How Many Shots Of Espresso Can Kill You? [ANSWERED]

An espresso is a type of coffee. Specifically, it refers to an Italian method of brewing coffee to make a small, concentrated shot. Coffee drinkers tend to like espresso as it contains a good amount of caffeine, making it a great way to wake up and start the morning.  

While there's no harm in having a shot or two of espresso, drinking too many shots of espresso could do more harm than good. In this guide, we'll delve deeper into how many shots of espresso can kill you, and the side effects of drinking too much espresso.  

According to studies, it is recommended to consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day (about six espresso shots).

This, however, is a health limit, and drinking more than that could lead to caffeine toxicity and potentially more serious health problems. It is important to keep in mind, however, that caffeine tolerance does vary depending on your height, weight, caffeine sensitivity levels, and what you've eaten.  

Consuming between 5 and 10 grams of caffeine, however, is a potentially lethal dose. To consume about 10 grams of caffeine, though, you would need to have about 156 shots of espresso. That's an incredible amount of espresso, and it's highly likely that you'll experience symptoms of caffeine overdose before your body gets to that point.  

How Many Shots Of Espresso Can Kill You

Health Effects Of Drinking Too Much Espresso (Caffeine Toxicity Symptoms) 

Below are some of the health effects of drinking too much espresso.  

  • 1
    High intakes of caffeine (about 1,000mg or more a day) could cause individuals to experience nervousness, jitteriness, and anxiety. For individuals that are more sensitive to caffeine, a small amount may lead to similar effects, including a racing heart. 
  • 2
    Caffeine is known to stimulate bowel movements by increasing peristalsis - the contractions that move food through the digestive tract. Given this, it's no surprise that large amounts of caffeine could cause diarrhea in some individuals.  
  • 3
    High doses of caffeine could cause your heart to beat faster, which in turn may lead to other side effects such as dizziness. Large amounts of caffeine may also lead to an altered heartbeat rhythm, otherwise known as atrial fibrillation.  
  • 4
    On average, caffeine can remain in your system for an average of five hours, depending on the individual. Drinking large amounts of caffeine before bed could result in trouble falling asleep and even insomnia in the long run.  
  • 5
    Muscle Breakdown 
    Large doses of caffeine within a short period of time could lead to rhabdomyolysis, a serious condition in which damaged muscle fibers enter the bloodstream, leading to a slew of other problems.  
  • 6
    High Blood Pressure 
    Consuming large amounts of caffeine has been known to raise blood pressure as it has a stimulatory effect on the nervous system.  
  • 7
    Frequent urination and urgency 
    Due to caffeine’s stimulatory effects on the bladder, frequent urination is a common side effect of consuming excessive amounts of caffeine.  
coffee drinker

So, How Many Shots Of Espresso Can I Drink Every Day? 

If you are someone that’s sensitive to caffeine, you should be consuming no more than six shots of espresso a day. As mentioned earlier, six espressos is about 400 milligrams of caffeine, the limit for most individuals.  

Most individuals can handle about 300 milligrams of caffeine a day with no problems - about three shots of espresso. It is important to note, however, that this can vary depending on your weight, height, caffeine sensitivity levels, etc. If you're not sure, it's a good idea to start out with about one to two shots of espresso and see how you feel before consuming more.  

espresso cups on espresso maker

Getting Help – Who To Talk To When Times Are Tough?  

When Sleep Deprived  

Most individuals consume large amounts of caffeine because they need it to stay awake. This can be due to numerous reasons, from working too much or even becoming new parents. If you're sleep deprived and notice that you're relying too much on coffee, it's important to cut down on your caffeine consumption before it becomes a larger health concern. 

Speak with a family member, friend, or work colleague to see if they're able to help with the tasks that you're dealing with and look for alternative ways to lower your dependence on caffeine.  

If You Have Suicidal Thoughts  

If you have suicidal thoughts, there are some hotlines to reach out to for help.  

National Suicide Prevention Hotline -
With a national network of more than 150 local crisis centers, they offer free and confidential emotional support around the clock. 

Crisis Text Line -
A free messaging resource that offers 24/7 support, you can text the Crisis Text Line at any time. 

National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK - 
This helpline offers a listening service to anyone who might harbor thoughts of suicide.  

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is espresso stronger than filter coffee? 

Filter coffee is actually stronger than espresso. While filter coffee has about 150-210 milligrams of caffeine in a brew, a shot of espresso has about 63 milligrams of caffeine. Filter coffee has more caffeine as water spends a longer time in contact with the ground coffee in a drip filter.  

Will 2 shots of espresso wake you up? 

Two shots of espresso has a sufficient amount of caffeine to wake you up. Just two shots of espresso alone contains more caffeine than your standard cup of drip coffee.  

How many shots of espresso equals a cup of black coffee? 

A shot of espresso typically has about 50 to 70 milligrams of caffeine, while a black coffee has about 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine, depending on the source. In general, however, about two to three shots of espresso would equal a cup of black coffee.  

Is espresso coffee a healthier alternative to a regular cup? 

Overall, espresso is considered healthier than a regular cup as the espresso making process allows the coffee’s natural oils and minerals to flow into the coffee.  


While there’s no harm in drinking a shot or two of espresso, it's important to consume espresso shots in moderation. Consuming too much caffeine will not only lead to caffeine toxicity, but it could also lead to plenty of other health problems in the long run.