Ingesting pure caffeine powder maybe not as great an idea as it seems, says FDA


The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to consumers that ingesting pure powdered caffeine sold in bulk online is not a great idea.

The product can be up to 100% caffeine, and a single teaspoon of the stuff is like drinking 25 cups of coffee all at once. FDA blames the death of at least one teen on the use of this product.

Pure caffeine is a powerful stimulant and very small amounts may cause accidental overdose. Parents should be aware that these products may be attractive to young people.

Symptoms of caffeine overdose can include rapid or dangerously erratic heartbeat, seizures and death. Vomiting, diarrhea, stupor and disorientation are also symptoms of caffeine toxicity. These symptoms are likely to be much more severe than those resulting from drinking too much coffee, tea or other caffeinated beverages.

All consumers seeking caffeinated products should be aware of the potentially high potency of these powdered pure caffeine products. Parents should recognize that teenagers and young adults may be drawn to these products for their perceived benefits.

"Pure caffeine products are potentially dangerous, and serious adverse events can result, including death," concludes the notice. "People with pre-existing heart conditions should not use them."

Notable Replies

  1. A more efficient "breakfast" -- caffeine powdered donuts?

  2. They could become an ancient prefight ritual

  3. Who the hell thought this was a 'great idea' to begin with?

  4. Me! Me! I did! It was me! Look at me! I like caffeine! Me! Me!

  5. A bunch of people I hung out with decided to order a kilogram of caffeine from a lab supply house.

    Now you can buy on Amazon and eBay.

    I still have half a jar of the stuff, and I doubt it will ever be finished.

    The main problem I have is that not only is it too powerful -- a standard vitamin capsule can hold 500mg of caffeine -- but also the powder is pretty darn compressible -- so it's tough to determine exactly how much you're dosing.

    Also, caffeine is the "standard benchmark" for bitterness. A caffeine-coated donut would be inedible. The best thing we found was to add caffeine to orange juice or lemonade. The bitterness is not so bad in those forms. Or add a little extra caffeine to coffee or cola. But again, if you're not careful, you can easily take more than you intended, and feel really bad.

    As for the LD50 being some ridiculous number of cups of coffee, let me just say this: IF a noobie eats a gram of caffeine, they're probably going to ask to go to the hospital. They very well might not end up with any serious longterm medical problems, but they are NOT going to be a happy camper for the next day or so. And like I've been harping: It's very easy for a noobie to accidentally eat a gram, instead of 100mg.

    I have heard of people snorting and or inhaling sublimated caffeine. Do people actually do that, you know, more than once?

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