Nutrition

The Most Dangerous Form of Caffeine

This type of caffeine is potentially lethal. Learn more about the dangerous, deadly caffeine that comes in a powder.

THE MOST DANGEROUS FORM OF CAFFEINE

Most of us rely on caffeine for a morning pick-me-up, and we know it can improve exercise performance. But not all forms of caffeine are equally safe. After a few caffeine-powder related deaths in the past year, advocacy groups are asking for a ban on sales of pure caffeine to consumers. “Caffeine powder can be very dangerous,” says Marie Spano, a Washington, D.C.–based sports nutritionist. There is no FDA regulation to disclose how much caffeine a product contains, and even if that information were available, there’s no guarantee it’s accurate. “Studies have found that some products may contain considerably more caffeine than stated,” Spano says. And it doesn’t take much caffeine powder to overdose. Symptoms of overdose can include vomiting, diarrhea, stupor, disorientation, rapid or erratic heartbeat, and seizures.  

25 Cups of coffee: The amount of caffeine in one teaspoon of pure caffeine powder.

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