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How much caffeine is in that drink?

Man wired on caffeine

It perks you up in the morning, gives you a boost to meet deadlines, and may even help you to dance all night long.  But it can also affect your sleep quality and give you the jitters.  See how much caffeine is in your favourite beverage.

Coffee is arguably the world’s favourite caffeinated drink.

Lately, however, there’s also been an explosion of alternative caffeine drinks on the shelves, which are marketed towards helping with sports performance, energy and even memory.

In small doses, caffeine can help with alertness and boost energy levels. However, it’s important to also consider some of the negative side effects of having too much caffeine, such as chest pain, dizziness, heart palpitations, shaking, restlessness, insomnia and headaches.

So how much is safe? There’s no conclusive upper limit of how much caffeine we should have each day. Some people are more sensitive than others, but, generally speaking, most of us are okay if we stick to less than 300mg-400mg a day (that’s around three or four espresso shots).

We’ve compared a variety of caffeinated drinks so you can find out how much is in your favourite pick me up.

1 cup instant coffee (average brew)

60mg = 0.6 espresso shots

Regular cappuccino or latte

100mg = 1 espresso shot

Long black

200mg = 2.0 espresso shots

250ml can Red Bull

80mg = 0.8 espresso shots

1 cup instant decaf coffee

3mg = 0 espresso shots

1 cup plunger coffee (average brew)

80mg = 0.8 espresso shots

1 cup green tea

30mg = 0.3 espresso shots

1 cup black tea (average brew)

30mg = 0.3 espresso shots

500ml can Monster original

160mg = 1.6 espresso shots

375ml can Coke

49mg = 0.5 espresso shots

How to get energy without caffeine

If you want to cut down on the amount of caffeine you’re consuming but are worried about experiencing withdrawal or an energy slump, there are some alternatives you can try.

Have a healthy snack

Snacking on yoghurt and fresh fruit can be a good way to replace your afternoon coffee order and is a much better sweet hit than a can of cola or an energy drink.  It will give you a natural energy boost and the protein in the yoghurt will help you feel full, making it easier to focus in the afternoon.

Opt for a smoothie

Start your day with a delicious homemade smoothie of fruit, reduced-fat milk and a handful of nuts or oats.  It’s a fibre and protein-rich meal that also includes healthy fats, to keep you going.

You might also be interested in The surprising health benefits of coffee

Top tip: It’s best to stick to less than 300-400mg of caffeine a day. That’s three or four espresso shots.

First published: Jun 2013
Last updated: April 13, 2021
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