How Much Caffeine Would Kill You?

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How Much Caffeine Would Kill You?

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An online calculator can figure out exactly how much of your favorite energy drink / soda / coffee / etc. it would take to do you in via caffeine overdose.

Despite being a wonderful miracle worker, caffeine does have its side effects - it is, after all, a psychoactive substance. Along with warding off drowsiness and giving a quick burst of energy, caffeine can make us irritable and nervous, it can make us jumpy, and if taken in sufficiently high doses ... caffeine can kill.

But how much of it would kill you? There's a handy little calculator that aims to answer just that! It's got quite the list of drinks and other substances, so put in your favorite caffeinated meal of choice and see how many you'd have to ingest in order to croak from caffeine overdose.

Here's what I got:

Kit Kat bars - 2548 bars
Red Bull - 191.1 cans
Monster - 95.55 cans
Jolt Energy - 54.6 cans
Mountain Dew - 277.96 cans
Mountain Dew Game Fuel - 127.4 bottles
Starbucks Grande Caffe Mocha - 87.36 cups
Wired X344 - 44.44 cans

As we can see, it would take quite a bit of Mountain Dew - not to mention a veritable mountain of Kit Kat bars - to put me under. Mountain Dew Game Fuel is more lethal than Red Bull, but not as dangerous as Monster. A Starbucks Grande Caffe Mocha might be more caffeinated than those energy drinks, but it doesn't have anything on Jolt. Even Jolt can't stand up to Wired X344, though. A mere 45 cans of that stuff would do me in.

Caffeine is the gamer's best friend - the concept that it could send us to the Great Arcade in the Sky seems almost like a betrayal, of sorts. On the bright side, though, the lethal dose of caffeine is so effectively high it's not something we really need to worry about.

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Does it tell you over what period of time, though?

Oh dear, only 130 cups of brewed coffee. Better stop drinking now that I'm on my 101st.

In all seriousness though, I imagine some of the other stuff they put in those things would kill you before the caffeine.

2,5k Kit Kat bars?

I dare to say that you would get a heart attack if you are so many IN A ROW.

Rhayn:
Oh dear, only 130 cups of brewed coffee. Better stop drinking now that I'm on my 101st.

In all seriousness though, I imagine some of the other stuff they put in those things would kill you before the caffeine.

sort... of... ninja'd?

In one sitting, or over a life time?

On this page at the site it states:

How accurate is pop-up caffeine calculator?
It provides a rough gauge of reaction to caffeine - and typically corresponds to the amount of caffeine in your system over a 4 hour period. There is obviously enormous variation between individual response - and this should be construed as entertainment only (see item 13 in the source reference for more).

EmileeElectro:
In one sitting, or over a life time?

Depends on how long you live, I suppose.

I once heard it took around one hundred cups of coffee in under five hours to kill you, I can't remember where I read it though, so I have no cite *sigh*.

Wouldukindly:
I once heard it took around one hundred cups of coffee in under five hours to kill you, I can't remember where I read it though, so I have no cite *sigh*.

I'm pretty sure you'd opt for decaf before you got to 100!

To kill yourself with caffeine you would pretty much have to get an iv full of it and just soak it up, before it killed you, you'd get too jittery to drink or eat any more.

It would be very hard to consume enough of some of those drinks in the 4 hour period to actually kill you.

Pretty cool though.

Rhayn:

In all seriousness though, I imagine some of the other stuff they put in those things would kill you before the caffeine.

Not even necessarily other ingredients, you would die of hyperhydration aka water intoxication in some of these cases. Assuming you can keep it all down.

EmileeElectro:
In one sitting, or over a life time?

One sitting, just like alchohol; caffeine is processed out of your system. So to even have a chance of completing this you would need to consume quickly.

Might be easier to drown myself in a barrel full of coffee then drinking 100 cups within five hours. Yeah, I like coffee but not that much.

EDIT: Actually, I´m pretty sure there´s nothing that wouldn´t kill you, if consumed an enormous amount.

Sucks that there's no caffeine in Canadian Mountain Dew.

But I'm looking at around 577 cans of Pepsi before I die. If I hit the 100-Can mark I'd have died of stomach explosion first anyways.

I'm with Khell. I'd die of a stomach explosion before I even got half the required cans down.

Also, you'll probably start hallucinating long before it kills you.

Hmmm...It seems they have a Tim Horton's Large Coffee, but they do not have my weapon of choice, the X-Large.

349cans of coke
294cans of dr pepper
2407cups of hot cocoa
2006kit kats
241bottles of lipton ice tea
317cans of pepsi
354cans of vanilla coke

looks like im safe, though id prod die from the sugar long before consuming that much caffine

The most I can manage is one can on Jolt anyway. They're biiiig.

Based on LD50 of orally administered caffeine for rats (that is the dose at which half of the test population dies), it would take ~17.5 grams of caffeine to kill half of a group of 200 lb humans. (Rats are a good toxicity model for most substances).
http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/CA/caffeine.html

You can poison someone with a such an amount, but you would have to spike someone's drink with a lot of pure powdered caffeine to make the dose high enough. People do frequently overdose on caffeine experiencing 'the shakes', heart palpitations, and sometimes hallucinations (although nothing like what LSD is known to induce). Emergency Room visits are sometimes needed after 4-8 energy drinks in a single night.

As with many small molecules, caffeine is your friend, but like many of our friends, sometimes we need a break from them.

if you can overdose on water (which you can), you can overdose on anything. including caffeine

You can't kill yourself with caffeinated "Drinks" because the amount you would have to consume would burst your stomach open before the caffeine got to you.

shMerker:
Also, you'll probably start hallucinating long before it kills you.

You're assuming I'm not hallucinating now, without the caffeine.

Now stop shaking that potato in my face and bring me my dragon.

What a way to go, jittering and generally flipping out at everything, and then you just collapse.I've never heard of it before, either...

Surprised to see such an old tool come up again. I can't remember when I first saw this but it has been several years at least. It is always interesting though.

the real lethal dose is 3 grams of caffeine in case you want to try to decode anything else

Yes, way too much caffeine can kill you! The problem today seems to be that no one knows just how much caffeine they consume every day. That's because caffeine is in EVERYTHING. Beverage, food and pharmaceutical products have higher and higher amounts of caffeine -- even chewing gum and potato chips. There's one energy drink that has almost 1200 mg caffeine.(Compare that to the average cup of coffee which has 30 to 100 mg caffeine.)

Now we have a problem with "caffeine intoxication." Poison control centers and hospital emergency rooms are seeing more and more people ill with caffeine intoxication. And more than half of these folks are under 18 years old.

People need to be aware! The Ethic Soup blog has a good series of concise, informative articles on caffeine at:

http://www.ethicsoup.com/caffeine-the-worlds-most-popular-drug.html

Abedeus:
2,5k Kit Kat bars?

I dare to say that you would get a heart attack if you are so many IN A ROW.

Rhayn:
Oh dear, only 130 cups of brewed coffee. Better stop drinking now that I'm on my 101st.

In all seriousness though, I imagine some of the other stuff they put in those things would kill you before the caffeine.

sort... of... ninja'd?

Honestly, if he ate 2548 kit kat bars in a row, I'd have heart attack.

Reminds me of that one episode of Rocko's Modern Life when they found out that one food would kill you if you ate it, but you had to eat an absurdly huge amount of it for it to be dangerous (which of course Hef did).

Anyway we also need to keep in mind that some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, so I'd be willing to bet that it would take less caffeine to kill them. I can never have more than a can or so of Coke before I start getting shaky, but I'm sure there are people even more sensitive than me.

And another thing...
I just read all of the above comments and a quite a few claim that your stomach would burst before you could die and that a person could not drink enough affeinated drink to kill them.
WRONG KNUCKLEHEADS!

Talk to an emergency room doctor. She'll tell you that one of the things that happens to folks with caffeine intoxication is the get nauseous and start vomiting. So what, you might say, hospital emergency rooms have medication that will stop the vomiting. WRONG AGAIN! The emergency rooms do have medications to stop the symptoms of people who overdose on drugs, but they don't have any meds when it's caffeine-induced. And what does that suggest? Well, if you keep vomiting, you become seriously dehydrated and that's life-threatening at the extreme.

Most people just don't realize that caffeine is that dangerous. Be especially careful with energy drinks.

WOOOHOO! I can drink all the caffeine free coca-cola I want!

This has saved my life.

wonder how many hershey kisses it would take

i am addicted to them

Shadow Law:
You can't kill yourself with caffeinated "Drinks" because the amount you would have to consume would burst your stomach open before the caffeine got to you.

Well, maybe, but if I started adding pure caffeine into my water, I could easily die.

a lot

CantFaketheFunk:

Kit Kat bars - 2548 bars
Red Bull - 191.1 cans
Monster - 95.55 cans
Jolt Energy - 54.6 cans
Mountain Dew - 277.96 cans
Mountain Dew Game Fuel - 127.4 bottles
Starbucks Grande Caffe Mocha - 87.36 cups
Wired X344 - 44.44 cans

I wanted to check the validity of your sources so I had a look at the Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) to see exactly what caffeine could do to you as well as what was the minimum reported lethal dose.

Now, obviously I'm not sure of your weight so I based my results around my weight (75kg, which equals 141.06 cans of Red Bull).

Now, considering there is 80mg of caffeine in each can that means I would have ingested 11,284.8mg of caffeine allowing for total absorption of the substance, which means I would have ingested 150.464mg/kg of body weight.

According to RTECS, the lowest published lethal dose is 192mg/kg of caffeine for their particular test group. Remember though that this is the LDLo, the lowest lethal dose and most values of toxic substances are published in LD50 (Lethal dose sufficient to kill 50% of the test group) so the values given by this website are actually substantially lower than those found by scientific literature, probably for legal reasons to stop people going out and actively trying to down said number of cans.

BUT, that's just the lethal dose. In regards to toxic RTECS reports that at doses of 51mg/kg (47.81 cans for my weight) that dramatic changes in heart rate, renal failure, acute tubular necrosis (kidney damage) and severe musculoskeletal tremors. Even worse, 91mg/kg intermittedly over the course of a day produced hallucinations, toxic psychosis, diarrhea and altered perception. At 140mg/kg toxic effects include muscle spasticity, a dramatic increase in heart rate without a fall in BP which resulted in hemmorhage.

The lesson here today is don't abuse caffeine. It's fantastic to use to stay awake but remember it is a drug and can do some serious harm if abused. Your data comes in lower than scientific literature for amount of caffeine needed to kill, and higher than values reported to have severe toxic effects.

Just making sure that people know.

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