Caffeine overdose is a real thing and it’s extremely dangerous, especially with temptation legally hiding anywhere from the coffee shop on the corner to the cans of energy drinks in the vending machines at the gym, grocery store, and even some public schools for kids. Caffeine can kill, and it’s exactly why a calculator has been designed by Caffeine Informer to inform consumers when it’s time to cut off.
Caffeine acts as a stimulant in the body and has some beneficial aspects to it too, as it’s been found as a potential protector against Parkinson’s disease and even some forms of cancer. But according to the calculator, if you weigh 125 pounds and drink down 106.64 cans of a standard Red Bull, you’ll actually just die. If you don’t know your weight and you’re off by 5 pounds and actually weigh 120 pounds, those four extra cans will kill you because you’ll only be able to suffer through 102.38 cans of Red Bull. Frighteningly enough, only 53.32 cans of Monster Energy Drink will kill a 125-pound person, and it’ll take four times the amount of a classic Coca-Cola until you finally drop dead.
You don’t need as much caffeine as the popular 24-ounce Monster energy drink cans contain to reap some of the proposed health benefits, or their rival Red Bull, which contains around 80 milligrams (mg) of caffeine in one 8-ounce can. While up to 400 mg of caffeine a day is completely safe for most adults, according to Mayo Clinic, but that’s really the equivalent to a couple cups of coffee, or 10 cans of soda, or just two energy shots. Children should steer clear of any caffeine. There’s really no reason for a child to be exposed to that much caffeine in sugar-laden energy drinks or teeth-staining coffee.
"Safe doses of caffeine are usually quoted at around 200 to 300 milligrams, or two to four cups of coffee per day," Dr. David Seres, associate professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University, said. Tip over that amount by just 200 to 300 mg and it’s considered a heavy pour that causes side effects such as insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, stomach upsets, abnormally fast erratic heartbeat, muscle tremors, and in severe cases, seizures and death.
You know you’ve overdosed if you’re feeling tremors or shaking throughout your body, which are the signs preceding the more life-threatening side effects. The overdose happens when the body's central nervous system is thrown into a state of over-stimulation called caffeine intoxication. They body will actually expel the caffeine when it signals to itself it has had too much, just as the body would try to get rid of an alcohol overdose.
There’s even a powdered form of caffeine used by some teens to boost workouts, energy levels, or stimulate weight loss. Poison control officials are requesting the Food and Drug Administration to restrict the increasingly popular caffeine powder because it’s so highly concentrated that kids are making homemade caffeine-laced concoctions at home.