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How Many Shots of Espresso Will Kill You? (Surprising!)

how many espresso shots will kill you

If you have ever felt jittery after a cup of coffee, you’ve encountered an early symptom of having too much caffeine. People vary quite a bit in their reactions to caffeine — some feel jittery after a cup of tea, while others can drink a whole pot of black coffee — but there is a point where one more espresso shot could just be your last.

So how many shots of espresso will kill you? Serious caffeine overdoses among coffee drinkers are rare because you’d have to drink over 100 cups of coffee in one day! Keep reading to learn just how much espresso could be too much.

The Short Answer
Depending on your physical makeup, drinking 76 to 156 shots of espresso or 52 to 105 cups of coffee in one day could potentially kill you. To get the coffee benefits without risking side effects, experts recommend drinking no more than 6 espresso shots or 4 cups of coffee per day.

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Healthy Limits

The FDA recommends consuming a maximum of 400 milligrams of caffeine a day. That is a little over six espresso shots. But that’s a healthy limit, so it doesn’t mean that drinking seven espressos will kill you!

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that caffeine tolerance varies. Your ability to handle a cup or three of coffee depends on things like your weight, what you’ve eaten, and how sensitive you are to caffeine. If you have questions about your caffeine intake, talk to your doctor.

Does espresso or coffee have more caffeine?
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How much caffeine is too much?

According to experts, between 5 and 10 grams of caffeine is a potentially lethal dose. We typically measure caffeine in milligrams, so that would be 5,000 to 10,000 milligrams.

Although coffee has a lot of proven health benefits, like protection from diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and some types of cancer, drinking too much can harm your health. Just like drinking too much alcohol, caffeine can build up in your blood, causing symptoms like heart problems, insomnia, sweating, dizziness, and anxiety.

death by coffee caffeine overdose
Image: beerblur, Shutterstock

How many shots of espresso will kill you?

So how much espresso is that? The average 8-ounce cup of coffee has 95 milligrams of caffeine, and the typical shot of espresso has 65 milligrams. To drink 10,000 milligrams of caffeine, you’d have to consume 156 shots of espresso or 105 cups of coffee in one day.

That’s an incredible amount of coffee, and your body likely wouldn’t let you get that far anyway. Some of the symptoms of caffeine overdose include nausea and vomiting, which is your body’s way of getting rid of potentially dangerous toxins. In other words, you’d likely throw up the espresso before it killed you.

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The Bottom Line

To enjoy your espresso without risking your health, you’ll probably want to limit yourself to a maximum of six single espresso shots in one day. But how many shots of espresso will kill you? Depending on factors like your weight and caffeine sensitivity, drinking 156 shots of espresso or 105 cups of coffee in a single day could kill you! Luckily, that is a pretty extreme number that’s easy to avoid. You want to enjoy your espresso, right?


Featured Image Credit: Laura Seidlitz, Unsplash


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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