Asking for a Friend: How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?




Have you ever stared concerningly into your fourth iced coffee of the day, hands visibly shaking, wondering how much caffeine is too much? We've been there, and we've even gone so far as to compact that worry into a coffee detox. Sure, a good cup of java yields benefits like antioxidants, a bolstered metabolism, and even better time spent at the gym, but its high caffeine content makes it extremely acidic and overly stimulating.

But here's another question: Have you ever wondered how much coffee it would take to, well, kill you? It's macabre, we know, but don't tell us you've never given it thought. The good news: It's incredibly unlikely you'll come anywhere close.

Robert Glatter, MD, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City says that you would need to drink 50 to 100 consecutive cups of coffee to be lethal, USA Today reports. However, consuming more than 500 milligrams of caffeine daily (there are about 95 milligrams in one cup) could lead to caffeine intoxication, which boasts symptoms like diarrhea, tremors, restlessness, and rapid heartbeat, though the amount varies from person to person. If you're sensitive to caffeine, even just one cup could give you jitters.

So how much coffee is safe? For the average person with a caffeine tolerance, Glatter says four cups will keep you in the green. This is music to our coffee-addicted ears, but know that cutting down leaves less room for issues (and more room for sleep).

Need a good coffee alternative? Try these healthy tea recipes.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.