• Question: Can coffee kill you?

    • Keywords:
      • Search for related information:
      Asked by Liz to katy, Lauren, Richard, Stuart on 16 Mar 2016.
      • Photo: Lauren Laing

        Lauren Laing answered on 16 Mar 2016:

        Anything in excess could kill you or cause you harm.
        The lethal dose of caffeine is thought to be somewhere around 150 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of your body weight. This is a lot of caffeine! If you weigh 70 kgs, you would need to drink about 70 cups! I think you would feel sick long before then!

      • Photo: Richard Friend

        Richard Friend answered on 16 Mar 2016:

        Absolutely! There’s plenty of caffeine in coffee, and you can get a caffeine overdose, same as anything else. As Lauren says, too much of anything is bad for you! I think the more interesting thing would be to watch what happens along the way – I get the shakes something chronic after two cups, so I don’t want to know what 70 cups looks like!

      • Photo: Stuart Atkinson

        Stuart Atkinson answered on 16 Mar 2016:

        Yes, certainly it can kill you. I just checked the product data sheet for when you buy it pure in the lab and it says it’s harmful if swallowed, so that’s not a good sign to start with! Caffeine is a chemical called an alkaloid, basically a poison produced by plants. It also has a stimulant effect on the brain, like nicotine does.

        Check out this website
        You can type in a drink and your weight. It’ll tell you the safe daily limit and how much will kill you. For example I selected espresso and it told me that 136 of them would be fatal! Also 131 cans of Red Bull would have the same result.

        Don’t worry too much though, that’s a lot of drink to get through. I think you would be throwing it back up before you got anywhere near the limit!