Scientific Opinion on the safety of caffeine
Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the safety of caffeine, providing advice on caffeine intakes, from all dietary sources that do not give rise to concerns about adverse health effects for the general healthy population and subgroups thereof. Possible interactions between caffeine and other constituents of so-called “energy drinks”, alcohol, p-synephrine and physical exercise should also be addressed. Single doses of caffeine up to 200 mg (about 3 mg/kg bw for a 70-kg adult) do not give rise to safety concerns. The same amount does not give rise to safety concerns when consumed < 2 hours prior to intense physical exercise under normal environmental conditions. Other constituents of “energy drinks” at typical concentrations in such beverages (about 300–320, 4 000 and 2 400 mg/L of caffeine, taurine and d-glucurono-γ-lactone, respectively), as well as alcohol at doses up to about 0.65 g/kg bw, would not affect the safety of single doses of caffeine up to 200 mg. Habitual caffeine consumption up to 400 mg per day does not give rise to safety concerns for non-pregnant adults. Habitual caffeine consumption up to 200 mg per day by pregnant women does not give rise to safety concerns for the fetus. Single doses of caffeine and habitual caffeine intakes up to 200 mg consumed by lactating women do not give rise to safety concerns for breastfed infants. For children and adolescents, the information available is insufficient to derive a safe caffeine intake. The Panel considers that caffeine intakes of no concern derived for acute caffeine consumption by adults (3 mg/kg bw per day) may serve as a basis to derive single doses of caffeine and daily caffeine intakes of no concern for these population subgroups.