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- Lachlan Foote died after drinking a protein shake with added caffeine powder added. The report of a coroner confirmed that his death was due to an overdose of caffeine.
- Too much caffeine is harmful to the heart and lungs and can even be fatal. In the last 50 years, at least 40 deaths from caffeine supplementation have been reported, and the actual number is probably much higher.
- Caffeine can be found in high doses in a variety of supplements, such as pre-workout products and aids in weight loss, and it can be difficult to measure a safe dose.
- Despite the risks and warnings of the FDA, pure caffeine continues to be inexpensive and widely available, and many companies continue to sell it in bulk with vague or misleading portion sizes.
- Visit the INSIDER homepage for more.
Last week, a coroner's report revealed that Lachlan Foote, a 21-year-old Australian who died after drinking a protein shake, had overdosed caffeine as a powder supplement.
He is not the first.
Ohio high school student wrestler Logan Stiner died in 2014 after mixing a quantity of caffeine in his training shake, according to The Telegram Chronicle.
And in Connecticut, 19-year-old James Stone passed away after taking nearly two dozen caffeine tablets in 2007, VICE reported.
In all, one 2018 study in Nutrients magazine, 91 deaths attributed to caffeine worldwide were identified and just over half of them were confirmed as being caffeine pills or powders.
Read more: A 21-year-old man died after drinking a protein shake with a caffeine supplement so powerful that he knocked him out.
Highly concentrated caffeine supplements, such as the one that killed Foote, are dangerous because they use the cardiovascular system in a brutal and intense way, which can lead to unconsciousness and even death. They are also cheap and easily available online or in over-the-counter stores. Often they are associated with other drugs and mislabeled. In addition, bulk containers of these products, combined with misleading dosage information, may make it easier to take.
Concentrated caffeine can be found in weight loss supplements and pre-work powders, in addition to energy products
Products that advertise "thermogenic" effects that improve performance or weight loss often contain caffeine to boost metabolism, speed up fat breakdown in the body, and make you more energetic.
The keto diet, more and more popular, has also inspired a range of keto-friendly weight loss and energy pills, as well as large amounts of caffeine.
Many brands of pre-workout supplements, such as powders, shakes or bars, also contain caffeine in order to help athletes build their power through vigorous exercise.
And, of course, any product whose name contains "energy" is likely to contain at least a little caffeine, as well as promising products to prevent drowsiness or improve concentration.
Concentrated caffeine is more dangerous than coffee, tea or soda because in traditional forms, usually diluted, so you should drink plenty of fluids in a short time to reach a dangerous amount. And, because caffeine in large quantities irritates your stomach, the body will naturally try to get rid of it before it can cause a serious problem.
Think about the difference between concentrated caffeine and coffee and the difference between strong alcohol and beer: it is much harder to reach a deadly level of alcohol consumption in a short period of time. time if you sip a beer rather than throwing backwards.
Despite safety guidelines, companies find solutions to regulations
In 2018, the FDA is rife on supplement vendors stating that it is illegal to sell high concentration caffeine directly to consumers.
Businesses have responded by finding ways around this rule.
A search for "caffeine" on the website of one of the companies cited by the FDA led to a page for "special customers", with an unspecified product available in orders of up to 5.5 books. The smallest size, 3.5 ounces, is announced for $ 16.99. It contains 340 servings – about 480 cups of coffee or 10 times a lethal dose.
Another company says on its website that it no longer offers bulk caffeine powder to consumers, but that you can order 20 kg or more of caffeine powder "for manufacturing purposes".
A vague or misleading labeling may make it different to measure a safe amount of caffeine supplements
Concentrated caffeine is sold at low prices and in large quantities. It can be sold under cryptic names as part of an "energy mix" or simply as pure caffeine.
Containers are often supplied with a measuring cup or cup that can hold several times the recommended amount, which users can easily confuse with the appropriate dose if they do not read the label carefully.
A company selling liquid caffeine, for example, is advertising portion sizes based on a pump dispensing method that looks like a bottle of hand soap. But the commercials do not mention that the pump does not come with the product. Instead, the container includes a measuring cup that contains 2.5 times the actual recommended dose.
In other cases, the recommended dose is so low that it can be difficult to measure. For some companies, the proper "serving size" of pure caffeine powder is 1/16 or even 1/32 teaspoon. Most people do not have such small measuring spoons and would need a precise digital scale to measure a safe dose.
Because it's so concentrated, the FDA warns that the difference between a safe dose and a dangerous dose can be minimal. even adding a spoonful full of powder instead of a level one can cross this line.
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