We all need a pick me up sometimes, and the majority of us turn to caffeine to provide that quick boost of energy when we are feeling droopy. The FDA has issued a warning against consuming pure caffeine powder, which is not regulated by the FDA, and can prove to be highly toxic. In fact, the death of two young men last year were linked to pure caffeine powder.
The purpose of caffeine powder is to give the consumer the option of making virtually any drink into an energy drink. The amount of caffeine in soda is regulated by the FDA, reports CBS News, which makes it generally safe for consumption. It is difficult to accurately measure safe doses of pure caffeine, and many of the products available have misleading directions.
The FDA warning states that the difference between a safe dose and a toxic one can be very small. One tiny teaspoon of pure powdered caffeine contains the same amount of caffeine as a whopping 28 cups of coffee.
“Volume measures, such as teaspoons, are not precise enough to calculate how many milligrams of caffeine are in the serving size.”
The following companies received warning letters from the FDA and have 15 days to respond to the warning: Bridge City Bulk-Bridge City LLC., Kreativ Health Inc., Hard Eight Nutrition LLC, Purebulk Inc., and SPN LLC.
Kreativ Health president, Ron Rudnuck, has already responded, telling the Associated Press he plans to pull the powdered caffeine off the market.
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According to NBC News, most people who drink caffeine laced beverages have felt the minor effects of caffeine, such as nervousness and tremors, commonly referred to as “jitters.” Higher doses of caffeine can cause serious and even life-threatening conditions such as vomiting and diarrhea, disorientation, erratic heartbeat, seizures, and death.
The following is an excerpt of the letter sent to Michael McCandless of SPN LLC, which operates under the name of Smartpowders.
“It is unclear why your product label provides the information that one-quarter teaspoon of your product is 574 milligrams, since this amount is well in excess of the serving size that your label recommends.”
“Although your product’s serving size is listed as 200 milligrams, it is possible that a consumer would understand your label as a whole as suggesting a serving size of one-quarter teaspoon.”
One-quarter teaspoon provides the equivalent of seven cups of coffee. It is easy to see how one might accidentally overdose on pure caffeine powder. A related report by CBS News says it “can be fatal even in small doses.”
Eighteen-year-old Logan Stiner passed away suddenly last year due to irregular heartbeat and a seizure, according to the coroner’s report. He had upwards of 70 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of blood in his system, a highly toxic dose. His mother subsequently found bags of powdered caffeine in his room. She was not even aware he was using the product.
Since the caffeine powder is still on the market, the FDA is warning consumers against using even the tiniest amount of the product.
[Image via Purebulk]