How to counteract too much caffeine?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How to counteract too much caffeine?”. We will also elaborate on the symptoms of too much caffeine and some ways to overcome them. 

How to counteract too much caffeine?

Caffeine consumption is primarily due to coffee, tea and soft drinks. In the U.S., it is estimated that coffee contributes to 75% of the total caffeine intake, tea is 15%, and soda with caffeine accounts for 10%; 5 chocolate and other caffeine-containing foods and medications contribute relatively little to overall caffeine exposure (1).

If you have consumed too much caffeine, and are experiencing restlessness and nausea, among other symptoms, do not worry, here we have described some quick tips to help you counteract too much caffeine in your system. Caffeine is diuretic and a high dose of caffeine may lead to dehydration. Therefore, it is necessary to ingest an additional quantity of liquids, especially water, to recover the body from the effects of caffeine (4).

No extra caffeine. The first good thing you could do to yourself is to not consume any more caffeine at least for a day. Though it seems obvious, make sure you do not mistakenly eat your habitual midday chocolatey snack bar.

Drink lots of water. Caffeine has diuretic properties, which means that you need to have lots of water to compensate for what you are excreting out. You surely do not want to suffer from dehydration along with uneasiness.

Have some herbal tea. Herbal tea really helps to counterbalance the effects of too much caffeine on the body. 

Including no caffeine, these extraordinary teas provide some notably good health benefits, for instance, herbal teas help to aid digestion, protect cells and help to get relief from flu. Not to forget the healing property as being an extra bonus, also! Chamomile tea is a must-try.

Restore electrolytes. If you are suffering from diarrhea because of high levels of caffeine, your body is getting deficient in not only water but also electrolytes. You can easily restore the deficiency with an oral rehydration solution for instance Pedialyte.

Go for a walk. If you feel a load of bottled-up energy, go for a walk to dissipate some of it. But if you feel something strange happening to your heartbeat, such as an immediate rapid rise, then hold on. However, exercising may lead to sweating and the need for extra liquid ingestion (4).

Exercise deep breathing. If you are feeling apprehensive, it is likely that your breathing has accelerated and is shallow and that will increase your stress even more. Take slow, long, conscious breaths to return your breathing back to a healthy state and reduce stress.

Symptoms of too much caffeine 

Being a stimulant, caffeine helps us to stay awake, the reason why most of us have it. Commonly included among observed psychological manifestations of very high doses of caffeine are excessive anxiety, sleep disturbances, irritability, and agitation. Accompanying physical symptoms can include tremulousness, muscle twitches, diuresis, arrhythmias, flushing, tachypnea, palpitations, gastrointestinal disturbances, psychophysiological complaints, sensory disturbances, tachycardia, and respiratory distress. At extreme doses, the drug can be severely toxic or even fatal (1). 

But if consumed in excessive amounts, it can lead to a variety of unfavorable symptoms which are listed below: 

  • Sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Dehydration
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive issues, including diarrhea and indigestion

Individuals with any pre-existing heart problem should avoid taking caffeine in excess amounts as it can trigger accelerated and irregular heartbeats, which can result in immediate cardiac arrest.

Foods to avoid with too much caffeine

Brewed coffee contains the most caffeine (56–100 mg/100 ml), followed by instant coffee and tea (20–73 mg/100 ml) and cola (9–19 mg/100 ml). Cocoa and chocolate products are also important sources of caffeine (e.g. 5–20 mg/100 g in chocolate candy), as are a wide variety of both prescription (30–100 mg/tablet or capsule) and non-prescription (15–200 mg/tablet or capsule) drugs (3).

Foods and drinks to avoid when you have too much caffeine in your body include: 

  • Soda
  • Coffee
  • Desserts
  • Tea
  • Energy drinks
  • Ice creams
  • Dark chocolate 

Moreover, do not take medicines, supplements, and personal care products that may have caffeine. Many analgesics are combined with caffeine to treat migraine, such as Midol Complete and Excedrin ES (3).

Similarly, many performance-enhancing formulas such as pre-workout supplements may have large amounts of caffeine, with up to 250 milligrams in only two tsp. Studies suggested that specific training may be the catalyst that stimulates caffeine’s ergogenic effects during high intensity, anaerobic activity (1).

How much is too much caffeine?

Most people can safely have 400 milligrams of caffeine in a single day, which is equal to approximately 4 cups (945 milliliters) of coffee (3).

But, caffeine sensitivity fluctuates depending upon age, genes, weight, and our liver’s strength to metabolize caffeine. 

Furthermore, certain medicines such as oral contraceptives and heart medicines can enhance caffeine’s circulation rate in the body.

Pregnant females should not take more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day, as an excess amount of caffeine in the body may increase the risk of pre-term birth, miscarriage, and low birth weight.

Children and teenagers should not consume caffeine due to developmental risks. 

Be sure to vigilantly review food labels to know the correct amount of caffeine. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration states that one 12-ounce tin of soda has 30-40 mg of caffeine, whereas one 8 oz cup of coffee has 80-100 mg. 

Green tea and black tea provide about 30-50 mg of caffeine, whereas energy drinks can provide around 250 mg in 8 oz.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “How to counteract too much caffeine?”. We have also elaborated on the symptoms of too much caffeine and some ways to overcome them. 


  1. Lundsberg, Lisbet S. Caffeine consumption. Caffeine. CRC Press, 2019. 199-224. 
  2. Nawrot, Peter, et al. Effects of caffeine on human healthFood Addit Contam, 2003, 20, 1-30.  
  3. Lipton, Richard B., et al. Caffeine in the management of patients with headachej headache pain, 2017, 18, 1-11.  
  4. Maughan, Ron J., and J. Griffin. Caffeine ingestion and fluid balance: a reviewJ Human Nutr Diet, 2003, 16, 411-420.

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