with caffeine, but theacrine has shown to have a lower tolerance and increased half life in comparison to caffeine. (2,3,7) Other benefits of theacrine are discussed below under “Theacrine Research” and include:
Theacrine, as Teacrine®, is found as either a powder or capsuled powder. As theacrine has shown to not have an impact on sleep as caffeine does, it can be taken on an as-needed basis for a boost in energy and motivation, even in the evening.
If supplementing theacrine with caffeine or a cholinergic compound, it is recommended to take theacrine in the morning or afternoon.
Theacrine Dosage Guidelines
Dosing with theacrine is dependent on desired, and level, of outcomes. When capsulized, theacrine is most commonly found in a 100mg – 150mg capsule. Theacrine supplementation for the purpose of an energy boost can be taken as one to two capsules (100mg – 300mg.) It is not recommended to exceed more than 450mg per day. If taking theacrine over the course of the day, you should space doses out with a four to five-hour gap in-between.
If taking theacrine with caffeine, you should not exceed 200mg of theacrine and 200mg of an alternative source of caffeine.
Similarly to caffeine, theacrine at smaller doses may have a sedative-like effect. (15) When theacrine is consumed in kucha tea, it tends to be below 50mg, which produces both hypnotic and sedative effects while promoting relaxation. (3,15)
Half Life and Duration of Effects
Theacrine takes 15 to 30 minutes for effects to take place regardless of dosage. (4) Dosage dependent, theacrine can last from 2 to 6 hours. (4)
Theacrine is considered to be safe and very well tolerated in the testing that has been performed. (16,17,18,19,20) One study was specifically conducted to determine the potential health hazards of theacrine on humans. Sixty healthy male and female volunteers were administered theacrine at 200mg or 300mg daily for eight weeks.
All clinical safety markers for; heart rate, blood pressure, lipid profiles, hematologic blood counts, and biomarkers of liver/kidney/immune function were within normal limits. (20) This study also showed that there was no tolerance build up in theacrine as there is with caffeine.
Acute toxicity testing has shown that the LD50 of theacrine was 810.6 mg/kg suggesting it is very non-toxic. (18)
Being structurally similar to caffeine, theacrine demonstrates similar side effects. At high doses, side effects may include restlessness, increased heart rate, nervousness, or nausea. Studies on theacrine have found that it does not increase blood pressure. (16,17)
Although the exact mechanism of action for theacrine needs more study, it has shown many similarities to the mechanism of action for caffeine. (1,3,12) Theacrine primarily works by counteracting adenosine. (12) Adenosine circulates throughout the body, and in the brain, functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Theacrine binds to adenosine receptors ADORA1 and ADORA2 and blocks their signaling. (12) These receptors promote drowsiness, so by blocking their signaling, theacrine is able to promote energy.
Theacrine also plays a role in influencing dopaminergic signaling. (13) Theacrine activates dopamine receptors DRD1 and DRD2. (13) DRD1 works to improve mood and lower anxiety while DRD2 can promote wakefulness. The impact of theacrine on dopamine levels is the most likely cause for increase motivation and focus. (13)
As Teacrine® is a pure theacrine compound and is used as a theacrine source in many theacrine products, most scientific studies and the first human studies were conducted using Teacrine®.
Enhanced Energy Levels (16)
A randomized, double-blind study was conducted on 15 healthy human volunteers to determine how theacrine would impact energy levels. Volunteers were either given varying doses of Teacrine® or a placebo and were measured using questionnaires and blood flow markers over the course of seven days.
The most statistically significant changes were noted in the 200mg dosage group. These individuals saw improvements in energy and a reduction in fatigue. Changes were noted after a single 200mg dose with no changes reported in systemic hemodynamics or any reported side effects.
Increase in Focus, Motivation, and Mood (16,17)
Focus and motivation were metrics tested in the same study that looked at theacrine in regard to energy levels. Similarly, to the results in energy levels, focus and motivation were reported to be statistically significantly higher after a 200mg dosage.
A separate study involving 20 healthy volunteers (10 male, 10 female) was designed to compare theacrine to caffeine. Participants were either given a 150mg dosage of theacrine, caffeine, or a placebo and then measured via a subjective assessment. Volunteers who were given the theacrine reported higher subjective feelings in several factors relating to focus, mood, and motivation compared to the placebo or caffeine group. Heart rate and blood pressure were also monitored with no impact to either one.
Pain Reduction (18)
Chinese rainforest cultures had used kucha tea for pain and inflammation reducing benefits. As theacrine is a component of kucha tea, a study was conducted to determine its role in these benefits.
A hot plate test (a study conducted on animals to determine when a hot surface causes a reaction invoked by pain) was conducted with and without theacrine administration of 8-32mg/kg doses. Analgesic effects were noted in theacrine administration where these effects were not observed with caffeine administration.
Anti-inflammatory Properties (18)
In the same study that observed the analgesic effects of theacrine, anti-inflammatory benefits were also observed.
Thickening agents were utilized for paw and ear-induced edema (swelling). As in the results for the analgesic properties, caffeine administration produced no anti-inflammatory properties while the theacrine did produce these effects.
Anti-Oxidant Activity that Benefits Liver Health (19)
Mice were put under 18 hours of restraint stress that induced liver damage via an increase in ALT and AST. Increases in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and their ratio to one another, are biomarkers for liver health. The mice were then oral administered theacrine at doses of 10, 20, and 30 mg/kg for seven consecutive days.
Theacrine supplementation lead to a decrease in ALT, AST, and hepatic mRNA levels of inflammatory mediators. The mice also exhibited a reversal of histological damages to the liver and a reduction of malondialdehyde (a marker for oxidative stress). Upon further research into the anti-oxidative properties of theacrine, it was observed that the elevated levels of glutathione(protects liver from oxidative damage), catalase(catalyzes the decomposition of hydrogen to oxygen), and superoxide dismutase(by-product of oxygen metabolism) were responsible for the strengthening of the antioxidant system in vivo.
Is theacrine a stimulant?
Yes. As theacrine contains a similar chemical structure to caffeine, it possesses similar stimulant properties.
Will theacrine work for me?
Just as caffeine works for most individuals, theacrine is likely to give you a boost of energy. With any product or supplement, individual results may vary.
Is theacrine the same as Teacrine®?
Teacrine® is a patented compound containing pure theacrine that is used in a large number of theacrine products and is the first theacrine solution tested on humans. Teacrine® is the only source for claims and validated efficacy.
Is theacrine more dangerous then caffeine?
Being structurally similar to caffeine, theacrine contains similar potential side effects. However, theacrine is less likely to impact sleep like caffeine is.
* These reviews are the experiences of the individual customers that submitted them, results may differ from person to person.
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