Why Are People From Harvard Obsessed With ‘Sprayable’ Caffeine Products?
When it comes to waking up and staying alert, people often look for a quick fix to get the job done—5-Hour Energy, caffeine strips, and, more recently, caffeine that you can squirt into your mouth, called Aeroshot.
A Harvard professor, Dr. David Edwards, helped invent the latter and it seems the esteemed entrepreneur now has some competition from people from his own turf.
According to an IndieGoGo.com account, Sprayable Energy, a shot of caffeine that is applied directly to the skin, rather than ingested, holds a two-to-three week supply—or 40 applications—in a tiny tube.
The caffeine spray, which promises to leave people free from “crashes,” was c0-conceived by a former molecular and chemical biology major at Harvard, Ben Yu. Yu took a leave of absence from the school, as BusinessWeek notes, to become a Thiel fellow and try to launch his company’s product. It was developed with the help of Yu’s father, a PhD in chemistry who has “spent the last 10 years studying ways to apply all kinds of medications through the skin.”
Although risky, the move seems to be a smart one so far. Sprayable Energy has already surpassed its fundraising goal, bringing in more than $16,000, with more than a month left to continue accepting donations to develop the spray.
While Edwards, who teaches in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, caught flak from the feds in 2012 after his product hit shelves, the inventors of Sprayable Energy are still pushing their product.
Edwards’ canisters of mouth spray were available for sale because they were marketed as a dietary supplement, but after facing scrutiny from elected officials in places like New York, the FDA decided to put the palm-sized product under review.
That hasn’t stopped Sprayable Energy from soliciting donations for their version of aerosol-based caffeine, however, which they claim is vastly different, and safer because it doesn’t use taurine—an energy supplement—but rather tyrosine.
Here is how the creators describe their version of the spray-invention in a portable canister:
You can carry a two-week supply of Sprayable Energy in your pocket. That means you can get the energy you need anytime, anywhere… After months of research, we discovered we could increase caffeine’s solubility five-fold by using a simple derivative of a naturally produced amino acid, tyrosine.Thus, our patent-pending technology opens up a whole new realm of possibilities when it comes to energizing as effectively as possible without all the drawbacks and side effects.
Addressing health concerns about caffeine intake and energy shots, Yu and his partner warn anyone under 18 not to use the spray, and also note that it’s best to use it in moderation, avoiding going “crazy” with the spritzing. “As long as you’re not allergic to caffeine and you use it as directed, our product has no known side effects. Just spray it on your neck as per the directions, and don’t drink it, or do anything else crazy with the product,” they wrote on their page.
They even included a helpful chart explaining the process of how the energy shot, once applied to the skin, slowly seeps into a user’s pores and takes effect, for those who don’t understand the science. “Sprayable Energy starts working gradually. You’ll feel just as you normally do—except not tired and with the ability to concentrate on the important things in life. Say goodbye to unnatural caffeine buzzes and crashes,” the creators claim.
The chart is below: