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How Many Shots of Espresso Is Too Much to Drink in a Day?

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  • Espresso is a tasty, potent shot of coffee that contains caffeine.
  • The FDA recommends that adults do not exceed 400mg of caffeine daily from all sources. Espresso contains roughly 63mg per serving.
  • Drinking seven espressos or more will exceed the limit and potentially lead to health issues such as anxiety, high blood pressure, and insomnia.
  • Although it’s possible to overdose on caffeine, it would be very difficult to do so by drinking espresso — due to the relatively low levels of caffeine in each shot. Most of the risks associated with excessive espresso consumption come from long-term usage rather than drinking one too many coffees in a day.

Espresso is a tasty shot of coffee that is bursting with intense flavors and aromas that coffee lovers can’t resist.

However, espresso is pretty potent given how much caffeine is packed into the small drink. So, how many shots of espresso are too many to safely drink within a single day?

Seven shots of espresso is considered too much to drink in a day. The FDA recommends that adults do not exceed 400mg (0.014 oz) of caffeine daily. Espresso contains roughly 63mg (0.002 oz)per serving. Therefore, drinking seven espressos or more will exceed the limit and potentially lead to health issues.

Continue reading for an in-depth view of how to consume espresso safely. I’ll explore the potential health risks involved and address some common concerns.

I’ll even examine the long-term risks of excessive caffeine consumption.

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What happens if you drink too many shots of espresso in a day?

You should not consume more than six espressos in a day as this exceeds the recommended maximum dose of caffeine.

However, sometimes you may not be paying attention to how many coffees you’ve had in a day. What can you expect to happen if you drink more than six espressos in a day?

If you drink too many shots of espresso in a day, it could cause you to feel restless, have trouble sleeping, and could trigger some anxiety. Drinking too much espresso could also cause your heartbeat to increase and it could cause your blood pressure to rise.

Espresso shot in a small glass.

Depending on how much espresso you drank, you could be putting yourself at risk of further health issues.

However, for the vast majority of the population, drinking more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of caffeine will not put you at severe risk unless you do so regularly.

Espresso is a safe drink that poses little to no health risks in moderate doses. If you exceed the recommended amount, you may suffer minor side effects.

Although if you grossly exceed the recommended dose, you could put yourself at risk as it is actually possible to overdose on caffeine.

However, caffeine overdoses are rare and it’s practically impossible to experience a caffeine overdose due to accidentally consuming too much espresso.

The most significant risks of drinking too much espresso come from long-term excessive usage, not drinking one too many coffees on a given day.

What are the risks of exceeding the RDA of caffeine regularly? 

Caffeine has a recommended daily allowance or RDA of 400mg (0.014 oz). Exceeding this dosage will not put you at serious risk on a one-off, provided you’re a healthy adult.

But what are the chances of regularly consuming more caffeine than is allowed?

Here are some of the health risks posed by exceeding the RDA of caffeine regularly:

  • Insomnia
  • Heart issues
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Pregnancy risks
  • Bladder control issues
  • Digestive problems
  • Osteoporosis

See below for some more information about the potential health risks involved in excessive caffeine use:

Insomnia

Caffeine affects your ability to fall asleep. This is one of the great benefits of drinking caffeine, but it can also be a source of significant problems.

If you drink too much coffee, it will disrupt your sleep. Doing this regularly can lead to chronic insomnia, which can cause severe mental and physical health issues. (Source)

Heart issues 

Drinking caffeine regularly will not put excess strain on your heart, provided you are a healthy adult.

However, drinking too much caffeine regularly can lead to your heart beating too quickly for prolonged periods. This may put you at higher risk of heart attacks or other heart-related issues. (Source)

Anxiety

Excessive caffeine consumption can have adverse effects on your mental health and physical well-being. Too much caffeine may cause you to worry or stay in a heightened state of alertness.

This may lead to anxiety issues, especially in people with predispositions to anxiety disorders. (Source)

High blood pressure

Drinking too much coffee will increase your blood pressure. Doing so regularly can cause your blood pressure to remain high.

This puts you at risk of a variety of severe health issues. Excessive caffeine usage can cause high blood pressure or worsen an existing condition. (Source)

Pregnancy risks

Caffeine is widely viewed as safe for pregnant women to drink in small doses of less than 200mg per day. (Source)

However, exceeding this dosage may put the baby’s life at risk. Excessive caffeine may cause the baby to be born underweight and has been linked to miscarriages.

Therefore pregnant women should consult a medical expert before drinking coffee.

Bladder control issues

Caffeine, when consumed in coffee, can trigger the urge to urinate. This is not cause for significant concern in the short term. (Source)

However, after extended periods this may lead to issues with bladder control. However, this side effect is rare and usually goes away if you stop drinking caffeine.

Digestive problems

Caffeine, especially when it’s in coffee, can upset your stomach. Consuming high amounts of coffee may disrupt your digestive system and irritate you.

This may lead to severe discomfort, and you could even need medical treatment. Drinking too much coffee with IBS is especially risky to your digestive system. (Source)

Osteoporosis

Excessive caffeine intake for a long time can cause your body to flush out too much calcium.

As a result, your lines may weaken and become brittle. This leads to a condition called osteoporosis that will harm your quality of life and put you at risk of injuries to your skeleton. (Source)

While exceeding the safe dose of caffeine regularly boasts many risks, extensive studies have shown that consuming 400 mg or less of caffeine regularly pose little to no health risks in healthy adults. (Source)

Some people may be more sensitive to caffeine or have preexisting conditions and may need to consume fewer caffeinated drinks.

How many shots of espresso does it take to kill a human? 

It takes roughly 150+ shots of espresso to kill a human. Caffeine becomes toxic to humans above 10 grams (0.0004 ounce). There are slightly more than 10 grams (0.0004 ounce) of coffee in 150 shots of espresso. However, consuming this obscene quantity is very difficult to do.

Caffeine overdoses are very rare, but they do occur. Typically, caffeine overdoses occur in younger people or those with underlying medical conditions.

The relatively low caffeine levels in espresso make it almost impossible to overdose if you are a healthy adult drinking less than 150 shots in a day.

Is espresso worse for your stomach than coffee?

Espresso isn’t worse for your stomach than coffee. Filter coffee is harder for your stomach to digest as it takes longer to make. This extra time brewing changes the chemical makeup of the drink and can cause irritation to your gut. Espressos are made quickly and don’t have the same effect.

As a general rule with types of coffee, the longer time it takes to brew, the harder it is on your stomach.

Espresso is one of the quickest brewing types of coffee. As a result, people with sensitive digestive systems often choose espresso for their caffeine hits over filter coffee.

Side by side comparison of espresso coffee and regular brewed coffee.
Espresso on the left. Brewed coffee on the right

You can find more information about the differences between espresso and coffee in this article if you’re interested in learning more about them.

How many shots of espresso do you need to wake up?

You need two to three shots of espresso to wake up. It typically takes between 100mg (0.004 oz) and 200mg (0.007 oz) of caffeine to wake up a sleepy adult. Espresso shots contain about 63mg (0.002 oz), so two to three shots are sufficient to wake up the majority of people.

If you are sensitive to caffeine, you will require fewer shots to wake you up. Drink a single espresso shot in this case and wait for effects to set in.

Single and doppio espresso next to each other.
Single espresso on the left. Doppio espresso on the right

You can have another shot after 30 mins if you still feel sleepy. Just remember not to consume too much as you may feel jittery.

In contrast, if you have a high tolerance for caffeine, you may require four or five shots. Just remember not to exceed six shots of espresso daily regularly as it can put your long-term health at risk.

Can espresso cause panic attacks?

Espresso can cause panic attacks when excessively consumed by people with preexisting anxiety disorders. However, for most people, healthy espresso consumption will not cause anxiety attacks. In high doses, most people will feel jittery and restless and struggle to sleep.

Drinking too much espresso can lead to you feeling anxious or worried. This side effect will increase the more espressos that you consume.

However, unless you have an existing anxiety disorder, the risk of a panic attack from safe espresso usage is little to nothing.

Final thoughts

Espressos are delicious and a great way to get a quick hit of caffeine during the day. However, an espresso is a treat that you should try to enjoy in moderation.

Drinking seven or more espressos in a day is above the recommended daily allowance, so try to limit your consumption to a maximum of six shots per day.

Learn more about coffee

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