Other Name(s):

1,3,7,9-Tetramethylpurine-2,6,8-trione, 1,3,7,9-Tetramethyluric Acid, Tetramethyluric Acid.


Theacrine is a naturally occurring chemical that is similar to caffeine. It is found in different types of tea and coffee, as well as in the seeds of the Herrania and Theocrama plant species. It is also found in the tea plant Camellia assamica var. kucha, which has been used traditionally to prolong life and cure the common cold.

People take theacrine by mouth for aging, the common cold, fatigue, and mental performance. Theacrine is also added to pre-workout supplements promoted for improving athletic performance.

How does it work?

Theacrine seems to affect the brain similar to caffeine. Like caffeine, theacrine stimulates the central nervous system at higher doses and decreases central nervous system activity at lower doses. But unlike caffeine, theacrine does not seem to affect blood pressure. Theacrine might also lessen liver damage caused by stress and reduce pain and swelling.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Mental performance. Early research suggests that taking a single dose of a specific theacrine product (TeaCrine; Compound Solutions, Inc.) does not improve concentration in healthy people. But, this data might not be accurate. Taking the same product daily for 7 days might improve some measurements of concentration in some people.
  • Physical performance. Early research suggests that taking a single dose of a specific theacrine product (TeaCrine; Compound Solutions, Inc. ) increases energy and reduces fatigue in healthy people. Taking this same product for 7 days might also improve some energy and fatigue measurements in some people.
  • Aging.
  • Common cold.
  • Fatigue.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of theacrine for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

There isn't enough reliable information available to know if theacrine is safe or what the side effects might be.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking theacrine if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


Sedative medications (CNS depressants)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Theacrine might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. In theory, taking theacrine along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.

Some sedative medications include benzodiazepines, pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), secobarbital (Seconal), thiopental (Pentothal), opioids, propofol (Diprivan), and many others.


The appropriate dose of theacrine depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for theacrine (in children/in adults). Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Feduccia AA, Wang Y, Simms JA, et al. Locomotor activation by theacrine, a purine alkaloid structurally similar to caffeine: involvement of adenosine and dopamine receptors. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2012;102(2):241-8. View abstract.

Habowski SM, Sandrock JE, Kedia AW, Ziegenfuss TN. The effects of Teacrine, a nature-identical purine alkaloid, on subjective measures of cognitive function, psychometric and hemodynamic indices in healthy humans: a randomized, double-blinded crossover pilot trial [poster]. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2014;11(Suppl 1):P49.

Li SB, Li YF, Mao ZF, et al. Different chemical compositions of three teas may explain their different effects on acute blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Sci Food Agric 2015;95:1236-42. View abstract.

Li WX, Li YF, Zhai YJ, et al. Theacrine, a purine alkaloid obtained from Camellia assamica var. kucha, attenuates restraint stress-provoked liver damage in mice. J Agric Food Chem 2013;61(26):6328-35. View abstract.

Wang Y, Yang X, Zheng X, et al. Theacrine, a purine alkaloid with anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. Filoterapia 2010;81(6):627-31. View abstract.

Xu JK, Kurihara H, Zhao L, Yao XS. Theacrine, a special purine alkaloid with sedative and hypnotic properties from Cammelia assamica var. kucha in mice. J Asian Nat Prod Res 2007;9(6-8):665-72. View abstract.

Zheng XQ, Ye CX, Kato M, et al. Theacrine (1,3,7,9-tetramethyluric acid) synthesis in leaves of a Chinese tea, kucha (Camellia assamica var. kucha). Phytochemistry 2002;60(2):129-34. View abstract.

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