Smart Drugs,

#184: Theacrine with Dr. Richard Bloomer

June 09, 2017

A caffeine – theacrine stack is often recommended as a “starter stack” for nootropics noobies.  We’ve covered caffeine in depth, but theacrine’s been a major oversight…  until now.

Dr Richard Bloomer, Professor Director of Health Studies at the University of Memphis, joins Jesse to discuss this alkaloid that’s biochemically similar to caffeine.

The Benefits of Theacrine

Theacrine has similar benefits to caffeine but lacks the massive high and then crash that can happen with caffeine.

Most people feel euphoric and focused, with a stable energy boost.  It increases concentration and helps you get up and tackle your to do list.

In Dr. Bloomer’s research, there doesn’t seem to be much variation in benefits across individuals, although like all dietary supplements the level of response varies.

Theacrine also is a very potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.  This is potentially huge, as oxidative stress and inflammation appear to be major players in just about every disease.

Theacrine + Caffeine

Theacrine is structurally quite similar to caffeine, and they have a synergistic effect.  In some unpublished research, Dr. Bloomer has found that a low dose of caffeine (about 150mg, or one cup of coffee), plus theacrine, prolongs the benefits of theacrine.

It seems Mother Nature understood this, as tea contains both caffeine and theacrine — with different varieties containing different amounts.

Method of Action

The studies of theacrine are still in their infancy, so the exact method of action isn’t confirmed.  However, it seems like theacrine has two methods of action.

The first is to act on adenosine receptors, much like caffeine.

But animal research suggests that theacrine also works on our dopamine receptors, in a dual phase effect.

Taking Theacrine

Dr. Bloomer recommends a dose of between 25 to 200mg for humans and cautions that doses used in animal trials are often much higher than what you’d want to use for humans.

It can be hard to find pure theacrine supplements, as most products out there are in combination with caffeine or other ingredients.  It can be hard for a private citizen to source pure, raw theacrine. Dr. Bloomer recommends searching online sources and looking for encapsulated theacrine in doses of 50 – 100mg.

An alternative is to look for a variety of Chinese tea called Kucha, that has about 50 – 75mg per cup.


The good news is that from the initial findings, there doesn’t seem to be much of a risk of developing a tolerance to theacrine.

It’s also pretty safe.  That said, to be on the safe side, pregnant or nursing women, children and people suffering from cardiovascular disease should avoid taking theacrine.

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One comment

  1. A great podcast episode on Theacrine. Very informative.

    Have been interested in nootropics to help boost brain functions especially when you are aging. More episodes like this please!

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