Blanchi Costela / Getty
Blanchi Costela / Getty
Caffeine is included in many products: coffee (of course), tea, pre-workouts, energy drinks and soda, just to name a few. You probably never came into contact with pure caffeine powder ̵
You've probably read about caffeine powder in recent news A young Australian man whose death in 2018 was due to caffeine toxicity. Lachlan Foote added the powder to a protein shake – the exact amount is unknown – and later died. The news of his death has raised concerns about the safety of caffeine powder, and Lachlan's father is calling for a ban in Australia.
Pure caffeine powder or anhydrous caffeine is a dehydrated form of caffeine that occurs naturally in coffee plants. Due to the dehydration process, caffeine becomes very strong and even toxic in small doses; Only one teaspoon of it contains 28 cups of coffee, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.
Torey Armul, MS, RD, nutritionist and spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said that this was the case Often used to improve athletic performance, reduce fatigue, and improve mental clarity. But the risks far outweigh the benefits. "I would not recommend pure caffeine powder to anyone," she told M & F. "We know that caffeine in small quantities is healthy like a cup of coffee and has benefits for athletes. The problem with pure caffeine powder, however, is the unregulated dosage.
A recommended serving of caffeine powder ranges from 1/32 to 1/16 teaspoon. The problem, however, is that caffeine powder is often sold in large quantities – sometimes in gallon-sized bags. To separate the recommended portion from such a large amount is almost impossible, as conventional household measuring spoons are not so expensive and most companies do not sell measuring spoons with the powder.
This makes it a guessing game for the user One who said Armul is not worth the risk. "Trying to look at it in your kitchen or even estimate it can have fatal consequences," she said. If someone guesses wrongly and adds too much caffeine, they can easily suffer from caffeine poisoning, whose symptoms include a fast or dangerously irregular heartbeat, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, cloudiness, disorientation, and especially death.
Because it is so difficult to separate the correct portion size from the container, the FDA has declared large amounts of caffeine powder illegal because of its high risk of death. In April 2018, the agency published a guideline for companies that manufacture, market or distribute caffeine powder, warning them to confiscate the product or to exclude the company from manufacturing or marketing.
Currently only on most sites selling caffeine powder to laboratories or companies and not to the general public. However, a quick Google search found many sites where the product is still sold with a credit card, and it can easily be bought on eBay.
The benefits of caffeine are widespread in the bodybuilding world. Not only does it give you more energy, it can also improve muscle contraction, help with the regularity of the intestines and have been shown to burn fat.
Armul suggested that anyone who wants to exercise before training should enjoy coffee, tea, or energy products (such as bars or drinks). "It gives your body the ability to metabolize caffeine in a way that also indicates if you had too much," she said. "Capsules and powders do not give your body the ability to self-regulate."
How much caffeine should you have per day? The recommended doses appear to vary, but the general consensus is around 400 mg per day, or about four cups of coffee or two standard energy drinks.
Armul said that this depends on the person and what they are looking for to get out of caffeine. "If you are not a coffee drinker and can still delve deeply into your workouts, you do not have to deliberately add caffeine to your diet," she says. If you want to experiment with caffeine to see if it increases your energy or concentration, opt for the sports gels, beans, bars or tablets during your workout.
In the end, she warns that caffeine will not overwhelm anyone's workout. "It will not compensate for a poor diet, dehydration, or below average training, so be sure to focus on those things first," she said.