Caffeine What to know image

There was an article published recently on about a 29-year old man that died from caffeine toxicity. He was a personal trainer and was using a caffeine powder. He accidentally measured the dosage incorrectly. The story claims that the amount of caffeine in his system was equivalent to 200 cups of coffee. Although caffeine toxicity is rare, it is possible and people should be aware of it. To read the original article on USA today click here.

Caffeine Basics

Caffeine is consumed all around the world. Caffeine is a natural substance that is found in some plants and foods such as coffee beans, tea leaves, cacao pods (used to make chocolate), and others. It can also be made in a lab and is added to medications, supplements, and beverages. The most commonly consumed form of caffeine is through beverages. Caffeine is known to increase energy. It does this because it is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Its effects usually peak between 15 minutes to 2 hours after consumption.

Caffeine Side Effects

Caffeine will affect everyone differently. Some people may experience heartburn, upset stomach, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, diuretic effects, restlessness, headaches, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, dehydration, or dizziness. If you regularly consume caffeine you will build up a dependency and tolerance for it. This means that you will need more caffeine to feel the same effects as when you originally started consuming it. If you suddenly stop or reduce your caffeine intake you will likely experience symptoms of headache, fatigue, and irritability. It is better to slowly reduce your caffeine intake over time instead of abruptly stopping.

Recommended Caffeine Amounts

The recommended maximum amount of caffeine is 400 milligrams daily. This equals approximately four cups of coffee. This amount is less for children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women. Caffeine is not recommended for people with sleep conditions, migraines, GERD, heart conditions, high blood pressure, and anxiety. Consult with your healthcare provider if you have caffeine concerns and would like to discuss it further.

Key Takeaways

  • Caffeine is naturally found in certain types of plants and foods or it can be made in a lab
  • Caffeine is well known to boost energy but it may also have negative side effects
  • 400 milligrams daily is the maximum amount of caffeine that should be consumed. This recommendation does not apply to people with certain health conditions, children, pregnant women, or breastfeeding women
  • Although caffeine toxicity is rare, it is possible


Caffeine. The Nutrition Source. (2020, November 12). Retrieved February 27, 2022

Pitofsky, M. (2022, March 8). It looked like he drank 200 cups of coffee. A measuring mistake cost him his life. USA Today. Retrieved March 8, 2022

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2022, February 3). Caffeine. MedlinePlus. Retrieved February 27, 2022