It’s not easy to die from drinking too much coffee – fortunately. This is heartening because for many people, coffee is the fuel that gives them the strength to go on during a tiring day. In addition, it can also be a daily pleasure of every single day, even those in which we are relaxed.
However, it is important to remember that caffeine is not only found in coffee. In fact, it is a key ingredient in energy drinks, for example. Or it can even be consumed as a pure substance. Pure caffeine powder, however, can have very serious negative effects. With regards to this, just think that the American FDA does not recommend its use.
The Effects of Caffeine on the Human Body
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. If taken in moderate amounts (200 to 400 mg per day), it is beneficial to health. However, if you exceed 600 mg per day, all the benefits disappear. On the contrary, harmful side effects such as tachycardia and a sharp drop in blood pressure may occur.
How Much Coffee Do You have to Drink to Die?
We really can’t know how much caffeine can be deadly, because the caffeine tolerance level is very subjective. For instance, women are much more sensitive to caffeine than men, and young people have less tolerance than adults.
Caffeine has different effects on people depending on several factors. These include age, sex, weight, level of tolerance, health conditions (both in general and with reference to specific disorders), drugs taken. Even the way we take this substance can make it more or less fatal. Caffeine, in fact, is more toxic if injected intravenously. However, it can be fatal even if consumed orally, rectally and subcutaneously.
Taking into account all these clarifications, it is therefore possible to provide a very rough estimate. The lethal dose could be, for particularly sensitive subjects, about 200 milligrams per kilo (a little less if injected, a little more if ingested).
To compare with reality, let’s consider that a cup of coffee contains about 50/80 mg of caffeine. If we calculate the lethal dose for a man of 80 kg. (200 mg x 80), it would take at least 320 cups of coffee to kill him. Moreover, this would only happen if he was somehow more sensitive than others to its negative effects. In fact, those who are more resistant would have to drink more than 1,500 cups of coffee to get to death!