How much caffeine is there in [drink/food/pill]?

By means of comparison, a 7 oz cup of coffee has the following caffeine (mg) amounts, according to Bunker and McWilliams in J. Am. Diet. 74:28-32, 1979:

7oz coffee:
Drip 115-175
Brewed 80-135
Instant 65-100
Decaf, brewed 3-4
Decaf, instant 2-3

12oz tea:
Tea, iced (12 ozs.) 70
Tea, brewed, imported 60
Tea, brewed, U.S. 40
Tea, instant 30

Other:
Mate 25-150mg
Espresso 100mg of caffeine 1 serving (1.5-2oz)

Acording to The American Beverage Asscoiation the numbers are a little different:

Coffee, 8oz drip 104-192 mg
Tea, 8oz brewed 20-90
Iced Tea, 8 oz 9-50
Soft Drinks, 8 oz 20-40
Cocoa Beverage, 8oz 3-32
Milk Chocolate, 1 oz 1-15
Dark Chocolate, 1 oz 5-35

Other data on caffeine:
Generic stay-awake pill 100mg
Vivarin 200mg
Cold relief tablet with caffeine 30mg

The variability in the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee or tea is relatively large even if prepared by the same person using the same equipment and ingredients day after day.

Reference Variability in caffeine consumption from coffee and tea: Possible significance for epidemiological studies by B. Stavric, R. Klassen, B. Watkinson, K. Karpinski, R. Stapley, and P. Fried in “Foundations of Chemical Toxicology”, Volume 26, number 2, pp. 111-118, 1988 and an easy to read overview, Looking for the Perfect Brew by S. Eisenberg, “Science News”, Volume 133, April 16, 1988, pp. 252-253.

Quote from the lab manual:

Caffeine is present in tea leaves and in coffee to the extent of about 4%. Tea also contains two other alkaloids, theobromine and theophylline. These last two relax the smooth muscles where caffeine stimulates the heart and respiratory systems.

The effects of theobromine are, compared to caffeine and theophylline, relatively moderate. However, cocoa contains eight times more theophylline than caffeine. As well, caffeine has been shown to combine with other substances for added potency. Thus the effects of theobromine might be enhanced by the caffeine in chocolate.

Theobromine is highly toxic to dogs and kills many canids/year via chocolate poisoning. It takes quite a dose to reach fatal levels (more than 200 mg/kg bodyweight) but some dogs have a bad habit of eating out of garbage cans and some owners have a bad habit of feeding dogs candy. A few oreos won’t hurt a dog, but a pound of chocolate can do considerable damage.

Clinical signs of theobromine toxicity in canids usually manifest 8 hours after ingestion and can include: thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, urinary incontinence, nervousness, clonic muscle spasms, seizures and coma. Any dog thought to have ingested a large quantity of chocolate should be brought to an emergency clinic asap, where treatment usually includes the use of emetics and activated charcoal. The dog will thus need to be monitored to maintain proper fluid and electrolyte balance.

Pathogenesis of theobromine toxicity: evidently large quantities of theobromine have a diuretic effect, relax smooth muscles, and stimulate the heart and cns.

Reference:

Fraser, Clarence M., et al, eds. The Merck Veterinary Manual, 7th ed. Rahway, NJ: Merck & Co., Inc. 1991. pp. 1643-44.

On humans caffeine acts particularly on the brain and skeletal muscles while theophylline targets heart, bronchia, and kidneys.

 

The following information is from Bowes and Church’s Food values of portions commonly used, by Anna De Planter Bowes. Lippincott, Phila. 1989. Pages 261-2: Caffeine.

Candy:
Chocolate               mg caffeine
baking choc, unsweetened, Bakers--1 oz(28 g) 25
german sweet, Bakers -- 1 oz (28 g)           8
semi-sweet, Bakers -- 1 oz (28 g)            13
Choc chips
Bakers -- 1/4 cup (43 g)     13
german sweet, Bakers -- 1/4 cup (43 g)       15
Chocolate bar, Cadbury  -- 1 oz (28 g)         15
1.4 oz bar of milk choc. 	  3-10
1.4 oz bar of white choc      2-4 
1.4 oz. bar of dark choc       28 
Chocolate milk  8oz             8
Chocolate milk 8 oz. glass     2-7
Desserts:
Jello Pudding Pops, Choc (47 g) 2
Choc mousse from Jell-O mix (95 g)              6
Jello choc fudge mousse (86 g) 12
Chocolate covered espresso bean3-5 
Beverages
3 heaping teaspoons of choc powder mix          8
2 tablespoons choc syrup        5
1 envelope hot cocoa mix        5
Dietary formulas
ensure, plus, choc, Ross Labs -- 8 oz (259 g)  10
Cadbury Milk Chocolate Bar
More stuff:
Guarana "Magic Power" (quite common in Germany),
15 ml alcohol with
5g Guarana Seeds        250.0 mg
Guarana capsules with
500 mg G. seeds          25.0 mg / capsule
(assuming 5% caffeine in seeds as stated in literature)

Guarana soda pop is ubiquitous in Brazil and often available at tropical groceries.

It is possible that in addition to caffeine, there is some other substance in guarana that also produces an effect, since it ‘feels’ different than coffee. Same goes for mate.

According to the National Soft Drink Association, the following is the caffeine content in mgs per 12 oz can of soda:

Afri-Cola 100.0 (?)
Jolt 71.2
Sugar-Free Mr. Pibb 58.8
Mountain Dew 55.0 (no caffeine in Canada)
Diet Mountain Dew 55.0
Kick citrus 54 (36mg per 8oz can, caffeine from guarana)
Mello Yellow 52.8
Surge 51.0
Tab 46.8
Battery energy drink — 140mg/l = 46.7mg/can
Coca-Cola 45.6
Diet Cola 45.6
Shasta Cola 44.4
Shasta Cherry Cola 44.4
Shasta Diet Cola 44.4
Mr. Pibb 40.8
OK Soda 40.5
Dr. Pepper 39.6
Pepsi Cola 37.2
Aspen 36.0
Diet Pepsi 35.4
RC Cola 36.0
Diet RC 36.0
Diet Rite 36.0
Snapple Tea 31.5
Canada Dry Cola 30.0
Canada Dry Diet Cola 1.2
7 Up 0

Visit the largest caffeine content database on the net at caffeineinformer.com.

 

55 thoughts on “How much caffeine is there in [drink/food/pill]?”

  1. tea

    Your site along with others simply distinguish imported and local tea. It is my understanding that there is a great difference between black and green tea. Is that not true? If so, how do the caffeine levels in each break down and compare to each other and coffee?

  2. Guarana soda pop

    “Guarana soda pop is ubiquitous in Brazil and often available at tropical groceries here.”

    How much caffeine does it have?

    1. It’s important to realise…

      It’s important to realise that Guarana is Caffeine, they’re the exact same compound, it’s just that they have different names because they come from different sources.

      1. The combination of the

        The combination of the caffeine in guarana and some other chemicals results in the guarana-sourced caffeine to actually be released slower and more steadily into your system. That’s why it doesn’t give you jitters – instead of POW all of it hitting your blood and metabolism at once and then wearing off in a few hours, it seeps into your blood stream slower, but continues doing so for a longer time so you have a more sustained effect.

        Of course, if you just chemically extracted the pure caffeine from the guarana you won’t get this effect – there’s nothing special about the caffeine itself. It takes the combination of chemicals. I totally forget what the helper chemicals are though :/

      2. The stimulant found in

        The stimulant found in guarana beans is called ‘guaranine’, but is indeed the exact same chemical compound as the caffeine found in coffee. The two different names are used for historical reasons.

  3. Guarana and Mate

    The reason Guarana and Mate “feel” different is because the caffeine is not as easily metabolized by the body as opposed to coffee and to a lesser extent tea. The caffeine in coffee is readily soluable in water (hot) which is not the case with Guarana. Guarana has a tendency to act as if it were a “time release” stimulant and taken in similar caffeine doses to coffee actually has less of an immediate effect. The different “feel” from Guarana is most often due to the fact that the dosage is way higher than with an average cup of strong coffee.

  4. 7-11 has this new “turbo

    7-11 has this new “turbo coffee” , which draws a few questions:

    1. i’m assuming it is turbo because there is more caffeine, but is there really that much of a caffeine variance between mild and bold beans to declare them as “turbo”, or is it just a marketing scheme?

    2. A red eye at starbucks is a cup of coffee with one shot of espresso, would this have a longer lasting effect on me than a regular cup of coffee? I assumed it would give you a huge initial boost, but then wear off in the same amount of time as if having plain coffee?

    1. Coffee and Caffeine Content

      Actually, espresso has LESS caffeine in it than drip coffee, not that it makes a difference in the answer to your question. Your assumption is on the right track, but not quite right. You’ll get a big initial boost because you’re taking in more caffeine. You’ll also get a longer boost because you’re taking in more caffeine. About half the amount of caffeine that you ingest is metabolized in four hours – so if you drink more, you’ll get a bigger boost in the first four hours, and in each succeeding four hour period until there’s not enough left in your system to cause an effect.

      The turbo coffee that 7-11 has recently introduced here in New England (and I assume it’s the same across the country) is a blend of coffee, guarana and yerba mate. The latter two are used in many cultures the way that we drink coffee, for the caffeine boost, so it’s not so much a matter of the difference between mild and bold beans as it is having three different sources of caffeine.

      There is, however, a big difference in caffeine content of different kinds of beans. Generally, coffee grown at low altitudes has less caffeine than high altitude coffee. Robusta coffee has considerably more caffeine than arabica coffee, but less ‘coffee’ flavor. In addition, the roasting time affects how much caffeine is present in coffee, with lighter roasts having more caffeine. The darker the roast, the less caffeine makes its way into the final brewed coffee.

        1. Bold or mild only describes

          Bold or mild only describes flavour, not caffeine level. However bold coffees(darker roasted) are likely to have been roasted for a longer period of time versus light roast (mild) coffees. Roasting is a heating process. The longer the bean is heated, the more caffeine is lost (dark roast). The less the bean is heated, the less caffeine is lost. So, in most cases (though not all) dark roast coffees, while having a stronger taste, have less caffeine than mild coffees.

          1. Sort of

            Caffeine is actually stable during roasting. The amount of bean lost does not vary greatly between the few minutes(at most) that distinguish a dark roast from a lighter one. Caffeine content is more a matter of the raw bean(Arabica,Robusta, etc.) and the brewing method than anything else. At the same time, a bold coffee is not necessarily roasted longer than a mild one. Kenya, for instance, benefits from a shorter roasting time but the fruity and exotic flavor profile often means it is considered a bold coffee. Some Latin American coffees are roasted longer to achieve the right balance of flavor and acidity, but they still come across as mild. At any rate, a chemical analysis could determine statistically significant differences in caffeine content, but that wouldn’t mean a consumer would be able to perceive any difference.

          2. Correct, but…

            I am tired of getting the same old “light roast has more caffeine than dark roast coffee” from the under-informed, overly-pompous baristas across the counter. The fact of the matter is that the answer to the question of whether light roast has more caffeine or not, is both YES and NO. It all depends on how you are measuring it. Say what?

            Yes, caffeine levels remain stable during the roasting process. Yes, the caffeine level is determined by the green-bean. Here’s where it gets tricky. The roasts that are considered “light”, are chosen to be roasted that way, because of very specific characteristics in the green-bean, these characteristics, usually accompany beans with a higher caffeine content. So yes, BEAN FOR BEAN, light roast coffee has more caffeine in it (in general) than dark roast coffee.

            So why the “No” then? Well, during the roasting process, caffeine does not break down, but what IS extracted and manipulated by the roaster, is the Moisture-Content of the green-bean. The darker the roast, the less moisture content. The less moisture content, the smaller and less Mass, the roasted bean will have. Meaning?

            Proper coffee proportion standards are measured by weight, not by by the number of beans you put into your preffered method of brewing.

            SO, You will need to use MORE dark roasted beans, to produce the same weight of ground coffee, than you would have to use of ligther roasted coffee. So any minute variables there are in caffeine levels, are either cancelled out by this equasion, or resulting in a higher caffeine level of a darker roast coffee.

            So, Yes and No. It all depends on how you’re measuring it! If this doesn’t make sense, email me and I’ll be happy to explain further.

    2. as far as the second

      as far as the second question goes yes in a way u will get more of a boost from more caffeine and depending on how much caffeine u consume on a daily basis it may last longer too…but there is a few other variables….personally speaking i have been to the point where i burned my body out by having too much caffeine in my body after a while ur body will adjust to higher levels of coffee and the cafeine “HIGH” will were off much sooner then expected and at a faster rate.

      also there are a few other things to consider caffeine is addictive also sooner or later it will b to the point where u will require it for everyday tasks

      caffeine also (from my thought i am not positive and correct me if i am wrong) is not the only thing that speeds up ur heart i am thinking that it may also trcik ur body into producing more norapinephrine which in turn will break down into epinephrine which will speed up metabolism and heart rate

      also another thing there is a risk too when taking caffine in the end it will leave u with a low because it burns out ur body and several senses are greatly decreased such as thought process and some motor skills it is best to use caffeine as a last resort rather then an everyday ritual
      (hopefully my infrmation is as accurate as possible i am not a doctor but i have been taught about things such as this from wash U professors doctors and some physicians i am only in high school so i would appreciate it if any mistakes or misunderstandings be corrected i appreciate that thank u)

  5. seizures & caffine

    does too much caffine cause seizures – I was taking metaboless ultamate tablets to enhance energy and diet – control my appatite (this bottle did not contain efedra which I think is now banned) – I had a seizure after taking metablite with efedera four years ago – I noticed that each tablet contains 55mg of caffine, along with other stuff- serving size is 2 tablets before meals not to exceed 6. thank you

    1. You said it yourself–55 mg.

      You said it yourself–55 mg. That’s half a small cup of coffee. So question #1, have you ever lived through a cup of coffee? How ’bout two? If so, I doubt it’s the caffeine. (Although I’m about the most anti-caffeine guy out there…)

  6. I had no idea about this. I

    I had no idea about this. I had an addiction for coffee and after i’ve cured this i wasn’t allowed to get no caffeine in my lunch and now i see i did it involuntary.

  7. omg

    So there is so much caffeine in stuff I eat or drink. Reading the products above, almost 80% of the bought products that I consume have caffeine. I never knew that.

    1. Drug Intervention Maryland

      A drug, broadly speaking, is any chemical substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function.There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage.It defines a drug as “a chemical substance used in the treatment,
      cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being.”Drugs may be prescribed for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders.Some drugs can cause addiction and habituation.Many natural substances such as beers, wines, and some mushrooms, blur the line between food and drugs, as when ingested they affect the functioning of both mind and body.
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      Drug Intervention Maryland

  8. Wow

    Wow, I have never heard about it. And that`s really amazing! Cocoa also includes caffeine and I have found information that cocoa can be the elixir of youth and slow down the aging process:

  9. To much Caffine

    Generally, coffee grown at low altitudes has less caffeine than high altitude coffee. Robusta coffee has considerably more caffeine than arabica coffee, but less ‘coffee’ flavor. In addition, the roasting time affects how much caffeine is present in coffee, with lighter roasts having more caffeine. The darker the roast, the less caffeine makes its way into the final brewed coffee.
    Caffine also has a nasty effect on bladder.

  10. Caffine is a drug

    Most people dont know that caffine is a drug as well. Though many people don’t ever need help some people do experience withdrawal from it.

  11. Caffeine as a drug

    I teach pharmacology to respiratory therapy and nursing students and I’d like to address some misperceptions being shared on this forum, the information provided is my educated opinion, if you have any concerns about how this may affect your health contact a MD; anything stated here is not meant to replace consultation with a MD (sorry- this is legalise for “If you think you have any medical condition related to or aggrevated by caffeine contact a doctor”. 1- Caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline belong to a class of drugs called xanthines (or methylxanthines) and they all exert pretty much the same effect on the human organism- i.e. increased pulse, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, bronchodilation, diuresis, diarrhea, etc.(see GOODMAN & GILMAN, Textbook of Clinical Pharmacolgy), but ONLY IN RELATION TO THE DOSE CONSUMED and EACH INDIVIDUAL’S RESPONSE TO CAFFEINE (Put more simply: your response is based mainly on how much caffeine you consume and how your individual metabolism reacts to caffeine), 2- There are many studies that show that the physiologic response to caffeine decreases with prolonged consumption, resulting in the need to consume more caffeine to get the same response, and 3- Don’t confuse psychological dependance (i.e. “I don’t feel good if I don’t get my caffeine fix.”) with true addiction (a change in the function of the brain in response to continued exposure to the “drug” in question). There have been dozens of studies done in so-called caffeine addicts where they are given decaf coffee and the report no ill effects. Yes, your body can become dependent on the effects of caffeine, but in my experience they are short-lived and go away over time.

    Now, all this being said, if you experience any of the following with your consumption of caffeine…CONTACT A DOCTOR: Rapid, fluttering heartbeat; chest pain, fainting, weakness,
    or any change in your mental status (i.e. difficulty concentrating, speaking, etc.)

    There are some reliable sources for information about drugs everyone should know about:
    1- Contact your local pharmacist (local first, hospital second), 2- Google E-Medicine and look-up the drug in question.

    1. that was very well put! thank

      that was very well put! thank you for clearing up what seemed to (maybe) confuse others.
      I found it very educating.
      thanks!!!

  12. decreased HR

    @ ortie

    I actually think doses of caffeine slightly decrease heart rate…

    Benowitz, Neal. “Clinical Pharmacology of Caffeine.” Annu. Rev. Med. 41 (1990): 277-88.

    Page 4 of 15 in the pdf.

    Since caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, the baroreceptor reflex would actually decrease heart rate to ease stress on the system…

  13. Thanks for posting this. I am

    Thanks for posting this. I am addicted to caffeine. I drink 5 cups of coffee a day and I think it’s the caffeine that made me drink coffee more than one cup a day. There are advantages of caffeine, caffeine has been proven to increase work capacity, stimulate respiration, and perform Intellectual tasks more easily. Caffeine greatly increases the metabolic processes used in everyday activity, resulting in an increase in breathing rates. Caffeine can also raise some persons body temperature due to the increase in blood flow and muscle activity. Caffeine shortens reaction time and within minutes of consumption cause the drinker to feel more alert.

    Ruzzel Walsh

    1. now, try to stop drinking all

      now, try to stop drinking all forms of caffeine, and tell me it has benefits (the withdrawls can be quite intense, especially with coffee).  the problem is, as you stated, MOST people become addicted to caffeine.  it’s like arguing the minor benefits of reduced appetite, or whatever, for tobacco use.

  14. I was looking at a bottle of

    I was looking at a bottle of mountain dew after i red this and the bottle said that there was only 36mg per 8oz instead of the 55 listed on the sight, just wanted to let you know =)

    1. Mountain Dew caffeine content

      They must have seen your comment…I just bought a pack of Dew and looked at the 12oz. bottle info label and it clearly states:
      Caffeine Content: 54 mg/12 fl oz.

      1. RE: Mountain Dew caffeine content

        If you look at the parent he is looking at 36 mgs per 8 oz bottle. All the above contents are listed for 12 oz cans. 36mgs/8oz = 54 mgs /12 oz.

        Everyone is “right” but the parent note is a little confusing because it has a different volume. I didn’t catch that difference when I was moderating the parent comment or I would have pointed that out at the time.

    2. They are using 12 ounces. 1

      They are using 12 ounces. 1 and a half times what you read. Hmmmmmm that equals, let’s see, 36 plus 18…..54, guess they were wrong. 

    3. ur statement is true but false

      ur statement is true but false yes there is 35mg in a 8oz of mt dew but there is usually 12 oz or more in a bottle correct so yes there is 55 mg in a bottle of mt dew

    4. You probably didn’t notice

      You probably didn’t notice the amount of Mountain Dew that had 55 mg of caffeine was 12 ounces rather than the 36 mg for 8 oz. Just wanted to clarify. Thanks & may all readrs have a beautiful day!

    5. You are right that for 8

      You are right that for 8 ounces it is 36 mg, but the mountain dew is 12 ounces. If you scale it up to 12 ounces (12/8=1.5, 1.5*36=54), it comes out to 54 mg. Obviously there is some rounding in the label, so 55 mg is plausible.

  15. You’re also less likely to

    You’re also less likely to overeat because fruits and vegetables displace fat in the diet. And that’s not to mention the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.

  16. while you skip a cup to avoid

    while you skip a cup to avoid caffeine, you just can’t seem to avoid it since it is present in almost all food and drinks. why skip?

    1. What a bizarre statement !

      What a bizarre statement ! Caffeine is certainly in SOME food and drinks – mainly drinks, but certainly not most.

      1. Check again

        Check again, caffeine start being added to more and more products, w/o being required to disclose the fact or amount …

        1. What do you care?

          I surely don’t eat the crap in that link you listed. I know better because I’m an educated consumer. I CAN’T have caffeine for several medical reasons. A small amount such as in a mini candy bar or decaf coffee is ok but no more. I know to stay away from “energy” anything, or similar wording. Pretty much any processed foods.

  17. Diet Rite Caffeine content

    According to your list, Diet Rite has 36.0 mg of caffeine.  This is incorrect, it is caffeine free.

  18. why the hell are you avoiding

    why the hell are you avoiding caffeine anyway?. Its good for you in moderation. Burns fat and helps you metabolize food more effectively.

     

  19. caffeine and fibromyalgia

    As my pain level has increased with my fibromyalgia, I’ve become desperate to find a way to control it. I have tried special diets,  medication, exercise etc. So far none of it has worked. Just this week I heard caffeine may have a influence on this disease.  I’m currently down to half a cup of caffeine from six cups of some sort of caffeine a day. There is no doubt, I am in less pain. Pass the word, people need to know this before they do something stupid. 

    1. caffeine

          I don’t understand this persons explanation. “1/2 cup of caffeine from 6 cups of some sort of caffeine a day”.  This Information may be usefull to me as I have fibromyalgia also.  I just do’t understand this sentence?  HELP 😉

      1. caffeine and fibromyalgia

        This is Donna here to clarify my “6 cups of some sort of caffeine a day” estimation.  To be clearer, I usually had two large sized mugs of coffee (1 1/2 cups each) every morning and 2 to 3 cups (8 ounces) of tea every afternoon. I am completely off of all caffeine at this time and my pain level has decreased even more now.  I am not out of pain completely and I do struggle with fatique, but probably not much more than when I was on caffeine.  I will not go back and I have hope that maybe in a little more time my body might heal even more.  Consider tapering off until you are caffeine free, it really might help.
            

         

    2. fibromyalgia is a

      fibromyalgia is a psychological disease .. nothing you can take will cure you. you’ll have to wake up, go to work like everyone else. everyone is in pain in this world. live with it

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