Studies support paraxanthine’s cognitive and hunger-reducing effects

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Lighthouse Films / Getty Images
© Lighthouse Films / Getty Images

Related tags paraxanthine Caffeine Cognitive function thermogenesis

The science supporting the potential health benefits of the caffeine metabolite paraxanthine continues to grow with a new study showing it outperforms caffeine for mental stamina and accuracy before and after exercise.

A second study reports that the ingredient may have thermogenic and hunger-reducing properties, making it well positioned as a safe weight management ingredient.

Both studies used the enfinity-​branded paraxanthine ingredient, exclusively distributed globally by TSI Group.

"enfinity stands out not just for its effectiveness, but for its safety and the absence of common caffeine-induced side effects," said Shawn Wells, a partner of enfinity energy. "It offers a smoother, cleaner stimulation, making it suitable for anyone seeking sustained mental and physical performance.” 

"We know you’re going to be less frazzled and more cognitively flexible with enfinity. And now we know it’s thermogenic. What would you rather be using in your formula?"

The ingredient

Paraxanthine is a down-stream metabolite of caffeine. Indeed, about 70% of caffeine is metabolized to paraxanthine, with smaller percentages being metabolized to theobromine and theophylline.

Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA​ at SupplySide West 2021, Wells described enfinity as "caffeine-evolved."

While 90% of adults routinely consume caffeine, about 9 out of 10 consider it a necessary evil because of its undesirable side effects. An estimated 59% of consumers metabolize caffeine sub-optimally, which typically means they have more side effects like headaches and arryhthmia than actual benefits.

A 2021 study published in Nutrients​ found that a single 200 mg dose of enfinity paraxanthine produced significant improvements in a range of cognitive measures, including memory, reaction time and attention.

New data

Building on those cognitive results, data from a new double-blind, randomized, and crossover study indicated that a single 200 mg dose of enfinity paraxanthine improved some measures of cognitive function, while also countering the attentional degradation and cognitive fatigue associated with exercise.

“We also observed some evidence that paraxanthine ingestion promoted more significant improvements than caffeine independently while co-ingesting paraxanthine with caffeine did not provide any additional benefit,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition​.

“These findings indicate that paraxanthine may serve as a viable alternative to caffeine in helping maintain cognitive function during prolonged exercise.”

Commenting on the study’s findings, Ralf Jäger, PhD, a researcher and co-developer of the ingredient with Ingenious Ingredients (Ing2), said: "We get asked a lot about combining paraxanthine with caffeine. In highly stressful or challenging cognitive situations, paraxanthine allows you to switch between tasks more efficiently and faster without increasing the amount of errors, whereas caffeine did not show this beneficial effect. If you’re looking for these specific benefits, use paraxanthine on its own."

Thermogenic and hunger-reducing effects

The second study, published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements​, examined the potential thermogenic effects of the ingredient at 100 mg, 200 mg and 300 mg doses.

Results of the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study indicated that the 200 mg dose elicited a significant increase in resting energy expenditure, equivalent to an additional 100 kilocalories in three hours.

"At 100 mg, there was a slight increase but it wasn’t statistically significant," said Dr. Jäger. "A 300 mg dose didn’t add additional benefit."

Subjects fasted before the test and fasted another three hours after supplementation, and while it was natural for all participants to become progressively hungrier, "with paraxanthine we saw a reduction in increased hunger over time when compared with the control group," Dr. Jäger said.

"There are very few thermogenic ingredients," Wells added. "We are excited that enfinity paraxanthine now joins caffeine, green tea extract, capsaicin and a few others that are moving the needle."


Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
Published online, doi: 10.1080/15502783.2024.2352779
“Paraxanthine provides greater improvement in cognitive function than caffeine after performing a 10-km run”
Authors: C. Yoo et al.

Journal of Dietary Supplements
Published online, doi: 10.1080/19390211.2024.2351222
“A Dose-Response Study to Examine Paraxanthine’s Impact on Energy Expenditure, Hunger, Appetite, and Lipolysis”
Authors: K.N. Gross et al.

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