A new product called Coco Loko combines raw cocoa powder with common energy drink ingredients… and is meant to be snorted. Yes, snorted. It’s a trend that is slowly finding its way to America after gaining traction in the European club scene. Here’s what using this ridiculous product can potentially do to you.
Let’s get one thing clear: chocolate is for eating, not putting up your nose… right? Well, not according to opportunistic Florida-based company Legal Lean, which is now marketing “Coco Loko” — a powder meant to be insufflated (snorted) before a night out. The idea comes from a niche corner of the European club scene, where partygoers swear by it before a big night out. But what’s in the powder, exactly? Coco Loko contains primarily finely ground cocoa, along with a veritable witches’ brew of energy drink ingredients such as guarana and taurine. The maker describes the effect as a “stress reducer” and a “stimulant”, despite those two effects being seemingly contradictory from a biological standpoint.
There’s currently no restriction on Coco Loko, although Legal Lean is adamant that they intend to put an 18+ warning on future packaging. Additionally, the FDA has not had a chance to review the powder, as this product is relatively new to the market and has so far only sold about 2,000 units. The founder of Legal Lean, Nick Anderson, is a 29 year old who did not consult with any medical experts when developing Coco Loko, and who “figured there weren’t any health issues or major concerns” when the European media stopped reporting on it.
“You feel yourself,” Anderson says of his chocolate powder. “You just feel a nice positive vibe and energy to you.”
It should go without saying that the use of this product is a complete fail from both an individual health and public health standpoint, and Mr. Anderson can probably expect to have his chocolate taken away by the FDA in the not-too-distant future.
So, what’s so dangerous about using Coco Loko? For starters, snorting over-the-counter stimulants like gingko biloba and taurine is a shockingly bad idea for just about anyone, but particularly for children and those with heart conditions. Furthermore, there are some disturbing parallels between Coco Loko’s purported effects and those of cocaine, a drug that is ingested in the same manner and carries a whole host of other detrimental health risks. And finally, insufflation — snorting — is very hard on your body, which was not meant to ingest powder through your breathing tract.
If the snorting process goes wrong and powder ends up in your lungs instead of your GI tract (a common issue with insufflation), you could be looking at some serious consequences and complications, regardless of what the powder is. Your lungs were not designed to filter a physical substance such as powder. Would you pour sand into your car’s gas tank?
Look, we all love chocolate. But let’s stick to the traditional method of eating it, so that we’re still around to enjoy that batch of chocolate chip cookies well into our healthy old age.