Feature

Coming soon: Caffeine you can inhale?

A Harvard researcher comes up with a way to skip the coffee breath and go straight to the buzz

If you need a fog-clearing jolt of caffeine in the morning but dislike the taste of coffee, you may be in luck. A Harvard University professor has come up with a new product, AeroShot Pure Energy, that delivers a dose of caffeine in an energizing, lime-flavored puff. Here, a brief guide:

Caffeine you breathe?
Indeed. AeroShot comes in an inhaler. With each puff, you get a shot of powdered caffeine that dissolves in the mouth and goes instantly into your system. Each inhaler contains 8 puffs — or 100 mg of caffeine, the equivalent of a large cup of coffee — and also delivers the recommended daily allowance of niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.

Where did the idea come from?
AeroShot's inventor, Harvard biomedical engineering professor David Edwards, has a history of developing inhaled drugs and vaccines. His first product was a no-calorie inhaleable chocolate product called Le Whif. "I was fascinated about bringing that idea to a new way of eating," Edwards tells TIME. AeroShot is also calorie-free — it's sweetened with stevia, an herbal sweetener far more potent than sugar.

Where can I get it?
AeroShot hits stores in Boston and New York in January. No pricing information is out yet, but Le Whif costs $3 a pop, so you're probably not saving cash by foregoing a cup of coffee. 

Really, will anybody buy this stuff?
Don't bet on it, says Will Shanklin at Geek.com. "Caffeine pills have been available for years, but most people still prefer to drink coffee." Maybe, says Gizmag, but you do get the same jolt "without the calories or coffee breath." Edwards' previous creations were "both totally cool and completely useless," says Suzanne Labarre at Fast Company's Co.Design. But AeroShot "might actually come in handy, especially among Red Bull-pounding college kids."

Sources: Fast CompanyGeek.comGizmagTIME

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