Caffeine Safe Limits: Determine Your Safe Daily Dose

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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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  • SkyMaiden

    I may have done the worlds most stupidest thing today. I drank 6+ cans of TapOut in less than 5 hours at school. I nearly fainted and was twitching almost the whole day. However my friend drank 10+ and wasn’t affected at all! He had a bag full of over 24 and was drinking them all day!

  • Ted

    yes, not a good idea and you are lucky it wasn’t worse. You and your friend have different caffeine sensitivity levels. see here.
    https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-sensitivity

  • Matthew

    Juicing definitely works.

  • Tanner

    Try drinking lots of chamomile tea in the evening, it may help with headaches and improve your sleep, it does for me.

  • Ty

    Drink some god damn water and take a caffeine pill lady.

  • Adam E Chapo

    I switched to caffeine pills from Prolab. (Amazon) 200mg each pill. Quit guzziling beverages and do this it is the most measured and efficient way.

  • MoldyChip

    One of my friends in Highschool did a really stupid thing in Biology showing why energy drinks are bad and demonstrated by consuming somewhere around 5+ of those large Monster energy drinks within an hour. Later I found out like an hour after class he had to be rushed to the hospital where they pumped his stomach.

  • Elise Grimes

    I drink maybe 30 mg. Every couple days. Caffeine is not the answer. You just need at least 6 hrs sleep. Wake up drink about 16 ounces of water gargle it in the back of your throat to loosen up the mucus that builds up over night. Once that clears just drink water all day. If you still feel tired have a drink with low caffeine just to feel a little more awake. But the higher the caffeine the worst the come down. There for sleepiness well kick your ass.

  • Elise Grimes

    First off that was fucking dumb. Maybe you should have started with a soda genius

  • Uno Aphex

    I could never drink that much water I’d feel bloated like hell. Water always makes me feel bloated and gassy.

  • April

    I’m a nursing mother to my beautiful 2 12 month old, but since having her in October I have had an unnatural craving for Dr.Pepper. I drink water but not nearly as much as I should, while I was pregnant water was all I drank with the occasional lemon added in, but now I HAVE to have @ least 4 Dr. Peppers a day. I’m worried this is having an adverse effect on my production & on my little girl. Should I be worried or is the amount I’m consuming in the “ok” zone?
    I’ve asked my pediatrician about this but I get no response.

    *negative comments should be kept to yourself please.*

  • Ted

    See our article here as it will give you an idea of how much caffeine should be present in your breast milk.

    https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-in-breastmilk-can-babies-handle-caffeine

  • Amalthea

    Try peppermint oil to help your headaches. You can buy it in natural/health food stores. Dab a small amount on your temples (mix it with a carrier oil like almond oil or even olive oil to dilute it first). The scent of the peppermint helps relax you and can even help you sleep better. I also found acupuncture helped me somewhat when I had headaches that wouldn’t go away.

  • leelu

    practice yoga, then you can recover easily

  • Stevey_Wunder3000

    If I am 18 and I had about 620 mg in under an hour (I made a new drink called “Energy bombs”, you put redbull and one of the extra energy five hour energies in a drink and chug it) will it be fine? And on top of that I dip tobacco (which nicotine also increases heart rate) so that might be bad. So yeah.

  • z121231211

    Well you probably found out by now, but you should be ok as long as you’re keeping yourself hydrated.

  • yanopolo

    That sounds like it is past the daily recommended intake.

  • Matty Spliff

    Long as you don’t do this daily, there should be no adverse side effects beside ‘crashing’ which usually occurs when you have to much of any drug. Yes, Caffeine is a drug.

  • Caffeine is so much a part of our lives that we cannot conceive of it as a dangerous substance. But if caffeine were invented today it would be banned as one of the more toxic drugs, read more about Caffeine Effects and Facts: http://www.99healthyrecipes.com/caffeine-effects/

  • Cecelia

    caffeine overdoses are terrible. :/

Last Modified: November 16, 2017

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