Food Sources of Caffeine

Posted: Jul 4, 2014

Information about Caffeine

 
  • Caffeine is a chemical that is found naturally in the leaves and seeds of various plants.  Natural sources of caffeine include coffee beans, cocoa beans, kola nuts, tea leaves, yerba mate and guarana.
  • Caffeine can be added to energy drinks and some carbonated drinks and drug products.
  • Caffeine excites the central nervous system. It also improves alertness for short periods of time.
  • Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. For these people too much caffeine can cause:
    • headaches.
    • rapid heart rate
    • nervousness
    • irritability
    • anxiety
    • trouble sleeping
  • People who often include caffeine in their diet may experience side effects such as headaches or drowsiness if they suddenly stop having it.

Caffeine Intake

The following amounts of caffeine are considered safe.

Age in Years Stay below milligrams (mg)/day
Men and Women 19 and older 400
Pregnant and Breastfeeding women 19 and older 300

 
 

Food Sources of Caffeine*

 
Food Serving Size Caffeine (mg)
     
Coffee or coffee based beverages    
Coffee, brewed 250mL (1 cup or 8 oz) 80-180
Coffee, instant 250mL (1 cup or 8 oz) 76 – 106
Espresso, brewed 30 mL (1 oz) 64-90
Cappuccino or  Latte 250mL (1 cup or 8 oz) 45-75
Decaffeinated coffee 250mL (1 cup or 8 oz) 3 – 15
Coffee liqueur 45 mL (1½ oz) 4-14
Coffee, instant, decaffeinated 250mL (1 cup or 8 oz) 3-5
Decaffeinated espresso 30 mL (1 oz) 0
Tea    
Iced Tea, sweetened 1 can (341-355 mL)< 15-67
Tea, leaf or bag (black, flavoured black) 250mL (1 cup) 43-60
Tea (green, oolong, white) 250mL (1cup) 25-45
Decaffeinated tea 250mL (1cup) 0-5
Herbal tea, all varieties 250mL (1cup) 0
Soft Drinks and Energy Drinks    
Energy drink, various types 250mL (1cup) 80-125
Diet cola 355 mL (1 can) 25-43
Dr. Pepper (regular, diet) 355 mL (1 can) 40
Cola 355 mL (1 can) 30
Barq’s Root Beer** 355 mL (1 can) 23
Cocoa Products    
Chocolate covered coffee beans, dark or milk chocolate 60 mL (1/4 cup) 338-355
Chocolate, dark 1 bar (40 g) 27
Hot chocolate 250 mL (1 cup) 5-12
Milk chocolate bar 1 bar (40 g) 8-12
Chocolate milk 250mL (1 cup) 3-5
Chocolate brownie 1 brownie (24-34 g) 1-4
Yogurt, chocolate 175 g (3/4 cup) 4
Chocolate pudding 125mL (1/2 cup) 2
Ice cream, chocolate 125mL (1/2 cup) 2

* The caffeine content in foods can vary a lot
**Certain brands of root beer do not contain caffeine
 

Source: "Canadian Nutrient File 2010" .
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/index-eng.php     [Accessed May 16, 2012]