Caffeine is the most widely used, socially acceptable stimulant. It is found in coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate. Besides being a helpful aid to jumpstart one’s day, research now suggests that caffeine may be an added benefit during exercise. As with any drug, the benefits must outweigh the risks.
So should you avoid caffeine or not?
Effects of caffeine can vary between individuals. If you suffer from any side effects as a result of consuming caffeine, stay away from it as much as possible. Some of the effects of caffeine are dizziness, nervousness, irritability, diarrhea, and increased urination. Caffeine is not recommended if you have any heart problems. It can increase blood pressure and heart rate. If you like caffeine and don’t have the side effects, but are worried about how much to consume, have it in moderation. It is generally agreed that having 300 milligrams per day is a safe acceptable amount. With that being said look at the table below to see the caffeine content of some of the most popular beverages.
Source and Caffeine (mg)
Drip coffee 8oz - 234 mg
Regular instant coffee 8oz - 85 mg
Decaffeinated instant 8oz - 3 mg
Espresso 1-2oz - 100 mg
Starbucks Grande coffee 16oz - 330 mg
Chocolate milk 8oz - 48 mg
Regular cola 12oz - 47 mg
Diet cola 12oz - 35 mg
Mountain Dew 12 oz - 55 mg
Mountain Dew Fuel 12oz - 120 mg
Dr. Pepper 12 oz - 39 mg
Jolt Energy 23.5oz - 280 mg
Pibb Xtra 12oz - 40.5 mg
Sunkist Orange soda 8oz - 41 mg
Red Bull 8.5oz - 80 mg
Tab Energy 10.5 - 95 mg
Vitamin Water Energy Citrus 20oz - 42 mg
Nestea Iced Tea 16 - 34 mg
Tea, Brewed 8oz - 47 mg
Full Throttle 16 oz - 144 mg
Erika Watson - Lawson is a registered dietitian with Memorial Hospital.