How Much Caffeine Is Really In Your Soda?

Written By: Gloria Tsang, RD

Title: Founding Registered Dietitian

Alumni: University of British Columbia

Last Updated on:

You can easily find out the calories and sugar content of your can of soda. But what about caffeine? You know caffeine is in your soda, but how much?

Ten years ago the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a petition to the FDA to require food and beverage manufactures to label the caffeine content of their products. Unfortunately, the petition failed.

Caffeine Content Revealed

Finally, a neutral study has been conducted to investigate caffeine level in soda. Researchers from the Auburn University, Alabama analyzed the caffeine content of 56 national-brand and 75 private-label store-brand sodas. Results of the study were published in the Journal of Food Science in August 2007.

Caffeine Content from Popular Soda

Caffeine content per can

  • Diet Mountain Dew: 55 mg
  • Mountain Dew: 55 mg
  • Diet Coke: 46 mg
  • Diet Dr Pepper: 44 mg
  • Dr Pepper: 43 mg
  • Pepsi: 39 mg
  • Diet Pepsi: 37 mg
  • Coke: 34 mg

Researchers found that citrus-flavored sodas usually have more caffeine than colas and other dark-colored sodas. They also found that private store-brand sodas generally contain less caffeine than the national brands.

Coincidentally Coca-Cola recently announced that they will soon add caffeine content to the nutrition label. This is welcome news for consumers, as we have the right to know what we are putting into our bodies!

What’s Considered Soda?

  • Regular soda
  • Diet soda
  • Commercial canned Ginger Ale
  • Commercial bottled or canned Iced Tea, Green Tea and White Tea (including the Diet version)

The Bottom Line

Regardless of the caffeine content, soda is not an ideal refreshment. Soda also contains an array of chemicals and additives, including sodium benzoate, artificial flavor, and preservatives. There are better options you can reach for. Try any of these natural alternatives for a much healthier pick-me-up!

  • Water (it’s calorie-free!)
  • Real fruit juice
  • Low fat (1%) or skim milk

Or, for an easy zesty treat, make your own crisp and refreshing lemon-lime drink, by squeezing some real lemon and lime juice in plain water!


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