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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Caffeine Can Kill You

By December 12, 2013

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...but you would have to drink a lot of coffee for that to happen. How much? If you weigh 150 lbs and you're trying to kill yourself with a Starbucks tall latte, it would take about 293 cups in order to die from the caffeine overdose. Red Bull is a bit stronger. It would take 127 cans to kill you from caffeine alone. Even if you could afford the hefty pricetag, there's a really good chance water intoxication or another ingredient would kill you first. How did I arrive at a specific number of servings? There is a caffeine calculator at Energy Fiend, where you input your weight and choose your beverage, and it will tell you the amount required to kill yourself. The comments that accompany the calculator are amusing too.

Learn more about caffeine...


December 23, 2008 at 10:55 am
(1) Eli says:

i almost died from a caffeine overdose on friday december 19th 2008.

i couldnt breathe, i was all shaky, my chest was tight, i just didnt feel the way i felt before. i drank my energy drink WAY TOO fast.. but part of me didnt want 2 give it 2 my friend.. i wanted 2 drink it… but yea.

May 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm
(2) anon says:

seriously?????????????????????? 1 energy drink cant kill u even if u gulp it in 1!!! i have a heart condition and i still manage to down a couple of red bulls and feel no difference. more likely you an allergic reaction to another ingredient in the drink

October 23, 2011 at 11:03 am
(3) nobody says:

you must be retarded because i drink 10 cans of monster quicker in a day than most people would have a pot of coffee you are just a lightwieght

November 24, 2011 at 4:48 am
(4) hey says:

I don’t think you almost died…although I would cut out caffeine completely after that response. The same thing happens to me. Even with just one small cup my pulse goes into the 90′s and my blood pressure skyrockets to around 170. If this is how you felt then your body’s probably reacting badly to the caffeine and you need to stop drinking it.

May 28, 2009 at 7:16 pm
(5) christina says:

i used to drink 5 cups of coffe a day and i felt so horrible.

September 28, 2009 at 11:53 am
(6) courtney says:

I have diabeties and i can’t have caffeine or it will kill me…..but i drink coffee so hahahahaha! teehee! ^3^

October 5, 2009 at 8:23 am
(7) John says:

I almost collapse yesterday after i pour the whole thing from the coffee sachet…. Right after i drank my coffee, i start to sweat, and started to feel very very dizzy that i also could not breath properly… Im only 19 and it so early for me to die from caffeine overdose….luckily i used the electric fan as a tool of getting more oxygen ^_^

November 9, 2009 at 7:47 pm
(8) james says:

i drink a pot a day.. black… and full of sugar… and cream…

December 3, 2009 at 9:49 pm
(9) cbrezy26 says:

on april 21st 2007 i woke up and started a pot of coffie i had a headache and i took to asprin well next thing i know im waking up 3 days later at the hospital with both my legs and my right arm gone i asked the doctor what happened to me he said they found me like that in front of a starbucks with 4 cups of coffie in front of me so as it seemed my coffie habbit was so bad i sold 2 legs one arm and a hand i also threw in a pair of rockport boots,a pair socks and a bad ass ring that i got from my last NA meeting.so i would say that coffie is a bad habbit cause now its hard as hell to get my self to starbucks everyday if i had legs i would kick myself in the ass. true story

January 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm
(10) NexDeus says:

Sounds like alot of you are experiencing caffeine induced anxiety, not an overdose.

January 19, 2010 at 1:08 am
(11) Brandi says:

I love it I drink 12 cups a day I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have it I am hooked yeah I get shaky chest feels like crap but that first cup is so worth it next thing you know the pot is gone anxiety sucks too

February 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm
(12) tati says:

wow i never new i could die from coffee. i drink like 1-3 cups a day full of 2 or 3 sugars in table spoons. i gotta stop drinkin but its just so good and addicting. =O

August 31, 2010 at 3:08 pm
(13) denzzel says:

once i drank 23 cans of redbull in 7 hours and i was like WHAT THE **** is wrong with my body O_o

September 12, 2010 at 3:31 pm
(14) JORDAN says:

i just drank 4 huge cups of coffee and had two this morning.
i needed to stay up really late for homework. i did a whole assinment in 6 hours. from 9.30 pm to 3.30am.
im now twitching and got a head spin. before i started to see things and i pissed like hundreds of times..
im worried i could die??

September 16, 2010 at 11:08 am
(15) Robert Zimmerman says:

Eli, you must be borderline retarded. You’re more likely to die from water intoxication than from ODing on caffeine. You most likely were reacting to the roofy your “friend” slipped into your Monster. Don’t drink the punch, Eli.

November 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm
(16) paula says:

If you feel like you have a caffine over dose you should eat something that will soke it up like dry oatmeal..

December 15, 2010 at 12:45 pm
(17) Quad says:

you know what they say…
“If you can’t thread a sewing machine while it’s running, you haven’t had enough coffee.”

January 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm
(18) Shawn says:

I usually drink 2 or 3 pots of black tea

February 29, 2012 at 12:17 am
(19) Adam says:

I usually drink 50 to 100 monsters a day. Makes me shit myself but i feel fine. Sometimes i will also take pure caffeine powder and snort it.

April 24, 2012 at 10:07 am
(20) Ty says:

Im actually in the hospital now from a caffiene overdose. I had around 700mg when I was admitted. I took three NoDoz and had a large coffee in about a three hour period. No good!

19 y.o


Weight 130

July 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm
(21) noname2010 says:

OMG anyone who thinks they can drink 50 to 100 monsters in one day must be on crack!!!! There is NO way!!!!”"

January 31, 2013 at 11:54 pm
(22) Bry says:

Once, I drank 4 pots of a mixture of redbull and coffee. After that, I started hearing other people’s thoughts, I could see other people’s imaginations, and I have an erection for a whole day.

May 2, 2013 at 12:20 am
(23) Matt says:

Damn, i am on about 20 cups of coffee within this hour, i have to do a huge research paper so i am cranked right now. Can’t see straight and rapid heart beat but i am just typing a 100 words per second so i cant complain.

May 14, 2013 at 9:09 am
(24) Javed says:

NIce article, but we should also remember that beside bodyweight, it would also depend on activity done before, heart condition, amongst other things. I remember doing aerobic training for 30 mins, then weights then another 30 mins, after which i went home and had to study, i drank coffee that night and had serious heart palpitations and high blood pressure. In that case it would not take much.

October 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm
(25) joe says:

I have to jump in on this one. caffeine is a poison.
Some people are better at detoxifying it than others. Many people are caffeine sensitive like myself. and others are extremely sensitive.
In spite of the low likelihood of coffee sending you to your grave abruptly, there have been popular close calls. While it takes a lot to kill, it can take significantly less to cause ill effects, and long-term effects of caffeine remain somewhat unclear.
if you where to take 10 to 13 grams of pure caffeine. in pill form it will likely kill you. so yes it can kill a person who is extremely sensitive to it with a smaller dose than a normal person. but people like myself avoid all caffeine due to the sensitivity to it. and decaffeinated coffee still contains 50% or more of its original caffeine. so its very misleading.

March 16, 2014 at 11:36 am
(26) ReneeB says:

That has to do with your sugar hun might wanna check that out

March 18, 2014 at 3:33 pm
(27) Jose says:

Caffeine can be just as addicting as anything. I’m hoping to quit because I am also very sensitive to it. From just 3 small cups of coffee, I can already feel the jitteriness, anxiety, nervousness, and rare heart conditions. The addiction takes over your body whether you are on an empty stomach or not, but it is mainly important to eat because if you don’t, the side effects will make you less tolerant and you will be very sensitive to them. It is safer to resort to exercising or just a cup of water with sugar, or maybe even a Sprite since its caffeine free. My plan now is to go on a healthier diet and keep away from caffeine or any stimulant energy drinks such as Monster, Red Bull, or Rockstar. It surprises me that these drinks are even legal anymore.

March 21, 2014 at 2:31 am
(28) Law says:

A few years ago, I overdosed on approximately 3 grams of caffeine (I weighed around 170lb). It was in pure powder form that I had obtained from a friend who worked in a medical lab. Needless to say I was rushed to the ER after constantly throwing up the insides of my stomach and convulsing on the ground. Because of this near-death experience, I hesitate every time I’m near a caffeinated beverage. Imagine a burn victim hanging around a campfire. DO NOT underestimate the effect caffeine can have on your body. I usually don’t leave comments, but if this can help one person from avoiding my experience, then I’d be glad to leave one.

Be it a small or large dose, your body will always experience a caffeine “crash” after the initial effects have worn out. You might not feel anything at all, but you also might experience side effects such as exhaustion or headaches. Just be wary of your limits and don’t try to pass them if you can help it.

April 9, 2014 at 2:09 pm
(29) Aubrey says:

That was a panic attack. I had the same reaction. You wont die from one cup of coffee.

May 9, 2014 at 2:58 pm
(30) Mike says:

The average cop of coffee contains about 100mg of caffeine and a can of red bull contains 80mg of caffeine so how would red bull kill you faster from a caffeine overdose?

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