The Scale of Caffeinated Drinks
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The Scale of Caffeinated Drinks

By: Sabrina Huda Sanchez

Caffeine is a staple in the lives of most American adults, making the US one of the world's highest consumers of caffeine. A majority of individuals can't begin their day without a cup of coffee, tea, soda, or energy drink. To ensure you're getting the right amount of caffeine to power through daylight saving or a sleepless night, it's important to know the caffeine content in your preferred beverage. Here are the top options for a caffeine boost:
 1. Tea
 2. Soda
 3. Coffee
 4. Energy Drinks


How much caffeine is too much?

Wondering if you're consuming too much caffeine daily? The FDA recommends a daily limit of 400 milligrams, equivalent to about 4 cups of brewed coffee. However, the impact of caffeine can vary greatly among individuals, so "too much" may be a fraction of this amount. Keep in mind that cup size matters, with 8 ounces considered a single cup. A large mug may contain 2 or more cups of coffee. Additionally, the recommended daily limit of caffeine may differ depending on your health conditions and pregnancy status. Women who are pregnant are advised to limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg per day.
If you start experiencing an accelerated heart rate, jitters, anxiety, or insomnia, it may be a sign that you've had an excessive amount of caffeine. It's important to listen to your body and adjust your caffeine intake accordingly.

caffeine chart


1. Tea

Tea is the world's second most popular beverage after water. There are various types of tea, each with its own flavor and caffeine level, all of which contain lower caffeine levels than coffee. The amount of caffeine in your cup of tea can be influenced by factors such as brewing time and water temperature. The longer you steep the tea, the higher its caffeine content. Conversely, brewing at a lower temperature yields less caffeine.

Green vs black tea caffeine

There are two main types of tea: black and green. Black tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, while green tea is also made from the same plant, but with minimally oxidized leaves, giving it its unique color.
Green tea has the lowest caffeine content among teas, with an average of 30 mg per cup. This is due to its lower brewing temperature of around 175°F and minimal oxidation. On the other hand, black tea is brewed at a higher temperature of about 212°F, leading to a higher caffeine content of around 50 mg per cup.
If you're looking for a milder energy boost or if you're pregnant, switching to tea may be a better option compared to other caffeinated beverages.


2. Soda

Most people consume soda for its thirst-quenching properties rather than its caffeine content, but do you know how much caffeine is in a Coke? Soda or fizzy drinks in the UK contain between 35-45 mg of caffeine per serving. There are also caffeine-free options available, such as Sprite® or Coca-Cola® Caffeine-Free.
While soda may provide an energy boost, it is mainly due to the high sugar content, not caffeine. This type of energy can lead to a "sugar crash" as it is not meant for sustained revitalization.
If you're looking for a sweet and bubbly drink to enjoy during lunch, soda is a popular choice.


3. Coffee

Coffee is a beverage made from the roasted or baked seeds of the Coffea plant. It comes in two main forms: espresso and filtered coffee also known as american. The caffeine content in coffee varies depending on preparation, but it is among the highest among caffeinated drinks.

American coffee vs espresso caffeine

Espresso is created by pressurizing hot water through finely ground coffee beans, while filtered coffee is made by allowing hot water to flow through ground coffee beans held in a filter.
The amount of caffeine in coffee can vary depending on the preparation method, temperature, and beans used. Espresso has a high caffeine concentration, with about 65 mg per shot (1 ounce). American coffee is typically served in a 12 to 24 oz cup, with about 95 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. Drinking a grande size from Starbucks, for example, would give you around 190 mg of caffeine.

If you need a strong caffeine boost in the morning, coffee may be your answer. Not only does it provide a morning pick-me-up, but it also has a range of benefits, such as boosting your metabolism. It's no surprise that coffee is the most popular drink in America.


4. Energy Drinks

Energy drinks, the largest and fastest-growing group of caffeinated beverages, contain varying amounts of caffeine, from 200 mg to over 500 mg per serving, with some even having 1000 mg. A 24 oz Rockstar energy drink, for example, contains 500 mg of caffeine, which is over 11 times more than a serving of soda or 16 times more than a cup of green tea. Marketed as a quick source of energy for active individuals, energy drinks can be enjoyed occasionally, but it is important to not exceed 400 mg of caffeine intake.


What to drink when you don’t want water?

Drinking water is always recommended by doctors as the best beverage option. If you're looking for something else, choose a drink on the lower end of the caffeine scale. Although caffeine can provide the extra energy boost we need in today's fast-paced world, excessive consumption can have negative health impacts. So, enjoy your tea, soda, coffee, or energy drink in moderation, with balance being the key.