SANTA ANA, Calif. — Led by strong coffee sales and an explosion in the popularity of energy drinks, our addiction to caffeine has intensified. It is estimated that 90 percent of Americans consume caffeine daily, with more than half of us drinking down at least 300 milligrams of it. Although a safe limit for caffeine consumption has never been determined, some medical experts said 400 mg should be roughly the limit for adults.
Caffeine is safe for the vast majority of people who consume it, and those who overindulge usually endure symptoms no worse than jitteriness or sleeplessness. But ignoring the caffeine content in certain products, or not knowing about it at all, can bring trouble. Over the past few months, there have been several reports illustrating the dangers of overconsumption of caffeine, for young people and adults. In October, the FDA said it knew about five deaths in the previous three years that were possibly linked to Monster Energy drinks; less than a month later, the agency said it had received reports of 13 deaths possibly linked to 5-Hour Energy shots.
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