If you're feeling a bit sluggish, you might want to try "snorting" some chocolate to get your quick fix of energy. At least that's what one Florida businessman wants you to do.
Nick Anderson, a 29-year-old entrepreneur who came up with the idea of snorting chocolate powder to give people a sudden boost of energy. His Coco Loko product is made from a combination of cacao and various ingredients you would normally see in popular energy drinks.
Despite Coco Loko's marketed benefits, health experts warn about the dangers of taking in the product through the nose. They believe the practice of snorting chocolate powder could lead some users to experience serious health risks.
Snortable Chocolate Powder
According to Anderson, he heard about a trend in Europe a few months ago where people snorted chocolate. He thought that it was just a hoax but decided to order a sample and gave it a try himself. He became so convinced of the chocolate-snorting trend's potential that he wanted to bring it over to the United States.
Anderson went on to invest $10,000 so he could start producing his own version of the "raw cacao snuff". He tasked an Orlando-based supplement company to come up with the mixture, but it took a few tries before they could pin down what they wanted.
"Some versions, they just burned too much," Anderson explained. "Other times they looked gray and dull, or didn't have enough stimulants."
The chocolate powder that the company produces can give users a boost of energy that could last up to 30 minutes to about an hour. Anderson compared it to drinking an energy drink, as if the person is feeling euphoric but is still motivated to "get things done".
Health experts, however, are still unsure about the snortable chocolate powder.
Dr. Andrew Lane from the Johns Hopkins Sinus Center raised concerns about the potential risks it could have on people's health. He said that there is no available data that could show what would happen to people if they inhale chocolate into their noses.
Lane warned that there are still obvious concerns regarding snorting chocolate. It's still unclear just how much of each ingredient in the cacao-based powder would be absorbed into people's nasal mucus membranes. There is also the danger of having solid materials getting stuck in users' noses.
If the chocolate powder manages to mix with mucus, it could cause paste to form in people's sinuses, preventing them to breathe freely.
Coco Loko has already been made available in the market since June. However, it has yet to receive an approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
FDA spokesman Peter Cassell said the agency had not yet decided whether it would regulate Coco Loko, and if it were to regulate the product, how it would intend to do so. He explained that the FDA would need to evaluate the product's labeling, marketing information, and other information related to its intended use before it could reach such a decision.