Chocolate isn’t just for eating, it seems. People are snorting it too, thanks to supplement company, Legal Lean. They are the creators of Coco Loko; a snortable cacao-based powder, laced with common energy drink ingredients like Gingko biloba, taurine, and guarana for a quick energy boost and drug-free high.
According to the brand’s founder, Nick Anderson, the product was inspired by a chocolate-snorting trend in Europe. It apparently offers a unique buzz that can last anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. It gives users a “euphoric but also motivated” feeling like what you’d expect from an energy drink, says Anderson. “You feel a calm energy and focus. You feel yourself; you just feel a nice positive vibe and energy to you.”
But experts aren’t sure what to make of this relatively new concept. And, since none of the product claims have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), doctors are concerned about its potential health hazards.
“Snorting anything is really not a good idea,” warns Dr Arthur Wu, an otolaryngologist from Los Angeles. Any foreign substance that’s inhaled or snorted can obstruct the nasal and sinus passages, which can cause infection and sinus problems.
This can lead to further complications like tissue scarring, inflammation of the lungs, and pneumonia if the powder makes it down into your throat and lungs, cautions Dr Ryan Stanton, an emergency physician based in Kentucky. “There’s a reason our [digestive] tract is separate from the breathing tract. The stomach is designed to take in things and deal with them, while the lungs are designed for air. They’re not designed to be a filter, which is basically what you’re asking them to do with these foreign substances.”
Another worry for experts is the impact of snorting the ingredients used in energy drinks. The medical community has long voiced concerns about the health risks of ingredients like caffeine, taurine, and guarana – which have been linked to increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and heart palpitations.
As snorting causes substances to be absorbed much faster into the bloodstream, these effects could be magnified if put into your nose.
Eat it, don’t snort it
Without enough research, it’s difficult to make a definitive conclusion about the safety and health effects of Coco Loko. There’s no data to show how the product works, nor are there any studies to prove its health benefits or possible dangers.
What is known is that the nose is not designed to snort foreign substances. If you’re looking for a buzz, just eat the chocolate instead (and try and stick to 90% cocoa – stay away from the sugar!).
5 natural energy boosters
- Bananas are a healthy source of carbs, and essential vitaminsand minerals, including potassium and magnesium, for sustained energy.
- Almonds are loaded with copper, a key nutrient in providing your cells with energy.
- Brown rice is rich in manganese, the mineral that helps produce energy from protein and carbs.
- Sweet potatoes are high in good carbs, and packed with Vitamins A and C, which can help combat fatigue.
- Salmon contains Vitamin B6, niacin and riboflavin – all of which help convert the food you eat into energy.