Entrepreneurs are constantly trying to figure out new ways to pump our bodies full of caffeine without resorting to the delicious beverages most of us reach for when we need a wake-up call. There’s topical caffeine spray, caffeine gum, and so, so much more. Now, a new company wants to make your caffeine habit into a fashion statement with a caffeinated bracelet called Joule.
While the idea of caffeinated accessories sounds a little far out, it operates on the same principle as a nicotine patch. There’s a patch inside the bracelet that sits against your wrist, where you absorb the caffeine through your skin. The crowd-funded campaign for Joule promises “all the positives of your coffee or energy drink with none of the negatives,” including the jitters or energy crashes.
To an extent, this is true. One Joule skin patch has about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, but that amount is dispersed evenly over the course of four hours. Because this caffeine boost doesn’t involve putting acidic coffee into your stomach, it’s not going to send you running for the bathroom. It also doesn’t have any calories, and won’t yellow your teeth like coffee does.
However, that doesn’t mean it will be as free of side effects as its creators claim. As one nutrition expert told Outside about transdermal caffeine patches, the caffeine will hit your system sooner when absorbed through the skin than if you drank it, and the fact that it doesn’t have to go through your digestive system can make the effects of the caffeine stronger.
So if you love the pep of caffeine but are paranoid about your teeth or get stomach aches when you drink too much coffee, the patch isn’t a terrible way to get your boost—and Joule is certainly the most fashionable way to sport an energy patch. But if you actually enjoy sipping a cup of joe (or use it for a certain health reason), maybe just stick to that.
A Joule starter kit costs $29 on Indiegogo.
All images courtesy Joule