Caffeine Anhydrous: What Is It?

Caffeine Anhydrous: What Is It?

Caffeine anhydrous is a form of caffeine that has been dried into a powder. The term anhydrous means "without water." Caffeine anhydrous if often used as an ingredient in supplemental products as a stimulant to stay awake, as a pain reliever in combination with other medications and as a weight loss or energy accelerant.

Caffeine is produced from plant sources, primarily cacao beans and tea leaves. When it's dried, it forms a white crystalline powder that is used in certain medications and supplement products. The FDA has determined caffeine to be "Generally Recognized as Safe."

Caffeine as a Treatment for Sleepiness or Fatigue

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It acts on the brain by blocking adenosine receptors. When adenosine binds to a cell, it slows the nerve activity, causing sleep. The caffeine molecule interrupts this activity, causing the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline keeps a person stimulated and awake. People can also become tolerant to certain dosages, and require more caffeine over time to produce the same effect.

Caffeine for Weight Loss and Athletic Performance

Caffeine may be a beneficial weight loss aid for three reasons:

  • A metabolite of caffeine, called paraxanthine, increases lipolysis - the breakdown of fatty acids.
  • Caffeine has a mild diuretic effect, increasing loss of fluid through increase in urination. Depending upon the rate of rehydration, this could also lead to a small weight loss.
  • Caffeine can decrease appetite, causing less calories to be ingested.

The research on caffeine and its effectiveness on dieting and weight loss is mixed. One study found higher caffeine consumption to result in faster weight loss, but a lower caffeine intake to result in longer-term weight management. The majority of studies have found caffeine's effects to be temporary and short-lived, so over time, its effect on weight loss is likely to diminish if no other effort is taken to reduce calories and increase physical activity.

Caffeine is also used in athletic performance formulas because it can increase energy needed for a workout. A study conducted in the late 1970s found caffeine to increase the long-distance performance ability of cyclists. It's also thought to delay the onset of muscle fatigue after exercise, because it improves blood flow to the muscle tissue, bringing oxygen and nutrients needed by the cells.

Caffeine for Pain Relief

Caffeine is often used as an ingredient in pain relievers, particularly those that treat migraine headaches. Caffeine makes pain relievers such as aspirin 40% more effective. It also helps the body to absorb medication more quickly, bringing faster relief.

Warnings for Caffeine Anhydrous

Many products that contain caffeine anhydrous offer about as much caffeine as one or two cups of coffee. However, there are still limitations for its use. It is not intended for children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It should also be limited for those with high blood pressure, thyroid disease, diabetes or depression. Check with your physician to ensure that caffeine doesn't interfere with any of the prescription or over the counter medications you may be taking.

Caffeine overdose can occur when one ingests in excess of 300 mg, depending upon the size and weight of the person. This causes restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, flushing, gastrointestinal disturbances and irregular or rapid heartbeat.

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