The caffeine in an average cup o' joe delivers the ideal morning jolt, but concentrated amounts can be fatal. How little is dangerous? Find out, here.
Question #1: A half cup of highly concentrated liquid caffeine can contain 2000 mg of caffeine and a single teaspoon of a powdered pure caffeine product can contain 3200 mg of caffeine. What is that equivalent to?
Answer: C. 20 to 28 cups of coffee. Less than two tablespoons of some formulations of powdered, pure caffeine can be deadly to adults and even smaller amounts can be life threatening to children.
Question #2: True or false? The recommended safe serving of highly concentrated or pure caffeine products is often 200 mg of caffeine, which equates to 1/16 of a teaspoon of pure powder or 2.5 teaspoons of a liquid.
Answer: A. True. Even though the service sizes are small, powdered caffeine are still sold in large bags and liquid forms are sold online in bottles that can hold up to more than a gallon.
Question #4: To obtain the lowest recommended serving of caffeine from a bulk container, a consumer would need to measure out how much of the powdered product?
Answer: C. 1/64 of a teaspoon of pure powdered caffeine. The largest recommended single serving of 200 mg translates to 1/16 of a teaspoon.
Question #5: Bulk powdered caffeine products are sold in packages as large as 10 kg, which translates into the equivalent of more than how many "recommended servings" of the product?
Answer: C. More than 10 000 recommended servings are contained in a bulk package of powdered caffeine.
Question #7: Caffeine metabolism is slowed after consumption of more than approximately how many milligrams?
Answer: D. 500 mg. Related symptoms are experienced for an extended period of time and a high dose of caffeine will quickly produce symptoms that will take some time to attenuate.
Answer: B. Between 10 and 14 grams is considered life-threatening. That is equivalent to 1.2 to 1.7 tablespoons of caffeine. Although, smaller doses can be life-threatening to certain people such as children, elderly, or other sensitive populations.
Reference: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Highly Concentrated Caffeine in Dietary Supplements: Guidance for Industry. College Park, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration; 2018.
While many people love a good cup of joe in the morning, pure or highly concentrated caffeine products can be life-threatening and they continue to present a significant public health threat. For that reason, the FDA has issued a new guidance to manufacturers of powdered caffeine, which clarifies that dietary supplements containing pure or highly concentrated caffeine in powder or liquid forms are considered unlawful when sold in bulk quantities directly to consumers. Are any of your patients at risk?Â See what you know about the hazards of extreme caffeine use with this 9-question quiz and gather a few clinical pearls to help you counsel patients.