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How Much Coffee Is Too Much?

A doctor weighs in.
How Much Coffee Is Too Much?
IMAGE Lalaine Abella
A doctor weighs in.

Coffee is good—coffee is life. At least, that's what they say.

Last month, American teen David Allen Cripe passed away from excessive caffeine intake. The 16-year-old reportedly drank soda, a latté, and an energy drink within a two-hour period. He collapsed in school, and died from cardiac arrest due to arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat).

Now this is alarming. Because surely, most of us have had (or are having) days like David's last. However, no temporary rush of energy is worth your life. That's why it's time to watch your caffeine habits before it's too late.

Helping us out with this is Dr. Margarette Pajanel, who provides Caffeine Control 101 below:

So, how much coffee is too much?

"I can't say how much is too much, [since it] depends [on someone's] tolerance. Some people can't function with less than four shots a day, while some [start palpitating] with anything stronger than green tea. Since caffeine acts as a stimulant, [David's] body basically went on overdrive."


But how many cups of coffee can we consume every day?

"Coffee cups are not a good indication; it depends on the caffeine content and possibly the concentration and strength of the beans. But regarding dosage, until 400mg [of caffeine] is safe for non-pregnant adults."

According to Mayo Clinic, here's how much 400mg looks like:

1. Four cups of brewed coffee

2. 10 cans of soda

3. Two energy drinks.

Are there any symptoms that come up when you've consumed too much caffeine other than palpitation?

"Anxiety, agitation, restlessness, and gastrointestinal upset, to name a few."

Are there things you can do to tone down these symptoms?

"I'd say, drink water. Caffeine is also a strong diuretic (makes you pee), [so you have to help with the] water loss. And personally, I [think] walking off the restlessness [is really effective]."

Got that? While you're at it, maybe you should try a few coffee alternatives, too!

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