Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Girl Overdoses on Coffee, Rushed to Hospital

After pounding 14 shots of espresso while working her father’s coffee shop, 17-year-old Jasmine Willis “was feeling unwell and crying and laughing uncontrollably in front of bewildered customers.” This according to Britain’s Daily Mail. Dad sent her home, of course, where she managed to get some sleep. But in the morning, her lips were numb and she struggled to breathe, so she was taken to the hospital where the diagnosis was a caffeine overdose.

The ordeal included heat palpitations, uncontrollable sweating, hyperventilation and those uncontrollable emotional outbursts. Yeah, so cocaine should really be… oh, wait… this is a story about a coffee overdose. Sorry.

All this and some scientists wonder if coffee even helps keep people alert. In the Daily Mail story, I also learned a Bristol University study found “levels of alertness among those who drank coffee were almost the same as those who had drunk none.”

But the article is quick to point out that other studies show coffee can delay the onset of Parkinsons and “keep the mind sharp into old age.”

Curious about how much coffee will kill you? Check out
this handy calculator. For me, it would take about 87 cups of regular, cheap drip coffee, or if I’m in a hurry to get the job done, I can pound 45 cups of Starbuck’s drip.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.