Caffeine is a substance found in various kinds of foods and drinks. When taken, it is known to increase levels of activity and alertness.
It is commonly incorporated in drinks such as soda, coffee, tea, and energy drinks. Now you may be wondering: just how much caffeine is there in drinks anyway?
How Much Caffeine Does Coffee Have?
The amount of caffeine in coffee actually depends on the kind of coffee, how it is prepared, and other factors. For example, cold brew coffee, made from soaking coffee beans in water, can have over 200 mg of caffeine per cup.
Brewed coffee has some of the highest caffeine content of any kind of coffee. A single cup of brewed coffee can have around 100 mg of coffee per cup. Meanwhile, espresso cups can have even more caffeine in them, as much as 200 mg of coffee per cup.
Instant coffee mixes generally have less caffeine than brewed coffee. For example, a cup of instant coffee can have as little as 30 mg of caffeine or as much as 90 mg of it.
Frappuccinos, as popularized by Starbucks, can either have a coffee base or a creme base. Most Frappuccinos that have a creme base, such as vanilla, or caramel flavors, do not have any caffeine in them. Some tea flavor of Frappuccinos, however, such as matcha does have some caffeine in them. Chocolate-flavored Frappuccinos may also have a small amount of caffeine, albeit not nearly as much as tea or coffee-based drinks. The caffeine content of coffee-based Frappuccinos depends on the size of the drink. For example, a medium-sized (grande) cup has around 100 mg of caffeine in it.
Contrary to popular belief, decaffeinated coffee does still have some trace amounts of caffeine in it. For example, a cup of decaf coffee has around 10 mg or less of caffeine. This is still far less than most forms of coffee or even tea.
How Much Caffeine Does Tea Have?
Generally speaking, tea drinks have smaller amounts of caffeine compared to coffee drinks. This is even though tea leaves actually contain more caffeine than coffee beans. The smaller amounts of caffeine in tea drinks are a result of the preparation method. Tea drinks are generally boiled while coffee drinks are usually brewed.
Not all teas have caffeine. Tea drinks made from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) have varying amount amounts of caffeine in them depending on how they are made. Teas made from other plants (such as ginger and chamomile) do not have caffeine.
A cup of green tea or matcha has around 40 to 70 mg of caffeine in it. This is still less than the typical cup of black tea.
Black tea drinks generally have more caffeine in them than green tea. A single cup of black tea can have as much as 100 mg of caffeine in it.
Iced teas from Lipton and Nestea are usually made from a kind of black tea called orange pekoe. On average, a single cup of iced tea has around 47 mg of caffeine in it.
The amount of caffeine in milk tea depends on the base used. Asian milk teas (also called bubble teas) are usually made from black teas. Depending on the size of the cup or container, a serving of bubble tea can have over 100 mg of caffeine in it.
How Much Caffeine Does Soda Have?
Sodas such as Coke and Pepsi tend to have less caffeine in them than coffee. They also have around the same amount of caffeine as tea.
A single 12 oz (0.35 l) can of Coke or Pepsi has around 34 mg of caffeine in it. Diet Coke (called Coke Light in some countries) has slightly more caffeine, with 46 mg per can. A single can of Dr. Pepper, on the other hand, has around 41 mg of caffeine in it.
Notably, Mountain Dew, a drink popular with gamers, has 55 mg of caffeine per can. Another cola popular among that demographic, Jolt Cola, has around 71 mg per serving.
How Much Caffeine Do Energy Drinks Have?
The amount of caffeine in energy drinks depends on the brand and the serving amount. Cans of the most popular brands like Red Bull and Monster have between 110 to 120 mg of caffeine in them. Surprisingly, this is around the same amount of caffeine as an equivalent amount of coffee, although energy drinks compensate by having a lot more sugar. On the other hand, drinks such as 5-hour Energy compensate for their smaller serving sizes by containing much more caffeine. A single 2 oz (0.06 l) bottle of 5-hour Energy has over 200 calories.
How Much Caffeine Does Water Have?
Water usually does not have any caffeine in it. In fact, water does not have any calories in it at all! But there are caffeinated water drinks that can either have flavors or no flavors. According to Healthline, a serving can of one has anywhere from 34 to 125 mg of caffeine, depending on the size of the container.
How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?
Health experts suggest that adults should not intake more than 400 mg of caffeine per day, with lower limits being suggested for younger groups such as teenagers and children. High consumption of caffeine has been linked to various health issues such as breathing and health problems, insomnia, anxiety, and even problems with digestion. Caffeine can also be addictive, although not to the extent of drugs or alcohol.
Finally, while moderate caffeine consumption has not been linked to severe issues among pregnant women according to WebMD, some studies have shown that excessive caffeine consumption may be linked to a higher risk of miscarriage. Finally, the consumption of energy drinks can cause other health risks. According to the Washington Post, as much as 10 percent of all ER visits linked to energy drinks have resulted in hospitalizations.
Should You Still Drink Caffeinated Drinks?
The answer, as with many things in life is: yes, but in moderation. But here are some pros and con.
Here are five more reasons to help people limit their daily caffeine intake:
1. Caffeinated drinks often contain empty calories.
Many caffeinated drinks also have lots of sugar and fat. Drinking too much soda may rob teens of valuable nutrients such as calcium.
“Even if you’re drinking tea or coffee, if you’re adding milk, sugar or honey, that can be a problem” with added calories and sugar, says Ty G. Bristol, MD, MPH, a pediatrician at UNC Pediatrics at Panther Creek.
2. Caffeinated drinks can cause dental problems.
Drinking coffee or tea can stain teeth. The sugar in many caffeinated beverages can lead to cavities.
3. Can cause insomnia.
Caffeine can make it hard to fall asleep at night, which could lead to insomnia and daytime sleepiness.
“Some teens can get twitchy, and caffeine can cause insomnia if you consume too much or late at night,” Dr. Bristol says.
4. Can affect your heart and head.
Large amounts of caffeine can raise blood pressure in some people.
“If you drink too much, especially those big energy drinks, they can increase your heart rate, and blood pressure goes up with caffeine,” Dr. Bristol says.
It also can cause withdrawal headaches.
“A kid that drinks too much caffeine chronically in high doses can develop a tolerance to it,” Dr. Bristol says. “And then, of course, if they try to stop, they can have withdrawal symptoms, which includes rebound headaches.”
5. It can drain your wallet.
Caffeinated beverages can be expensive, especially when you buy drinks from popular coffee chains. Think about how much money you could save if you didn’t spend so much on caffeine.
But if consumed in moderation, caffeine intake has benefits, too.
Here are three benefits of caffeine consumption for teens:
1. It can increase alertness and mental energy.
“Caffeine is a stimulant, and stimulants can help with attention issues,” Dr. Bristol says. “A little bit of coffee can help you be alert to give you a little bit of good mental energy.”
2. In small doses can reduce headaches.
A small amount of caffeine may ease headaches. Before a headache, blood vessels tend to enlarge, but caffeine has properties that cause the blood vessels to narrow and restrict blood flow, which can help reduce head pain.
“Caffeine is actually used in some of the headache medicines,” Dr. Bristol says.
3. Can help you poop.
Drinking coffee can stimulate movement of the muscles in your colon that cause bowel movements.
“There are some studies that say a little bit of caffeine can actually help with constipation because of how it affects the colonic muscle,” Dr. Bristol says