Caffinity is an Energy Supplement manufactured by VMI Sports Nutrition. It is designed to improve mental focus and energy.
March 19, 2017
IntroductionThanks to VMI for sending this out! I really enjoyed it!
What other than caffeine could you put in a caffeine pill? Well, it turns out that you can put a lot in them these days. However, you'll pay for those extras and then you might as well not consider it a mere "caffeine pill" anymore. That being said, I like that VMI seems to have taken a moderate approach.
Each pill contains a 290mg blend of 1,3,7 trimethylxanthine, di-caffeine malate (Infinergy), and L-Theanine. Each pill has ~200mg of caffeine so deductive reasoning tell us the L-Theanine is present at 90mg. Now, I'm taking the rep's note of 200mg of caffeine in total and not effective caffeine. The difference is that the effective caffeine would be lower as Infinergy is 75:25 caffeine and malic acid. Since this is one big proprietary blend, there is no way to tell the ratio of caffeine [anhydrous] to di-caffeine malate (but at least we know the ratio of caffeine to malic acid, which is nice). It's not a huge difference in caffeine content but the difference in L-Theanine is more noteworthy.
L-Theanine is a great inclusion in a caffeine pill because it is known to moderate the effects of caffeine, lessening the harsher negative side effects like shaking and anxiety. L-Theanine has also been shown to promote cognition and attention so there is a nootropic aspect here as well. While Caffinity includes what I am assuming to be 90mg of L-Theanine, the efficacious amounts were found to be 100mg-200mg with 200mg being the amount used in studies. I wish VMI would have put 200mg in here because I'm all about efficacious dosing, even if it means more $. I will quickly note that I believe I felt some benefit to the L-Theanine, which may be partly placebo effect and/or partly due to it only being [what I assume to be] only 10mg lower than the lower extreme of the suggested dosing range [100mg]. Still, this is the profile section and I do deduct a little for using less than at least the lowest suggested amount.
On a side note, I don't like the use of a proprietary blend, especially since nothing here is too unique or groundbreaking. There's a rep note that it has 200mg of caffeine but I couldn't find this anywhere on the bottle. I think it is irresponsible for companies not to disclose the total amount of stimulants, especially caffeine, on the bottle. I like the use of patented di-caffeine malate in the form of Infinergy but I'd much prefer the other changes. Also, if I was really picky I'd rail against the use of red dye to make these cool looking pills but I don't mind it as much as I do in powders/liquid. Plus, the red pills made me think I was taking something more intense so I think using dye was worth it here.
These are pills so there is no taste here. Similarly, there is no mixability rating either. I'll substitute taste for ease of taking (size, etc.) here but it makes no difference in rating because the pills were also easy to take.
Dosing was easy, with 1-2 capsules suggested throughout the day. Use before workout is also suggested but obviously that's if you need the pick me-up before your workout. I work 9am-6pm and have to take the metro to get home so I'm not usually hitting the gym until ~7pm most days. That being the case, I usually need a pick me-up somewhere between 1pm and 3pm and so I typically used Caffinity then. Some days I took it a little before or after that but that was the usual time. Also, some days I would take it whenever else I needed a pick me-up like late at night for a long study session.
Although the "Ingredient Profile" section may seem a little harsh for caffeine pill, I must say that I was thoroughly impressed. I experienced a nice energy rush after about 15-30 minutes of taking Caffinity (~15 if I hadn't eaten a lot and ~30 if I had). It never felt like it was too much like with some harsher stimulants. Moreover, I believe the L-Theanine helped moderate the negative effects of caffeine a little. I'm curious what 200mg of L-Theanine would have done but even at this amount [presumably 90mg], I noticed a difference from just taking straight caffeine anhydrous or drinking coffee. I was a little less jittery and more focused than with caffeine anhydrous/coffee. The use of di-caffeine malate [Infinergy] likely contributed to this effect as well, as the caffeine doesn't hit you all at once so there is less potential for some negative side effects like jitters. With caffeine anhydrous/coffee I experience a huge jolt of energy but sometimes have trouble focusing and channeling the energy into productive uses. I attribute the heightened focus and productivity more to the L-Theanine though.
I also noticed that the energy rush lasted longer than with caffeine anhydrous or coffee. Caffeine anhydrous/coffee energy boosts usually like 4-5hrs for me. This would last for ~7 hrs which is great considering that caffeine's half life is ~6hrs and that one would expect this to last longer since the di-caffeine malate absorbs over time. In contrast, I felt the cognition and attention benefits of L-Theanine for about 5 hours which I think is pretty good. Overall, I have few complaints here and definitely prefer this over cheap caffeine pills.
I found this on Amazon [Prime] for $11.35 for a 60 capsule bottle ($0.19/pill). I'd prefer this come in a 100 count bottle, which is common for caffeine pills. This would presumably increase the value a little bit but it is not a huge deal. Now $11.35 is not a lot of money but relative to other caffeine pills, some of which are in 100ct bottles, it is a little high. For comparison, ProLab makes a 200mg caffeine anhydrous pill listed at $7.65 for 100 pills on Amazon [Prime]. That's only $0.08 a pill and for a pack of three it is $15.89 which drops the price per pill down to $0.05. I think the extra $0.14 a pill is worth the better results here. It's ultimately not a lot of money so I think it is worth it-even if you could get 5x as much of a slightly inferior product for $4.54 more. Plus, I expect to pay more for the inclusion of Infinergy and L-Theanine, which accounts for some of this price increase. Still, value is relative and 5x as much is a significant difference so I deduct a little bit from the rating. That being said, I'd have no problem buying these with my own $ if I hadn't gotten them through TROOPS.
I experienced no side effects when taking Caffinity. In fact, I experienced less negative side effects from caffeine than usual!
Caffinity is a great caffeine pill competitor. It may cost a little more than some cheap caffeine pills but the difference is certainly worth it in my opinion. Sometimes the struggle is real though so it is still worth being aware of-even if its only $4.54 more. I definitely preferred this to straight caffeine anhydrous pills. I really liked the use of di-caffeine malate [Infinergy] and felt a noticeable improvement from the inclusion of L-Theanine. I'll probably only use the caffeine L-Theanine combination now, and when I can I will definitely look for Infinergy. Furthermore, I will likely buy Caffinity with my own $ in the future and probably more than once. I like to continually try new supplements but I always have a go-to for each category and Caffinity is that go-to supplement for my afternoon pick me-up. I definitely recommend you try this if you are in the market for something to give you an afternoon pick me-up and/or a caffeine pill/supplement!
On a side note, I got 8.7 by averaging the "Ingredient Profile," "Effectiveness," and "Value" sections which are most relevant here. That gives a score of 8.67 so I rounded up to 8.7 since I really enjoyed my experience.