How can consuming too much caffeine lead to death?
While it varies by person, a good rule to follow is to drink no more than four cups of coffee a day.
Caffeine is both a drug and a food additive, according to the Food and Drug Administration. That's about 400 milligrams of caffeine daily. Had he been taking this high a dose of caffeine over a prolonged period of time?
But how much caffeine is enough to send you to the grave?
Over the last few years, there have been several highly publicized deaths attributed to caffeine overdose - particularly in healthy teens and young adults - raising questions about the safety of America's favorite stimulant.
Death by caffeine, as in Cripe's case, is typically caused by ventricular fibrillation - a rapid and irregular heart beat that disturbs the blood flow, leading to low blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and death.
A single cup of coffee, which contains 100 mg of caffeine, brings caffeine blood levels up to about 5 or 6 mg/L. He noted that some people are also more sensitive to caffeine than others, advising everyone to know their threshold and be very careful around how much to take in.
A McDonald's latte has 142 mg of caffeine, a 570 ml Mountain Dew has 90 mg, and a 450 ml energy drink can have as much as 240 mg. These energy drinks you're having all at once. In that 2017 study on caffeine overdoses, about half of the deaths were suicides - and all involved caffeine in tablet or powder form, leading the authors to conclude, "It does not seem likely that toxic concentrations of caffeine can be achieved from over-consumption of caffeinated beverages alone". Most 16 oz. energy drinks, including Monster, Rockstar, and Venom, contain 160 mg.
According to the FDA, caffeine powder is pure caffeine - and single teaspoon of the stuff is roughly equivalent to the amount in 28 cups of coffee.
"The risk of alcohol poisoning increases as people consume more alcohol because they feel the caffeine will keep them awake and alert", Glatter said.
That is only part of the total amount of caffeine you could consume in a day. "In a cup of coffee, you may have [it] over 45 minutes or 60 minutes".
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