Eau de Caffeine Might Be Coming to a Store Near You

Who needs coffee when you can get the caffeine minus the jitters and bladder restrictions? Amirite?

Drinking caffeine is so 2012, don’t you think? For people who find the whole process of ingesting coffee and waiting for the caffeine to kick in a laborious bore (we’re not sure who would actually fall into this category but uh… we’re kinda sure you’re out there?) there’s a new way to get your buzz -- no food or drink required.

Introducing Sprayable Energy: just add a few squirts of topical caffeine to your neck (Warning: Not sure how well the stuff blends with your Chanel No. 5) and let the fun begin.

Ben Yu, a biochemist who took leave from his studies at Harvard to develop the product, claims it’s the world’s first caffeine-based topical spray. Caffeine, it turns out, can penetrate the skin. FYI: Before you try to bath in a bucket of Joe, only Yu’s unique formulation allows it to absorb enough to be effective.

The recommended dose -- four sprays to the neck -- supplies less caffeine than a cup of coffee, and since it’s applied to the skin, the buzz kicks in slowly and steadily, so you avoid that wired, jittery feeling that comes from drinking coffee. The result, says Yu, is a pleasant and sustained alertness -- perfect for those mid-afternoon board meetings or interminable college lectures.

Sounds great, I guess, except that I actually enjoy drinking coffee -- a lot. I love the taste of my morning brew so much that I will endure the sweating, shakes and euphoria that sometimes accompany my all-too-zealous consumption of the beverage. A day without coffee is like a day without oxygen. And since mixing spray-on caffeine with coffee, soda or energy drinks is not recommended, I’m pretty sure this invention is of zero use to me or any coffee connoisseur out there.

But it sure is a great invention for teenagers who have nothing better to do than spray their friends with mega-doses of the stuff until they’re so hyped up on atomized caffeine that they can’t close their eyes for 12 days. Oh, hey, here’s a great idea! Why don’t we douse ourselves with Sprayable Energy, and drink a bottle of 5-Hour Energy as a chaser?

Seriously, what’s the obsession with being so jacked up on caffeine anyway? I OD’d on No-Doz in college while trying to pull an all-nighter. Let me tell you: no fun at all. Since then, I’ve nixed all forms of supplemental caffeine, save coffee, from my repertoire. At least when you’re sipping coffee, you know just how many cups it takes to reach your caffeine threshold.

Besides, if little kids see mom spritzing herself with it, of course they’re going to want to try it, too. And something tells me a sneaky four-year-old isn’t going to stop at one or two sprays.

There’s nothing wrong with a healthy shot of caffeine each day; research shows it provides plenty of health perks like reducing inflammation, curbing headaches and reducing the risk of Parkinson’s. But some of those benefits may come from the actual coffee, rather than the caffeine. So for now, unless you truly hate the taste of coffee, we recommend getting your buzz the dated and old-timey way.

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