JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Federal Drug Administration has a warning for parents about the dangers of a popular supplement. At least one teen has died from an overdose of pure powdered caffeine.
Three days before graduation, 18 year old Logan Stiner died from a lethal amount of caffeine. The coroner said the Ohio teen had more than 70 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of blood in his system. That's as much as 23 times the amount of a typical coffee or soda drinker. Pure caffeine is a powerful stimulant and small amounts may cause accidental overdose.
"The dosage that is recommended in the health food stores is like a 16th of a teaspoon. And that gives you about 2-300 milligrams of caffeine. Which is the maximum daily amount that you would want. You'd get that from two to three cups of coffee," says Karen Tozzi with Gateway Community Services.
A single teaspoon of the pure powder has about the same amount of caffeine as 25 cups of coffee. Caffeine powder is sold as a dietary supplement, meaning it's not subject to the same federal regulations as normal food and drinks.
"What's alarming with these powders is teens aren't aware enough to be able to go in and read directions and if you took a teaspoon, you would drastically overdose and this powder is just too readily available," says Tozzi. "When you're drinking a cup of coffee, you're sipping it, even the high powered caffeinated coffees, you're sipping it. So, your body is taking it in a gradual way. But, when you ingest these powders, you're getting just a big jolt of it. and your body just reacts. It's not a healthy way to do things.