Caffeine Safe Limits: Determine Your Safe Daily Dose

how-much-caffeine

Caffeine Safe Dose Calculator

Your Weight

A safe caffeine limit is the amount of caffeine a person can consume without experiencing any negative caffeine overdose symptoms.

It’s difficult to assign an exact amount for everyone because people can have different sensitivities or reactions to caffeine based on age, medical history, and tolerance.

However, there is enough research available to make a recommendation based on an individual’s weight.

Caffeine Amounts for Healthy Adults

For healthy adults with no medical issues, it is generally agreed upon that 300mg-400mg of caffeine can be consumed daily without any adverse effects.¹ The research behind this number actually bases this on a person’s bodyweight. So if you weigh more than the average human, you can safely consume a little more but if you weigh less than the average human you should consume a little less. Our safe dose calculator above reflects this.

This is equivalent to about:

adult-caffeine-safe-dose-comparison

A large review by European Food Safety Authority concluded that a daily safe dose of 400mg is safe for adults and single doses of 200mg at one time are fine for those engaging in exercise directly after the dose.

Based on on average body weights worldwide7, we conclude that 6mg/kg (of weight) is appropriate. Calculate your daily maximum for any drink here.

Safe Limits for Children

Because children’s brains are continuing to develop and their bodies are still growing, limited caffeine is recommended.

A recent study from The University Children’s Hospital in Zurich showed the importance of sleep for a child’s developing brain. Caffeine can interfere with sleep, therefore, possibly hindering proper brain development.

Ages 12 and Under

Caffeine isn’t recommended for children under 12. Occasionally, some doctors may recommend caffeine for children diagnosed with ADHD, but generally, there really is no reason for children under 12 to consume caffeine.

For children 4 or older an occasional caffeinated soda or chocolate treat will likely pose no concern and around 45mg per day¹ is recognized as a safe amount, but caffeine shouldn’t be a daily part of a child’s diet.

Ages 13-18

While greatly limiting caffeine to this age group would be ideal, because of the increasing demands placed on teenagers in regards to school, sports, and even work; caffeine consumption is becoming more common with this age group.

Developing teens should have no more than 100mg of caffeine daily² due to the importance of sleep, brain development, inexperience with caffeine, and possibly unknown medical conditions.

This is equivalent to about:

  • 1.3 Shots of espresso
  • 1.25 8 fl.oz. Red Bulls
  • .5 of a 5 Hour Energy Shot
  • .6 of a 16 fl.oz. can of Monster Energy Drink
  • .2 of a Starbucks Venti brewed coffee
  • 3 12 fl.oz. Cokes
caffeine-safe-limits-teens-comparison

The European Food Safety Authority also stated in their draft report that for children ages 3-18; 3mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight seems safe. i.e. a 20kg child could safely consume 60mg of caffeine6.

Caffeine for Those with Health Concerns

Adults, as well as children, with either diagnosed or undiagnosed medical conditions, can have adverse health implications with even small amounts of caffeine. For those with certain health conditions, giving up caffeine may be recommended. Here are some conditions that usually warrant quitting caffeine or caution consuming the drug. We recommend using Wean Caffeine to gradually quit caffeine instead of quitting all at once which is a huge shock to your system.

Heart Conditions

Because caffeine is a stimulant, it increases heart rate as well as blood pressure. Therefore, those with heart arrhythmias³, murmurs, and hypertension should limit their caffeine intake.

It’s important to note that caffeine hasn’t been proven to cause arrhythmia, heart disease or other heart-related problems.¹

Those with pre-existing arrhythmias, murmurs, and hypertension should limit caffeine to no more than 200mg daily and are advised to consult their physician before consuming caffeine.

Type 2 Diabetes

The majority of the research shows that caffeine doesn’t increase the risk of someone developing type 2 diabetes, but actually decreases risk.¹

However, those already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should limit caffeine consumption because it can impair glucose metabolism in diabetics.4

Those with type 2 diabetes should restrict their consumption to around 200mg daily or follow their doctor’s instructions concerning caffeine intake.

Pregnant or Nursing Women

We have covered pregnancy and caffeine extensively in our article located here.

In summary, we concluded that mothers consuming 200mg of caffeine or less a day results in very little risk for the developing fetus and nursing infant.

200mg of caffeine is equivalent to about:

  • 2.6 shots of espresso
  • 2.5 8 fl.oz. Red Bulls
  • One 5 Hour Energy Shot
  • .5 of a Starbucks Venti Brewed Coffee
  • 1.25 16 fl.oz. Monster energy drinks
  • 6 12 fl.oz. Cokes
caffeine-safe-doses-health-conditions

Those Ultra-Sensitive to Caffeine

For those ultra-sensitive to caffeine it is hard to determine an exact caffeine safe limit. Some people can have one cup of coffee (100mg-120mg) in the morning and still fail to get to sleep that evening. This is well after the caffeine’s effects should have worn off as it does for “normal” caffeine consumers.

If the ultra-sensitive choose to consume caffeine they should do so in small amounts until they find the amount that works, but doesn’t cause unwanted side-effects.

We suggest that these people start with 50mg of caffeine daily and then slightly increase or decrease their consumption from there.

This is equivalent to about:

  • 1.5 12 fl.oz. Cokes
  • 1 4 fl.oz. brewed coffee. (not Starbucks)
  • 1 8 fl.oz. strong black tea
Need help with caffeine levels? Check out our huge list of caffeine amounts.

A General Guide to Caffeine Consumption Only

Our caffeine safe limit amounts listed above are based on what the latest research tells us and should be used as a general guide, not the “gospel’.

There are just too many variations in the human population to determine a safe limit for caffeine use in ALL people.

Caffeine should be treated as any other drug and used with caution until a person understands how it interacts with his/her particular genetic make-up and health profile.

It’s also important to understand that a person’s safe limit of caffeine can change over time as a person’s health evolves over his/her lifetime.

How Much Caffeine Are Americans Consuming?

The Department of Nutritional Sciences from The Pennsylvania State University recently conducted a survey study and found that on average, those ages 50-64 consume the most caffeine daily.

The most shocking part of their data is the fact that 2 to 5-year-olds consume on average 24mg of caffeine daily. This means that many would consume much more.

We populated their data into the graph below.

usa-caffeine-consumption

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  • K A

    My blood pressure is too low actually,so I have to grab some tea or coffee,because there aren’t any medication for it and I wouldn’t take anything anyway. It’s 95/65 most of the time and I can live with that.
    But an advice for people with the same situation: don’t drink too much caffeine in a short time,you’ll get a headache and your heart will beat really fast. A cup of tee or coffee at a time is enough. And plenty of water and some exercise. 🙂

  • Jake

    So… I’m 16 yrs old and male, and I drank a NOS energy drink and 2 bottles of Mt. Dew (total of about 268mg of caffeine), and i didn’t even feel any “buzz” and my parents said i seemed pretty calm. What’s with that?

  • Ted

    Some people are not sensitive to the caffeine molecule, therefore, it doesn’t affect them as it does others. Your body probably is able to break it down and eliminate it very quickly.

  • …or you’ve already built a high tolerance for caffeine.

  • Jeremy

    im a 20 year old male and since i was 10 iv averaged about 600mg a day. iv got no problem sleeping or heart problems. i just want to know what a common leathal amount could be cause on some days iv had more than 2000mg easy.

  • Ted

    The actual lethal amount can vary among people according to their unique health profiles, but the LD50 for caffeine is 150mg of caffeine per Kg of body weight. This is what our death by caffeine app uses.

  • Nor

    You probably have more to worry about from the brominated vegetable oil in that instance.

  • Nor

    It’s probably a receptor issue.

  • FarkleYou2

    I am 13 about to start a new school year, I also barely have any energy. I havn’t had caffeine often it the past but I don’t seem to be effected by it. How much would I need to use to keep a consistant energy level?

  • Ted

    At your age, I wouldn’t recommend any daily caffeine especially if you aren’t affected by it. How much sleep are you getting? Have you been to see a doctor about your low energy levels?

  • It could be, but I wonder if these people never get tired (if adenosine doesn’t work in the receptor either). This might also explain why some people can survive on 4 hours sleep and some people absolutely positively need 9 hours to function…but this is way beyond my area of expertise.

  • Andrew Manzano

    I had 2 monsters about seven hours ago. I’m 14 and I have never drank a monster or ever really handled caffeine or taurine very well. I’m twitching a lot and I can only see thing directly in front of me. My side vision is blurry. What should my daily intake be and would my current situation be nonfatal?

  • Ted

    Hi Andrew, I’m sure by know you are feeling a little better. Drink plenty of water and rest. You really should have no more than 100mg of caffeine as described above, but since you say you don’t handle caffeine that well, I would encourage you to avoid it if possible.

  • Mike

    These studies seem off to me, most people around the ages of 18 – 24 consume more caffeine than what’s listed there. What do you personally believe about the caffeine limits? I’m 17 and I take a 200 mg caffeine pill some days before I go to work or before doing any schoolwork, yet the caffeine doesn’t affect me in any noticeable way, just more focus. Do you believe these stats to be correct and should they really be followed closely?

  • Ted

    I think they are pretty accurate based on my experience. Remember people respond to caffeine differently. What’s ok for you may not be ok the majority. To me, it sounds like you have a low sensitivity to caffeine.

  • Scott Fellows

    I want an energy drink that works really well, but caffeine free. The 5 hour energy Decaf seems like it would be perfect. Would you recommend that, it only has 6mg of caffeine.

  • Ted

    You could give it a try, I’ve read mixed reviews concerning its effectiveness. You could also try juicing. Many report its energizing effects.

  • Cathy

    I’m 45 and stopped caffeine a month ago. Prior to that I was drinking 14 cans of diet coke a day (cracked out on it). I’m trying to avoid artificial sweeteners, soda and caffeine. I’ve been drinking water with lemon or half water/half lemonade. But I find I’m craving chocolate more. I still gave the caffeine headaches and I’m looking for a solution. No pain relievers (without caffeine) do any good. I’m afraid if I sip on a caffeinated beverage just to ease the headache that I will just go back to drinking more and more as this has been my pattern in the past when I have quit. I end up going full on back into diet coke land. Any suggestions for 1) easing the headaches without using caffeine and 2) something different to drink.

  • Ted

    Sorry to hear about your ongoing struggle. Have you seen a doctor about your headaches? This isn’t typical of caffeine withdrawal for headaches to last a month. Some report 1 week, maybe 2 but a month may indicate that there’s another issue going on. Perhaps it’s a different kind of withdrawal from the artificial sweeteners? Have you tried any of the stevia based sodas? Or perhaps drink sparkling water with a little lime?

  • asd

    bulletproof coffee – google it

Last Modified: November 16, 2017

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