Dear Kid,

Have you heard about powdered caffeine? It’s the latest scary substance to hit college campuses.

Lets’ start with the basics: Avoid powdered caffeine.

Let me be clear. Caffeine isn’t great, but it isn’t hideously awful (unless you’re trying to quit caffeine—which I can tell you from personal experience is No Fun Whatsoever). I, myself, personally have gone back to drinking coffee. And Diet Coke. And sometimes tea.

I’ll be honest. I am addicted (see above comment about quitting).

But a cup of coffee (or two) or even a bunch of cups of coffee the morning of a big final are not what I’m talking about. Worst case with too many Stbx, you’re going to get jittery, and have an acid stomach, and be awake to enjoy your jittery stomach.

Coffee, the finest organic suspension ever devised. ~Star Trek: Voyager DearKidLoveMom

With caffeine powder, however, there is a good chance you won’t be around to be awake. And while sleeping thr

ough side effects is a little unkind, being dead through side effects is just downright rude.

The facts:

  • Caffeine is a drug albeit one that is regulated like a dietary supplement when it’s regulated at all.
  • A 12 ounce Diet Coke has about 45 milligrams of caffeine.
  • An 8 oz cup of coffee has about 95 milligrams of caffeine.
  • One grande Starbucks coffee (16 oz) has about 330 milligrams of caffeine (even their decaf has a lot of caffeine).

  • Experts say you should have no more than 600 milligrams of caffeine per day.
  • 5,000 to 10,000 milligrams is considered lethal (let me repeat: LETHAL).
  • The serving size for powdered caffeine is 1/16 of a teaspoon. The smallest measuring spoon I own is ¼ teaspoon.
  • One teaspoon of powdered caffeine (which looks like oh so reasonable an amount), has over 2,300 milligrams of caffeine (think 25 cups of coffee. All at once.).
  • Two regular spoonfuls of powdered caffeine is the same as chugging 70 Red Bulls. Which is unhealthy for more reasons than I care to write about.

Stay away from powdered caffeine and get your jitters the old fashioned way.

Love, Mom