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Caffeine Contents for Coffee & Different Drinks Tea, Soda, Energy Drinks

Caffeine is an essential ingredient of many drinks that we consume daily. It is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant and belongs to the methylxanthine class (Stimulants). Caffeine activates various parts of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) as well. It may be important to know Caffeine Contents for coffee and other drinks to prevent any caffeine-related health problems.

Caffeine Contents for Coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks

The taste of caffeine is bitter and is white in appearance. It is found naturally in the coffee bean, a seed of the coffee plant. This plant is indigenous to America, Africa, and East Asia.

Caffeine is a frequently used psychoactive substance in the world. It has wide use in our daily life. It is the only drug approved by FDA and is used legally in any kind of drink. 

Caffeine has both positive and negative effects. It can be used to treat tiredness, headache, migraine, and it also manages drowsiness.

It can also prevent bronchopulmonary dysplasia (infant lung disease that obstructs the airflow) and apnea (difficulty in breathing) in infants.

Now, here are few questions that come to the mind of everybody. How much is the quantity of caffeine safe for us? How much its amount is present in different drinks? What are the harmful consequences of caffeine on our bodies? Before exploring these questions, let us understand how does caffeine works in our body.

Mechanism of Action of Caffeine: What does caffeine do to your body?

Absorption and Digestion of Caffeine:

After you have consumed a drink/food that probably has caffeine, it goes to the stomach. Here, its contents are digested and absorbed. Caffeine, along with other elements of food, travels toward the liver.

In the liver, caffeine is broken down into smaller components. Taken by the blood, it is transferred to the cells where it will perform its roles. The primary target site of caffeine is the brain cells.

Effects of Caffeine on Adenosine Receptors:

The effects of caffeine are explained by various moods of action. The most prominent is that it reversibly inhibits the effects of adenosine on its receptors.

Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that promotes the feeling of relaxation and makes you tired.

After getting entry into the brain, caffeine attaches to the adenosine receptors and blocks them. Thus, the inhibition of these receptors prevents drowsiness, sleepiness, and tiredness.

Effects of Caffeine on Adrenaline & Dopamine:

Adrenaline is a hormone produced by our brain (Medulla oblongata) and adrenal glands. It alerts us against any danger and stimulates our brains.

Caffeine act on these glands and causes them to release adrenaline. This, in return, releases other neurotransmitters like dopamine and noradrenaline.

This combination of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine produces a sensation of alertness, awakening and also helps in improving our concentration.

Uses of Caffeine:

Following are the benefits of caffeine:

  • Caffeine acts as a CNS stimulant and improves performance and efficiency.
  • It decreases fatigue and tiredness.
  • It also affects cognitive functions and enhances memory and learning.
  • It is used to treat bronchopulmonary dysplasia (infant lung disease that obstructs the airflow) and apnea (difficulty in breathing) in infants.
  • It can also treat orthostatic hypotension, asthma and reduce cerebral palsy.
  • Caffeine is also prescribed along with other pain killers like ibuprofen to relieve the pain.
  • In the form of energy drinks, caffeine boosts overall physical production and stamina.
  • It also tweaks muscle power, strength and increases metabolic rate.
  • In the form of coffee, it reduces the chances of liver cirrhosis.

Adverse Effects of Caffeine:

Below are some harmful effects of caffeine that can be due to its over-consumption:

  • Caffeine affects gastric acid secretion in the stomach and can decrease digestion.
  • Caffeine can induce many psychiatric problems like anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and reduced coordination.
  • At higher doses, caffeine can also cause depression, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Regular consumption of caffeine more than 400 mg can cause dependency (habit-forming) and addiction.
  • It is used to treat headaches, migraine but too much consumption can contraindicate the benefits and may also induce hypertension.
  • Caffeine can also interact with few medicines like antidepressants and muscle relaxants. Using the combination of these medications plus caffeine can increase the effects of these drugs.
  • Caffeine is one of those drugs that can cross the placental barrier and can cause miscarriage. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should limit their caffeine intake.

If you are using any other medications or are planning to have a baby, consult your physician about your caffeine consumption. Always follow the directions of the doctor.

Caffeine Content in Various Drinks:

As per FDA regulations, daily consumption of caffeine up to 400 mg is considered safe for adults. Although, this safe limit varies from person to person.

No doubts caffeine has many beneficial effects, yet it can cause some side effects. Therefore, it is essential to have a proper check on your caffeine intake.

Let us have a look at various drinks that may consist of caffeine:

Water:

Water is an organic compound that is essential for any kind of life on earth. It is transparent, odorless, and tasteless in pure form. Water is obtained from various natural sources as well as it is also made synthetically in the lab.

Water does not have any caffeine contents in it. Different manufacturing companies add caffeine as per the requirement of the consumers.

The contents of caffeine in lab-made water are as follow:

WaterServing Size (ml)Caffeine contents (mg)1 ml contains mg of caffeine
Water Joe5911000.2
Tonic Water29500
Polar Seltzer Water35500
Polar Frost Plus Energy500670.13
Sparkling Ice plus Caffeine473700.14
Perrier Energize740997.4
3 Water500500.13
Bubly Sparkling Water35500
GURU Sparkling Energy Water3551000.28
Hint Caffeine Kick Water473600.12
La Croix Sparkling Water35500
Caribou BOUsted Sparkling Water340750.22
Heroec Energy Water500600.12
Pep Talk Sparkling Water355550.15
AHA Sparkling Water355300.08
Bai Antioxidant Infusion5321550.3
Starbucks Refreshers can355500.14

Caffeine Contents in Tea Drinks:

A beverage that is obtained from the leaves of Camellia sinensis is called tea. It has a bitter, astringent taste and provides calmness to the mind. Due to the presence of caffeine, it stimulates the CNS and produces agility.

There are various types of tea drinks available in the market. Each one of them differs in the coffee contents.

The contents of caffeine in different tea drinks are as follows:

Tea drinksServing Size (ml)Caffeine contents (mg)1 ml contains mg of caffeine
Arizona Iced Tea473300.06
Brewed Black Tea237470.2
Honest T Organic Honey Green Tea500940.2
Herbal tea1 bag00
Chai Tea237500.21
HICAF TEA2371100.5
Gold Peak Tea550480.09
Ready-to-drink, bottled2371920.81
Brew Dr. Uplift Yerba Mate  4731500.32
Zest Highly Caffeinated Tea2371500.63
Lipton Lemon Iced Tea500210.04
Snapple Lemon Tea473370.08
Brewed green237280.12
Pacific Chai177290.17
Starbucks Chai Latte—hot or iced473950.2

Caffeine Contents in Coffee & Espresso drinks:

Coffee is a brewed beverage that is obtained from coffee beans. It contains a high amount of caffeine contents and acts as a magnificent stimulant of the human nervous system. Coffee is dark in color, slightly acidic, and bitter.

Espresso is another brewing method of the coffee beans. Originally born in Italy, it is made by passing hot water under high pressure (130-150 psi) through coffee beans. Usually, espresso is thicker than coffee and dark in color.

The contents of caffeine in different Coffee and Espresso drinks are as follows:

Coffee & Espresso drinksServing Size (ml)Caffeine contents (mg)1 ml contains mg of caffeine
Americano Coffee3551540.43
Barista Bros Iced Coffee5001400.28
Espresso601001.67
Black Ink Coffee3551440.4
Black Label Brewed Coffee35515554.4
Coffee2371630.7
Coffee (Decaf, Instant)23720.008
Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino280750.27
Death Wish Coffee35500
Starbucks Coffee4733600.76
Dunkin’ Coffee4152100.50
La Colombe Draft Latte2651200.45
Espresso Shot45771.7
Gourmesso Coffee Pods40651.6
High Brew Nitro Black Cold Brew2952000.77
Starbucks Vanilla Latte Chilled Espresso Beverage3551250.4
Latte4731600.33
Mushroom Coffee207400.2
Nescafe Coffee2331000.42
Nescafe Gold102660.64
Peet’s Caffe Americano4731400.3
Waka Instant Coffee237700.3

Caffeine Contents in Soft drink:

As compared to hard drinks, soft drinks do not have alcohol in them. These drinks are carbonated waters and contain a high amount of sugar, fructose, and caffeine.

Soft drinks are not considered healthy for many people as they can cause obesity and diabetes mellitus.

The contents of caffeine in different soft drinks are as follows:

Soft drinksServing Size (ml)Caffeine contents (mg)1 ml contains mg of caffeine
7-UP35500
Coca-Cola Caffeine Free35500
Coca-Cola Classic355340.09
Coca-Cola With Coffee355690.19
Diet Coke355460.13
Pepsi355380.10
Diet Pepsi355350.1
Mountain Dew355540.15
Diet Mountain Dew355540.15
Fanta35500
Ritz Cola355100.03
Sprite35500
Surge473680.1
Zevia Cola355450.12
Citrus23700
Root beer23700
Wild Cherry Pepsi355380.1
Ale 8 1355370.1
Dr Pepper355420.11

Caffeine Contents in Energy Drinks:

These drinks provide mental and physical energy as they contain high amounts of caffeine. Like soft drinks, they have high contents of sugar and can be carbonated.

Some drinks also have contents of alcohol and improve cognitive functions as well as efficiency.

The contents of caffeine in different energy drinks are as follows:

Energy drinksServing Size (ml)Caffeine contents (mg)1 ml contains mg of caffeine
Adrenaline Shoc4733000.06
Energy drink236290.12
Energy shot302157.1
3D Energy Drink4732000.42
Starbucks Tripleshot Energy4402250.51
ALL IN Energy Drink355750.21
5-hour Tea562003.5
Amino Force Energy Drink6502000.3
Monster Energy4731600.3
Bai Boost3401100.32
Rockstar Original Energy Drink4731600.33
Bang Energy4733000.64
Venom Energy4731600.33
Berocca236900.4
Zevia Energy3551200.33
Berocca236900.4
Xyience Energy Drink4731600.33
V8 +Energy    236800.33
Red Bull250800.32

In Snack, Gums and Ice-cream Beverages:

Some snacks like chocolates, ice-creams, and gels also have a small amount of caffeine and act as stimulants. Added caffeine can improve cognitive functions and also enhances taste.

The contents of caffeine in different snacks are as follows:

SnacksServing Size (ml)Caffeine contents (mg)1 ml contains mg of caffeine
Brown Cow Coffee Whole Milk Yogurt15610.006
Chobani Coffee & Cream Greek Yogurt 15630.01
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar4590.2
Dannon Lowfat Coffee Yogurt156400.2
Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans   30501.67
Skratch Labs Sport Energy Chews53500.94
Gu Energy Stroopwafel30201.5
Silk Chocolate Soymilk2323640.01
Awake Caffeinated Chocolate Bar451012.24

Caffeine Contents in Over-the-counter (OTC) pills and supplements:

Some OTC pills and supplements are used to boost overall performance. They also increase stamina. One of the main ingredients of these supplements is caffeine, as it stimulates the CNS and provides extra energy to the body.

The contents of caffeine in different over-the-counter pills and supplements are as follows:

OTCs and supplementsServing SizeCaffeine contents (mg)
Zantrex-3 weight-loss supplement1 capsule150
Anacin1 tablet32
Midol Complete1 tablet60
Hydroxycut Hardcore1 capsule135
NoDoz1 caplet200
Excedrin Migraine1 tablet65
Pamprin Max Pain + Energy1 caplet65
Blowfish1 tablet60

All this data has been collected from various sources between 2020-2021.

Keep in mind that these are standard values. Actual numbers may vary. Always consult your dietitian or nutritionist for proper guidelines.

Even though caffeine has many benefits, but it is not as safe as it is believed. Your dietitian can tell better about this. If you are not an athlete or a physical performer, a cup of coffee is more than enough for you.

Abdur Rashid
Medically Reviewed By Abdur Rashid
MSC Public Health, MCSP, MHCPC
BSC (Hon) Physiotherapy
Consultant Neuro-spinal & Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

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