Powdered Caffeine Can Kill You, FDA Warns

Usually most of us start our day with a cup or two of coffee to help jump-start our morning. However, some people are taking their love of caffeine to a whole new level, ditching caffeinated beverages in favor of pure powdered caffeine.

Little did they know, powdered caffeine is a dangerous and powerful stimulant and ingesting too much of it can kill them.
Powdered Caffeine Can Kill You, FDA WarnsAccording to the Food and Drug Administration, companies selling bulk powdered caffeine are distributing potentially deadly doses without clear guidance on how much is safe.

FDA warned five distributors that they were selling killer doses of the stimulant, in fact, it already killed two teenagers.

Powdered Caffeine Can Kill You, FDA WarnsPowdered caffeine is sold for people to make their own energy drinks, but it’s very easy to overdose, the FDA said: One teaspoon delivers as much caffeine as 28 cups of regular coffee.

The difference between a safe amount and a toxic dose of caffeine in these pure powdered products is very small. Furthermore, safe quantities of these products can be nearly impossible to measure accurately with common kitchen measuring tools,” FDA said in a statement.

Furthermore, while consumers of coffee, tea and soda may be aware of the less serious side effects, like nervousness and tremors, they may not be aware of the potency of powdered caffeine and its potential dangers — including dangerously erratic heartbeat, seizures and death.

Vomiting, diarrhea, stupor and disorientation are other symptoms of caffeine toxicity.

Powdered Caffeine Can Kill You, FDA WarnsThe FDA issued a warning last year when an Ohio teenager died after using powdered caffeine. Now FDA issued warning letters to the five companies.

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,” the agency says in one of the warning letters, issued to Michael McCandless of North Carolina-based Smartpowders.

Now, the companies have 15 days to respond to the warning letters. The federal agency could seize the caffeine products or prevent producers from manufacturing it if they fail to comply with labeling requirements for all products, including those on the market.

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