Do you drink just one cup of coffee or tea first thing in the morning, hoping the caffeine in it will jump-start your day? Do you follow it up with a caffeinated beverage or two and then drink several more cups of coffee throughout the day?
Does it matter?
According to scientists at the FDA, caffeine can be part of a healthy diet for most people, but too much caffeine may pose a danger to your health. Depending on factors such as body weight, medications you may take, and individual sensitivity, “too much” can vary from person to person.
Learn more about caffeine in the following questions and answers.
1. Which kinds of foods and beverages contain caffeine?
Caffeine can be found naturally in the plants we use to make coffee, tea, and chocolate. It’s also found in some plants used as flavorings, such as guarana, or alternative teas popular in South American, such as yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) and Ilex guayusa.
Caffeine may also be added as an ingredient to foods and beverages.
2. How do you know how much caffeine a food or beverage contains?
Many packaged foods, including beverages and dietary supplements containing caffeine, voluntarily provide information on the label as to how much caffeine they contain. Consumers should take care when consuming for the first time a new packaged food containing added caffeine if the amount of caffeine in the food is not declared on the label.
There are several online databases that provide estimates of the caffeine content of certain foods and beverages such as coffee and tea. However, the amount in these brewed beverages can vary depending on such factors as how and where the coffee beans and tea leaves were grown and processed and how the beverage product is prepared.
For reference, a 12 ounce can of a caffeinated soft drink typically contains 30 to 40 milligrams of caffeine, an 8-ounce cup of green or black tea 30-50 milligrams, and an 8-ounce cup of coffee closer to 80 to 100 milligrams. Caffeine in energy drinks can range from 40-250 mg per 8 fluid ounces.