If you’re feeling tired in the morning what do you normally do? If you’re like most people you’ll reach for a strong black cup of coffee, or even perhaps a cold energy drink if coffee isn't really your thing. The reason why we drink these beverages is because they contain a natural ingredient known as caffeine, which is a natural stimulant that temporarily boosts our energy levels and mental alertness and focus, making us feel more awake and rejuvenated. For this reason, pre-workout supplements have become hugely popular over the last decade or so, with many of them working on the same premise as a regular energy drink, only obviously containing a few additional ingredients. These supplements contain caffeine, taurine, nitric oxide, sugar, and sweeteners and have proven to be pretty effective when it comes to helping us power through our workouts. Some people however, have taken things a step further and have been using powdered caffeine in the same manner. Any product containing caffeine has its risks, but powdered caffeine is especially dangerous for a number of different reasons, with many people calling for it to be banned entirely.
It can be lethal, even in small doses – Yes you did read that right, in small doses, powdered caffeine can kill you in the blink of an eye. Typically anything between 5 and 15 grams could kill a relatively healthy person. Should that person have any underlying medical conditions, especially heart problems, doses as low as 2 grams can be, and have been fatal in the past. Just to give you a rough idea about what you’re dealing with. 3 grams of powdered caffeine is equal in strength to around 25 cups of strong black coffee!
It can lead to severe insomnia – Having one cup of coffee around three hours before you go to bed has the potential to prevent you from being able to sleep, so you can imagine what powdered caffeine could do to you. Even if you consume an extremely small dosage, several hours before you go to bed, insomnia is still incredibly common amongst powdered caffeine users. The ironic thing is that it leads to a vicious circle type chain of events as you wake up the next day feeling tired due to a lack of sleep, and to counteract the tiredness, you consume more caffeine, which prevents you from sleeping again.
It is severely addictive – Caffeine is a stimulant that is very additive which can potentially lead to very serious health conditions. As with anything, the more we consume, the more the body builds up a tolerance to it. This triggers a response in our brain that tells us that we need more caffeine to function because as the body is now more tolerant to the current dosage we’re taking, we need to increase the dosage to benefit from the stimulating effects. This can lead to severe addiction leaving people with withdrawal symptoms if they go for a prolonged period of time without any caffeine. Basically, as time goes by, people won’t be able to function without it, essentially making it as serious as any drug addiction.