The 8 Most Dangerous Caffeinated Products

There are some highly dangerous caffeinated products on the market and some have even proven deadly.

We want to raise more awareness of the dangers of too much caffeine, so we scrolled through our extensive database to come up with the 7 that we feel are the most dangerous for consumers.

1. Pure Caffeine Powder

pure caffeine powder

Pure Caffeine Powder is the deadliest caffeinated product available and it has received a lot of media attention due to it being linked to several deaths.

It is sold in, at least, 124 gram packages and is gram per gram caffeine making it clock in at an astounding 124,000 mg of caffeine per package.

As reported by ABC news, the FDA recently warned powdered caffeine manufacturers with this statement:

“It is inherently irresponsible to market such a potentially dangerous product. I¬†would hope that people would get the message that they just ought to stop selling it and the agency will pursue all legal options against those who don’t.” – Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner of foods

The FDA recently sent warning letters to 5 distributors of bulk powdered caffeine products.

The amount in one small package is enough to kill 13 healthy adults.

lethal dose 13 adults

2. Pure Liquid Caffeine

Caffeine is also sold in liquid form to dissolve easier. While this is less concentrated than the powdered form, it is still highly dangerous.

This product is sold in several sizes but a gallon jug of Liquid Caffeine (also called 5150) contains 64,000 mg of caffeine!

This is a lethal dose for 7 healthy adults.

lethal for 7 adults

3. Pre-Workout Supplements

pre workout supplements

A ripped physique is in and pre-workout supplements are a billion dollar industry.

Most of them contain large amounts of caffeine as one of their primary ingredients and they come in large containers.

Here’s how some of the most caffeinated measures up.

  • Mr. Hyde 16,760 mg of per container.
  • BSN N.O. Explode 11,250 mg of caffeine per container.
  • GAT Nitraflex 9,750 mg of caffeine per container.

Mr. Hyde has enough caffeine to be toxic for almost 2 adults.

lethal-for-2 adults

4. X-Mode Energy Shot

x-mode-energy-shot

X-Mode is basically an energy shot sold in bulk. It comes in a box with a tap similar to boxed wine and each 1 fl oz shot of X-Mode has 150 mg of caffeine.

The product is sold with two empty 2 fl oz bottles clearly marked in 1 fl oz increments, but it could be extremely easy for someone to overdose on this product, especially those who may not understand how to measure or properly dispense the product.

This product is sold on Amazon without any age restrictions and would be especially dangerous for children due to its drinkability.

A whole box of X-Mode would contain 15,000 mg of caffeine which is enough to kill almost 2 healthy adults.

lethal-for-2 adults

5. Caffeine Pills

lethal dose of nodoz

There are many different brands of caffeine pills available for sale to anyone who wishes to buy them both online and over-the-counter.

Most have around 200 mg of caffeine per pill.

Caffeine pills have been a factor in a few recorded deaths to date.

One of the most popular is NoDoz Extra Strength, which contains 200 mg per pill or 12,000 mg/per 60 count bottle.

A bottle of NoDoz has enough caffeine to kill a person and then some.

lethal for 1.3 adults

6. Stakk’d Caffeine Mixer

stakk'd caffeine mixer
This product consists of liquid caffeine and vitamins that is meant to be mixed into your favorite drink or alcoholic beverage. It comes in a 25.5 fluid ounce bottle, so it is up to the consumer to measure each serving accurately.

Each 1 fluid ounce serving of Stakk’d contains 180 mg of caffeine or about 4590 mg per bottle.

While this isn’t enough caffeine to be lethal for an average adult, it certainly would be enough to induce severe overdose symptoms and could be lethal for children or smaller adults.

7. Death Wish Coffee

death wish coffee
Death Wish Coffee has become popular over the last year or so due to some pretty savvy marketing techniques. However, it isn’t like regular coffee since it is made from robusta coffee beans and contains 200% more caffeine than standard arabica bean based coffee.

A 64 fl.oz. pot of Death Wish Coffee made according to their guidelines would contain about 3,881 mg of caffeine!

This isn’t a lethal dose for an average adult, but more than enough to cause severe overdose symptoms. Those that typically drink a pot of coffee a day could be caught off guard by this product.

8. Chameleon Cold Brew

chameleon-cold-brew
Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee is a popular brand of concentrated cold brew coffee.

This type of coffee is becoming popular with consumers, but many don’t realize that these products are highly concentrated. Cold brew is smooth and easy to drink.

A 32 fl.oz. bottle of Chameleon Cold Brew contains 1013 mg of caffeine.

While this isn’t enough to kill an average adult, it is enough to produce moderate to severe overdose effects on those who try to drink a whole bottle in a short period of time.

How These Made the List

While many products would have more caffeine per serving than some of these, we took into account the number of servings per container or bottle, since not stopping after the recommended serving on purpose or by accident could have deadly results.

The lethal dose (LD50) of caffeine for an average adult human (62 Kilograms) is on average 150 mg/kg of body weight or 9,300 mg. This is the formula that we base our Death By Caffeine Application on.

However, moderate to severe caffeine overdose symptoms can set in at around 600mg and caffeine-related deaths have occurred with as little as 1000 to 2000 milligrams of caffeine. Even less if underlying heart conditions were present.

Should Products Like This Be For Sale?

Some of these have no business being in the hands of consumers, especially minors and should be reserved for commercial use only. Others perhaps should be restricted for sale to adults only.

The coffee products aren’t too concerning since these products tend to be sipped rather than consumed rapidly as is the danger with most of the other products on this list.

We urge consumers to use caffeine responsibly and treat this drug with respect as not doing so can potentially be dangerous, if not deadly.

Do you think about these potentially dangerous caffeinated products should be for sale?

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  • anon00023

    But thanks to websites like this one, people can be informed so that they may protect themselves. I have seen plenty of caffeinated beverages that do not state their caffeine content. Shame on them..

  • anon00023

    Reading your comment, I get the impression you are indirectly suggesting that this site is “trying to get in the way of other people who do want to” purchase/consume caffeinated things, between that comment and your little grin following your first sentence. Oh, Death Wish Coffee Company wasn’t apologizing in the first place.

  • Micah

    No, I’m not saying that the website is trying to keep others from doing what they want. Death Wish posted a disclaimer on this very Disqus thread in response to this article.

  • Micah

    Guess what? The civilians who have enough money to own a nuclear weapon, and have incentive to own nuclear weapons already do.

    You can write 1000 laws against human nature that will never beat incentive and perceived need.

  • Wilkes

    Not inside the USA you haven’t. Unless you are tearing the labels off.

  • Wilkes

    I find it sad that you feel such a need to control other people. I hope you resolve your ego problems and stop trying to subject everyone else to your authoritarian utopia.

  • anon00023

    Care to elaborate?

  • Glacier

    So we don’t get to have caffeine powder just because a few people didn’t take it in safe amounts? I guess the next thing is to ban cars because some people crash them.

  • Transmuted Heart

    Haha. I had some of those caffeine pills before because I always had trouble staying awake during school….I had to stop though because I’d get horrible stomach pains. ;A; And sometimes even throw up.

  • anon00023

    I was just looking at a can of Rooster Booster and saw no mention of caffeine content.. so.. yeah…

  • Earn_Your_Freedom

    Amount of caffeine is frequently not indicated. It will be in the ingredient list, but the amount often is not shown anywhere.

  • John G

    You can only claim false equivalence if you don’t see the use in the products listed in this article. There are many people that do see a use in these products, but apparently YOU don’t see the use so it must be OK to ban them.

    By that logic (where it is OK to ban something based on the fact that an individual doesn’t find value in it and it kills)… I don’t see the use in golf and 5 to 6 people die every year from lightning strikes. You must be stupid if you golf in an electrical storm, and we must protect the entire population based on the actions of the dumbest people… so ban golf!

  • firedrake911

    Glacier, more to the point, I would at least guess that the powered caffeine is a wholesale type product sold to other companies who which to add small amounts of caffeine to drinks.
    Anything in absurd quantities will kill you – of course. The 124 gram packets (5 ounces) definitely would seem to be industrial. Consider that one packet has about the same amount of caffeine as 2000 cans of Diet Mountain dew or 1000 typical Starbucks.
    So it’s not like you are going to drop a packet’s worth in your iced tea.

  • coffee_conquistador

    In defense of the Chameleon Brew (which is excellent by the way) It’s marketed as a coffee concentrate for people in a hurry, who can easily pour a dash of it into a cup and top it with hot water before they go. It’s also clearly marked “concentrate” it’s meant to be diluted one way or another. Consumers are at risk from numerous different products, supplements, and additives across the board, I think that insufficiently labeled (according to whom?) coffee concentrates are among the least of their worries. Anyway most of these products look dubious at best anyway, and to lump something as benign as Chameleon coffee in with them seems unfair. Lastly, everyone knows that Caffeine isn’t actually good FOR you, sure it makes you feel fucking fantastic, (for a minute) before your blood sugar crashes and you come back to the mortal realm inevitably. How about writing about some of the alternatives to Caffeine, or Kidney health, or even adaptogenic herbs, instead of simply shouting out the problems, investigate some alternatives and solutions. We know the world is dangerous and the night full of terrors, thanks, move along, what else do we need to know before we perish under the weight of an endless litany of all that is BAD for us in the world.

  • big Q 197

    Caffeine used for good energy are only for those that are strong. The weak that are going to die from energy products should take something like just pure water. That way a normal person can have products to help them get in the gym or do something productive with there lives. I’m tired of cry babies always banning helpful forms of energy. Stop being a coward.

  • nlms

    HTL and Joe, Glad to see some sensible comments. I work in the natural health field and if people knew the truth about caffeine they might choose not to use it at all. Most coffee beans have caffeine which does sooner or later contribute to adrenal exhaustion. They also contain cadmium which is a toxic metal (also found in cigarettes). I could go on and on but, from the looks of most comments, most will not pay attention. Try doing B complex vitamins if you look for energy – or the drink that tastes similar to coffee – like Roma. I personally don’t use any caffeinated products (or decaf unless water soluble processed) and, yes, this is my choice. “My people suffer for lack of knowledge” so says the bible.

  • Sean

    I’m tired of cry babies always banning something just because they’re told it’s dangerous if they take copious amounts of it. I think by that logic we should ban all food because if you eat too much, you get fat and die… Telling me I can’t buy caffeine powder unless I work at an industry is like telling me I can’t buy eggs unless I own a restaurant.

  • Statistician

    This argument could be applied to any drug, or even firearm usage.

    Sadly we make rules/laws for the stupidest individual, or those most willing to abuse a product, not the sensible majority. So some of these probably should be banned, if not restricted to 18+. Else we’ll see a sad application of natural selection….

  • Tim

    You would Have to ban water and oxygen, with high enough concentration you can die from booth, Dilutional hyponatremia is a getting to much water in the system causeing wicked stuff to you. Oxygen Toxicity too much O2 in the body causing bad thing to the body, leading to death.

  • anon.

    Just to play devil’s advocate, I’d argue that caffeine powder and eggs aren’t much like each other. It’s fairly easy to overdose on a deadly amount of caffeine powder, while it’s probably really hard to “overdose” on eggs – a whole carton would probably just give you severe internal pains or make you vomit. I’m guessing, anyway.

    I agree with you in the end, though. I remember reading about some kid whose dad died from eating too many Hero caffeine mints. According to the article, this guy would have had to eat like five packs of the things, which is downright stupid. Yet this kid said they should ban the mints because her stupid dad died from eating way too many of them. It’s an understandable feeling for a kid who just lost a parent to have, but sometimes it seems like our legislatures think in exactly the same way.

Last Modified: October 30, 2017

References

  • 1. Dews, P. B. (1982). Caffeine. Annual review of nutrition, 2(1), 323-341. Link
  • 2. Peters, J. M. (1967). Factors affecting caffeine toxicity: a review of the literature. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and the Journal of New Drugs, 7(3), 131-141. link
  • Seifert, S. M., Schaechter, J. L., Hershorin, E. R., & Lipshultz, S. E. (2011). Health effects of energy drinks on children, adolescents, and young adults. Pediatrics, peds-2009.