Caffeine can be found almost everywhere. It is in our coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate and ice cream. It is also found in energy drinks and even your energy water. Although caffeine is harmless in small quantities, it can cause serious injury and even death if consumed in excess. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers 400 milligrams of caffeine per day as an acceptable and safe amount of caffeine for adults without any negative side effects. Although it has not established a guideline for children, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the consumption of caffeine by children.
To put this amount into perspective, consider that:
- One cup of green, white or black tea contains about 20 to 80 milligrams of caffeine
- The caffeine limit for soft drinks is 71 milligrams per 12 ounces
- One cup of coffee contains 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine
- The amount of caffeine in energy drinks can range from 200 to 400 milligrams, including in smaller drinks like energy shots
Many people drink caffeinated drinks for their benefit of increased alertness that kicks in within one hour of consuming a caffeinated beverage. However, when too much caffeine is consumed, it can have negative effects on your body.
Mild effects of caffeine can include agitation, heartburn, tremors or palpitations. More serious side effects, however, have led to death.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, consuming more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, or more than one energy drink, can lead to:
- Rapid heart rate
- Heart rhythm disturbances, also called arrhythmias
- Narrowing of the heart’s arteries (cardiac ischemia)
- Muscle breakdown
The negative effects are even greater for children who consume caffeine. According to an American Heart Association study, more than 40 percent of reports to poison centers involved energy drinks and children under the age of six. The reported cases included serious cardiac and neurological symptoms. Many people may not realize the significant amount of caffeine in energy drinks. When consumed in excess, serious complications can result. If you or someone you love has been severely injured after consuming energy drinks, you may have legal options. Contact our energy drink lawyers today to learn more.