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What is Your Caffeine Limit?

An ideal caffeine intake would be 200 mg or below.
One coffee has an average of 75-100 mg of caffeine

Caffeine might be the most popular drug in the world, helping people everywhere get through their day. But, we should not forget that it is a potent stimulant, and two recent deaths illustrate caffeine overconsumption can indeed kill.

Both recent cases came from customers drinking the "Charged Lemonade" at Panera Bread, shedding new light on the potential dangers of high levels of caffeine consumption.

The first victim was a young, 21-year-old college student who died after drinking the Charged Lemonade, which has almost 400 mg in a 30-oz serving. She had a heart condition and avoided energy drinks and lawsuit from the girls' family stresses that the "lemonade" was hidden among the more harmless fountain drinks and easily mistaken.

The second incident involved a man who died from cardiac arrest after having THREE of them in one sitting. News reports estimated his caffeine intake to be between 800-1,200 mg. Not surprisingly, his family is also suing.

Overdoses can cause vomiting, high blood pressure, racing heart, heart rhythm problems, and even disorientation and hallucinations in some cases. Most people self-experiment until they find their own level of tolerance. If you are unable to sleep at your normal bed time, then it's too much. If you are shaking, it's definitely too much.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that the safe upper limit for adults' caffeine consumption is 400 milligrams, roughly equivalent to four 8-ounce cups of brewed coffee. While this number is not absolute and does vary by individual (my upper limit is 100mg!) If you want to avoid cardiac complications, it is a reasonable limit to stick to.

Kids are obsessed with Prime energy drink. Is it the colorful cans?
Prime Energy Drinks have 200mg of caffein per can

Unfortunately, it's getting easier and easier to hit this limit - sometimes in just one drink! The worst offenders include Prime energy drinks with 200 mg caffeine per technicolor can. For some reason, this brand is popular with younger children, which is particularly dangerous. Most Starbucks concoctions have around 200 mg of caffeine, depending on the size while the 16-oz McCafe Mocha has a whopping 380. Whatever your taste, it's a good idea to read labels on packaged beverages or look up approximate levels of your favorite brew from this comprehensive list on Caffeine Informer.

Take a look, and you'll be surprised to see that the original energy drinks like Red Bull and Rockstar, which we used to think of as liquid poison, have a relatively modest 111mg and 160 mg, respectively.

That said, our concern isn't just about NOT having a heart attack and dying on the spot. It's about finding the correct dose for optimal health and longevity. The amount that gets your neurotransmitters going, without too much too big of a cortisol spike. It's about finding that Goldilocks balance that isn't too much or too little.

It took me having a spinal tap and subsequent spinal leak to learn that drinking caffeine helps you produce spinal fluid. Every time I called my neurologist for guidance, they told me to lie flat and drink caffeine. I even had a caffeine IV at the hospital, and it certainly helped. Increased spinal fluid production is likely why there have been many reports on the neuroprotective effects of caffeine in Alzheimer's Disease. More fluid should help your glymphatic system clear out your brain at night while you are in deep sleep. This is a recently discovered mechanism.

Like all things, there is a limit. A happy middle. A little is helpful, but too much is no bueno. Caffeine is dehydrating, and research has recently shown that six or more cups of coffee a day can be associated with a 53% high risk of dementia and reduced brain volume from dehydration.

how to drink caffeine how much caffeine to drink

Here are our tips and tricks for caffeine consumption:

-Pick caffeine sources with high antioxidants when possible (matcha, green tea, and coffee). Energy drinks have their place but don't offer these.

-Pair coffee with an l-theanine supplement for the calm balance tea and matcha naturally provide. This is nootropics 101. What that, you ask? That's for another time. Just do it.

-Our favorite sparkling energy drink, Phocus, has l-theanine, 75mg caffeine, light natural flavor, and nothing else added. Bonus: Phocus is made with reverse osmosis water, and Jack Harlow is an investor.

-Andrew Huberman suggests waiting until you've been up a few hours and your natural cortisol spike (6-8am) is over before having your first caffeinated beverage. This isn't so easy but it gives you the chance to hydrate and your adrenals a break. This technique also delays the inevitable crash to later in the day, which might help you reduce your overall consumption. Here is a quick clip from our neuro guru.

-Like all things, try to use the minimum effective dose. Tolerance does build over time, as do the number of receptors, so err on the side of less, not more.

-Pro tip: caffeine does not actually GIVE you energy. It just blocks the adenosine receptors that tell you you are sleepy. For a true energy boost, consider getting more sleep and taking B vitamins, co-Q-10, and other mitochondrial enhancers.

-Do you fall asleep ok, but wake up with a start every morning at 5:30 or 6:00am? That's probably too much cortisol. Cut back on your caffeine and work out more to burn it off.




The information provided on Goldilocks Wellness is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. The content presented on this website is not intended to be a substitute for personalized professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician regarding medical conditions.

The information and content on Goldilocks Wellness is based on current research, interviews with medical experts, personal experiences and general knowledge in the field of wellness. However, individual health conditions and medical treatments can vary greatly. Therefore, the information provided on this website may not be suitable for your specific circumstances or medical needs.


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