How Much Caffeine Are You Consuming?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/20/2010 12:54 PM   :  132 comments   :  31,356 Views

You enjoy a cup of coffee with your breakfast, a glass of tea in the afternoon, a sports drink as you recover from your workout and a few pieces of chocolate to sooth your sweet tooth after dinner. Nearly 80 percent of people around the world consume caffeine on a daily basis. Adults in the United States and Canada consume an average of 250 mg of caffeine each day whereas those that live in Sweden and Finland consume around 400 mg per day. People in the UK enjoy caffeine in a range somewhere in between with an average daily intake around 300 mg and the average adult consumes most of their caffeine from coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate and medicine. The estimated intake for children is between 150-200 mg per day mostly from soft drinks, sweets, and sports drinks. Do you know how much caffeine you get in a day?

Caffeine is a stimulant and abstinence in someone that typically averages a moderate intake can result in withdrawal symptoms such as headache, tiredness, fatigue, decreased energy, and a depressed mood. Studies show that withdrawal symptoms can begin within a day of not consuming caffeine and can last for a few days or as long as a week. While many still question whether caffeine is truly addictive or not, it is well documented that unpleasant side effects exists when consumption is stopped abruptly after a sustain intake. Although caffeine is not a nutrient, if it is added to a food or beverage, it must be listed in the ingredient label but the amount does not have to be listed. Nearly 30 manufactures produced alcoholic beverages with added caffeine at one time because it was such a promising business. In November of 2009, many were contacted by the FDA and informed they were being investigated for safety and legality issues.

A low to moderate intake of caffeine is defined as 130-300 mg per day and many health professionals consider this a safe and health conscience level. Here are some common caffeine sources to help you estimate how much you are ingesting on an average daily basis.

Plain, brewed coffee (8 oz) 135 mg of caffeine

Instant coffee (8 oz) 95 mg caffeine

Espresso coffee (1 oz) 30-90 mg caffeine

Decaf Coffee (8 oz) - 5-15 mg caffeine

Green tea (8 oz) 25-40 mg caffeine

Black tea (8 oz) 40-70 mg caffeine

Coca-Cola Classic (12 oz) 35 mg caffeine

Mountain Dew (12 oz) 55 mg caffeine

Milk chocolate candy bar (1.5 oz) 9 mg caffeine

Sweet chocolate candy bar (1.45 oz) 27 mg caffeine

Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Bar 31 mg caffeine

Snickers Charge Candy Bar 60 mg caffeine

Excedrin (1 tablet) 65 mg caffeine

Midol Menstrual Maximum Strength 60 mg

NoDoz 100 mg 32 mg

Vivarin 200 mg

Starbucks Grande Vanilla Latte (16 oz) 150 mg caffeine

Full Throttle (16 oz) 144 mg caffeine

Red Bull (8.3 oz) 80 mg caffeine

Amp (8.4 oz) 74 mg caffeine

Glaceau Vitamin Water Energy Citrus (20 oz) 50 mg caffeine

Jolt Gum (1 stick) 33 mg caffeine

How much caffeine do you consume in a typical day? Is this more or less than you thought.


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Comments

  • 132
    I have noticed lately my intake of caffeine has shot WAY up. My stress level hasn't helped.

    What are the long term results of too much caffeine? - 9/23/2010   10:42:13 AM
  • 131
    Up to I guess 60-80 mg a day with two cups of tea, probably.

    Usually zilch, but I've recently considered experimenting with the benefits of tea, despite the caffeine.

    Will not drink coffee as I think it tastes nasty, as well as other sugary caffeine stuff. - 7/19/2010   5:29:39 PM
  • 130
    Holy cow! Around 200-250 a day! Need to lay off the chocolate...NOT giving up the coffee. - 6/13/2010   8:53:12 AM
  • 129
    I never drink coffee, rarely drink tea. But I do drink a Diet Pepsi most weekdays and once in a while I'll eat a chocolate bar. My average? Less than 100 mg most days, 0 quite often unless I'm getting some in some other foods not listed here. :) - 5/29/2010   11:21:07 AM
  • 128
    I was taking Vivarin pills fairly regularly (ouch! 200 mg per tab!), but then I saw a medical professional who solved a health issue for me. Now I won't go near anything with caffeine--. - 5/29/2010   5:54:52 AM
  • 127
    I'm with Katie33!!!! I gave up the Butts - barely drink - don't do drugs watch what I eat and rarely drink soda come on .... me and coffee are going to continue on FO EVAH! LOL - 5/27/2010   11:04:15 AM
  • 126
    I cannot believe there's caffeine gum.

    I like green tea in the afternoon. Slight caffeine pick-me-up, but not enough to keep me awake at night. - 5/26/2010   10:37:19 AM
  • 125
    Caffeine, caffeine, caffeine!!!!! My downfall (after my one cup of coffee and Venti Latte) is Diet Coke in the office. I drink C-free at home, but we only have regular in the office. I try to bring in a case of my own, but it gets filched from the fridge (by my bosses, no less! LOL!!) - 5/26/2010   7:56:12 AM
  • CJBAGGINS
    124
    About 40-50 mg daily from a cup of green tea in the morning. Not bad. About where I expected to be as I am not a coffee drinker and never have been.

    cj - 5/26/2010   12:20:04 AM
  • 123
    When I worked I drank two to three cups of coffee every day. I did not notice any signs of withdrawal when I stopped. I make coffee at home ever so rarely, and still enjoy a Starbucks tall soy Caffe Mocha with Splenda every now and again. - 5/25/2010   10:22:59 PM
  • 122
    I really need t leave coffee alone. I stopped drinking it years ago and hadn't drank it for about 12 yrs and about two yrs ago pick it back up. Can you believe that? I do drink green tea but it doesn't have the same energizing effect on me. - 5/25/2010   10:44:32 AM
  • 121
    On the plus side, I'm consuming a lot less caffeine than I did years ago. I was a total caffeine addict !! When I gave up Diet Coke, that was where the bulk of my caffeine intake came from. These days, it's from English Breakfast tea or an occasional iced coffee. I think I've managed to ween myself off the stuff, at last ! - 5/25/2010   10:36:41 AM
  • 120
    I know that the "energy" drinks are high in caffeine, but I was a little surprised to see a Grande Starbuck's vanilla latte has MORE caffeine than those souped up sports drinks. - 5/25/2010   9:44:51 AM
  • SPORTSFAN29
    119
    I was very suprised not so much in what I drink but in the chocolate and other things that I wasn't considering. I will definetely monitor a little more closer - 5/25/2010   7:26:03 AM
  • 118
    I've cut back from 4 cups of coffee to one in the morning (16oz). 4 cups of green tea throughout the day and occasionally a serving of dark chocolate. So on a daily basis 370 and occasionally 401. Time to reevaluate. - 5/24/2010   10:13:21 AM
  • 117
    usually not much if any, lately some with diet coke. hard to find the caff. free coke in my area. today had ice tea at lunch (out). usually make caff free ice tea. - 5/23/2010   9:16:28 PM
  • 116
    I gave up caffeine cold turkey about 2 years ago due to our struggle with infertility (doctor recommended). It SUCKED for a few days, but then was OK. I haven't had a caffeinated beverage since. I drink decaf coffee everyday and occasionally a caf-free diet coke (is just not the same). Even though we have a beautiful daughter now, it is not worth it to me to go back to caffeine. I remember all too well that feeling of awfulness before I had my "regular" coffee. I also was affected with headaches if I didn't get enough caffeine.

    It is not for everyone, but I would recommend at least cutting down. (That being said, have a really strong cup of Joe for me) :)

    - 5/23/2010   8:29:59 PM
  • 115
    I have a 4-cup coffee maker, 24 total ounces. I NEED my coffee and refuse to give it up. I like myself better (I think others do too!) when I'm caffienated. About 400 mg /day. I don't understand the point of decaf coffee.
    (I am clearly in denial, but I'm denying that.) - 5/23/2010   5:14:40 PM
  • 114
    Woo hoo! Something I do well. I don't drink tea, coffee or soda. I gave up milk chocolate 18 months ago and only occasionally have a little dark chocolate. Just off to polish my halo. - 5/23/2010   1:38:39 PM
  • 113
    Probably somewhere between 300 & 500. Just last week, I stopped drinking my usual 2 cups in the morning at the office to see if it would make a difference in my sleep. I'm frequently awake by 4 a.m. and toss & turn until I get up at 5:30. I slept more soundly, but I think the brain synapses are a little bit sluggish during the day. This experiment will have to go on a bit longer before I decide to permanently give up my caffienated cup of joe.
    - 5/23/2010   12:18:52 PM
  • 112
    I drink decaf coffee, tea and soda and have dark chocolate occasionally. I am surprised at the amount of caffeine in dark chocolate. - 5/23/2010   9:36:13 AM
  • KOKOAPONI
    111
    I refuse to give up my java. I drink coffee all day long. On average about 12 to 15 cups. It helps curb my appitite, a mild diaretic, and gives me energy. So I'm not giving up my java. - 5/22/2010   10:00:29 PM
  • 110
    What KATIE33MAHALA said. Giving it up is NOT an option. - 5/22/2010   7:26:02 PM
  • 109
    I quit soda about five years ago and focus on water, milk, and natural juices. I have an occasional cup of tea or piece of chocolate or cup of coffee. I may have some caffeine as often as three times a week but most days I don't have any. Most of the things I like which contain caffeine also contain lots of "empty" calories so I don't have them often. - 5/22/2010   1:50:33 PM
  • 108
    hmmm, I almost never drink calories, no soda at all, no coffee, alcohol perhaps 2 times a month. Chocolate in surges, dark by preference, occaisionally hot chocolate lite. (60 cal). Sounds pretty good, eh? Well I left off my tea. 1 pot - all six cups in the morning, 4 cups made in the cup bleh at the office, 1 more for the drive home. two pots in the evening 1before and during dinner, the other before bed. A six cup pot is made with one tetly tea bag most of the time, but each made in the cup one gets its own two cup tea bag and lots of times the early evening pot has two bags and gets topped up after the first pour. probably 9 teabags a day 3.15 grams each. Some days I substitute some Ruby Red Rooibos Chai or Chocolaty Chai for the regular--they are supposedly 'herbal'. I am guessing about 900 mg, without even the smell of chocolate. No meds. - 5/22/2010   10:27:09 AM
  • 107
    This is something I should probably start tracking. I have not done so yet but my husband has. Depends on the day for me. - 5/22/2010   9:30:50 AM
  • HABITATPAT
    106
    I used to consume well over 300 mg per day. Then I saw a new doctor who told me the chest pains I'd been having for several years were probably the result of the caffeine intake. I stopped tea & soft drinks and the chest pains are gone. I always thought the soft drinks were my coping mechanism to a stressful job and busy schedule, when in fact, they were aggravating the situation. - 5/22/2010   7:12:37 AM
  • 105
    I'm a caffeine addict, one of those habbits i can't get rid of - 5/22/2010   5:17:54 AM
  • 104
    I'm always pretty aware of how much caffeine I have in a given day -- I track it on Spark along with nutrients because I know I tend to go over if I don't monitor it closely (That is, something like 800mg in a day, NO problem). I come from a family of consummate tea drinkers and I'm a total Americano addict. I gave up coffee for Lent once and it nearly killed me. - 5/22/2010   1:26:38 AM
  • 103
    I quit smoking, don't drink,gave up sweets, breads, and salt so, NO, I WON'T GIVE UP MY COFFEE, DON'T CARE HOW MUCH CAFFEINE I GET! I WON'T DO IT, NO WAY! Sorry, whewww, I feel better now. I love my coffee, its just not an option. - 5/22/2010   1:21:54 AM
  • 102
    Don't drink coffee, tea or the energy drinks. Might have some diet pop with caffeine once or twice a week. My biggest source of caffeine is chocolate and the amount varies from day to day. - 5/22/2010   12:37:41 AM
  • 101
    I think it might be important to note that caffeine alters the fibrous tissue in our bodies. Before you go for a mammogram, you should stop intake of caffeine for several days to prevent false positive appearance of lumps. I generally do NOT drink coffee, and limit any caffeine intake to morning hours to prevent interference with proper nighttime sleep. Tea is my beverage of choice, and may be caffeinated before noon and herbal or decaf after noon. I also have my daily dose of dark chocolate, about 17 grams, in the morning because of the caffeine it contains. - 5/21/2010   9:28:12 PM
  • 100
    I get mine mostly through green tea and dark chocolate but do drink the occasional coffee and take Excedrin to treat certain sinus headaches. I am careful not to drink enough to send me into withdrawal when stop. I went through that in college and never want to deal with it again.

    I have to say I'm truly shocked to see there's caffeine in Midol. I've always read that caffeine is one of the worst things to imbibe if you suffer from PMS an cramps. - 5/21/2010   9:23:52 PM
  • CANDY-
    99
    I probably consume way too much caffeine. I drink about 6 to 8 canned diet cokes a day. Everytime I get off the caffeine I have such severe headaches. I've detoxed several times and started back even after all the grief. It's on my 'to do' list again. - 5/21/2010   6:35:43 PM
  • 98
    I can't have a lot of caffeine because it causes my heart to beat fast when I have a lot (one Starbucks coffee will do that and I can even tell with their decaf as well) so I avoid it, unfortunately even though I love coffee. I have been drinking decaf green tea which probably has a little bit in it. Chocolate ( I only like the plain or dark stuff) affects me the most, but I think there must be some other thing in it that keeps me up if I have it too late in the day. I don't have it that often, but always forget about the caffeine until after I've eaten it. I've noticed that when I do fall off the wagon and start drinking things with caffeine in it, I really crave it (like obsessively) so I do believe that it can be addicting--at least for me. - 5/21/2010   6:34:28 PM
  • 97
    Likely under 100. I don't drink coffee; use decaf green tea; only drink the occasional diet soda (one/week), but eat chocolate daily. - 5/21/2010   6:03:54 PM
  • HILLCREST115
    96
    I drink too much coffee I think, I know. Would not be able to give it up. In the morning a brew in the mug, then again at 10am , then after lunch and sometimes in the afternoon, then after supper. Sometimes I exchange for tea, all sorts, green tea etc. sometimes fruit tea. I know I cannot stop and I am truly addicted. - 5/21/2010   4:21:08 PM
  • LANAJILL
    95
    I'm in the 300 to 500 range (some days I have a cup or two of coffee after dinner), which is much less than I used to consume (lost my taste for a couple quarts of coffee a day). I don't drink diet soda like I used to, but I still drink iced tea when I go out to lunch or when the weather is warm (living in Seatte prevents too much warm weather drinking). Would I like to cut back more--yes. Will I--probably not.

    I guess I need to carefully consider which is worse: the effect of caffiene (my blood pressure is fine as long as I walk at least 5 times a week) or having those horrible headaches if I try to cut back. - 5/21/2010   4:04:35 PM
  • 94
    I'm at the 300 end of the scale. That's probably less than I thought I was consuming. - 5/21/2010   3:56:58 PM
  • 93
    I reduced the amount of caffeine I consume, at the suggestion of my heart doctor, and combined with a reduced sodium diet my blood pressure is consistently excellent. Diet and exercise helped, but there was a noticeable drop immediately following the caffeine/sodium reduction. - 5/21/2010   3:15:27 PM
  • 92
    I have one mug (between 12 & 14 ounce) of coffee in the morning and while I drink Coke it's the diet caffeine free kind. - 5/21/2010   3:14:43 PM
  • 91
    I LOVE chocolate, I mix cocoa with coffee in the A.M. and have 1 or 2 cups. No sugar or milk, dark! dark! for me. Then some days I will have some doves, usually I stay in my calorie, range. - 5/21/2010   3:02:59 PM
  • 90
    I usually have a cup of tea in the morning and the occasional diet soda with dinner. - 5/21/2010   2:27:43 PM
  • BLUEBRIT
    89
    I know I drink too much but it's the only way I can get my rear end out of bed in the mornings and function like a human being. What with all the drugs the doctor has me on, I'm surprised a cup of coffee even helps. - 5/21/2010   2:21:21 PM
  • 88
    2 cups decaf and Hershey's dark chocolate....either squares or kisses........the amount there goes with what mood I am in - 5/21/2010   2:17:09 PM
  • 87
    Assuming Diet Coke and Classic Coke have comparable quantities, I am definitely over. Don't drink tea or coffee and am indifferent to chocolate but, oh, how I love my Diet Coke! - 5/21/2010   2:17:04 PM
  • 86
    I LOVE COFFEE! This would be hard to give up. I have done it before but after a few weeks usually go back. - 5/21/2010   1:46:29 PM
  • 85
    Oh boy, do I have more caffeine than I thought. Looks like maybe I should switch to decaf, slowly. - 5/21/2010   12:22:20 PM
  • 84
    I don't drink coffee, tea or soda (except diet sprite, which I love!). So all my caffiene is from chocolate. I would say 20mg/day on average, to account for those few times when I have Starbucks. - 5/21/2010   12:21:37 PM
  • 83
    I typically drink 2-3 12 oz mugs of coffee each morning plus my favorite snack is 12 oz or soymilk mixed with 1 tsp of cocoa powder and 2 tsp of instant esspresso powder . . . so I'm above the 300 mg range. On the other hand, I used to drink 8-10 cups of coffee a day, I drink it black, and I don't drink soft drinks . . . so all in all, I'm not going to worry about it! - 5/21/2010   12:10:18 PM

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