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Health officials warn of caffeine over-consumption

On average, most people can handle about 300 to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day: that's about what's in three to four 6 ounce cups of coffee. Consuming more than 1,000 milligrams of caffeine could lead to some serious side effects.2 / 2

Atlanta, GA (CNN) - Everybody needs a little boost now and then.  A lot of people turn to caffeine to give them a jolt. But like everything else, too much of a good thing, is not always good for you.  

Caffeine is everywhere - in coffee, iced tea, chocolate, sodas and even in some medications.  It's a stimulant that can make you feel more alert and gives you a boost of energy.  

Dr. Henry Spiller - Central Ohio Poison Control: "So it increases blood flow to the muscles, opens up your lungs. It gives increased performance.”

But when you consume too much of it, caffeine can cause major health problems. On average, most people can handle about 300 to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day: that's about what's in three to four 6 ounce cups of coffee.

What's concerning these days is more and more products contain larger amounts of caffeine. Energy drinks, supplements, even powdered caffeine contains way more of the substance than any cup of coffee.  For example, the FDA warns one teaspoon of powdered caffeine is equivalent to 25 cups of coffee.

Dr. Henry Spiller: "So when they take what they think is a dose it's 10, 15, 20 times what they are expecting."

Consuming more than 1,000 milligrams of caffeine could lead to some serious side effects like an irregular heartbeat, nausea, tremors, insomnia and in some rare situations, death. So beware of what you're drinking. The best way to avoid caffeine overdose is to check the ingredients just to see how much caffeine you are taking in.

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