Cary Houghton Anderson, a 33-year-old mother of two from Oak Harbor, Wash., rushed her husband, Cody, to an urgent-care clinic after he took a caffeine-based energy powder that delivered 100 milligrams of caffeine. The Navy air crewman mixed it with water before going to the gym to improve his endurance.
But hours later, he was flushed, lost his equilibrium and became nauseated. "He lay down on the couch, not asleep, but acting comatose and that night it really kicked in and he needed a bucket by the side of his bed," his wife said.
The next day at the clinic, doctors found his blood pressure was elevated. "They said it was too much caffeine," Anderson said.
She worries that caffeine in a fun, red-colored strip might be a danger to her two mischievous children, ages 3 and 5.
"Oh, my goodness," Anderson said. "Those boys would think it was candy. We had a package of Dum Dums [candy] and I have caught them climbing on top of the counter trying to reach them in the cabinet.
"I can just imagine if they thought it was gum," she said. "They rip off my purse for their little sugar friends and hide under the bed and chew it. I am certain if I was taking something like [Sheets] they would definitely think it was candy. It would be nasty."
And as for her husband's caffeine incident and the ever growing selection of energy products, Anderson said, "Scary stuff. When did the morning coffee not give you a jolt?"