A quick survey on any bicycle forum yields plenty of caffeine confessions. Whether it’s finishing the last few miles of a long bike ride, or a late night project for school or work, we love our caffeine. There’s a multi-billion dollar industry supplying energy drinks to push our limits during sports and exercise, or just keep us on track during mundane tasks. Unlike a good cup of black coffee though, many energy drinks pack a lot of sugar, and since there’s a limit on caffeine per serving, the cans keep getting bigger to accommodate more servings. This seemed like a vicious circle, with no end in sight, until Harvard professor David Edwards got involved. He applied his considerable expertise in inhalable vaccines and medications to develop a breathable form of energy delivery, and AeroShot was born. It addresses two key shortcomings of energy drinks – carbs and portability. A single tube of AeroShot, about the size of a lip balm, contains caffeine, a mixture of B vitamins, Stevia for sweetening, and natural lime flavor. Zero calories, 100mg caffeine, in a $2.99 package that weighs 1/10th of an ounce (0.3g) and can be carried anywhere.
Naturally, we had to try this out, and the folks at AeroShot were more than happy to oblige. They sent some samples, which arrived at work around lunch time on a day when half my peers were out for various reasons. Seemed like as good a time as any to enjoy a little boost of energy via caffeine. Following the directions carefully (there’s a first time for everything!) I tore open the individually sealed foil pouch, grasped the lime colored base, and pulled the shot open. I took one puff, and then snapped it back shut. Turns out that middle step is open to a bit of interpretation. Perhaps “inhale gently” didn’t fit on the package. Although there should be 4-6 puffs per serving, it’s entirely possible to get it all in one grand shot, something I don’t recommend. The first thing that hits you is the lime and citric acid. While your brain is pondering the flavor, the caffeine and vitamins have already dissolved and are being absorbed through your digestive tract. Then, BAM! Imagine slamming a large cup of strong coffee. Sudden alertness ensued. It’s like your first double espresso, but without the jitters. The rest of my day was something of a blur, but in a good way. Just before clocking out, I finished off the single serving, and used it to pound out the rest of this review with no feeling of an impending crash, so I’d say it delivered just the right amount of energy after all.
Observations: I’m not a fan of wasteful packaging, but there doesn’t seem to be an alternative to the foil pouch and plastic tube, as it won’t stay fresh long outside the pouch. Caffeine sensitivity is a personal matter, and it may take some users a couple of AeroShots before they determine their own personal dosing requirements. Not everyone is going to be a fan of the lime flavor, with its strong citric acid undertones either. On the plus side, this product is packable, effective, and not loaded down with the sugar of an energy drink. That’s going to trump taste issues for a lot of people. The fact that you can keep one in your backpack, jersey pocket, or just about anywhere is a huge plus. It won’t go stale, and doesn’t need to be chilled before serving. About the biggest downside I see right now is availability, but AeroShot allows you to order off their site, (www.aeroshot.com) with free shipping, as they work on their distribution network.
The final word? I see nothing but potential here. It won’t replace my first morning cup of coffee, or even the third. But I can see it coming in handy when I need that little extra on a hike, run, or ride.