Invented by a Harvard Professor, the caffeine inhaler, known as AeroShots, is another in a long line “energy boosting” retail items for the over-worked, sleep deprived American populace.
The caffeine inhaler boasts a safe, no calorie way of getting your morning caffeine boost. While the rest of us are drinking highly sweetened coffees, sodas, and energy drinks, those who are using the caffeine inhaler will get their energy (plus B vitamins) without packing on the pounds.
Sounds like a good deal, right? Just puff the caffeine, get your energy and you’re done, right?
Not everyone is so sure, including the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), who are concerned about the effects of caffeine going directly into the lungs and the lack of restrictions on who can purchase these inhalers, such as teens and adolescents.
The use of B-vitamins in the product has allowed the manufacturer to sell them before FDA approval as they can market it as a nutritional supplement. However, this hasn’t stopped the FDA from pursuing testing and potential regulations against the manufacturer and the product itself in order to protect public health and educate people on the proper use and potential dangers of the AeroShot.
One Caffeine Inhaler = 100 mg of caffeine per shot
Let’s put this into perspective by examining the amount of caffeine contained in other caffeinated products.
Energy drinks, at maximum (Monster Energy Drinks), contain 160 mg of caffeine in a 16 oz beverage. That is about 2 servings, which puts the caffeine content to 80 mg per serving.
Then again, that depends on what each person considers a serving. Many people will drink 2 beverages per day.
Coffee beverages are generally less or about equal, depending on the brew and strength, though if you get yourself a Starbucks VIA, it will be significantly more at 180 mg in an 8 oz cup.
Caffeine pills, however, are comparable to the caffeine inhaler at about 100-200 mg per dose.
With all of these products on the market, it leaves some people wondering, “What’s the difference?”
Let’s first take a look at one of the more controversial caffeine products: caffeine pills.
I’ve never agreed with the use of caffeine pills, but this is my personal feeling on the matter.
At first glance, it may seem that the caffeine inhaler will probably be as safe as a caffeine pill on the market. However, the difference here is that the inhaled caffeine dissolves on the tongue before being swallowed, releasing 100 mg of caffeine into the blood stream rather quickly. The pill would be swallowed and slowly released for several hours, reducing the intensity of the body’s response.
Caffeine has already been dissolved in a beverage, meaning it’s predigested and will become absorbed by the body more quickly than caffeine swallowed in a pill. However, a beverage is more likely to be consumed slowly, a few sips and gulps at a time. This staggers the amount of caffeine entering the body over time, versus a sudden burst of caffeine that enters the body all at once via inhaler.
Many people forget that when they drink a soda, coffee, or energy drink that they are consuming an addictive substance. Yes, caffeine is a drug. Does this mean that you should stop consuming it altogether? No, of course not. However, self-education is a key in keeping yourself healthy and preventing adverse reactions.
After about 4 cups of coffee, if I’m sitting in front of my computer and haven’t moved much, I begin to get the shakes. My heart starts pounding, my limbs are shaking, and I may even feel anxious. I’m awake, of course, but I don’t feel well.
I can imagine that inhaling 100 mg of caffeine will instantly create a serious health risk in many individuals, even those who consume comparable amounts in other forms, simply due to the nature of delivery the product provides.
The effects of caffeine on the lungs of children and adolescents has never been studied. While AeroShot is a caffeine “inhaler,” they insist it isn’t to be inhaled into the lungs, but puffed into the mouth, dissolved onto the tongue, swallowed and absorbed.
However, the method of delivery doesn’t assure this will happen, and with products on the shelves stating the safety of its use in individuals 12 and up, some people are naturally concerned that this product, if used improperly by minors, may cause serious breathing problems later in life.
And as its purchase is not restricted, a 13 year old can walk into a convenience store and purchase one without any resistance.
Some doctors also wonder if the inhaled powder can make asthma symptoms worse.
In my personal opinion (and remember folks, I’m not a doctor, nurse, physician’s assistance, naturopath, homeopath, or even a voodoo witch doctor, so my opinion is just my opinion), this product doesn’t seem safe, has the potential of causing severe health problems, and could easily be abused by children. I would not recommend this product to anyone, just as I wouldn’t recommend caffeine pills.
Without the sugars, syrups, and sweeteners, the best and healthiest way to get caffeine is to drink coffee. Just like have a glass of red wine every day is good for the health, and drinking shots of straight vodka all night isn’t, caffeine in moderation in the form of coffee isn’t dangerous. In fact, it’s beneficial to your health, giving your body antioxidants. It’s also said to combat depression in small doses.
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