Like so many good things—yoga, plant-based diets, fanny packs—methylliberine (aka Dynamine™) is nothing new. It was discovered in the 1930s but it’s recently started #trending as a caffeine substitute and metabolism booster. 

Methylliberine is an isolate extracted from sources like green tea leaves (such as Kucha) and coffee beans. “It’s basically a byproduct of caffeine,” explains Kevin Spelman, Ph.D., herbalist and molecular biologist based in Ashland, Oregon. “As the caffeine in the plant starts to age, the plant breaks it down into methylliberine.” And while the idea of old caffeine may not seem ideal, know that it has all of the pros while it doesn’t seem to have the negative effects of caffeine, according to Spelman. 

What it is: 

Like the caffeine in your morning coffee, methylliberine binds to adenosine receptors. Normally, adenosine binds to adenosine receptors (get it?) which down-regulates or relaxes the nervous system.* When caffeine or methylliberine blocks adenosine, you end up feeling more energized and alert. 

Here’s where the two compounds differ: Methylliberine has a shorter half-life on the adenosine receptor compared to caffeine. That means that the former doesn’t stick around as long in your body and isn’t as likely to keep you up at night. It’s also less addicting than caffeine (something that anyone who has tried to withdraw from the substance can attest to).

The benefits: 

Jitter-free energy (mostly thanks to that shorter half-life) is the main benefit you’ll typically hear people talking about when it comes to methylliberine. And it’s true: You’ll get very similar properties in terms of how much energy you have for your workout, for example, but without most of the undesirable effects such as high blood pressure, heart dysrhythmias, or the addictive properties.

Other perks included enhanced focus for work, art, or whatever you’re engaged in, per Spelman. 

How to use it: 

  1. Combine it with synergistic ingredients. 

Early research suggests that when you combine methylliberine with a low dose of caffeine, it helps reduce the side effects of caffeine. That’s why Mab & Stoke’s Energy Mab Sticks contain Dynamine along with yerba mate and green tea. 

  1. Take it 30-45 minutes before you want the benefits to kick in.

Just like you’d ideally drink your coffee an hour before your workout, Dynamine needs time to get into your system, per Spelman. 

  1. Consider an afternoon pick-me-up.

Because it has a shorter half-life than caffeine, that means you can take Energy Mab Sticks a bit closer to bedtime than you would coffee. Although it’s important to note that everyone responds to both caffeine and methylliberine differently, so while some may not have any trouble sleeping if they consumed either product right before bed, others don’t metabolize the compounds as quickly and learn to cut themselves off earlier. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or information provided are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.