We have all been guilty of it; drinking 1 too many cups of coffee or an extra energy drink or soda throughout the day to get an extra boost of energy that will keep us going. Caffeine is one of the most consumed things in the world and while it is mostly harmless, it can also be dangerous at times.
Some statistics posted by NIH show that close to 90% of Americans has caffeine drink at least once every day. This is because it comes in so many different drinks and even different forms to appeal to practically anyone. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda, and it can even come in pill form.
Is Caffeine Safe Even in Very High Doses?
Caffeine does show to have many different effects on the body, but not all of them are bad and harmful. In moderate doses, caffeine does not run much of a risk at all. Caffeine is even proven to increase mental energy, alertness, and concentration. Its primary effect is to counteract fatigue making caffeine a very likable substance, especially for those who aren’t early birds.
On the flip side, the biggest downside to staying awake with caffeine is not being able to fall asleep. In reasonable doses and not too close to the bed, caffeine does not affect most people’s sleep habits too much. Those that drink several cups of coffee or cans of soda per day, will have a much harder time sleeping at night.
How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?
The exact amount of caffeine it would take to overdose does vary from person to person and depends mostly on the person’s body weight. As with any drug or other addictive substance, the lower a person’s body weight the less it will take to overdose on it. This makes it much riskier for children, people of smaller stature, those with an eating disorder, or other conditions that cause the low body to weigh to be much more vulnerable. For people, taking more than 150 to 200 mg per kg, or 2.2 lbs, is considered a lethal amount of caffeine. This would mean you would have to ingest 5-10 grams of caffeine.
More About Caffeine Overdose and Toxicity
When it is taken at toxic levels and within a short period, caffeine can cause multiple unpleasant side effects such as headaches, nausea, jitteriness, irritability, anxiety, and vomiting. The most severe side effects include abdominal pain, increases blood acid levels irregular and fast heartbeat, seizures, and reduced blood flow to your heart. These symptoms can put you at a much higher risk of death. While death by caffeine is very rare, it is still possible.
Most people are usually able to consume around 400 mg of caffeine per day without experiencing little to no negative side effects. To put this into perspective how much that is, caffeine levels in the most common products include:
- An 8-oz energy drink contains anywhere from 40-250 mg of caffeine.
- An 8-oz coffee contains 80-100 mg of caffeine.
- An 8-oz tea contains 30-50 mg of caffeine.
- A caffeine pill contains 100-200 mg of caffeine per tablet.
Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms Are REAL
Anybody who drinks caffeine regularly and suddenly stops drinking it or doesn’t drink it at the right time can understand the pain of caffeine withdrawal. Tolerance to caffeine will increase over time as your brain becomes more dependent. It will not be happy when it doesn’t get its daily fix too. You can experience annoying symptoms like inability to focus, body pain, exhaustion, and grouchiness.
While caffeine is mostly a harmless substance that is used to keep us going during the day, it is important not to consume too much at one time as it can be dangerous and even deadly. Moderate how much you consume in a certain amount of time and you will stay safe.
Whether you are addicted to caffeine, drugs, or alcohol, we at Recreate Life Counseling are here to help you on your path of recovery.