How much coffee is too much? How much coffee should we stick to a day? You are about to find out.
On December 25, 2019, 35 year old Lukasz Sandelewski from Cambridgeshire, UK was found dead in his apartment after having overdosed on caffeine. The autopsy report showed that his body contained an unusually high quantity of caffeine per millilitre of blood — which eventually led to caffeine toxicity. Lukasz left the world mortified with his untimely passing. But his death also begs a serious question: Could people really die from coffee overdose? How much coffee is too much?
Why is too much coffee harmful?
To answer this question, let’s first dissect what exactly it is about coffee that’s harmful to the body. Well, it’s caffeine! If you’ve ever consumed too much coffee on a busy day, you will most likely have experienced feeling jittery, anxious, and restless. This is because caffeine is essentially a stimulant for your body. It can significantly increase your blood pressure and heart rate — which can impact your overall health. Even if you don’t die from an immediate coffee overdose — consuming too much caffeine on a regular basis will inevitably lead to health issues in the long run.
So, coming back to the question. How much caffeine could you consume before you pass away? According to experts, this comes to around 10 grams of caffeine consumed within a short period of time. For context: one cup of coffee contains anywhere from a 100 to 200 ***milli***grams of caffeine…. a can of regular soda has less than 70 mg…. an energy drink like Red Bull or Monster Energy contains anywhere from 70 to 300 mg of caffeine.
So, even with the most highly caffeinated energy drink, you’d still have to consume more than 30 drinks within a short time to cross the 10 gram limit. Now, if you’re a regular person who doesn’t intend to go on a coffee misadventure like Lucasz — you’re already in the safe. But that doesn’t mean you can always consume as much coffee as you want. Research has consistently found that consuming more than 4 cups of coffee, aka 400+ mg of caffeine, on a daily basis can be detrimental to your health.
The good news is: just a year before Lukasz’s unfortunate death, the UK government had already banned the sales of highly caffeinated energy drinks to children under 16 in most major supermarkets.
The sad news is, Lukasz isn’t the first, and probably not the last person to have died from a coffee overdose.
So, next time you feel the need to consume excessive caffeine to pull through a deadline: remember, there is a limit. And crossing that limit might be the deadline to your life!
Link to a 3 minute video on YouTube is shown below.
[https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=e3fb9e25-fc1e-4390-a6a7-6114dd83ea55#:~:text=“Because it’s a stimulant%2C it,term health risks are possible](https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=e3fb9e25-fc1e-4390-a6a7-6114dd83ea55#:~:text=“Because it’s a stimulant%2C it,term health risks are possible).