How Much Caffeine Is in Popular Foods and Drinks

Caffeine is our most common psychoactive drug, and it is addictive. Yet we often think nothing of consuming it in our everyday diet, and even giving it to our kids. Check out how much caffeine is in food and drinks you consume regularly.

1

Coffee

Cup of coffee on a saucer

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Over 50% of Americans drink coffee daily. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee contains varies a great deal, depending on the strength of the particular brand and the method of brewing, which determines how concentrated the caffeine is. The size of your coffee cup will also determine how much caffeine it contains.

A shot of espresso, the strongest type of coffee, contains about 50mg of caffeine per fluid ounce. Since a shot is only 2 ounces, the caffeine total is 100mg. That's the same amount as an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee. Instant coffee has about 50mg per 8-ounce cup.

2

Tea

Glass and teapot of citrus tea

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Different types of tea vary from high levels of caffeine to none at all (herbal teas). Plain tea, usually an Orange Pekoe or black tea blend, contains about the same amount of caffeine as instant coffee—50mg per 8-ounce cup. But if you steep your tea for longer, you get a stronger beverage. So the amount of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup of tea varies from 20mg to 80 mg.

Per 8-ounce cup:

  • Chai: 60mg to 120mg of caffeine
  • Assam black tea: About 80mg
  • Earl Grey: About 50 mg
  • Darjeeling tea: About 50mg
  • Oolong: 40mg
  • Green tea: 25mg
  • White tea: 15mg

Iced tea contains caffeine in amounts similar to brewed tea, depending on the type of tea. But it is often consumed in larger amounts.

3

Chocolate

Close-up of chocolate pieces
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The amount of caffeine in chocolate varies according to the brand and the type of chocolate. On average, milk chocolate contains about 18mg of caffeine per 100g (about 3.5 ounces). That doesn't seem like much, but it can easily add up.

Dark chocolate contains much more caffeine than milk chocolate, upwards of 70mg of caffeine per 100g bar (almost as much as a cup of coffee).

Some manufacturers add extra caffeine to chocolate to produce a stronger caffeine hit—typically around 100 mg caffeine per piece, about the same amount as you would get in a shot of espresso. Other types of caffeine-loaded candies, mints, and gum are available. White chocolate doesn't usually contain caffeine.

4

Soft Drinks

Soft drink being poured in a tal glass of ice

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Soft drinks often contain a lot of caffeine. Cola contains about 30mg to 60mg caffeine per 330 ml can, depending on the brand. Don't assume that clear or lemonade-flavored sodas are caffeine-free. Some contain the same amount as cola, or even more.

However, some brands of soft drinks do not contain any caffeine or contain lower amounts. Check the label to see.

5

Energy Drinks

Multiple colorful bottles of sports drink

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Energy drinks are usually marketed in a way that emphasizes their caffeine content, although the actual amount of caffeine they contain varies greatly. Some contain about the same amount as tea or coffee, from 50mg to 100mg per serving, while others contain much, much more.

Always Check Labels

Be careful with energy drinks marketing themselves as "healthy"—you can inadvertently consume a lot of caffeine if you don't check the label. Beware of sugar content, serving size, small print, and difficult-to-read labels.

A Word From Verywell

Use caution when consuming high doses of caffeine. It is possible to overdose on caffeine, for it to cause your blood pressure to rise, and even to develop mental health problems as a result of caffeine intoxication.

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