Do you sometimes wish you could hook an IV of caffeine straight into your veins for a heady jolt of energy that’ll last all day? Well, this kind of exists—only in powdered form, and the FDA just issued warnings to five producers of the potent caffeine cocktail.
They’re not overreacting. One teaspoon of caffeine powder roughly equals 28 cups of coffee (i.e. it can kill you). Just to put it in perspective, “A 100-gram package, about 3.5 ounces, can have as much caffeine as 400 “tall” cups of Starbucks coffee, 1,250 cans of Red Bull or 3,000 cans of Coke,” the New York Times reports. And last year, two young men died after using too much powdered caffeine, prompting the agency to warn people of its potential dangers.
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The FDA felt the product posed an “unreasonable risk of illness or injury” since the powder is often mixed into other beverages, difficult to measure accurately because of varying household teaspoon sizes, and how tightly the powder is packed in a container.
“The difference between a safe amount and a toxic dose of caffeine in these pure powdered products is very small,” the FDA says on its website. Companies Hard Eight Nutrition, Kreativ Health, PureBulk, and SmartPowders now have 15 days to respond. This doesn’t mean powdered caffeine will be banned necessarily; it could mean the companies must include measuring devices, or change the quantity in their packages. So, stay tuned. And in the meantime, check out five caffeine sources that won’t kill you.
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