Move Over, Jelly. Peanut Butter Has a New Friend

STEEM has twice as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. (Photo: NIAID [CC by 2.0]/Wikimedia Commons)

It's no secret that I love my coffee. The first cup of the day is essential. I need that caffeine jolt to get me started. I also enjoy my peanut butter, but I don't need a jolt of caffeine from it, nor did I ever think I could get one — until now.

STEEM Caffeinated Peanut Butter is the creation of three friends: Chris Pettazzoni, Keith Barnofski and Andrew Brach. They got the idea when they were discussing the perfect hangover food, according to the Washington Post. Their imagined perfect creation was peanut butter and jelly on thick slices of banana bread with crispy bacon. (I think I might like that.) The only thing missing was the caffeine, so the friends decided to create caffeinated peanut butter.

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STEEM is an all-natural peanut butter with added electrolytes and caffeine — a whopping 170 milligrams per serving, which is the equivalent of two cups of coffee. It's not for kids and it's definitely not for pets. Yes, dogs love their peanut butter, but STEEM's website warns "dogs and cats and birds cannot digest caffeine properly and it can lead to SERIOUS health issues." You can add this to the list of peanut butters your dog can't eat, like the ones that contain xylitol.

In recent years, caffeine has been added to all sorts of foods that aren't naturally or traditionally caffeinated. Take a look at some of these products that you should probably keep away from kids and pets because of the caffeine content:

  • SumSeeds Energized Sunflower Seeds: With 145 milligrams of caffeine per 1.75-ounce bag, these are not the sunflower seeds you want your Little Leaguer snacking on in the dugout or your pet bird pecking at in his cage.
  • Cracker Jack'D: Frito-Lay added caffeine and other wake-you-up ingredients to Cracker Jacks. (The surprise at the bottom of the popcorn treat? A night of no sleep.)
  • Jelly Belly Extreme Sports Beans: Just what every athlete needs: jelly beans before a big game. Eat a serving 30 minutes before working out or playing your sport, and keep popping them as needed for "alertness, endurance, agility, sprint speed and power output."
  • Wired Wyatt's Maple Flavored Caffeinated Syrup: It's a supplement, but it can also be used on pancakes.

Caffeinated products that have come and gone on the market recently also include Wired Pancakes (a product that was introduced on "Shark Tank"), Wrigley's Alert Energy Gum, NRG Potato Chips Overload and Stay Puft Caffeinated Marshmallows. Perhaps the length of that list is proof that consumers don't need caffeine in everything they eat.