If you’re at all like me, you absolutely need your caffeine, especially on a dreary, blue Monday morning. I am not one of those superhumans who can power through the day without their java.
For many years, I drank several cups of coffee per day, and it certainly kept me more awake that if I had not had it. However, about a couple of years ago, I switched to caffeine pills, for two reasons: I don’t have the best stomach, and it’s way cheaper than buying coffee.
I’ve found caffeine pills to have a number of pros and cons:
Pros of caffeine pills:
1. They’re cheap. I personally buy Jet-Alert 100mg pills from Amazon (link) which are currently sold for $21.98 for 480 pills. That’s about 4.6 cents per 100mg pill, which has about as much caffeine effects as a weak cup of coffee. So, each “cup” of coffee is costing you less than 10 cents, if you take two pills.
In contrast, and for example, 80 pods of single-serve coffee that you can make at home will cost you about $26.59 on Amazon, which is around 33 cents per serving. If my math is correct, that’s a savings of about $173 per year, assuming four pills per day vs two servings of coffee per day. Obviously, if you go to a coffee shop and buy your coffee there, the saving are far greater.
2. They’re easy to use, and can be carried around with you. You just pop them in your mouth and swallow. There’s no need to make the coffee, or to take a coffee break, or to go to the coffee shop.
3. You don’t need a coffeemaker or any kind of equipment, or mugs, and there’s no mess to clean up.
4. If you have a weak stomach, the’re an easier way than coffee to get your caffeine.
5. No stained teeth.
6. It doesn’t make you pee like coffee can.
Cons of caffeine pills:
1. They’re kind of yucky. They don’t taste like anything (and can in fact have like a chalky sensation), and there’s no pleasure in taking them.
2. You can look a little weird taking pills multiple times a day in front of other people.
3. You don’t get to leave the office for a coffee break.
4. It’s not a shared social experience with other people.
5. Although you do get the caffeine effects, it’s my perception that I get more of a jitter than with coffee.
6. As far as I know, you don’t get the health benefits of coffee. Per WedMd: ” A growing body of research shows that coffee drinkers, compared to nondrinkers, are: less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia [and] have fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes” (see linked page).
Black Coffee: A Middle Road?
Lately, I’ve turned to a combination of caffeine pills and coffee (rather than pills exclusively). My wife started making Cuban coffee with a stove-top moka pot, and now I’m kind of hooked on one per day. By taking it as black coffee in a small amount (and with lots of sugar), I don’t get the stomach issues, but the energy boost is outstanding (much better than pills).
Summing It Up
This is a highly personal choice. From the perspective of saving money, you will certainly come out way ahead with caffeine pills. You just have to decide if paying for coffee is worth it for you (unless you office gives you free coffee).
Before you set a routine, though, I’d suggest you try black coffee in small amounts. You may save money by using less coffee, and might like the relatively jitter-free caffeine effects.
What do you think of coffee versus caffeine pills? Do you like black coffee?