'Black Insomnia' - How Much Is Too Much Caffeine?
New Brand Boasts 'Dangerously High' Caffeine Levels
According to the National Coffee Association's online survey in 2013, 83 percent of adults in the United States consume coffee. That boils down to roughly three cups per person per day - a staggering 587 million cups. The Mayo Clinic doesn't recommend more than 400 milligrams of caffeine daily, which is the same as four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two "energy shot" drinks. A fatal dose of caffeine can be as much as 10 grams, or roughly the weight of a #2 pencil, which could be found in some 4.7 gallons of coffee.
However, there's a new coffee on the market that could send even the heartiest of caffeine addicts into heart palpitations. Black Insomnia boasts roughly 6.35 percent more caffeine than Death Wish, which previously held the record for the most caffeine per 12 oz cup at around 660 mg. Black Insomnia weighs in at a robust 702 mg of caffeine per 12 oz cup. Given the upper limit of caffeine consumption sits at around 400 mg per day, it's clear that Black Insomnia is not for the faint of heart - mostly because it could send your heart speeding along at a stunning rate.
Mary Sweeney, who researches the effects of caffeine at John Hopkins School Of Medicine, said that Black Insomnia's caffeine amounts could really send coffee consumers into overdrive.
"This makes it easier to consume more caffeine than you intend to and effects can range from mild to severe, for example, jitteriness, nervousness, restlessness and trouble sleeping," she said. "The most serious effect would be cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)."
Caffeine Informer lists Black Insomnia at this point as one of its "Most Dangerous Caffeinated Products." Caffeine Informer's editor, Ted Kallmyer, said that while the product is more than likely meant for those who are able to process caffeine efficiently or simply have a high tolerance for the drug, people who don't have the same sort of tolerance may inadvertently consume the brand.
"The problem with these products is that they can inadvertently be consumed by people who are not in the targeted category," he said.
Among the possible consumers are children, who seem to be beginning to consume energy drinks and even coffee at younger ages. The problem is, the maximum allowable caffeine limit for kids is 45 mg daily, or roughly the equivalent in one can of soda. Too much caffeine can lead to insomnia, jitteriness, upset stomach, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and increased heart rate, among other issues, and for kids, those symptoms can begin after just a little bit of caffeine. Also, kids have a tendency to add a lot of sugar or cream for the coffee to become more palatable. That means there is an increased possibility for weight gain and cavities, among other issues.
As far as Black Insomnia goes, it's not available for sale yet in Canada and has only now started making its mark in the United States. Payment can be made in currencies from South Africa, the United States, Euros or Pounds Sterling, and the company's online website appears to be going through development as new materials are becoming marketable for the company.
While a cup here and there of this high-test coffee might not bring you anywhere near the fatal limits of caffeine consumption, it's important to be mindful of just how much you are drinking, and who else is drinking it with you. While the notion of caffeine toxicity is something that is still being examined at all ages, it's almost certain this is one coffee that will send you into palpitations - and not from excitement.