by Brendan James
A product of Peter Thiel’s fellowship program for young entrepreneurs:
The big idea is to make caffeine palatable to people who get the jitters from coffee and energy drinks. Four sprays, the recommended dose, has less caffeine than a cup of coffee, Yu says. Since it’s applied to the skin, it’s absorbed steadily, avoiding the rush and the crash of a strong cup of joe. Yu’s father, who has a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry and owns his own lab in China, helped develop it.
Sprayable isn’t the first business to market atomized caffeine, though Yu notes the others are meant to be sprayed into the mouth, requiring significantly more caffeine. To allay safety concerns, Yu, who uses his product regularly, says he’s tested it on hundreds of people without negative reactions. Drinking it is an explicit no-no, and Yu notes that because of caffeine’s bitterness, it would “probably be more pleasant to eat a cockroach.”