TeaCrine plus caffeine may help maintain energy & offer cognitive benefits: Soccer study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / Ryan McVay
© Getty Images / Ryan McVay
Pairing theacrine with caffeine may improve reaction times and increase or maintain energy in soccer players, says a new study from Rutgers University.

While theacrine supplements alone (TeaCrine, Compound Solutions) was associated with increases in 'time to exhaustion', combining it with caffeine “may have been even more impactful”​, wrote the research team, led by Shawn Arent, PhD, Director of the IFNH Center for Health and Human Performance and Director of the Graduate Program in Kinesiology & Applied Physiology at Rutgers University.

The data, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition​, also indicated that concentration and reaction times were greater at the end of a simulated soccer match for the theacrine plus caffeine group.

Compound Solutions’ TeaCrine ingredient is a branded, nature-identical compound of theacrine (1,3,7,9-tetramethyluric-acid).

“The 27–38% improvements in TTE [time-to-exhaustion] reflect increased performance capacity that may have important implications for overtime scenarios,”​ wrote the researchers. “These findings suggest TeaCrine favorably impacts endurance and the combination with caffeine provides greater benefits on cognitive function than either supplement independently.”


Commenting on the study’s findings, Dr Arent told NutraIngredients-USA: “Even given the notable cognitive and physical endurance benefits we see with caffeine, it appears that Teacrine and caffeine in combination may produce an even greater effect.

“It could be that the two are working synergistically and that the different times to peak action provide a more sustained effect. But there is also evidence that the Teacrine may enhance the bioavailability of the caffeine, which would make sense given the doses used in this study.”

Matt Titlow, CEO of Compound Solutions, added that the new results strengthens TeaCrine’s position as a key ingredient in innovative nootropic, energy and focus-enhancing products.

“While TeaCrine has been a mainstay in sports nutrition supplements for a while, this new study proves the positive synergistic effects of TeaCrine + Caffeine on men and women,” ​Titlow told us. “This research will surely make the TeaCrine-Caffeine combination foundational for markets like gaming in eSports, biohacking, and those in need of hyper-focused skills to perform at the top of their game, and in particular during prolonged, mentally fatiguing tasks.”

Study details

Dr Arent and his co-workers recruited 24 high-level male and female soccer players to participate in their crossover study. The soccer players were assigned to one of four single-dose groups: placebo, caffeine only (275 mg), TeaCrine only (275 mg), or Teacrine (125 mg) plus caffeine (150 mg) prior to a 90-minute simulated treadmill soccer match. Experimental sessions were separated by at least two days.

The results showed that the time to exhaustion (TTE) was increased in the TeaCrine (27% increase), caffeine (32% increase) and TeaCrine plus caffeine (38% increase) groups, and these increases almost reached statistical significance.

eSports © Getty Images gorodenkoff
“This research will surely make the TeaCrine-Caffeine combination foundational for markets like gaming in eSports,” said Matt Titlow, CEO of Compound Solutions. Image © Getty Images / gorodenkoff

“The increases in TTE across all conditions compared to [placebo] suggests that players can maintain a higher level of performance at later stages in a match with consumption of [caffeine] and [TeaCrine],” ​wrote the researchers. “These results trended towards statistical significance (P < 0.052), but given the magnitude of differences, the clinical significance may be reflected in implications for late game or overtime scenarios in matches.”

In addition, the TeaCrine plus caffeine and caffeine-only groups displayed significant improvements in types of reaction times.

“When taking the overall cognition and endurance effects into account, it appears that the combination of [TeaCrine plus caffeine] was the most beneficial in terms of increasing and maintaining energy, concentration, and level of performance,” ​added the researchers.

“These results would also suggest the benefits of the combined [TeaCrine plus caffeine] supplementation may due to the differences in timing of peak concentration, possibly due to an overlap in the concentration curves of the supplements as shown in previous research.”

Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
2019, 16​:20, doi: 10.1186/s12970-019-0287-6
“The effects of TeaCrine and caffeine on endurance and cognitive performance during a simulated match in high-level soccer players”
Authors: M.L. Bello, et al.

Related topics Research

Related news

Follow us


View more


Nutra Champions Podcast

Nutra Champions Podcast