How much caffeine is safe?

OPSS Answer

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes caffeine on its list of substances “generally recognized as safe.” FDA’s limit for the amount of caffeine in cola beverages is 71 mg per 12 oz, but caffeine in other foods and beverages is not regulated. Dietary supplement labels often don’t list the exact amount of caffeine, which is often part of a “proprietary blend.” In addition, caffeine is often present in “hidden sources” such as green tea, guarana, etc. However, enough caffeine taken orally—150-200 mg/kg bodyweight, or about 10-14 grams for the average person—can be fatal. That may seem like a lot, but sensitivity to caffeine differs from person to person. In addition, there is limited information on how toxic caffeine might be when combined with other stimulants and ingredients found in dietary supplements. And of course, any amount of caffeine may affect your quality of sleep. For in-depth information about caffeine, read HPRC’s monograph.

FAQ updated 19 May 2014

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