Between coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, energy shots, pills, inhalants, chocolate, and toothbrushes, there are plenty of ways to get your caffeine fix.
Now, Silicon Valley has come up with a new alternative method of perking up: Caffeine spray.
Thiel Fellow and Harvard University undergrad Ben Yu has developed, with the help of a venture capitalist partner, a topical caffeine aptly named Sprayable Energy. They're now trying to raise $15,000 through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to get the first retail line out to stores.
The spray is slightly different from "breathable energy," those misters that disburse caffeine orally (and that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has insisted are actually "club drugs"). The caffeine is meant to be sprayed on the neck, like odorless energy perfume, which theoretically allows the body to absorb it more gradually.
That way, Yu says, it avoids the extreme rush and crash associated with caffeine and other high-powered energy products.
"So no more rollercoaster ride," the Indiegogo page claims. "Instead, you get a steady stream of energy that just keeps you awake, alert, and productive."
It's sort of like a nicotine patch, in that the caffeine is combined with other ingredients to help it slowly seep into the bloodstream. And indeed, Yu says he was inspired by the idea of nicotine patches, and then worked with his dad, who holds a Ph.D in chemistry, to make a similar product with caffeine.
Each bottle has 160 "sprays," good for 40 doses. And with a projected retail cost of just $15, Sprayable Energy's backers tout it as a much cheaper alternative to, say, pounding dozens of Starbucks Doubleshots.
So does it work?
Fast Company's Anya Kamenetz tried it, and said, "The rush is a little bit disconcerting," adding that it felt like she had drunk her coffee too quickly.