12 Things We've Enhanced With Caffeine

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What's the buzz? Caffeine's now available in just about everything.

1. Toothbrushes

The best part of waking up is ... caffeine in your brush? Colgate-Palmolive has filed a patent for a toothbrush that can administer caffeine and other chemicals while cleaning your pearly whites. The jolt comes from a patch on the toothbrush's head, which can last up to three months. The good news: The same technology enables a sleep-inducing toothbrush for nighttime. The bad news: Someone will mix them up.

2. Toothpaste

Caffeinated toothbrushes can't get you percolating just yet, but Buzz Toothpaste can. Creator Richard Davis promises an energy boost within 15 minutes, no coffee breath necessary. Research shows that a caffeinated mouthwash may prevent oral cancer, so it probably won't be long before you're gargling with the stimulant. And who knows? Pretty soon you might actually look forward to flossing twice a day, too.

3. Soap

Hygiene, caffeine, it's the same thing with this soap. Caffeine's become a popular ingredient in skincare products, because it stimulates blood circulation and makes skin look refreshed. There's a caffeinated deodorant for men (that doesn't smell like Starbucks). Caffeinated shampoo's also supposed to prevent hair loss. Lather up!

4. Chewing gum

Wrigley launched Alert caffeinated gum late last month, promising the equivalent of a half-cup of coffee in a single stick. Within weeks, it was taken off the shelves, due to the FDA's "concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation's food supply." Gum that gives you the jitters isn't new—Jolt has sold its Energy Gum and caffeinated breath mints since 2003. Still, if you think normal gum chewers are annoying, just wait 'til you add caffeine to the mix.

5. Waffles

File this one under What Not To Give Your Kid For Breakfast. Each Wired Waffle contains 200 mg of caffeine. Founder Roger Sullivan sought investor support for the product on the popular TV show Shark Tank. But the sharks weren't biting.

6. Jelly beans

Caffeinated jelly beans and gummy bears? The Halloween candy prank pulls itself...

7. Water

H2Whoa! A number of caffeinated bottled waters can quench your thirst and put some pep in your step. The only problem: Drinking too much might make you more dehydrated. It's a vicious cycle.

8. Beer

In other liquid paradoxes, you can have your stimulants and depressants all at once with caffeinated beer. Well, you could have. In 2010, the FDA ruled that caffeine is a dangerous additive to alcoholic beverages. The same year, a number of states—including California, New York, and Kansas—banned the sale of malt beverages with caffeine.

9. Beef jerky

Tired of guzzling down your junk food with a soda? Now beef jerky, popcorn, and hot sauce can deliver a powerful caffeine punch, along with all the calories, salt, and fat. Admit it: You kind of want to try all of them.

10. Sunscreen

Caffeine keeps you perky in more ways than one. According to every caffeinated anti-wrinkle cream, it reduces the appearance of fine lines, lightens dark circles, and removes under-eye bags. Even better, the stimulant could save your hide. Research shows that caffeinated sunscreen may prevent skin cancer, as it affects a gene that destroys sun-damaged cells.

11. Shapewear

Having trouble getting your butt in gear in the morning? Put on your caffeine-infused underpants or tights and get on with it. Well, not really. Caffeinated shapewear only promises to smooth skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite over time. Alas, pouring coffee on your lap doesn't produce the same results. Unless you get a really camouflaging third-degree burn.

12. Lip balm

What happens when the one police officer in a small Alaskan village gets tired of chapped lips? A caffeinated lip balm with a buzzy name. Hard Candy and other cosmetic brands have since created caffeine-enhanced lipsticks and lip glosses.

But if you're really tired, you know what to do: Eat a Perky Jerky sandwich made with Wired Waffles and caffeinated hot sauce, brush your teeth with Buzz Toothpaste, and then use that energy to go far away where no one has to interact with you.

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May 21, 2013 - 11:00am
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