Theacrine: Benefits, Dosing, Where To Buy, And More!

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Key Information

Teacrine is a natural compound:

Teacrine is found in certain tea leaves and the kucha plant, and is structurally similar to caffeine.

Teacrine offers sustained energy and focus:

Teacrine interacts with adenosine receptors to provide gradual and lasting alertness and cognitive function.

Teacrine has no unwanted side effects:

Teacrine does not cause jitters, crashes, tolerance, or habit formation like caffeine and other stimulants.

Teacrine can be combined with caffeine:

Teacrine and caffeine can have a synergistic effect, enhancing each other’s benefits and reducing their drawbacks.

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In the world of nootropics, there’s a constant search for compounds that can enhance energy, focus, and mood without the drawbacks of traditional stimulants. Enter theacrine, a naturally occurring purine alkaloid that’s been gaining attention for its potential to rival caffeine in terms of its cognitive and physical benefits.

At Holistic Nootropics, we’re always on the lookout for evidence-based, nutrition-first cognitive enhancement strategies that support the holistic interplay between mind and body. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the science behind theacrine, explore its potential benefits and risks, and provide practical insights on how to incorporate this promising nootropic into your wellness routine.

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What is Theacrine?

Theacrine (1,3,7,9-tetramethyluric acid) is a naturally occurring compound found in various tea varieties, particularly Camellia assamica var. kucha, as well as in coffee and certain exotic fruits[1]. Structurally similar to caffeine, theacrine has been shown to exert comparable effects on the central nervous system, enhancing alertness, energy, and mood[2].

How Does Theacrine Work?

Theacrine’s mechanisms of action are believed to be similar to those of caffeine, primarily involving adenosine receptor antagonism and dopamine receptor activation[2].

Adenosine Receptor Antagonism

Like caffeine, theacrine binds to adenosine receptors, particularly A1 and A2a subtypes, thereby blocking the action of adenosine, a neuromodulator that promotes sleep and relaxation[2]. By inhibiting adenosine signaling, theacrine can increase wakefulness, alertness, and cognitive performance.

Dopamine Receptor Activation

Theacrine has also been shown to activate dopamine receptors, particularly D1 and D2 subtypes, which are involved in motivation, reward, and mood regulation[2]. This dopaminergic activity may underlie theacrine’s potential mood-enhancing and motivational effects.

Potential Advantages Over Caffeine

While theacrine shares many similarities with caffeine, it may offer some distinct advantages:

  • Longer-lasting energy without jitters or crash[3]
  • Reduced tolerance buildup[3]
  • Lower impact on cardiovascular parameters such as blood pressure and heart rate[4]

Benefits of Theacrine

Enhanced Energy and Physical Performance

Several studies have investigated theacrine’s effects on energy levels and exercise performance. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial by Ziegenfuss et al.[5] found that a single dose of theacrine (TeaCrine ) significantly increased energy levels and reduced fatigue compared to placebo. The study also noted improvements in concentration and motivation to exercise.

Improved Focus and Concentration

Theacrine’s ability to enhance mental clarity and alertness has been reported in several human studies. While the effects on cognitive performance have not always reached statistical significance, subjective measures of focus, concentration, and task-related motivation consistently improve with theacrine supplementation[4,5].

Elevated Mood and Motivation

The activation of dopamine receptors by theacrine suggests a potential for mood-enhancing and motivational effects. Indeed, human studies have reported increased subjective feelings of wellbeing, motivation, and focus following theacrine ingestion[4,5]. These effects may be particularly relevant for individuals dealing with stress, fatigue, or mild mood disturbances.

Other Potential Benefits

Preclinical studies have hinted at several other potential benefits of theacrine, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties[6]
  • Neuroprotective effects[7]
  • Liver health support[8]

However, more human research is needed to confirm these findings and establish the clinical relevance of these effects.

Theacrine Dosage and Safety

The typical dosage range for theacrine supplementation is 100-300 mg per day. In a safety study by Taylor et al.[3], daily doses of up to 300 mg of TeaCrine were well-tolerated over an 8-week period, with no significant adverse effects or habituation reported.

Compared to caffeine, theacrine appears to have a more favorable safety profile, with fewer reported side effects such as jitters, anxiety, or sleep disturbances[3,4]. However, individual responses may vary, and it’s always advisable to start with a lower dose and assess your tolerance before increasing.

Theacrine Stacks and Combinations

Theacrine can be taken alone or combined with other nootropics for synergistic effects. Some popular combinations include:

  • Caffeine: Theacrine and caffeine have been shown to have synergistic effects, with theacrine enhancing the bioavailability and prolonging the effects of caffeine[9]. A typical ratio is 1:2 theacrine to caffeine.
  • L-Theanine: Combining theacrine with L-theanine can help balance the stimulatory effects, promoting relaxation and focus.
  • Racetams: Stacking theacrine with racetams such as piracetam or aniracetam may provide complementary cognitive-enhancing effects.
  • Adaptogens: Pairing theacrine with adaptogens like ashwagandha or rhodiola can help support stress resilience and overall cognitive performance.

Where to Buy Theacrine

When choosing a theacrine supplement, it’s essential to consider factors such as purity, quality control, dosage, and value. Look for reputable brands that provide third-party lab testing results and use standardized extracts like TeaCrine .

Some top recommended theacrine supplements include:

Teacrine (Theacrine) Capsules | 100mg by Nootropics Depot #1

Teacrine (Theacrine) Capsules | 100mg by Nootropics Depot

Smooth Energy with Teacrine
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Buy Teacrine Powder | View Theacrine Supplement by Nootropics Depot #2

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Nootropics Depot Teacrine Powder
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1,4 DMAA + Theacrine Tablets by Research Chemical Depot #3

1,4 DMAA + Theacrine Tablets by Research Chemical Depot

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Theacrine vs. Other Stimulants

Compared to caffeine, theacrine offers several potential advantages, such as longer-lasting energy, reduced tolerance buildup, and fewer side effects[3,4]. However, caffeine’s effects are more well-established, and individual responses may vary.

Other natural stimulants like guarana, yerba mate, and kola nut also contain caffeine and related compounds, but their effects are primarily attributed to their caffeine content. Theacrine’s unique chemical structure and pharmacological properties set it apart as a distinct nootropic with a more targeted mechanism of action.

Theacrine Discussions on Reddit

User Experiences and Reviews

I’ve been using aminos: L-Tyrosine & L-Phenylalanine for years to boost my energy, recently tried this and WOW! It’s GREAT! Like caffeine with no side effects!

u/Dannyhealy in discussion ‘Theacrine – Not a mere Caffeine substitute’

Dosage and Cycling Strategies

50mg worked for me, but I had kept my caffeine intake to around 50mg or less for 5 weeks before trying theacrine.

u/relevantme in discussion ‘Theacrine?’

Stacking with Other Nootropics

I actually find using it in a 2:1 caffeine:teacrine ratio works incredibly well!

u/Method_Performance in discussion ‘Why doesnt anyone talk about Theacrine?’

Frequently Asked Questions

Is theacrine safe?

Based on available safety studies[3], theacrine appears to be well-tolerated with a favorable safety profile compared to caffeine. However, individual responses may vary, and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

How long do the effects of theacrine last?

The effects of theacrine can last for several hours, with some users reporting sustained energy and focus for up to 8 hours[3]. The duration of effects may depend on individual factors such as dosage, tolerance, and metabolism.

Can you build a tolerance to theacrine?

Research suggests that theacrine has a lower potential for tolerance buildup compared to caffeine[3]. However, individual responses may vary, and cycling your use or taking occasional breaks can help minimize the risk of developing tolerance.

Is theacrine legal and available over-the-counter?

Theacrine is legal and available over-the-counter as a dietary supplement in most countries. However, regulations may vary, so it’s essential to check your local laws and consult with a healthcare professional before purchasing or consuming theacrine.


Theacrine is a promising natural nootropic that offers a range of potential cognitive and physical benefits, with a more favorable safety profile compared to traditional stimulants like caffeine. By enhancing energy, focus, and mood, theacrine can be a valuable addition to a holistic approach to cognitive enhancement and overall wellbeing.

As with any new supplement, it’s essential to approach theacrine with an open but cautious mindset. Start with a low dose, monitor your individual response, and be prepared to adjust your regimen based on your personal experience. Remember, the key to sustainable cognitive enhancement lies in the synergy between nutrition, lifestyle practices, and targeted supplementation.

At Holistic Nootropics, we’re committed to providing evidence-based, actionable insights to help you navigate the complex world of cognitive enhancement. We encourage you to explore our blog, podcast, and guides for more in-depth information on theacrine and other science-backed nootropics. As always, we welcome your thoughts,experiences, and insights in the comments below – let’s continue the conversation and support each other on our journeys toward optimal cognitive performance and holistic wellbeing.


1. Zheng XQ, Ye CX, Kato M, Crozier A, Ashihara H. Theacrine (1,3,7,9-tetramethyluric acid) synthesis in leaves of a Chinese tea, kucha (Camellia assamica var. kucha). Phytochemistry. 2002;60(2):129-134. doi:10.1016/s0031-9422(02)00086-9.

2. Feduccia AA, Wang Y, Simms JA, et al. Locomotor activation by theacrine, a purine alkaloid structurally similar to caffeine: involvement of adenosine and dopamine receptors. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2012;102(2):241-248. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2012.04.014.

3. Taylor L, Mumford P, Roberts M, et al. Safety of TeaCrine , a non-habituating, naturally-occurring purine alkaloid over eight weeks of continuous use. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016;13:2. doi:10.1186/s12970-016-0113-3.

4. Kuhman DJ, Joyner KJ, Bloomer RJ. Cognitive Performance and Mood Following Ingestion of a Theacrine-Containing Dietary Supplement, Caffeine, or Placebo by Young Men and Women. Nutrients. 2015;7(11):9618-9632. doi:10.3390/nu7115484.

5. Ziegenfuss TN, Habowski SM, Sandrock JE, Kedia AW, Kerksick CM, Lopez HL. 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. J Diet Suppl. 2017;14(1):9-24. doi:10.1080/19390211.2016.1178678.

6. Wang Y, Yang X, Zheng X, Li J, Ye C, Song X. Theacrine, a purine alkaloid with anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. Fitoterapia. 2010;81(6):627-631. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2010.03.008.

7. Qiao H, Ye X, Bai X, He J, Li T, Zhang J, et al. Theacrine: A purine alkaloid from Camellia assamica var. kucha with a hypnotic property via the adenosine system. Neurosci Lett. 2017 Nov 20;659:48-53. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2017.08.063.

8. Li WX, Li YF, Zhai YJ, et al. Theacrine, a purine alkaloid obtained from Camellia assamica var. kucha, attenuates restraint stress-provoked liver damage in mice. J Agric Food Chem. 2013;61(26):6328-6335. doi:10.1021/jf400982c.

9. He H, Ma D, Crone LB, et al. Assessment of the Drug-Drug Interaction Potential Between Theacrine and Caffeine in Humans. J Caffeine Res. 2017;7(3):95-102. doi:10.1089/jcr.2017.0006.

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Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.

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