Also known as: TeaCor, TeaCrine, Theacrine (as TeaCrine™)
A relative of caffeine that exhibits similar stimulatory effects on the body without having to worry about building up a tolerance.
What is Theacrine?
Theacrine, also known as 1,3,7,9-tetramethyluric acid is an organic, alkaline compound and a derivative of xanthine. Methylxanthines are a class of carbon-based substances that stimulate the Central Nervous System (CNS) and heart. Theacrine is quickly becoming the new kid on the block in regards to new age stimulants since the ban of DMAA and AMP Citrate. Its extremely similar to caffeine, and has been showing up more and more in pre workouts and fat burners hitting the market. Although the research on it is relatively thin, theacrine does show promise as a performance enhancing ingredient.
Where Does It Come From?
Theacrine, also known as Chinese Bitter Tea, Teacrine, or TeaCor, is found in Camellia Kucha Tea Leaves and Cupuau (Theobroma grandiflorum). The Kucha tea leaves produce theacrine via a 2-step process. While still in its infancy, the plant converts theobromine to caffeine and then later convert theobromine and caffeine in to theacrine. Also, younger Kucha tea leaves tend to contain higher levels of both theacrine and caffeine as opposed to older, more mature plants.
Additionally, theacrine can also be synthesized caffeine.
What does it do?
Due to theacrines similarity to caffeine (another methylxanthine), it exerts many of the same effects that its more well-known counterpart does. Physiologically speaking, ingesting methylxanthines delays the breakdown of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) by inhibiting the phosphodiesterase (PDE) enzyme. Due to the fact that cAMP and cGMP are heavily involved in cell signal transmission, the metabolic processes in a cell are accelerated after consuming PDE inhibitors.
Theacrine acts on both the adenosinergic and dopaminergic systems in the body. It exerts its effects on the Central Nervous System (CNS) by stimulating the neurons of the spinal cord and thereby heightening muscle fiber recruitment, while at the same time delaying the onset of fatigue and blunting muscle pain and the perception of fatigue.
The CNS is the bodys highway for conducting and receiving signals between its various components. When the CNS neurons are stimulated, and cAMP and cGMP are activated, cell reactions are kicked into overdrive thereby increasing each cell's metabolic rate.
Dopamine is responsible for controlling the pleasure centers in the brain, i.e. the ones that make us feel at peace or have a sense of calm, even after intense training. Research has shown that theacrine elevates dopamine levels in the brain which can help promote a healthy mood and significantly reduce stress levels and anxiety.
Also, as everyone who regularly uses caffeine or pre workouts knows, you can quickly build up a tolerance to it stimulative qualities and even become dependant on it. A recent study has found that even after 7 days of Theacrine usage, the test group showed no signs of desensitization. Basically, individuals using theacrine will experience the same stimulative and mood-improving effects without having to constantly increase the dosage or take a stim break to reset tolerance levels.
Much like caffeine, theacrine exhibits anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. Chronic inflammation in the body can lead to permanent degenerative damage to the joints and connective tissue. In regards to bodybuilding, these properties will help improve recovery and reduce muscle soreness.
Finally, theacrine has been shown to increase the livers production of glutathione. In order to combat oxidative stress in the body, the liver must produce glutathione and several other antioxidant compounds to offset these effects. This shows theacrine being useful in fighting diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimers.
Benefits of Theacrine
Enhance strength and power
Currently, there is no standard dose for theacrine. One study has found that 200 to 300 milligrams maximizes its benefits without any adverse side effects. Current pre workouts on the market contain amounts varying from 25-100mg.
Theacrine is a promising new supplement with many ergogenic properties that go well beyond that of caffeine. Its ability to increase locomotion and speed recovery coupled with the fact that continued use does not lead to tolerance build up makes theacrine a very appealing choice for athletes and bodybuilders alike.