Is Too Much Caffeine Bad For You?

Is Too Much Caffeine Bad? Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses the safe upper limits of daily caffeine intake and answers the question of how much is too much.

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

  • The upper safe limit of caffeine on a daily basis is 400/mg for a healthy adult.
  • Pregnant women and those with a cardiovascular disease should limit their caffeine intake to 200mg/day or less.
  • While many go above 400mg a day, this can cause negative side effects such as jitters, anxiety, nervousness, racing heartbeat, and palpitations.

Full Video Transcription:

Good morning, Family of FAST. Actually, good very early morning. I've been up since about 1:30 a.m. taking care of a puking kid and I just know it's gonna be one of those days where I am gonna need a metric ton of caffeine just to survive, which has led me to this video and begs the question, how much caffeine is too much?

And is too much harmful? And the answer is you can never have enough of caffeine. Okay, that's not true.

So what we're gonna discuss today is how much caffeine is too much and then can it have any negative effects on your health or well-being. 

Why Caffeine Is Beneficial For Endurance Athletes

So as we all know from previous videos I have an undying love for caffeine and it's extremely beneficial for endurance athletes.

Usual dosages are three to six milligrams per kilogram body weight daily 60 minutes before exercise to really boost endurance benefits.

And why I'm telling you this is for a 70-kilogram person like me that does about four milligrams per kilogram body weight, that's about 280 milligrams of caffeine which a lot of you might be saying, "Holy hell, Matt, that's a lot of caffeine." Well, I actually take in about a thousand milligrams of caffeine a day.

I know, that probably explains a lot about me and my persona in these videos, but I am definitely not the norm when it comes to caffeine intake. 



What's The Upper Safe Limit Of Caffeine On A Daily Basis

So according to organizations like the NAS, Health Canada, and the European Association of Food Safety

The upper safe limit that they determined is 400 milligrams a day for a healthy adult.

Now I say healthy adult because the amounts will be lower for a pregnant woman or a person with cardiovascular disease.

Now why they quote the 400 milligrams a day is most of the research suggests when people go over 400 milligrams they get some of those negative side effects of caffeine like:

  • anxiousness
  • jitteriness
  • nervousness
  • sweating bullets
  • palpitations
  • racing heart rates

So that's really where the 400 milligrams upper safe limit of caffeine comes from. Now you can go beyond that if you want to and if you built up a tolerance to caffeine.

They just...they don't say it's like gonna be fatal if you go above that or it's gonna have negative long-term consequences, excuse me.

You can tell I've been up since 1:30 now, it's just because of those side effects that I just mentioned.

And in fact like the fatal levels of caffeine are 15 milligrams per kilogram body weight which is enough to kill a horse, so you would be very, very, very hard to get up to the amount where caffeine could kill you, like we're talking like 200 cups of coffee. 

What does 400 milligrams of caffeine look like?

Well, it looks like about four cups of coffee, two energy drinks, 80 cups of hot chocolate, yuma [SP] yuma, or with something like PerformElite.

PerformElite has about 215 milligrams of caffeine per serving, so you could have a couple of those if you want, which is actually a really good point.

Like if you're a coffee drinker and you also take PerformElite, I would just do the PerformElite right before your workout and then your coffee saved afterward.

Space Your Caffeine Out To Every 6 Hours If Needed

I mean if you can space the timing of caffeine out a little bit more, that's probably the best way to do it to avoid kind of the jitteriness or anxiousness.

With a half-life of caffeine being six hours, you allow some of that to clear out of your system before you're intaking more caffeine.

So coffee in the mornings if you want and then PerformElite before you run should be fine. And like I said, you can go over this limit of 400 milligrams but you may experience some of those negative side effects. 

Won't This Much Caffeine Cause Me To Pee Too Much And Dehydrate Me?

Another question people ask when you go up at this like high levels of caffeine is, "Well, isn't it a diuretic? Isn't it gonna make you pee a lot?" Not necessarily.

If you think about the amount of fluid you drink with a caffeine, the net hydration will actually be more than what you pee out and a lot of the research suggests that as you build a tolerance to caffeine that diuretic effect doesn't happen.

But mostly the whole diuretic theory on caffeine is a complete myth. There was actually a study done it a while back that I've referenced before that compared drinking water to drinking caffeine and it resulted in basically the same amount of urination.

So coffee is not really a diuretic to the fact that's gonna dehydrate you so much or will have a negative impact on your endurance performance. 

So that is all I have for today on the upper safe limits of caffeine. I am gonna go slam a ton more so I can wake my ass up. So if you have a sleep-deprived friend that needs more caffeine and is concerned about having too much, please share this video with them. If you want other videos like this on endurance training, nutrition, supplementations, busting the BS or other random musings, subscribe to the EndurElite YouTube channel or head on over to the EndurElite blog at www.endurelite.com. Get social with us on Instaslam and our super duper awesome Family of FAST Facebook page. And until next time my endurance friends, stay fueled, stay focused, stay fast, and stay informed.



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