Many of us associate caffeine primarily with coffee and soft drinks, although it's many other food products and beverages as well. But pure caffeine? It came as a surprise to me to find that one can purchase it in pure, powdered form, and that it is easily accessible via online sites such as Amazon. It turns out that powdered caffeine has been used for a variety of reasons, such as weight loss and as a "pick me up".
Powdered caffeine has gained international attention after the death of an 18-year-old in Ohio. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States is now warning consumers to avoid pure powered caffeine. The drug is extremely powerful, and should not be confused the amount of caffeine in your coffee. A mere 1/16th of a teaspoon is roughly equivalent to 2 large cups of coffee, and an entire teaspoon is equal to a whopping 25 cups of coffee and lethal. Adding to the danger, the FDA noted the labels on powdered caffeine products do not adequately explain a proper dosage, and consumers might not even be aware that even a small amount can cause an overdose.
Best course of action? Just avoid.