The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published its scientific opinion on the safety of caffeine, in which it estimates acute and daily intakes that raise no safety concerns for the general healthy population. The opinion also advises on the consumption of caffeine from all dietary sources in combination with physical exercise, and on the possible risks of consuming caffeine together with alcohol, with other substances found in so-called energy drinks, and with p-synephrine, a substance increasingly found in food supplements.

The assessment was finalized following extensive input from member states, consumer groups, industry and other interested parties. This included a two-month online consultation and a stakeholder meeting in Brussels.

The opinion states in part:

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-?-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.

It is the first time that the risks from caffeine from all dietary sources have been assessed at EU level. A number of risk assessments have been carried out previously by national and other authoritative bodies around the world, which were thoroughly analyzed by EFSA’s working group.

The European Commission asked EFSA to carry out its assessment after a number of member states raised concerns about adverse health effects associated with caffeine consumption—particularly cardiovascular disease, problems related to the central nervous system (for example, interrupted sleep and anxiety), and possible risks to fetal health in pregnant women.