Seriously? Breathable Caffeine?

Posted in : Health & Wellness,In the News

AeroShot is an inhaler type of device that delivers a shot of caffeine that you “draw into your mouth and swallow,” according to the website for Breathable Foods — the company that makes AeroShot.

This product confounds me on a lot of levels, so let’s break it down:

The name of the company is an oxymoron to me.  Breathable Foods.  Huh?  A food, by definition, implies the need for digestion — which takes place in the digestive tract.  The word “breathable” implies respiration — which takes place in the respiratory tract.  The body was designed such that neither tract would ever meet the other thanks to a little flap called the epiglottis.  In the world of healthcare when someone “breathes food”, we implement the Heimlich maneuver because breathing food results in choking.  Our bodies were not designed to breathe food.  We were designed to eat food.

Again, I don’t understand the name of the company: Breathable Foods.  The company website states, “Pull the yellow end to open, put the other end in your mouth, gently draw the powder into your mouth, and swallow. Push closed.”  So, really, you just suck the powder into your mouth and swallow.  No breathing.  No inhalation.  Just suck and swallow.  I guess the name Suckable Foods doesn’t have the same appeal.

Those of you who have attended one of my talks and seen me speak about caffeine know that I’m not anti-caffeine.  You also know that it’s easy to overdo the amount of caffeine we consume because we get so much from a multitude of sources (tea, coffee, soda, energy drinks, etc…).  The AeroShot manufacturer states each shot contains 100 mg caffeine — approximately the amount in a large cup of coffee.  When we consume excessive amounts of caffeine, our bodies can experience everything from irritability, nervousness, heart palpitations and seizures to sudden death.

Michael W. Roosevelt, acting director in the office of compliance at the FDA, recently issued a warning letter to Breathable Foods regarding their AeroShot caffeine product.  The letter states, “Your labeling is false and misleading because your product cannot be intended for both inhalation and ingestion.” Hmm.  The FDA does not appear to be impressed.

While I’m not against caffeine, I am against the misuse and abuse of caffeine.  My concerns — for now — are as follows:

I’m concerned that the AeroShot will make its way into the club, party, and college scene and be consumed in tandem with alcohol.  The problem with drinking alcohol and caffeine together is that the caffeine “fakes out” your brain and makes you think you are not as intoxicated as you actually are.  The “buzz” sensation you get when you drink alcohol alone acts like a warning system for lots of people who drink alcohol.  It lets people know they’ve had too much and that they need to stop drinking.  The buzz sensation is significantly delayed — or even missing — with the consumption of alcohol and caffeine together … resulting in far riskier behaviors than you would normally engage in had you left the caffeine out of the equation.  In addition to the brain fake out, the combination of caffeine and alcohol can also result in blackouts and other dangerous medical complications.

I’m concerned that people will begin to use AeroShot in addition to other caffeine containing products they already use.  This combination could quickly lead to overconsumption of caffeine which can result in serious health concerns.

I’m not fond of the delivery mechanism — the shotgun-shell-looking-lipstick-sized-inhaler-type thing.  The design seems like it would be way too easy for someone to actually breathe AeroShot’s caffeine formulation into their lungs — which would be potentially harmful and could result in a bronchospasm which could even lead to death.  Compounding the likelihood of someone mistakenly inhaling the powder is the manufacturer’s name:  BREATHABLE Foods.

Breathable Foods’ website suggests the use of AeroShot for athletes.  During intense workouts, our heart rate increases.  Caffeine also increases our heart rate.  In my opinion, athletes should avoid the use caffeine during practices and during games.

Breathable Foods’ website suggests no more than three AeroShots per day. That’s 300 mg of caffeine!  We can start to see medical complications in people who consume more than 250 mg in a day, so three AeroShots seems like way too much in my opinion.  I would not recommend consuming more than one AeroShot in a 24-hour period, so that the cumulative dose of caffeine from all other caffeine sources doesn’t put you anywhere close to the 250 mg zone.

7 key points to remember …

1.  Do NOT party with AeroShot

2.  Do NOT use AeroShot with alcohol

3.  Do NOT use AeroShot with other caffeine containing products (i.e. energy drinks)

4.  Do NOT breathe AeroShot into your lungs

5.  Do NOT use AeroShot if you are under 18 years of age

6.  Do NOT consume more than one AeroShot per day

7.  Do NOT exercise or play sports after consuming AeroShot

There are plenty of other highly effective, medication free (yes, caffeine is a medication), and side effect free strategies to achieve increased energy levels without using caffeine, including my Zone 1530 program.

If you choose to use AeroShot, use extreme caution and use at your own risk.

I’m not the Caffeine Nazi.  In fact, I’m no different from most of you.  I drink tea or coffee almost every day, and just like many of you, I’ve even “earned” my Starbucks Gold Card.  Plenty of us love our caffeine and are living life on the edge, but remember that it takes very little to send us over the edge and to an early grave.  While there is a big difference between living on the edge and going over the edge, only a fine line separates the two.

The bottom line is simple:  I’m not a fan of AeroShot.

Be well,

Chad Simpson, RPh

The Pharmacist Guy™

The opinions and information provided by Chad Simpson are for informational purposes only and are not intended to treat, diagnose, or render medical advice.  They are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment from your physician or health care practitioner.  Never start, stop, or make changes to your medication or health care regimen (including, but not limited to such things as exercise and physical therapy) without first checking with your physician.


I'm a pharmacist who speaks to college & corporate groups. My signature program is an edgy, engaging, and entertaining talk called: Sex, Drugs, & Red Bull.™


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