FDA says caffeine powder can be fatal

FDA says caffeine powder can be fatal

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning  consumers to avoid purchasing pure caffeine powder, a performance enhancing supplement.

Popular as a pre-workout supplement, the safety alert suggests that the caffeine powder, sold online and in health food stores, can be dangerous and even fatal.

A high school student in LaGrange, Ohio, recently died of heart complexities from excessive caffeine consumption. The student’s mother says that he probably overdosed from trying the caffeine powder, which was found in his home, for the first time, according to FDA.

Officials say it is almost impossible to measure an accurate amount of the powder. “These products are essentially 100 percent caffeine, a single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee,” according to the FDA.

Symptoms of caffeine overdose are rapid/dangerously erratic heartbeat, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation, and even death, according to the FDA.

“Caffeine is a mild stimulant that people often use to stay awake and alert,” Jamie Portnoy, registered dietitian at Advocate Medical Group, says. “Surplus amounts of caffeine may cause: anxiety, insomnia, and can temporarily speed the heart rate. It also has a mild diuretic effect which can lead to dehydration.”

Portnoy also says that most people should limit caffeine consumption to 200-300 milligrams a day. This measures out to be two or three cups of coffee.

The FDA suggests reporting any events that are associated with using the caffeine powder. It also suggested that parents be aware of their teenagers and young adults, as they could perceive the supplement as beneficial.

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Comments

8 Comments

  1. Now that nicotine has been under scrutiny one knew caffeine was next. Stand by, the Democrats, under the control of various activists and advocates, will soon be lobbying for calibrated dosages for human consumption. All because some kid was not thinking.

    • Shocktreatment July 31, 2014 at 10:11 am · Reply

      “Now that nicotine has been under scrutiny one knew caffeine was next. Stand by, the Democrats…”

      Just….wow.

      Let’s have a look see, eh?

      Hmmm, ephedra, another stimulant ‘supplement, banned in 2004, who was in power? Oh yeah,republican Bill Frist was majority leader in the Senate, republican ennis Hastert majority leader in the House. We all know who was President.

      ” …the Democrats, under the control of various activists and advocates, will soon be lobbying…”

      Well, the “lobbying” part is correct. The newer “scrutiny” nicotine has been receiving, more accurately, nicotine delivered by “electronic vapor cigarette” is a result of lobbying by the makers competitive nicotine delivery methods. Yup! Lobbyists from heavily regulated nicotine patch manufacturers, nicotine gum makers, big tobacco all want an “equal playing field”.

      • Ephedra ban at a national level is news to me. I recall overhearing a conversation at the nutrition store a few years back that it has been or will be lifted – possibly by the courts. And I don’t think it was Congress that passed it; but the FDA. Since my experience with ephedra is minimal I really don’t pay attention to it. I can provide you with a link from Blago’s days and what I remember which point to my original comments:

        http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-05-26/news/0305260110_1_ephedra-ban-rod-blagojevich

        Either way, you are missing my main point which is every time something happens to someone there is a rush to ban it. Please see aforementioned link. And with respect to lobbying, let’s not forgot “big pharma” who, along with the health charities, pushed for the litany of unneeded smoking bans. Of which the former stood handsomely to profit from such legislation via smoking cessation supplements and prescriptions.

        Glad you joined the party, Shocked. Not too many folks care to run with the big boys and debate this stuff. Instead, the throw up a “Great article;” opting instead to believe everything they read.

      • The FDA did ban ephedra, and many states followed. The FDA would also be the source of any efforts to over-regulate caffeine. I did not miss your point on the rush to ban substances, just pointing out that ‘kneejerk’ is an equal opportunity mistake, native to no political affiliation or economic status. It frosts me the same, no matter the source.

        Tough to forget big pHARMa, especially in regards to their lobbying efforts.
        I have been buying 125 grams of anhydrous caffeine every 12-18 months for years now. 600+ doses of 200mg. Very good for easing into and out of shift changes, etc

        Always enjoy a good discussion, thank you

  2. Katie Renz

    This is great to know! I know a lot of runners and bikers who use caffeine before races for a little boost of energy. Although they don’t use powder, I will definitely share the risks of the powder with them so they do not try it in the future.

  3. On a medical note, it should be understood that this is yet another drug that we use as responsible adults, and even kids, on a daily basis that has a much more dangerous/deadly acute effect than marijuana. Just something to think about.

  4. Just shared/read out loud this article with my teens….one thought it was funny (I’m sure picturing someone all hyped up on caffeine!)…until I impressed upon him that there is nothing hyped up funny or YouTube worthy about being DEAD!

  5. Shocktreatment July 31, 2014 at 10:23 am · Reply

    ““These products are essentially 100 percent caffeine, a single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee,” according to the FDA.”

    How many milligrams of Drano in a teaspoon?

    Caffeine is well understood and it’s safety and efficacy has been continuously demonstrated for longer than any of us have been alive.
    Electronic scales accurate to a tenth of a milligram can be had for less than 10 dollars. Informed decision making is priceless.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.