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FDA Caffeine Caution: Should You Stop Taking Caffeine Based Supplements?

Coffee beansThe world, particularly the Western world, is getting more caffeinated. And it is no longer about gulping down mugs of coffee. More and more health products now contain caffeine. The FDA has recently issued warning letters on powdered caffeine. But does this mean you should stop taking caffeine supplements?

Indeed there is cause for concern, especially when the amount of caffeine one gets from caffeine powders is factored in. One teaspoon of caffeine powder is equivalent to drinking 28 cups of coffee!

Even coffee addicts may find it challenging to down 28 cups of coffee in a day, leave alone all at once. Nay, you also get caffeine from other sources, including “decaffeinated” ones. The risk of toxicity is real.

Being classified as nutritional supplements, these products are not regulated in the same way as drugs. There are two differing opinions on FDA regulations on nutritional supplements, with one side calling for more and the other calling for less.

As for caffeine powders, the FDA recently issued a written warning to five distributors of these, citing potential danger to consumers. These powders have been linked to the deaths last year of two young men from Ohio and Georgia. This sounds alarming, but should you stop taking caffeine-based supplements?

There are various supplements that contain caffeine, including weight loss supplements such as green coffee bean extract, and energy supplements including pre-workout products. Coffee’s stimulating effects make it a popular ingredient in these types of products.

However there is a difference between taking a product that contains caffeine (such as coffee) and ingesting pure caffeine. You would have to take copious amounts of coffee or supplements to build up caffeine to toxic levels in your system. It is like drinking pure alcohol, which can be poisonous compared to drinking an alcoholic beverage.

That caffeine-containing supplement, cup of coffee or tea, or other beverage, or several of them, or even in combination, may not present harm to you. Of course talking to a healthcare professional on this and other health related matters is always the best way to go.

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