How Safe is Caffeine in Coffee, Tea and Other Drinks?


In the United States, 85% of the population consumes at least one caffeine-containing beverage per day. While coffee and tea have been consumed safely for centuries, consumers can now find caffeine in soft drinks, energy drinks and shots, and food products such as maple syrup, beef jerky, energy bars, donuts and chewing gum. The emergence of these novel products — and their potential for increased consumption by younger populations — has been met with consumer health concerns.

To address these concerns, a rigorous Systematic Review of recent studies on caffeine safety was conducted and structured to meet the National Academies of Sciences’ “Gold Standard” for Systematic Reviews. This study confirms the results of the widely-cited Health Canada literature review.  The study found that adverse health impacts were not associated with consuming caffeine at the following levels:

  • ≤400 milligrams/day for adults (about 4 cups of coffee/day)
  • ≤300 milligrams/day for pregnant women
  • ≤2.5 milligrams/kilogram per day for children and adolescents

These conclusions were reached after reviewing over 740 studies to assess caffeine’s safety and potential adverse health outcomes.

This work provides the research community with open data and valuable evidence to support future research on caffeine safety, and — importantly — indicates a need to shift future research to unhealthy populations and sensitive individuals.

Learn more about this study by visiting the Caffeine Systematic Review Resource Page.

To learn more about our work, visit Caffeine Committee page