7 Theacrine Benefits & Side Effects (Caffeine Alternative)

Article by: David Gracey
theacrine image supermindhacker

Stay energized without the need for caffeine with this nootropic!

Do you find yourself constantly reaching for a cup of coffee to boost your energy and maintain concentration?

Are you finding it hard to function without your “daily cuppa”?

I get it; you need your daily shot for that essential caffeine boost, the enticing flavor, and the magnificent aroma.

We seek comfort in that cup of java and rely on it to get us through the day, too.

However, coffee can become an addiction, and you might experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to give it up.

We’re here to offer you a safer alternative, and a rather unique ingredient.

Theacrine; it is a nootropic that doesn’t possess dependence potential or cause withdrawal issues.

Experience the energy boost without the jitters!

Theacrine is a chemical that affects the brain in ways similar to coffee. You can substitute it for coffee if you’re looking for a milder alternative to caffeine, or even add it to your daily cup of joe to enhance and extend the effects of caffeine.

Feel like you can’t defog quickly enough for that task you’ve been dreading all week?

Try stacking your coffee with this natural supplement for an extra kick of energy to power-pack your daily performance.

Do you feel fatigued before a workout session?

Consider taking theacrine as a pre-workout supplement to boost athletic performance!

Theacrine (also known as 1,3,7,9-tetramethyluric acid) is a purine alkaloid naturally found in a wild Chinese tea plant (Camellia Kucha) as well as a popular fruit from the Amazon rain forest known as Cupuaçu (close relative to the cacao tree, and used as an alternative to chocolate) that’s structurally similar to caffeine.

Basically, it is a caffeine derivative. Caffeine is converted into theacrine by hydration, oxidation, and methylation.

It exerts a neuroactive effect on the central nervous system, much like caffeine.   It us generally sold in pill or powder form.

How does it work?

Theacrine works to enhance locomotion by mediating both the adenosinergic and dopaminergic systems.

Adenosine, a purine nucleoside, is one of the primary hormones that regulate your sleep cycle and make you feel tired.

It is a vital component for energy production and is present in various forms in almost all cells of the body.

By modulating adenosine in your body, it has a direct effect on your sleep.

The adenosine levels in your brain increase during wakefulness and decrease while you’re asleep.

It is an adenosine receptor antagonist, meaning that it inhibits the physiological actions of adenosine.

It works by inhibiting adenosine deaminase, the enzyme that breaks down adenosine. This keeps adenosine from degrading and preserves it longer in the circulatory system.

It helps increase alertness, wakefulness, and attentiveness by blocking adenosine receptors and the enzyme responsible for adenosine degradation.

It also upregulates the feel-good hormone dopamine.

Ultimately, Theacrine boosts your mood, motivation, and energy levels, helping you make the most of your time!

What are the effects of theacrine on the body?

Theacrine is a mild stimulant and it induces a calming effect on the body. Research studies have shown this chemical to possess the following properties:


Theacrine exerts its anti-inflammatory role by increasing RNA expression and protein expression of SMAD3, p-ERK, and p-p38 (anti-inflammatory mediators).

It also reduces the expression of NF-kB and IL-6 (inflammatory mediators), thereby doubling its anti-inflammatory potential.

Any interference with inflammatory mediators reduces their harmful effects, and Theacrine just does that.

It interferes with histamine, bradykinin, and serotonin. These inflammatory mediators promote vasodilation and increase vascular permeability, thus causing edema.


Theacrine improves antioxidant efficiency by the following mechanisms:

  • Upregulating the expression of SIRT3 and activating the SIRT3/FOXO3/SOD2 signaling pathway
  • Enhancing superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities and its gene expression
  • Decreasing the activities of xanthine oxidase

Animal studies reveal that this leads to a drastic reduction in the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and an increase in ORAC levels.

These actions result in the strengthening of the antioxidant stem in vivo.


man woman pug drinking coffee

Through the mediation of the adenosine system, theacrine works to bring into play its potent hypnotic and sedative properties.

Additionally, it promotes neurogenesis (formation of new neurons) in the hippocampal region of the brain.

This is brought about by the modulation of PDE4 (phosphodiesterase-4)/cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate)/CREB (cAMP response element-binding)/BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor)/TrkB (tropomyosin-related kinase B) pathway.

It helps the brain release dopamine- the hormone responsible for making you feel happy and excited and keeping you from feeling low or depressed.

Adequate levels of dopamine in the body help bust a bad mood and ensure that you’re feeling happy and motivated by creating positive feelings of well-being and contentment.

Improvement of cognitive function

This alkaloid compound works to improve cognitive function by the following mechanisms:

  • Regulating brain glucose metabolism
  • Inhibiting phosphodiesterases
  • Restoring and maintaining the levels of 5htp & dopamine.

An improvement in cognitive abilities promotes alertness, attention, concentration, and mental performance.

Animal studies revealed it to be capable of reversing memory and learning impairment caused by fatigue.

A combination of 125mg of theacrine and 150mg of caffeine, to be exact, improved cognitive performance by a moderate degree.

Supplement theacrine and let the magical phenomenon of neuroplasticity expand your wits and cognitive horizons!

Learning a new skill or a new language just became easier!

I recommend: this language learning program

Let this supplement work its magic to help you get over the hurdle of self-doubt and make you go explore new opportunities!

Complete your tasks more productively throughout the day with the optimum buzz!

Locomotor activation and fatigue reduction

sunset sunrise woman

Theacrine is an adenosine receptor antagonist. This feature enables it to enhance locomotive activation and reduce fatigue.

Fatigue can have a devastating impact on your overall health. It can even reduce your cognitive abilities.

Fatigue is often the result of regular poor sleep, and that puts you at the risk for serious chronic disease.

Heart disease, obesity, and diabetes are examples of chronic health conditions that are aggravated by fatigue.

They can significantly lower life expectancy and reduce the overall quality of your life. It will help you focus on the task at hand and reduce mental fatigue.

It also helps reduce post-workout fatigue and energizes you for the day ahead.


Theacrine is a mild stimulant of the nervous system.

It helps calm you down instead of increasing feelings of anxiety and ‘jitteriness’ that are commonly associated with high doses of caffeine.

Craving coffee? Make the smart choice- have a cup of Kucha tea instead to help you relax and unwind after a long day at work, minus the energy crash or jitters!

Improves athletic performance

Theacrine may improve a player’s athletic abilities by reducing the effects of fatigue and enhancing their performance efficiency by providing an energetic long-lasting effect.

Combine it with caffeine to double up the energy shot!

Theacrine half-life

This supplement has an incredibly long half-life (almost 20 hours!). The effects start to kick in after about 1 hour, with the peak concentration reaching at around 1.5 hours.

Since it has a mild effect that lasts much longer than caffeine, you won’t experience the sudden ‘crash’ in energy as you would with caffeine.

This will ensure that your energy and motivation levels are well-maintained throughout the day and you won’t have to chug down cups of coffee every few hours.

Dosage Recommendations:

A dosage of up to 400mg per day is considered safe. However, the correct dosage depends on an individual’s age, health status, and other factors.

It is advised that you talk to your doctor and work out the appropriate dosage for you before starting this supplement.

Theacrine supplements are safe to use for a short period.

Long-term safety has not been proven yet. As with any new supplement, start with low doses initially before preceding to higher doses.

Are there any major side effects associated with theacrine?

Research studies have concluded that theacrine is safe as long as it is taken in moderation and short term.

Theacrine does not affect:

  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Lipid profiles
  • Liver, kidney, or immune function

However, it does reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels.

And hey, that’s good for you! LDL is commonly referred to as the “bad” cholesterol since it accumulates in your arteries and increases your chance of developing a heart condition or stroke.

By reducing LDL levels, it promotes the healthy functioning of your body and prevents you from developing serious health conditions!


Pregnancy and lactation:

There isn’t enough reliable information available at the moment to declare theacrine as a safe supplement for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

It is better to steer clear of any unreliable drugs and medication during this period.

Does theacrine interact with any other drugs?

Sedatives (CNS depressants):

Sedatives (benzodiazepines, opioids, pentobarbital, secobarbital, and many others) cause drowsiness.

Be cautious while taking them along with theacrine as the combination could cause too much sleepiness/drowziness,

Make sure to talk with your physician before taking them together.

Frequently Asked Questions:

running jogging energized

What are the benefits of the theacrine supplement?

 It increases:

  • Energy
  • Mood
  • Motivation
  • Focus
  • Athletic performance

 It reduces:

  • Perceived fatigue
  • Inflammation in the body

How is theacrine different from caffeine?

Theacrine has many effects similar to those of caffeine. However, in contrast to caffeine, it does not affect blood pressure or heart rate.

It also has a longer duration of action than caffeine (half-life), meaning that it will stay in your system longer as a result. You won’t experience the ‘crash’ that you usually do when the effects of caffeine start to wear off.

Theacrine vs caffeine – how they affect tolerance:

Well, it has less potential for tolerance buildup, which is why you won’t have any of the withdrawal symptoms that are typically associated with caffeine.

What can I stack with theacrine to increase its effectiveness?

You can stack it with coffee for an extra boost of energy and alertness.

Research shows that theacrine actually makes caffeine more bioavailable in the body.

It also helps reduce the jitters that you might experience with the consumption of excessive caffeine.

When is the best time to take theacrine supplements?

It is best to consume it 3-4 hours before a workout session for optimal energy levels throughout your training.

Can theacrine cause dependence?

No. There has shown to be no dependence potential associated with the use of theacrine.

Do theacrine supplements cause side effects?

No noticeable adverse effects have been noticed with theacrine use.

Final thoughts on theacrine…

If you’re someone who can’t function without caffeine and are beginning to notice some negative effects, theacrine is a worthy substitute you could switch to that won’t disappoint.

Theacrine is a stimulant that will keep you energized throughout the day without desiring coffee as a crutch.

With effects so similar to caffeine and without an addictive potential or the jitters, this supplement may be all you need to ditch java for good!

(Yes, I know.. easier said than done for most of us)

If you’re looking to increase energy and reduce fatigue before a workout session, look no further.

This supplement will help you perform at your best. It will keep your energy levels up for much longer than a workout session.

It’s the perfect compliment for a productive day, which is exactly what we’re after anyways!

So, give it a shot!  It could be a total game changer.

What theacrine supplements do I recommend?

If you want a pre-formulated theacrine + caffeine stack that will give you loads of clean and natural energy to get through your day, I highly recommend Miracle Morning by UMZU!

It’s packed with B vitamins, and even has l-theanine and uses guarana as a clean source of caffeine.

Give it a try!

Check out these Other Popular Nootropics:


About David:

Hey! I’m so glad you’re here. My name is David Gracey. I am a cognitive brain function researcher, avid biohacker, and self-proclaimed nootropic junkie of sorts! (And, yes, a bit of a nerd as well...) I created this website as an outlet to share my passion for self improvement and cognitive brain enhancement. Got questions? Shoot me a message!










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