The Caffeine Habits of Detroit Lions Coach Dan Campbell Are Untenable and Gross

His morning coffee claims are potentially life threatening. He's also gonna poop himself.

Detroit Lions head football coach Dan Campbell speaks with the media before the Detroit Lions Training Camp on July 28, 2021 in Allen Park, Michigan. Campbell's coffee habits have come under scrutiny.
Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell, perhaps thinking there's a venti coffee in his hand
Nic Antaya/Getty Images

“Normally what I do is I get two venti — I go to Starbucks — and get two shots in ’em. So a black eye in both.”

That admission by Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell earlier this week during a press conference wasn’t charming. It’s a terrible and unhealthy morning habit that should not be emulated in any way, shape or form.

Let’s start with clearing up some misperceptions: if we heard Campbell right, he isn’t actually consuming 80 ounces of coffee and four espresso shots, as NFL writer Rusty Bill believes. We think he’s ordering two venti coffees (it sounds like the Pike Place Roast) and putting two shots total (so one in each cup) in the coffee. So, forty ounces of coffee and two espresso shots.

Which is still terrible. Although studies vary, it appears that 400mg of caffeine per day is considered the upper tier of “safe” for adults. Any more and you’re messing with high blood pressure and an increased chance of heart disease.

If you have two venti Starbucks Pike Place coffees, that’s 820mg. Add in two espresso shots at 75mg each, and you have 970mg. If we’re wrong and Campbell actually is drinking double all of that, you’re at 1,940mg. The FDA says rapid consumption of caffeine that could lead to seizures starts at about 1,200mg.

But hey, Campbell is tough! He wants players who can bite off kneecaps! He’s fired up by fights at practice! He’s a true alpha! He’s also probably shitting himself if he starts his morning with that much coffee. Plus, he could be prone to insomnia, jitters, anxiousness, a fast heart rate, upset stomach, nausea, headaches and even dysphoria (a feeling of unhappiness), according to the FDA.

You know how the true alpha male is? The guy getting good sleep who has a clear head … and no caffeine in his system. As Michael Pollan, author of the Audible Original audio book Caffeine, noted a few years ago, briefly quitting caffeine drastically improved his sleep. And when he did imbibe a bit (not 970mg) of caffeine again after a multi-month respite, the results were earth-shattering. “I felt a radical shift in consciousness and substantially different than I had a half-hour before,” he said. “It was euphoric, a surge of well-being.”

Even with all his unneeded bravado, Campbell still represents an upgrade over former Lions coach Matt Patricia. Our suggestion, if he wants to live comfortably through his first season? Consult your analytics department and use an algorithm to determine a safer amount of caffeine.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!