How Much Caffeine is Too Much?

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A 16 year old boy recently died from drinking too much caffeine in a short amount of time and it has people wondering what the safest amount is for both adults and children.

‘Black Insomnia,’ otherwise known as the world’s strongest coffee, has 702 milligrams of caffeine in 12 ounces, which is way beyond the recommended daily amount.

The FDA said 400 milligrams is the safest amount for adults, which is equivalent to about four cups of coffee or ten cans of soda.

One medical professional in central Iowa said she thinks kids shouldn’t have caffeine before the age of 18.

"I don't recommend caffeine for kids at all especially these energy drinks that we are seeing. Because, there could be an undiagnosed heart condition and that could actually lead to death and it also can affect their growth," Unity Point Nurse Practitioner Janae Brown said.

Some say caffeine is okay once in a while if it’s limited.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said kids should not have more than 100 milligrams of caffeine, which is about one can of soda or cup of coffee.

Certain medications can also increase the effects of caffeine.

"Anything with pseudoephedrine decongestant in it will increase the effects of the caffeine. If you have any heart palpitations or heart rhythm conditions, don't drink caffeine. Seizure disorders is another good reason not to drink caffeine," Brown said.

Caffeine can also be found in places you wouldn't normally think of like Excedrin, Midol and even Hershey's Kisses.

Doctors said if you have insomnia you shouldn’t drink caffeine at all.

"Stop drinking caffeine after noon because it could affect your sleep in the evening. And for some people, they drink pop in the morning or coffee and they have trouble sleeping at night. Really if you're having any issues with insomnia don't drink caffeine," Brown said.