Monday, February 13, 2012

AeroShots - A Scary Concept in Multiple Ways

A few days ago, AeroShots came to surface in the market as *the* new product to use for a caffeine boost.  As a full time doctoral student and a full time employee, I know what "tired" is, and quite honestly, as a behavioral epidemiologist, this new product scares me.  The product is being marketed to multiple types of people including: 

1) Those who are worried about energy drink calories (it's a "calorie free" product). 
2) Those who are just too busy (who isn't) with their "Anytime, Anyplace" slogan.  Since this product appears to have been created in the ArtScience Labs, the main focus is on urban teenagers and university students.
3) It's chapstick looking container, nobody would know what you are using; it's a private matter anyway (almost like a drug in my opinion). 

On the FAQ page of this product, I found some interesting facts that are even more alarming.  The nutritional content includes "a mix of caffeine, B vitamins, sweeteners, and other ingredients:  natural lime flavor, citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate.  It does not contain the mystery chemicals found in some other energy products.  Note:  AeroShot may contain traces of soy and wheat."  I wonder what other ingredients they might be forgetting to list here?  And sweeteners?  Well a lot of research exists concerning these things, with conflicting information, of course, but none-the-less, one may want to consider limiting his/her exposure to them.  The site does recommend that children not use this product, but as we know with energy drinks, not much regulation has occurred on limiting the number of energy drinks a child can or should consume.  I'm amazed at how early children start with caffeine these days; do they have that much pressure in their lives?  My parents did not really allow me to drink coffee until I was 16 or 17, and even then, it was me testing what I liked and what I didn't like.  One study found that 75% of the children surveyed had consumed caffeine daily, which negatively affected their sleep patterns.  Get rid of the caffeine, get healthy children?

I'm also curious about the inhalation process; I'm assuming it speeds up the process of ingestion, but I could be wrong.  I didn't see anything about what is recommended as in a time frame between hits, the website only states that they recommend only using up to three AeroShots per day.  I suppose it wouldn't be a huge issue only because if each AeroShot is equivalent to a large cup of coffee, I know a number of people who exceed that within a couple of hours.  Again, I just wonder if digesting a powder would be any different than drinking a liquid.  I wish the Federal Drug Administration regulated supplements; this is something I have been wanting since I was a 23 and in my masters program in which I researched supplements in my environmental class.  Perhaps someday.

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