Can you overdose on caffeine?
Is it truly possible to get caffeine poisoning, or moreover, OD on coffee?
Coffee enthusiasts everywhere will cringe at the news that yes, you can overdose on caffeine, and what is considered a 'safe' amount to consume daily is not much for the addict [ahem, like myself] whose blood type might as well be C for coffee by now.
"Safe doses of caffeine are usually quoted at around 200 to 300 milligrams, or two to four cups of coffee per day," said Dr. David Seres, an associate professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University.
To compare, energy drinks often contain around 80 milligrams of caffeine per eight ounces. Many of these are now served in 16-ounce containers at the very least, and some are 20 and up.
While caffeine acts as a stimulant for humans, it can also be found in seeds, leaves, and the fruit of plants-- the natural form, that is. There are many artificially created forms of caffeine, as well, and they generally aren't as safe as the organic types, of course.
Many studies, alternatively, have proven caffeine to serve as a health benefit for some. It can potentially protect people from diseases such as Parkinson's, as well as certain types of cancer.
Then there is the other side of the spectrum-- straight up caffeine pills. An example is 357 Magnum Pills, which contain 200 milligrams of caffeine each. For some caffeine addicts who may consume five of these in one sitting, that's a whopping 1,000 milligrams of caffeine all at once-- seriously surpassing the recommended daily amount.
Contrary to popular belief though, a 16-oz cup of coffee, say, from Starbucks, contains 300 milligrams of caffeine, while a 16-oz can of Monster Energy Drink has 240 milligrams. The secret to Monster's immediate energy rise is the sugar, which is also the reason for the dreaded crash soon thereafter.
"Yes, there is absolutely such a thing as caffeine poisoning, and the dose essentially makes the poison," said Barbara Crouch, executive director of the Utah Poison Control Center.