Since publishing our recent article on energy shots, we have received lots of messages from readers about the caffeine content of other foods and drinks. We’ve done some research and put together the following list.
Caffeine Content of Common Foods
- Energy shots: ~100 to 280 mg per 2 oz
- Energy drinks: ~40 to 200 mg per 8 oz
- Starbucks drip coffee: 240 mg per 12-oz (“tall”) cup
- Generic drip coffee: 135 mg per 8-oz cup
- Instant coffee: 95 mg per 8-oz cup
- Starbucks espresso: 75 mg per 1-oz shot
- Generic espresso: 40 mg per 1-oz shot
- Decaf coffee: ~ 5 mg per 8-oz cup
- Black tea: 40 mg per 8-oz cup
- Green tea: 25 mg per 8-oz cup
- Bottled iced tea*: ~25-40 mg per 20-oz bottle
Soda (per can)
- Mountain Dew: 55 mg
- Dr Pepper: 43 mg
- Sunkist Orange Soda: 41 mg
- Pepsi: 39 mg
- Coke: 34 mg
- A&W Cream Soda: 25 mg
- Barq’s Root Beer: 23 mg
- Candy bar: usually less than 10 mg
- Milk chocolate: 10 mg per 1.5-oz serving
- Dark chocolate: 20 mg per 1.5-oz serving
- Chocolate milk: 1 to 5 mg per 8-oz serving
- Hot chocolate: 5 to 12 mg per 8-oz serving
Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt
- Coffee-flavored ice cream or frozen yogurt: 20-45 mg per half-cup serving
- Chocolate ice cream or frozen yogurt: less than 5 mg per half-cup serving
* Note: Bottled iced tea is really more like soda than tea, but we’ve put it in the tea category here so it’s easier to find.
How Much Caffeine?
For most healthy adults, including pregnant women, it is recommended not to consume more than 300 mg of caffeine a day. That’s about two to three cups of brewed coffee. If you have a heart condition or other medical conditions, your doctor may advise you to consume less caffeine.
Keep in mind that certain medications, including weight loss pills, PMS remedies, and pain relief medications like Excedrin may also contain caffeine – check the label to be sure.
Gloria Tsang is the author of 5 books and the founder of HealthCastle.com, the largest online nutrition network run by registered dietitians. Her work has appeared in major national publications, and she is a regularly featured nutrition expert for media outlets across the country. The Huffington Post named her one of its Top 20 Nutrition Experts on Twitter. Gloria’s articles have appeared on various media such as Reuters, NBC & ABC affiliates, The Chicago Sun-Times, Reader’s Digest Canada, iVillage and USA Today.