Most healthy adults can safely take in 400 mg of caffeine per day.
This is the approximate equivalent of either 4 cups of coffee or 10 cans of Coke.
Taking in more than 400 mg of caffeine in one day can lead to a caffeine overdose, which can result in increased anxiety, increased agitation, increased nervousness, high blood pressure, feeling jittery, a rapid heart rate, heart palpitations, and more.
You may have read the above statistics and thought,
Okay, great. I always drink fewer than 4 cups of coffee a day, and I would never dream of drinking 10 cans of Coke in one day. Whew! I’m safe.
But here’s the catch.
If you are a typical coffee drinker, the chances are high that you don’t drink just a standard, 8 fl. oz cup of coffee every day. In fact, your Starbucks mug or coffee Thermos may contain 12 oz, 16 oz, 20 oz, or even more than that.
For reference, a tall cup of coffee fromStarbucks is 12 fl. oz, a Grande size coffee is 16 fl. oz, and a Venti size coffee is 20 fl. oz.
You won’t ever get an 8 oz cup of coffee from Starbucks unless you order a short size coffee, which is not even on the menu.
Also, to throw another wrench into the equation, Starbucks coffee oftentimes contains more caffeine than a regular cup of Joe.
For instance, an 8 oz cup of coffee normally contains 95 mg of caffeine, but an 8 oz cup of Starbucks coffee can contain 180 mg of caffeine.
That’s almost twice the amount!
So if you are a regular drinker of Starbucks coffee, you may want to do some research to find out how much caffeine you are actually taking in every day.
Let’s assume for the purposes of this article that you are a drinker of regular coffee that contains the standard amount of caffeine.
If you have already had 4 cups of coffee or 32 fl. oz of coffee for the day, then you are very close to the maximum amount of caffeine you should have for the day: 4 x 95 mg = 380 mg of caffeine.
Then, if you then decide to drink a 12 oz can of Coke, 380 mg + 34 mg = 414 mg of caffeine, which puts you a bit over the limit of safe caffeine intake and brings you into the realm of a caffeine overdose.
So basically, if you have already had 4 of your 8 oz cups of coffee for the day (or 2 of your 16 oz cups of coffee or whatever it may be), try not to drink Coke! And definitely don’t drink more than one can.
Similarly, if you have already had the equivalent of ten to twelve 12 fl. oz cans of Coke, definitely don’t drink coffee in addition to that!
And actually, that amount of Coke is already severely detrimental to your health (for many reasons other than caffeine), so try not to drink that much Coke in the first place.
You don’t need to drink 10 cans of Coke or the entire 6 pack of 20 oz Coke bottles, no matter how thirsty you may feel.
After all that doom and gloom related to coffee and Coke consumption, you may have been scared off of your caffeine addiction.
But here’s the bottom line:
If you are drinking just one or two (or even three) standard 8 oz cups of coffee, it is perfectly fine and safe to have a can of Coke as well.
And even if you go over the maximum of 400 mg of caffeine that you are supposed to take in each day, it’s really not the end of the world. After all, we’ve all been there.
We’ve all had a work project or a school project that we needed to finish and drunk 5 or 6 cups of coffee or a bunch of espresso drinks in an attempt to stay awake and finish the project, no matter the cost.
And basically, all of us have lived to tell the tale. Many of us usually just crash afterward (once the project has finally been completed) and then sleep for a whole day.
But once in a while, you hear those horror stories where a teenager drank 6 energy drinks and 10 cups of coffee and got sent to the hospital or worse.
But aside from those extreme cases, going a little bit over the 400 mg limit occasionally is generally fine for most of us.
The worst side effect we may experience is feeling extra jittery and may experience heart palpitations or a much faster heart rate.
But after a little while (or after a good night of sleep), it calms down.
Coffee, when taken black or without too much added sugar and/or milk, is actually deemed to be an exceedingly healthy drink. It contains a host of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, and it has a very low caloric count (but only when taken black). Research has shown that those who drink coffee in moderation have a lower risk of developing a number of serious diseases.
Of course, there is probably as much research indicating that coffee is bad for you as there is indicating that coffee is good for you.