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Primary Differences Between Caffeine Anhydrous and Natural Sources of Caffeine

Paul Burton
Paul Burton


Caffeine is a stimulant that is found naturally in a variety of plants, including coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa beans, and kola nuts. It is also available in synthetic form, known as caffeine anhydrous, which is a dehydrated form of caffeine that has had all the water removed.

There are a few primary differences between caffeine anhydrous and natural sources of caffeine:

1. Concentration: Caffeine anhydrous is a more concentrated form of caffeine than natural sources. This means that a smaller amount of caffeine anhydrous is needed to provide the same level of caffeine as a larger dose of natural sources. By comparison the anhydrous material is usually around 98% whereas Coffea arabica is around 70%.

2. Absorption: Caffeine anhydrous may be absorbed more quickly by the body than caffeine from natural sources. This means that the effects of caffeine anhydrous may be felt more quickly than those of caffeine from natural sources. That’s not always a good thing because one tends to experience the well-known caffeine crash.

3. Other compounds: Natural sources of caffeine, such as coffee and tea, also contain other compounds that may have their additional health benefits.

For example, coffee contains antioxidants and tea contains compounds called catechins that may have health benefits. Another example is a material found in myenergy® from The Smüthe Company. The material used in this formula is commercially sold as CoffeeBerry® Energy a premium source of Coffea arabica. This natural source of caffeine utilizes the entire coffee cherry yielding the caffeine from the bean and all of the polyphenols sourced from the skin and pulp.

4. Cost: Caffeine anhydrous is generally less expensive than natural sources of caffeine, such as coffee and tea. Prior to Covid, caffeine anhydrous was approximately 15 times less expensive than one specialty caffeine source.

Overall, the primary differences between caffeine anhydrous and natural sources of caffeine are their concentration, absorption rate, the presence of other compounds, and cost. However, this is an oversimplification because the speed of absorption can have significant adverse impact on one’s health.

Another concern lies in the purification and dehydration processes. These processes make use of heat and chemicals to remove the water which may not be the best, whereas the processes for naturally sourced caffeine is much simpler and cleaner.

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