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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  • Ted

    Hi Awsumyo, Yes you probably need to cut back. Here are the negative health effects caffeine can induce. https://www.caffeineinformer.com/harmful-effects-of-caffeine

  • Anonymous

    I’m 18, male, about 120 pounds, and about 5’2. Is there a reason why I do not get the effects of caffeine? I drank coffee before, no caffeine effect. Drank a 16 fl oz Monster, no caffeine. Drank an 8.4 fl oz Red Bull, nothing, And drank 2 8.4 fl oz Red Bulls, at different hours, and no effect either. Is there something wrong with me if I don’t get the effects?

  • Ted

    yes, please see our article on caffeine sensitivity.
    https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-sensitivity

  • charles

    I am 17 with adhd and drank 2 20 floors oz of monster and it puts me got sleep why??

  • Ted
  • Anonymous

    If I am hyposensitive to caffeine, would it be dangerous to find my caffeine limit?

  • Ted

    I wouldn’t recommend trying to find your limit as it could be very dangerous. If caffeine doesn’t work well for you because of hyposensitivity then perhaps you should research other ways to be more energetic and alert.

  • Areliz

    I am 15 and drink monster but it has 160mg of caffeine and no more than
    100mg of caffeine is said to not be taken by someone my age. What is the harm one would do not daily but weekly?

  • Ted

    More than 100 mg isn’t recommended for two primary reasons. 1. It interferes with sleep and teens need adequate sleep for proper brain development. 2. Teens may have undiagnosed heart problems that could be triggered by the caffeine.

  • Bella Arreola

    Hi I’m 13 years old and drink like 1or 2 mocha frappes in a week maybe more ( mocha frappes have 3 shots of caffeine ) I was just wondering should I drink less or am I fine with my caffeine intake ??

  • Ted

    A mocha frappe would be a little more caffeine than you should have at one time. Perhaps try the chocolate frappe or something less caffeinated.

  • Louis Daly

    Ok so i’m English i drink a lot of tea so in turn i’m used to caffeine but i had Coffee ice cream yesterday with a massive 5000mg of caffeine in 500mls now i had a weird effect in which my reaction time became highly increased and i became really focused , but after 1 hour i began to shake and had really bad headaches, 2 hours after the ice cream i felt ill and need to lie down and i fell a sleep and woke up 6 hours later with a still racing heart and continues with these effects for a couple of hours after, So i’m not wondering how the company is getting away with making an ice cream with such an insane amount of caffeine and have contacted them regarding the danger of the product. Conclusion 1 hour of feeling super human was not worth possibly being dead lay of caffeine guys for your own good.

  • Ted

    Can you tell me the name of the ice cream in question? I find it hard to believe that it had 1220 mg of caffeine per 500 ml. Thanks.

  • rob zombie

    HI Ted i drink 44 cups of coffee a day why am i not dead?

  • rob zombie

    redbull is horrible for you you should only drink black coffee with no sugar or cream added then its a lot safer for you

  • Anonymous

    Okay so I’m 13, and I drank 2.5 monsters today. What could happen?

  • Anonymous

    I’m 12 and I’m drinking a redbull right now. I use them if I’m hanging with friends for the most part though

  • Lexie

    I’m 14 ( I have a high heart rate) we went to Starbucks and of course I ordered a decaf Carmel machiato like I usually do.. However I was with my family and I accedently swapped cups with my brother and ended up drinking a triple shot Venti Mocha… I’m terrified but idk if I should be worried

  • Crowsojourner

    Honestly you will be fine! the main danger is over consumption and abuse of caffeine. Getting a triple shot venti mocha isnt gonna kill you. As long as this isnt a 3 a day situation you will be fine.

  • Ayla77

    Is it safe for a 15 year old girl who weighs 96 lbs to be drinking 1-3 cans (473ml 160mg of caffeine per can) a day? (i binge on them once a week for about 3 days)
    I’ve been doing this since i was 13, is it safe?

Last Modified: November 16, 2017

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