Theacrine information

theacrine powder

Many people consider theacrine to be a better version of caffeine. While it is very similar to caffeine, it is not an actual replacement for it. Interestingly, research indicates that it does have several benefits compared to caffeine. Just like caffeine, it can enhance energy levels, reduce fatigue, and increase physical performance. However, unlike caffeine, this stimulant may also decrease anxiety, does not cause tolerance build up, and doesn’t desensitize over time. Due to this, users don’t need to increase dosages over time to keep getting the same effect. Furthermore, theacrine doesn’t cause the sudden drop in energy levels which can be associated with caffeine or many other stimulants.

Theacrine is also known as:
Kucha tea extract
1,3,7,9-tetramethyluric acid
TeaCrine® (Brand name)

Functions of Theacrine

Increased energy and physical performance
As previously mentioned, theacrine is structurally similar to caffeine. Therefore, it is not surprising that it can enhance energy levels, reduce fatigue, and increase physical performance [1][2][3][4]. Based on the current knowledge, it seems that this supplement has a milder but longer effect than caffeine. This prevents the energy crash and rushed feeling which is often associated with normal caffeine and many other stimulants. These effects should not be surprising, since theacrine has a half-life which is more than thrice as long as caffeine [5]. Research subjects have reported that they felt less fatigue, more desire to train, more concentration, and more energy for up to six hours after ingestion [1].

Long lasting effects and no tolerance build up
As previously mentioned, theacrine has long lasting effects [1][5]. However, it also has other  characteristics which make it unique and beneficial. Based on current research, it seems that this supplement does not cause tolerance build-up, even over the course of a couple months of daily use [5][6]. Due to this, users don’t need to increase the dosage over time in order to get the same desired effect.

May Support mood, motivation and relaxation
Besides increasing energy, it was also found that this stimulant may favorably impact mood, motivation and relaxtion [1][4]. While some stimulants may cause anxiety, research indicates that theacrine can actually reduce anxiety [1][7][8].

Other
While the most important effects have already been mentioned, some studies suggest that this supplement may also increase libido [1][3]. Several websites and users also claim that this supplement may increase cognitive performance. However, current research regarding the impact on cognitive performance is contradicting [2][4].

Who can use Theacrine ?

Theacrine is mainly used because of its ability to improve both energy and mood for a relative long time. Due to its functions and its similarity with caffeine, it is often used in pre-workout shakes. However, users also consume it in order to increase energy and mood on days they are not exercising. This supplement is especially suitable for people who don’t like the rushed feeling which is often associated with caffeine and many other stimulants. It is also very interesting for people which would like to use a stimulant that doesn’t result in the build-up of tolerance.

How should I use Theacrine extract ? / Dosages

The amount you use, should depend on the desired effect. As a performance booster, it is recommended to use 150mg – 300mg approximately 30-60 minutes before a training. For a feeling of well-being and relaxation, dosages of up to 50mg should be used.

It is important for users to realize that pure theacrine has a very bitter taste. Due to this, we recommend to mix it with a juice or drink that has a strong and pleasant taste.

How does this supplement work ?

Based on current research, it seems that theacrine mainly functions by influencing adenosine receptors [9]. When adenosine molecules bind to the adenosine receptors, people start feeling tired. Fortunately, this can be prevented by adenosine receptor antagonists like theacrine [9]. These so called, adenosine receptor antagonists, prevent adenosine molecules from binding to the adenosine receptors. This effect gives users the increase in energy, mood, motivation, and alertness [10]. However, the effect of theacrine on adenosine may differ depending on the used dosage. Larger dosages appear to modulate adenosine receptor activity, which results in the increase of energy. While, smaller dosages may actually increase adenosine levels in certain parts of our brain to give the relaxed feeling users report [11].

According to some studies, theacrine also functions by increasing dopamine levels in our body [6]. This increase in dopamine levels is also related to improvements in mood, motivation, wakefulness, and memory [9].

Stacking / combining

Some people see Theacrine as a replacement for caffeine. However, research indicates that the combination of these two ingredients was the most beneficial in terms of increasing and maintaining energy, concentration, and level of performance [2]. While this combination is great, there are many other combinations possible. For example, it can be combined with supplements such as creatine, protein powder and synephrine. Due to the positive effects and many possible combinations, it is also increasingly added to pre-workout supplements.

Where does Theacrine come from ?

This stimulant occurs in nature, but is also made synthetically. In nature it is found in the leaves of the Camellia Kucha plant and the Cupuacu fruit [12].

Other information

Theacrine vs Caffeine
Theacrine has a similar structure to caffeine, which make them very similar in their effects. However, the slightly different structure, gives theacrine some interesting benefits. The different structure allows Theacrine to have a much longer-lasting effect and doesn’t result in the build-up of tolerance which can occur with daily caffeine use. Research also indicates that theacrine can have anti-inflammatory, anxiety reducing, and analgesic (pain relieving) effects, unlike caffeine [13]. While theacrine resembles caffeine in lots of ways, it is not necessarily a substitute for caffeine. As previously mentioned, they actually complement each other very well [2].

Current research
The current amount of research regarding this supplement can be considered as limited. Furthermore, a few studies appear to be sponsored by a manufacturer, which could have influenced the research. However, based on current research, the increasing popularity, and user feedback, this supplement appears to be effective. Due to this, we expect more studies regarding supplement in the near future.

Safety & competitive use

Safety
Research indicates that Theacrine consumption is well-tolerated and can be regarded as safe [6]. It actually has some liver-protective and anti-inflammatory effects [13]. Theacrine also appears to have no adverse effect on blood pressure or anxiety levels, unlike caffeine [8].

Competitive use
Just like caffeine, this supplement is allowed by almost every sports association. If you have doubts if use is allowed in your sport, we advise you to ask the relevant sports association.

Correct use
A dietary supplement can contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle. However, it should not be a substitute for a healthy lifestyle and a varied diet. The recommended dosage should not be exceeded, since side effects may occur otherwise. Temporary side effects of theacrine can include: restlessness, and a decreased sleep quality. In rare cases, these side effects can also occur with normal doses. If side effects occur, consumption should be discontinued.

As with any supplement, we advise users to consult a physician before use. In particular if you use medication or have health complaints. This product should not be used by people which have high blood pressure or heart problems. In addition, this supplement should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Furthermore, this product should not be used by persons under 18 years of age and must be kept out of the reach of children. Keep this product in a cool and dry place to maintain the quality.

References

  1. Habowski, S. M., Sandrock, J. E., Kedia, A. W., & Ziegenfuss, T. N. (2014). The effects of Teacrine TM, a nature-identical purine alkaloid, on subjective measures of cognitive function, psychometric and hemodynamic indices in healthy humans: a randomized, double-blinded crossover pilot trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition11(1), 1-2.
  2. Bello, M. L., Walker, A. J., McFadden, B. A., Sanders, D. J., & Arent, S. M. (2019). The effects of TeaCrine® and caffeine on endurance and cognitive performance during a simulated match in high-level soccer players. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition16(1), 1-10.
  3. Ziegenfuss, T. N., Habowski, S. M., Sandrock, J. E., Kedia, A. W., Kerksick, C. M., & Lopez, H. L. (2017). A two-part approach to examine the effects of theacrine (TeaCrine®) supplementation on oxygen consumption, hemodynamic responses, and subjective measures of cognitive and psychometric parameters. Journal of dietary supplements14(1), 9-24.
  4. Kuhman, D. J., Joyner, K. J., & Bloomer, R. J. (2015). Cognitive performance and mood following ingestion of a theacrine-containing dietary supplement, caffeine, or placebo by young men and women. Nutrients7(11), 9618-9632.
  5. He, H., Ma, D., Crone, L. B., Butawan, M., Meibohm, B., Bloomer, R. J., & Yates, C. R. (2017). Assessment of the drug–drug interaction potential between theacrine and caffeine in humans. Journal of caffeine research7(3), 95-102.
  6. Taylor, L., Mumford, P., Roberts, M., Hayward, S., Mullins, J., Urbina, S., & Wilborn, C. (2016). Safety of TeaCrine®, a non-habituating, naturally-occurring purine alkaloid over eight weeks of continuous use. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition13(1), 1-14.
  7. Sheng, Y. Y., Xiang, J., Wang, Z. S., Jin, J., Wang, Y. Q., Li, Q. S., … & Zheng, X. Q. (2020). Theacrine from camellia kucha and its health beneficial effects. Frontiers in Nutrition7.
  8. Li, W. X., Li, Y. F., Zhai, Y. J., Chen, W. M., Kurihara, H., & He, R. R. (2013). Theacrine, a purine alkaloid obtained from Camellia assamica var. kucha, attenuates restraint stress-provoked liver damage in mice. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry61(26), 6328-6335.
  9. Feduccia, A. A., Wang, Y., Simms, J. A., Henry, Y. Y., Li, R., Bjeldanes, L., … & Bartlett, S. E. (2012). Locomotor activation by theacrine, a purine alkaloid structurally similar to caffeine: involvement of adenosine and dopamine receptors. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior102(2), 241-248.
  10. López-Cruz, L., Salamone, J. D., & Correa, M. (2018). Caffeine and selective adenosine receptor antagonists as new therapeutic tools for the motivational symptoms of depression. Frontiers in pharmacology9, 526.
  11. Qiao, H., Ye, X., Bai, X., He, J., Li, T., Zhang, J., … & Xu, J. (2017). Theacrine: A purine alkaloid from Camellia assamica var. kucha with a hypnotic property via the adenosine system. Neuroscience letters659, 48-53.
  12. Zheng, X. Q., Ye, C. X., Kato, M., Crozier, A., & Ashihara, H. (2002). Theacrine (1, 3, 7, 9-tetramethyluric acid) synthesis in leaves of a Chinese tea, kucha (Camellia assamica var. kucha). Phytochemistry60(2), 129-134.
  13. Wang, Y., Yang, X., Zheng, X., Li, J., Ye, C., & Song, X. (2010). Theacrine, a purine alkaloid with anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. Fitoterapia81(6), 627-631.

Author

Mario Klasens Author XBR