LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

Caffeine Overdose: How Much Caffeine Is Acceptable, Symptoms Of An Overdose, And When To Call A Doctor

Date December 4, 2017 16:44

Legend tells that a famous French novelist Honoré de Balzac could drink 40-50 cups of coffee when he sat down to work. If it is true, the consumption of copious amounts of coffee may be what sent him to an early grave: Balzac died in 1850 at the age of 51, just five months after his wedding.

It’s well known that caffeine can make you more awake and alert, and it also has some benefits for your physical health. But to get the benefits and not endanger your health, you should consume caffeine in moderation. Healthy adults are recommended to consume no more than 400 mg of caffeine daily. Children shouldn’t consume caffeine at all, and the maximum recommended amount of the substance for adolescents is 100 mg. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg a day, but it’s best for them to ask a doctor whether they can consume any caffeine at all.

While there’s some evidence that caffeine and other substances in coffee may benefit heart health, people who already have heart problems should ask their doctors whether caffeine is safe for them.

What are the sources of caffeine?

Obviously, coffee is the most popular drink that contains caffeine. 12 ounces of black coffee comprise 260 mg of the substance. Other sources of caffeine include sodas, some sport drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, green tea, and black tea. Contrary to popular belief, black tea is higher in caffeine than green tea if these two drinks are prepared in the same way. Find out more about the products which contain caffeine in the video below:

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What are the symptoms of caffeine overdose?

If you’ve consumed too much caffeine, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • restlessness, anxiety, and irritability;
  • elevated heart rate;
  • digestive symptoms, such as nausea and diarrhea;
  • increased thirst;
  • headache and dizziness.

If your symptoms are mild, you can relieve them at home by drinking plenty of plain water, doing some light exercise, and eating foods rich in potassium and magnesium, e.g., bananas and dark leafy greens.

Symptoms of a more severe caffeine overdose that require immediate medical attention include the following:

  • a fluttering sensation in your chest (sign of arrhythmia);
  • trouble breathing;
  • vomiting;
  • hallucinations;
  • chest pain;
  • uncontrollable muscle movements;
  • seizures.

According to Caffeine Informer, cases of severe caffeine overdose are rare. And those people who do overdose on caffeine usually consume it in combination with alcohol or other psychoactive substances.

In conclusion, caffeine is safe, even beneficial for you if you don’t consume it in excessive amounts. If your intake exceeds the recommended amount, you will likely experience discomfort or even end up in the ER.

Source: HealthLine, Caffeine Informer, Power of Positivity

READ ALSO: According To A Recent Study, Three Cups Of Coffee A Day Are Rather Beneficial Than Harmful For Human Health


This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.