Quick Summary Points
- Caffeine anhydrous & caffeine citrate are one of the most used forms of caffeine found in supplements
- For those looking for an instant energy kick, caffeine anhydrous is more soluble than caffeine citrate which allows the body to dissolve it more readily
- Caffeine anhydrous has been shown to be more effective in athletic performance compared to caffeine citrate
- Caffeine citrate may be more potent thanks to its fast acting properties but does not have enough studies to back up its claims
Caffeine has been a hot topic amongst the health and sports nutrition community for a long time. Well established for its properties in increasing mental alertness and energy caffeine provides enough capacity to carry out your work out. Caffeine is a substance that needs to be used in moderation for it to provide its enhancing benefits with little to-no side effects. Ingredients play a crucial role in the formulation of supplements to ensure that it works without the risk of experiencing the side effects.
Supplements have been a game-changer for the last couple of years, it is no longer just targeting bodybuilders but it is reaching out to those who are wanting to look after their health. As caffeine is available in various forms, we’ll look at the differences between the most commonly used caffeine forms that are used in supplements. It could be beneficial to check out the different types of caffeine as they are bound to other compounds to change how the body responds to and processes the stimulant.
What is Caffeine Anhydrous?
Caffeine Anhydrous or 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine is one of the most commonly used caffeine forms in foods, beverages and supplements. Caffeine anhydrous originates from coffee plants and is extracted from the plant matter and gets dehydrated. The attached word ‘anhydrous’ refers to ‘without water’. During processing, water is dehydrated to obtain dry and white caffeine powder.1
It may be important to note that anhydrous caffeine does provide a standard dose; brewed drinks can vary according to the amount of water used, brewing time or method which can impact the effects depending on what you are using the stimulant for. Aside from that, caffeine anhydrous is approximately 98.5mg of caffeine of every 100mg from the formulation.
Caffeine Anhydrous Benefits
As with most supplements, caffeine has a significant role whether it be boosting energy levels to relieve fatigue or help increase mental alertness. Most people use caffeine for its support in weight loss and its ability to drive muscle force, work and power during training. You may find caffeine anhydrous added in a variety of fat burner supplements for its effects of mental acuity and as a weight loss agent. Studies suggest that caffeine anhydrous may be more potent and allows the body to absorb it more readily. Having caffeine in your supplements are more likely to help you reach your goals faster. For reference, the recommended dose is from 160mg up to 5mg/kg of bodyweight.2
Is Caffeine Anhydrous Natural?
Caffeine anhydrous is the purest caffeine form available and purified so there are no longer any other compounds present. Essentially, caffeine anhydrous naturally occurs in some plants. It is an odourless, natural and crystalline powder. In its natural form, it is an effective stimulant that stimulates athletic performance and supports weight loss.
Is Caffeine Anhydrous Safe?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), caffeine is listed as generally recognised as safe. Although caffeine anhydrous alone is regarded as safe, there is still limited evidence of how toxic caffeine might be when combined with other stimulants and ingredients found in dietary supplements. The recommended serving sizes for caffeine anhydrous ranges from 50mg–200mg up to three times a day depending on the individual. The only thing to look out for is those who are sensitive to caffeine or have trouble sleeping to take caffeine earlier during the day and not close to bed time.
What is Caffeine Citrate?
Caffeine Citrate is a fast acting compound made up of caffeine anhydrous, citric acid monohydrate and sodium citrate dihydrate. It contains about 50% of caffeine anhydrous base. These compounds need to be made up in a lab facility as it does not occur naturally. This accounts for about 45-55mg of caffeine per 100mg within the formulation of the product.
Caffeine Anhydrous vs Caffeine Citrate
When it comes to the two forms of caffeine, they differ only by its solubility and absorption. Caffeine anhydrous is more soluble than caffeine citrate that can offer an immediate energy boost which can be beneficial for those looking for an instant energy kick. Although caffeine anhydrous is potent, caffeine citrate delivers faster results. Caffeine citrate has the property of acting as an antibacterial agent which can increase the products shelf life. Research indicates that between the two forms there isn’t necessarily a better form of caffeine, rather it depends on the individual’s sensitivity and what kind of results you are looking to obtain.
Caffeine Anhydrous vs Caffeine Citrate Side Effects
Like most supplements there is a chance of getting side effects. This may vary from individual to individual. For most healthy adults, caffeine is generally safe to consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day. Possible and common side effects of caffeine citrate include possible symptoms of stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea. The most evident side effect would be dehydration as caffeine can have a slight diuretic effect. It is still good to increase your water intake when using products that contain caffeine.
Caffeine Anhydrous vs Caffeine Citrate Verdict
To top it off, both forms of caffeine are commonly found in many pre-workouts and fat burners for its positive effects on exercise performance. Caffeine anhydrous still works well with diet, exercise and athletic performance. It works especially well with boosting muscle during strength training. Caffeine citrate may be more potent thanks to its fast acting properties but does not have enough studies to back up its claims.
1. Hoffman, J., Kang, J., Ratamess, N., Rashti, S., Tranchina, C. and Faigenbaum, A. (2017). Thermogenic effect of an acute ingestion of a weight loss supplement.
2. Jahangir Karimian, P. (2017). Supplement consumption in body builder athletes. [online] PubMed Central (PMC). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3430026/ [Accessed 28 Jul. 2017].
3. Pedersen, D. J., Lessard, S. J., Coffey, V. G., Churchley, E. G., Wootton, A. M., Watt, M. J., & Hawley, J. A. (2008). High rates of muscle glycogen