How Much Caffeine Is Too Much? Why Do They Sell Energy Drinks?

Published: November 13, 2020
Dear TeenHealthFX,
How much caffeine is too much caffeine? If energy drinks are that bad why do they sell them?
Signed: How Much Caffeine Is Too Much? Why Do They Sell Energy Drinks?

Dear How Much Caffeine Is Too Much? Why Do They Sell Energy Drinks?,

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explains that 400mg (approximately 4 -5 cups) of coffee is generally safe for adults. They don’t set a level for children, but the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages caffeine and other stimulant use by children and teens.

Drinking too much caffeine can have extremely negative effects. Once the consumption of caffeine goes above 400mg, it can cause mild to severe side effects that can cause jitters, fast heartbeat, anxiousness, or even headaches and nausea. Once the consumption reaches approximately 1000mg or higher, it can lead to seizures and very dangerous health conditions.

We strongly recommend teenagers avoid caffeine when possible, this is especially true for energy drinks. In short, the reason why energy drinks are sold is because companies assume you as the buyer are an “educated consumer.” Think of it in terms of alcohol and tobacco – both are sold legally (to those 21 and older), but it is up to you to choose to be healthy and not buy them.

An important note about energy drinks is that the FDA does not regulate them. It is very difficult to know exactly how much caffeine is in a single can. This is because many of the ingredients in energy drinks mimic caffeine in the body but are not actually caffeine. As a result, it does not need to be listed on the label. No two energy drinks have the same exact amount of caffeine.  This can be dangerous for teenagers, especially when drinking more than one in a single day.

We hope this helps! Stay safe!

Signed: TeenHealthFX