What does caffeine look like?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What does caffeine look like?” and provide information on some effects of caffeine, what are its withdrawal symptoms, the effects of its overdose, who should not take them as well as recommended amounts.

What does caffeine look like?

Caffeine can appear white and slightly crystalline. This can be observed especially if caffeine is in powder form. Under a high-power microscope, caffeine can look all the more different. It appears like fibrous white strands.

Some might feel that it looks like silky needles. Caffeine has a bitter flavor and is not much soluble in organic solvents. It is soluble in water. 

Chemically, it is called trimethylxanthine as there are 3 methyl groups present in position numbers 1, 3, and 7. It has around 8 carbon atoms, 4 nitrogen, and 2 oxygen molecules. Some might feel that it looks similar to purine.

What are some effects of caffeine?

Caffeine has a wide variety of effects. Some of them are given below:

  • Caffeine can function as a stimulant and cause cognitive effects. Caffeine can help you to stay alert and reduces fatigue. It is effectively used to reduce the effects of migraines or headaches.

In some studies, it was found that consuming caffeine helped to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or Dementia. It was also able to lift up mood in some cases.

  • Caffeine can affect digestion too. Caffeine can stimulate acids in the stomach. This can result in heartburn or abdominal cramping. Caffeine can sometimes function as a diuretic as there can be excessive urination observed if you consume too much caffeine.
  • Caffeine can elevate blood pressure. This can occur because adrenaline levels increase when caffeine is taken in. This is likely to be a temporary effect. 

However, if you suffer from abnormal heart rate, high blood pressure, or suffer from a history of heart problems, consume caffeine in moderation.

  • Caffeine can also be involved in calcium metabolism. There can be osteoporosis observed if too much caffeine is taken in. 

What is caffeine withdrawal?

People who take in too much caffeine might have difficulty passing through a day without caffeine. 

When such people suddenly stop taking in caffeine, they can experience anxiety, drowsiness, and irritability. In some cases, people can experience tremors. These can be some symptoms of withdrawal.

What happens if you overdose on caffeine?

Overdosing to caffeine is not quite common. However, in rare instances, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and hallucinations might be observed. 

Sometimes, seizures can be observed with excess consumption. Excessive caffeine consumption can also result in irregular heartbeats or difficulty breathing. Some experience muscle aches as well.

Such symptoms can be commonly observed if an individual consumes more than 1000 mg of caffeine a day. 

Sleeplessness can be another common feature. In a study, it was observed that when adults were given 400 mg of caffeine before they went to bed, they were unable to sleep for a long period of time.

Some people might experience diarrhea with too much caffeine intake. An increase in heart rate or blood pressure is seen too.

Who should not take in caffeine?

People sensitive to caffeine can avoid consuming them. Apart from this, pregnant/ lactating women and children should refrain from taking excess amounts. 

In pregnancy, caffeine can cross through the placenta and elevate the baby’s heart rate. This can cause miscarriage or birth defects.

Menopausal women or people suffering from bone disorders should consume caffeine in moderation. This is because caffeine can cause bone resorption. This can weaken bones. Individuals suffering from hypertension or heart disease should take caffeine only in moderation.

People who suffer from GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) should not take caffeine as it can trigger symptoms of reflux in them.

How much caffeine should you take?

Do not take more than 400 milligrams of caffeine. Reduce your caffeine consumption if you are planning to conceive. Excessive caffeine can interfere with estrogen and can affect the ability to get pregnant.

What are some sources of caffeine?

Caffeine can be found in tea, coffee, chocolates, energy drinks, soda, cocoa, and some root beers. Certain medications can contain caffeine too.

Certain kinds of tea and coffee can contain more caffeine than others. For instance, Turkish coffee and French press coffee have higher amounts of caffeine.

Apart from this, the amount of caffeine present in coffee or tea can vary depending on the roast of coffee beans, the processing of coffee beans/ tea leaves, and brewing techniques.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What does caffeine look like?” and provided information on some effects of caffeine, what are its withdrawal symptoms, the effects of its overdose, who should not take them as well as recommended amounts.




Leave a Comment