How Much Caffeine Is Too Much

Caffeine has been a part of many cultures for centuries. The ancient Inca, Mayans, and Aztecs consumed it in the form of cocoa beans. In modern times, coffee is the most common source of caffeine worldwide.

Coffee shops are on every corner and there’s also an abundance of energy drinks to choose from–whether you want one before your morning workout or just need something to keep you awake during that 8 am lecture!

But how much caffeine is too much? And what are some side effects of consuming too much caffeine? Let’s find out…

1. What is caffeine?

Kopi Luwak Coffee

Caffeine is a chemical stimulant that affects your central nervous system. It’s also known as trimethylxanthine or 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione.

Did you understand any of that? Yeah…me neither. Basically what you need to know is it can be found in more than 60 plants around the world–coffee beans are one of them! Side note: decaf coffee has some caffeine but less than regular coffee because some of it is removed during the process of removing oils from the coffee bean.

2. But how much caffeine is too much?

Mexican Coffee

It’s kind of a tricky question to answer because it depends on how your body is going to react! Scientists generally consider anything less than 400 mg a day as low. That may seem like a lot, but it adds up quickly considering coffee is roughly 95mg per 8 oz cup. Here’s a list of some common caffeine sources:

– A single shot from Starbucks contains about 260mg of caffeine
– One Red Bull energy drink has 80mg of caffeine
– Starbucks Doubleshot Energy Coffee has 200mg of caffeine in one can
– An average 12 oz soda contains between 30 and 45mg or caffeine–almost none!
– One full-size chocolate bar contains about 40mg of caffeine.
– A 12 oz cup of hot chocolate has about 20mg of caffeine.
– An average 16 oz cup of tea contains 30mg of caffeine.
– An 8 oz cup of decaf coffee has about 2mg of caffeine.

3. What are the benefits of consuming too much caffeine?

Frozen Oat Milk Latte Coffee
Frozen Oat Milk Latte Coffee

– Some people find that ingesting just enough caffeine can be an effective tool for waking them up or giving them more energy during the day. It’s also been proven to improve mental performance, mood, and help relieve headaches!

So it can be helpful in some cases–just remember that sometimes there are other ways to increase your energy levels like getting enough sleep , exercising regularly, eating healthy, working out your brain with puzzles or mentally stimulating things…the list goes on.

Also…not all experts agree on the positive effects of caffeine so don’t forget to do your own research if you’re trying to decide whether or not you want to go for it!

– Some people say consuming caffeine can improve athletic performance. However, the International Olympic Committee has banned caffeine from being used in athletic competitions because they think it’s not really fair to have some athletes ingesting something that could give them an edge over others who are just trying their best without any help.

4. What are the side effects of consuming too much caffeine?

– Caffeine is a drug your body doesn’t need, so it’s generally not good to have too much. Some people may experience mild side effects from drinking too much coffee or energy drinks–like increased anxiety, jitters, and restlessness! Other more serious side effects include fast heartbeat, tremors/shaking, upset stomach, increased urination…and rarely even hallucinations!

– Consuming a lot of caffeine (200mg or more) over the course of several hours can cause sleeplessness. This is because caffeine initially acts as a stimulant to your body–increasing your heart rate and blood pressure! But, later on it begins to act as a depressant–blocking adenosine receptors in your brain which causes you to be unable to fall asleep.

– Consuming too much caffeine may make you feel like you need another cup or an energy drink to help you stay awake…again, this is all due to the drug-like effects of caffeine. It’s similar to how some people try drinking coffee before bedtime so they’ll feel less tired, but what happens is that they wake up even more tired because they’ve built up a tolerance to caffeine!

5. How does caffeine affect the brain? 

If you’re a caffeine consumer, I don’t need to tell you how “good” you feel after drinking some coffee. However, it’s important to understand that this is all due to caffeine and the way it acts on your brain:

– Like we’ve already mentioned, caffeine blocks adenosine receptors which then allows neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine (the good feelings) to be more effective.

– Caffeine also increases levels of serotonin–a chemical in your brain responsible for mood regulation as well as pain control. Serotonin is sometimes referred to as the happy chemical or bliss molecule! And since low serotonin has been associated with depression and anxiety disorders…this can be great news for people who suffer from either or both of these conditions.

– After caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, your body releases adrenaline because it thinks there’s an emergency so this is often when you experience the “fight or flight” response.

6. How much caffeine should I consume? (Is there such thing as too little?)

– Although most people like to say that 200mg of caffeine per day is considered safe for adults, some health organizations like Mayo Clinic recommend keeping your daily intake below 100mg if you’re younger than 18 years old! Also, pregnant women are advised to limit their caffeine intake to 200mg/day (or less).

– If you think you might be consuming too much caffeine…there are ways to cut down including drinking weaker coffee, tea or energy drinks; using healthier caffeine sources like green tea or guarana; and avoiding drinking too many caffeinated beverages in one day.


After looking at the article and questions, I think that caffeine can help improve athletic performance.

Although in some cases caffeine can cause side effects in people who consume too much, most of the time it gives you a burst in energy so I think this is a good thing for athletes.

Caffeine affects your brain by blocking adenosine receptors and increasing serotonin levels which both have positive effects on your mental health. At the same time, these changes are due to caffeine acting as a drug so it’s not really something you want to have every day. – In general, I would recommend drinking less than 100mg of coffee per day if you’re younger than 18 years old or if you’re pregnant!

AnSource image: Anastasia Zhenina |

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