How many shots would it take to kill you?

Coffee beans in a heart shapeHow much coffee would it take to take you down? Ultimately, the answer to the question depends on what type of coffee you’re drinking, as each will contain a different amount of caffeine. A mug of filter coffee contains the most caffeine, at 120 mg. Instant coffee provides 75g and espresso 107 mg, although you’re unlikely to have an entire mug of pure espresso.

According to caffeine information site energyfiend.com, if you weigh 160 pounds (approximately 11.5 stone or 72.5 kilograms), then you would have to drink 142 shots of espresso in one day to die from the resultant caffeine overdose. That’s equivalent to about 6.29 litres, so hardly a normal amount. By contrast, you’re about as likely to die from the water itself if it’s consumed in a short period, particularly if you’re being physically active at the same time. Instant coffee would kill the same person in 192 cups, while filter coffee kills in just 75 cups.

The lesson here? It’s unlikely you’d be able to drink enough coffee to kill yourself. However, there are drawbacks to caffeine consumption besides death – nervousness, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, headaches and heart palpitations are all symptoms of a caffeine overdose. The Department of Health reckons that you shouldn’t drink more than five single espressos per day, although this varies person by person.  That’s equivalent to seven cups of instant coffee.

If you’re beneath the limit though, side effects are generally considered to be mildly good. If you have one or two ESE coffee pods per day (which contains a single shot of espresso each), studies have shown that you are less likely to develop prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease and even some form of diabetes. You’re also more likely to suffer from headaches and acid reflux, though.

So keep drinking coffee in moderation… but try not to drink 75 cups of filter coffee, 192 cups of instant or 142 ESE pods in one day, OK?

This article was written by William Judd. Will writes for Mobile Fun, who imbibe rather a lot of coffee as well as being the UK’s leading online retailers of mobile accessories.

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