Hey everybody, Caffeine Man here and today we’re gonna go over how much caffeine will kill you. I’ll go over the numbers and I’ll also discuss caffeine overdose and several cases where caffeine has been blamed for crimes it did not commit as well as a few cases where it did. Coming right up. INTRO: C *THUD* M *THUD* *LIGHTNING STRIKE* Thanks for joining me today.
If this is the first time you’re watching one of my videos and you like what you hear feel free to hit the like button and if you want to stay informed on all things caffeine related hit the subscribe button. Today I’ll be going over how much caffeine will kill you. I’ll be going over the numbers as well as discuss several cases where caffeine has killed and cases where it has been strongly suspected.
I’ll also go over some caffeine overdoses that were not fatal. First let’s start off with how caffeine actually affects people. We all know that one person, which may be you, who has six cups of coffee in the morning and doesn’t seem to be affected by it. We also know that one person, which may be you, who has one cup of coffee and is jittery all day. So why is that? Well, most of us have just built differently and more sensitive to caffeine but bear with me a moment while I get a little bit sciency on you, or is it biology? Anyway, some people can have genetic factors influencing the gene responsible for caffeine metabolism. The gene CYP 1A2 is needed by the liver to break down up to 95 percent of the caffeine in our system. Some people may lack the gene or the gene may be defective. In those cases caffeine stays in the system longer increasing the sensitivity to caffeine.
A variation of the gene PDSS2 also affects the speed of metabolism. Those with the variation need a lot less caffeine to feel the stimulant effects. Also medications and other drugs can also stimulate a stronger reaction to caffeine and depending on how much you consume on a regular basis can contribute to your tolerance level. Therefore, it’s gonna be a little bit different for everybody. Haa Haaaa!!! Now that we know that how many people have died from caffeine overdose? A study in 2017 by Alan Wayne Jones at the Faculty of Medicine in Sweden found a total of 51 recorded cases of caffeine related fatalities.
Unfortunately 26 of those cases, just about half, were suicide-related. Nine of the deaths were accidental and 16 were considered undetermined. Therefore accidental overdose is extremely rare. The blood levels of those who died from the caffeine overdose according to the 2017 paper averaged 180 milligrams per liter. What’s that mean? Well, for comparison, a single 8 ounce cup of coffee has about 100 milligrams of caffeine in it and brings caffeine blood levels up to about 5 to 6 milligrams per liter. Therefore it would take about 30 cups of coffee consumed one after another to get to those lethal levels.
There is another way to look at it instead of just blood levels and that’s through overall milligrams compared to your body weight. A lethal dose of caffeine is equivalent to 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, or 2.2 pounds for most of my viewers. Yeah I did the math for you I’m a nice guy. For most adults this equates to about 10 grams of caffeine but we also need to take in several other factors such as how well your liver works, your metabolism and how well other body functions are working. So, then that number switches between 5 grams and 10 grams which is a large swing.
One of my favorite websites when I’m researching caffeine, which I’ll include a link to down below, is Caffeine Informer. They have a death by caffeine application. It uses those numbers mentioned to calculate how much of your favorite beverage you can have based on your weight. For example, I wanted to see how many Acai Red Bulls I could have. Just start to type in the name of any drink and the menu pops up suggesting what you might be trying to type or you can just keep typing.
I started to type “Red” and this is what came up. Once you choose your drink, type in your weight then hit the calculate your limits button. It says here that I can have 5.6 cans safely for the day and the lethal amount would be 140 cans or 140.7 cans to be exact. The lethal amount is based on how much caffeine is in your system at one time. For most people this lasts about 4 to 5 hours but also depends on liver, metabolism and other body functions working properly.
For some people the caffeine can stay in their system up to 12 hours if you don’t have the gene to help metabolize it. HAZZAHHhhhhh!!!!! Overall energy drinks, coffee and other caffeinated beverages are difficult to die from, just because it takes a little longer to get into your system and at that point the body is already processing it. Where the danger becomes higher with caffeine is when it comes to caffeine pills and caffeine powder. Caffeine pills are safe but they need to be used in moderation.
Most commonly a caffeine pill has 200 milligrams of caffeine in it and it’s scored in the middle so that you can break it in half. to get 100 milligrams if you don’t want the full 200. Because it’s pure caffeine it hits your system faster and it’s 200 milligrams all at one time. unlike most drinks where you drink over time. Caffeine powder is a much bigger danger. Just one teaspoon of powdered caffeine has the same amount of caffeine as 28 cups of coffee. And two teaspoons of caffeine powder could kill most adults.
So let’s talk about a couple of cases. There have been several cases over the last couple of years where caffeine has been the culprit of people’s deaths. A 19 year old from Connecticut took a dozen caffeine pills because it said right on the box “Safe as coffee” and even though the directions on the package said not to exceed more than one, every four hours, they missed that instruction because they thought it was as safe as coffee. Needless to say that packaging has been changed, because it’s clearly not as safe as coffee. And one of the most recent and tragic stories is of a 16 year old high school student in South Carolina, Davis Cripe. All he had was a Diet Mountain Dew, a McDonald’s cafe latte and an energy drink, which name was not released, all in a very short amount of time. It was only about 500 milligrams of caffeine, which isn’t a lot.
I know I’ve certainly exceeded it and I’ve known a lot of other people who have exceeded that as well, yet it still happened. The coroner reports that he did not have any prior heart conditions and there was no history of heart problems in the family. Therefore, he says caffeine overdose was the cause but once the story started making national news a lot of other specialists came forward and agreed that there must be something else at play here because the caffeine amount was so low, compared to what the lethal dose is. Geoffrey Goldberger a University of Miami cardiologist and expert on the health effects of caffeine estimated that the amount of caffeine in those three drinks was about 500 milligrams.
He said this would generally not fall into a range where people say it’s a lethal dose and added that he was skeptical that caffeine was the cause of death. Instead he thinks there may have been an unrecognized health condition at play or that it was a very rare case of sudden death at a young age. No matter what the case is though, it’s still very tragic and my heart goes out to the family. The Cripe family has even taken measures to try and get laws passed, first in South Carolina, but hopefully nationwide proposing a ban on energy drinks to minors. So what does Caffeine Man think of that ban? I completely support it and here’s my three reasons why. One, they don’t need it.
They’re kids. They have plenty of energy. I haven’t met an 18 year old or younger yet that couldn’t run circles around me. Two a lot of kids don’t know the dangers of caffeine and sometimes kids do stupid things. They do energy drink challenges, they dare each other to do things, as well as many other silly things and this could help reduce that. Making it illegal for children to purchase it would at least give them a cause to ask, “Why?” “Why is this product only able to be purchased by people over 18?” oh, because there are dangers involved, similar to having too much alcohol? Well that makes sense.
Good to know. Now, will that still stop the stupid kids from trying to get their hands on it and doing stupid challenges? Probably not but you can’t fix stupid so at least we have a law to try help point out that they can potentially be dangerous if you have too much. Three, in general a lot of heart problems aren’t diagnosed until later on in life. Yes, there are children that have heart problems but I’m speaking in general. Most heart related issues aren’t diagnosed until later in life. Children’s bodies are still growing and changing and any developing issues may not have been recognized yet so why add something like high caffeine content into their system if they don’t need it. *War Chanting* Although death from caffeine overdose is uncommon particularly given that the majority of the population regularly uses coffee and caffeine related products, it is possible to overdose on caffeine.
While death from overdose is a rare occurrence, becoming seriously ill from consuming too much caffeine is much more frequent. Poison control centers receive nearly 5,000 calls a year with reports of caffeine toxicity, with about 10% reporting moderately severe symptoms and about half of those cases are affecting children under the age of 19. Consuming large amounts of caffeine can cause heart related problems including increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and irregular heart rhythm, according to the poison center. And it can also cause vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. Other symptoms are jitters, restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, cardiac arrhythmia, insomnia, sweating, dizziness, cardiac arrest … and I’m just gonna stop there because I’m starting to sound like a new medication commercial. ATTTTtttaaaaccckkkkkk!!!! Overall I say everything in moderation. Chugging or intaking caffeine too fast is not good for anyone’s system. I mean, energy drink challenges are just a bad idea. A man in Nigeria downed eight energy drinks to win a contest. Granted it was only about 800 milligrams of caffeine, but he died.
Mostly because it was in such a short span of time, similar to Cripe. Also people like to try and blame energy drinks when it could be alcohol to blame. A lot of people have almost nearly died from drinking too many Jager bombs and then, What? Red Bull is to blame? What about the moron who just kept drinking or better yet, Jagermeister. It’s just stupid. I mean I’ve never heard of Budweiser being sued after a drunk driver case, because the problem isn’t the beer it’s the stupid people drinking and driving. People need to be responsible for their actions. Now, at the same time, when it comes to caffeine, people need to be informed of the potential dangers of too much caffeine and considering energy drink companies pulled in over 25 billion last year in sales and all the coffee companies combined pulled in far more than that, this legal drug known as caffeine isn’t going anywhere and people need to stay informed on it.
Now, lastly I know some people are gonna look at this information and then they’re gonna look at it again and they may even start to research it on their own. You’re gonna see that in only one rare case someone died after 500 milligrams. Another person after 800 milligrams. Yet I say that the lethal dose is between five and ten grams. I mean by the calculator that I looked at, yeah five Red Bulls are okay for the day but if I have 139, I may not want to have that 140th one. I don’t know about that. I mean come on I can drink 139 and be okay? I think I’d be nervous around ten or eleven.
I mean I’d have to drink six cans in an hour to get to that much. I’d be lucky to drink one can an hour. So when it comes to the term lethal, you need to remember that this term is used because they know that that much will kill you. Let’s face it there aren’t many studies out there that people would want to partake in…
“Excuse me. Would you like to partake in the study? It pays really well.” “Um okay, so what do I need to do?” “Oh, you just need to keep drinking caffeine until you die.” “UUummmmm… no thank you?” So like I said I’ve given you a lot of information after doing massive amount of research on the topic but when it all comes down to it just be safe with the amount of caffeine that you consume.
If you’ve had 29 cups of coffee and ask, “Hmmm, should I have that 30th cup of coffee?” it’s the same as if you’ve had too many drinks and say, “Hmmm, should I just have one more shot or hmm should I just have one more beer?” If you have to ask yourself “should I” the answer is probably, maybe I shouldn’t. Help me… wait… who goes there? Et tu brute? …In the end… I’m glad it was you. *DIE* Question of the day! How much caffeine do you intake per day? Let me know in the comments down below.
I’d love to start a conversation with you. If you don’t know how much caffeine you have in a day, take a look at the card above. I did a video that goes over all the caffeine counts of all the major drinks, coffees, energy drinks and soda on the market, so that you can be better informed on how much caffeine you intake. If you feel like you learned something today please feel free to share this information on all your social medias and click the subscribe button below. I post new videos every Tuesday night. Et tu brute? In the end… I’m glad it was you. *Dog Whining*.