Caffeine Anhydrous: Benefits, Weight Loss and Side Effects

  • By Patrick Dougherty
  • 11 minute read
Caffeine Anhydrous: Benefits, Weight Loss and Side Effects. A pile of roasted coffee beans is shown, illustrating a popular natural source of caffeine.

Caffeine anhydrous, a dehydrated form of caffeine, is a popular dietary supplement ingredient for weight loss, athletic performance, cognitive enhancement and more.

As a potent, concentrated powder, it is prized for its efficiency and fast-acting energizing and stimulating effects. However, with its power may come side effects and risks.

This article will explore the multifaceted benefits and potential adverse effects of caffeine anhydrous -- with plenty of expert insight and tips to help you harness its benefits safely and comfortably.

Let's get to it!

Key Takeaways

  • Caffeine anhydrous is a dehydrated, highly concentrated form of caffeine, presented as a white crystalline powder. It is natural: made from coffee beans and tea leaves.
  • It is found in supplements including pre-workouts, caffeine pills, nootropics, weight loss formulas, energy bars, and caffeinated chewing gum. Favored for its potency and quick absorption.
  • Enhances mental clarity, alertness, and athletic performance; potentially aids weight loss through increased metabolism and appetite suppression.
  • Risks of Caffeine Anhydrous: It is 100% pure caffeine and people take too much. Consuming high doses of pure caffeine leads to disruptive side effects and even health problems. Don't get carried away with caffeine anhydrous. Stay within safe dosage range.
  • Caffeine anhydrous dosages vary: 50 mg in caffeine pills to 300+ mg in more super-stimulating energy drinks and pre-workouts. Maximum safe daily intake of anhydrous caffeine is 400 mg.
  • As with any caffeine, the dehydrated form works best at low-to-moderate doses (3-6 mg/kg body weight); higher doses do not provide additional benefits and increase the risk of side effects.
  • Jitters Mitigation: Combining caffeine anhydrous with L-Theanine can reduce caffeine-induced jitters, enhancing energy levels with a smoother, more focused effect.
  • Best Pre-Workout with caffeine anhydrous: Pre Lab Pro. A smart blend of moderate-dose caffeine anhydrous and nootropics like L-Theanine for enhanced energy and focus without the crash.
  • Best Caffeine Pill with caffeine anhydrous: Caffeine 2, "smart caffeine". Boosts and balances caffeine. 50 mg. per capsule helps you get more precise control of your intake.

What is Caffeine Anhydrous?

What is caffeine anhydrous? Closeup of a pair of hands wearing blue vinyl gloves and holding a petri dish with anhydrous caffeine as white crystalline powder

Anhydrous caffeine is processed, dehydrated caffeine in the form of a white crystalline powder.

It's a popular supplement among athletes and those with specific weight loss goals and is often the form of caffeine found in caffeinated chewing gum and energy bars. It's also the form that is re-hydrated for use in making energy drinks.

Due to the process of creating pure powdered anhydrous caffeine, it is a much more potent form of caffeine and a more efficient supplement.

How is Caffeine Anhydrous Created?

Caffeine is a natural substance found in plants such as coffee beans, tea, and cacao. Upon harvesting the seeds and leaves of the coffee plants, they go through a dehydration process that filters out water and other chemicals.

Hence the name “anhydrous”, meaning “without water”.

The product of this process is a concentrated caffeine powder, which is a very potent form of caffeine.

So, how does such a potent form of natural caffeine provide additional benefits as opposed to just regular caffeine?

Caffeine Anhydrous Benefits

Weight Loss

Caffeine may potentially suppress appetite and stimulate thermogenesis. Reducing the desire to eat in combination with increased calorie burn is thought to be an effective strategy for weight loss, and some studies have suggested caffeine helps us do just that.

Researchers in one systematic review suggested caffeine helps with weight loss, body fat reduction and BMI improvement. (1)

This is why many weight loss supplements on the market contain caffeine, as at the very least caffeine would result in more energy, thus more movement and more calories burnt - regarding caffeine a fairly staple ingredient in these products.

Increased Alertness, Sharper Cognition

Caffeine may increase alertness, which is probably the most obvious benefit of consuming caffeine. Adjacent to this benefit are a host of cognitive function enhancements associated with caffeine.

Researchers have reported that in terms of mental performance, caffeine appears to help increase attention, alertness, and mood, with higher doses improving mental alertness, speed reasoning, and memory. (2)

Improved Athletic Performance

Caffeine is one of the most extensively researched sports supplements. It has demonstrated a whole range of exercise performance benefits, including boosts for anaerobic exercise, endurance performance, energy levels in the gym, alertness, mood and more.

Additionally, studies have shown caffeine to improve muscular endurance and maximal strength, repeated sprint performance, and high-intensity training.

The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition offers some key points about how caffeine helps with sports performance: (3)

  1. Small to moderate amounts of caffeine (3-6 mg/kg of body weight) can improve sports performance, and may be equally effective as larger doses.
  2. Taking more caffeine (over 9 mg/kg) doesn't give any extra benefits.
  3. Caffeine in powder form works better for sports than drinking coffee.
  4. It helps keep you alert during long exercises that lead to tiredness, as well as maintaining athletic performance when you didn't get enough sleep the night before.
  5. Caffeine has been shown to be good for endurance sports and works well for time-trial athletic competitions.
  6. It is also good for high-intensity interval sports, including those like soccer or basketball where you start and stop a lot.

Learn more about pre-workout supplements

What Are the Specific Benefits of Caffeine Anhydrous in Supplements, Drinks and Food Products?

So why would natural product manufacturers use this concentrated, powdered form of caffeine?

It offers many advantages for both the companies that make these products and the consumers who take them:

No fluid

If you want the benefits of a pre-workout caffeine boost, but without the volume of fluid that normally comes with it (through drinking coffee or energy drinks), then opting for caffeine anhydrous in the form of pills would be a great alternative.

This would reduce bathroom breaks during training or competition, and potentially ease any exercise-associated GI discomfort as a result - which brings us onto the next point!

Less GI side effects

Anhydrous caffeine wouldn't disrupt the GI tract as much as other forms of caffeine, such as coffee and energy drinks, mainly due to a lack of acidic compounds.

This is good news yet again for the exercising individuals among us who typically suffer from GI discomfort from caffeine intake (particularly coffee!) and are seeking improvements in athletic performance.

Easy to dose

One of the greatest benefits of caffeine anhydrous is the ability to dose much more accurately.

The problem with pre-workout powders, coffee, energy drinks, and any other fluid-based caffeine source, is the inaccuracy of the dose.

Caffeine pills, gum, or bars containing caffeine anhydrous would provide you with a concentrated, accurate dose due to the purity and potency.

This way, it makes it simpler to meet the recommended intake of caffeine for sports performance, or any other benefit you may be seeking.

Caffeine Anhydrous vs Caffeine in Coffee: What are the Differences?

Caffeine anhydrous is created from the same plants as naturally occurring caffeine, so essentially, caffeine and caffeine anhydrous are the same thing.

But there are key differences you should know in order to use caffeine anhydrous safely and effectively.

Caffeine anhydrous and the caffeine found in coffee differ primarily in:

Form and Concentration:

  • Caffeine anhydrous is 100% pure, highly concentrated caffeine as white crystalline powder. All the chemical components and water molecules from the coffee plant are stripped away.
  • In contrast, the caffeine in coffee is naturally occurring and diluted among coffee's water, oils, and other organic compounds.

Absorption and Potency:

Because caffeine anhydrous is more concentrated, it tends to be absorbed more quickly and can have a more potent effect on the body compared to the caffeine in coffee. This makes caffeine anhydrous particularly effective for delivering a rapid and powerful energy boost.

Purity and Dosage Control:

  • Caffeine anhydrous allows for precise dosage control, which can be crucial for those who require specific amounts of caffeine for performance enhancement or other purposes.
  • With coffee, the caffeine content can vary significantly depending on the type of coffee bean, the brewing method, and the strength of the coffee.

Usage in Products:

  • Caffeine anhydrous is widely used in pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements such as pre-workout mixes, energy pills, and weight loss products due to its purity and potent effects.
  • Coffee is generally consumed as a beverage and is sought for both its flavor and its caffeine content.

Side Effects and Health Impact:

  • Due to its high concentration, caffeine anhydrous may increase the risk of experiencing adverse effects such as jitteriness, anxiety, heart palpitations, and digestive issues if not dosed carefully.
  • The other natural compounds in coffee can modulate how caffeine affects the body, potentially buffering some of the harsher effects of caffeine.

Understanding these differences can help you choose the form of caffeine that best suits your needs, whether you are seeking to enhancing athletic performance, improving concentration, or simply enjoying a nice cup of coffee.

Learn more about Coffee vs Caffeine Pills.

What is the optimal dose of caffeine anhydrous?

The recommended upper limit for daily caffeine intake is currently 400mg per day. However, higher doses increases risk of side effects. Small-to-moderate caffeine doses of up to 3-6mg/kg body mass are regarded as optimal for performance enhancement.

Did you know? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one teaspoon of caffeine powder is the equivalent of 28 cups of coffee. (4)

Caffeine Anhydrous Side Effects and Risks

Caffeine dosages should ideally be tailored to the individual. Everyone has a different tolerance to caffeine, and this should be gauged prior to heavy caffeine consumption.

If you are new to consuming any source of caffeine or caffeine supplements, you should trial and error the dose, starting with a low dose, and see what works for you.

You may also want to avoid pure powdered caffeine if you are new or stim-sensitive, and instead opt for a milder form like green tea. As a bonus, green tea is a natural source of L-Theanine, which helps smooth out caffeine jitters.

Some individuals have built up a tolerance with heavy caffeine us over time. Due to this caffeine tolerance, they may miss out on the health and performance advantages of moderate caffeine intake. Learn about how to "reset" caffeine tolerance.

When it comes to side effects, there has been some research that has highlighted the potential risk associated with very high caffeine intake, such as:

  • Worse symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Triggering of gout attacks
  • Incontinence
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Dehydration
  • Shakes and jitters
  • High blood pressure
  • Heartburn

However, this is largely dependent on individual intolerance and health status. Those with low tolerance to caffeine or general sensitivity to stimulants should definitely avoid caffeine anhydrous in large doses. Start low, for example 50 mg of caffeine anhydrous, and go slow instead.

Did you know? The general tolerability and safety level of caffeine intake is 400 mg daily. However, as intake increases over the 400 mg mark, so do risks of dangerous side effects. Fatal caffeine overdose has been reported at blood concentrations of 80 to 100 micrograms/ml -- about 10 grams of caffeine. (5)

Caffeine Anhydrous: FAQs,

Q: How many cups of coffee is 300mg of caffeine anhydrous?

A: According to the USDA, there is 94.8mg of caffeine per 1 cup (8 fl oz) of coffee. This means you would have to drink at least 3 cups of coffee to get just short of 300mg of caffeine.

Q: Can you have a caffeine overdose?

A: An individual is unlikely to die from a caffeine overdose, especially from sources such as coffee. However, it is possible to overdose if you are consuming a pure caffeine powdered supplement.

Q: How much caffeine anhydrous should I take?

A: It is safe to consume doses of caffeine up to 400mg per day. Doses should be determined on an individual basis, as everyone has a different tolerance and caffeine limit. We recommend a caffeine pill below that allows you to fine-tune dosage in 50 mg increments, which helps you identify your perfect dose. Always be sure to follow the dosage instructions on your product and do not exceed the recommended daily limit of caffeine, as too much caffeine may lead to adverse effects.

Q: How long does caffeine anhydrous stay in your system?

A: Caffeine anhydrous reaches peak level in your blood within 30 to 60 minutes. It has a half-life (the time it takes for your body to eliminate half of a drug) of 3 to 5 hours.

Q: Is caffeine anhydrous bad for you?

A: Caffeine anhydrous is not bad for you in moderate doses, provided you stick to the recommended daily limit of caffeine and gauge your own individual tolerance. The FDA advises people to avoid powdered caffeine due to the growing incidence of caffeine intoxication.

Q: Is caffeine anhydrous the same as caffeine citrate?

A: While these forms work the same way, they are very different. Caffeine citrate is a medication solely used to treat short-term breathing problems in premature infants.

Best Caffeine Anhydrous Pill: Performance Lab® Caffeine 2™

Best Caffeine Anhydrous Pill: Performance Lab Caffeine 2. Bottle is shown on its side with a few capsules spilling out.

Caffeine 2™ presents an ultramodern new take on the typical "caffeine pill" - delivering greater mental (and athletic!) performance benefits in a clean format that is healthy for daily use.

Ingredients: Natural Caffeine (from Coffea robusta seeds), L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, NutriGenesis® Caffeine Balance B-Complex.

Caffeine 2™ includes amino acids and B-vitamins to enhance all caffeine advantages and benefits -- alertness, mental clarity, physical and mental energy -- while reducing jitters, crashes and other unpleasant side effects.

And it's in 50 mg capsules, so you can make a serving size 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg or more. It's up to you! The end result is performance-tuned stimulation: Cleaner, healthier, sharper vitality that's easy and convenient to take every day.

Shop Caffeine 2™

Best Pre-Workout with Caffeine Anhydrous: Pre Lab Pro®

Best Pre-Workout with Caffeine Anhydrous: Pre Lab Pro. Black tub of Pre Lab Pro is shown on a gritty gym floor.

Pre Lab Pro® is the best caffeinated nootropic pre workout supplement on the market today. It is a fast-acting powder supplement that mixes into a delicious berry-flavored pre-workout drink.

Ingredients: Red Beetroot Powder; Setria® Performance Blend; Natural Caffeine; L-Theanine; L-Tyrosine; Vitamin D3, Potassium and Iron (all as NutriGenesis®), Himalayan Pink Salt. Delicious natural berry flavor.

Pre Lab Pro® is a nootropics-enhanced pre-workout formula that supplies a moderate dose (80 mg) of sport-tuned caffeine anhydrous with amino acids that balance energy with calm control.

With an additional nitric oxide boost for blood flow plus natural hydration support, Pre Lab Pro® enhances intensity, motivation and mental sharpness throughout your session -- for better gym performance, muscle growth and muscle gains overall.

Shop Pre Lab Pro®


Caffeine anhydrous is a more potent, concentrated form of caffeine proven to have many health and performance benefits when consumed in moderation.

It is important to remember, however, that it is easy to caffeine overdose on pure powdered caffeine due to its potency, so always follow the dosage guidelines on your product and do not exceed the 400mg recommended daily limit of caffeine.

Individual tolerances to caffeine vary, so gauge your personal tolerance to caffeine and caffeinated supplements to avoid any risks of side effects of caffeine intoxication. And be sure to consult with your doctor before adding any supplement to your regimen, including caffeine anhydrous.

  1. Tabrizi R, Saneei P, Lankarani KB, Akbari M, Kolahdooz F, Esmaillzadeh A, Nadi-Ravandi S, Mazoochi M, Asemi Z. The effects of caffeine intake on weight loss: a systematic review and dos-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(16):2688-2696.
  2. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Military Nutrition Research; Marriott BM, editor. Food Components to Enhance Performance: An Evaluation of Potential Performance-Enhancing Food Components for Operational Rations. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1994. 20, Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans. Available from:
  3. Guest NS, et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021 Jan 2;18(1):1. doi: 10.1186/s12970-020-00383-4. PMID: 33388079; PMCID: PMC7777221.
  4. Pure and Highly Concentrated Caffeine | FDA
  5. Murray A, Traylor J. Caffeine Toxicity. 2023 Jun 26. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan–. PMID: 30422505.