How Much Caffeine Are You Actually Drinking?

Americans love caffeine. Around 90 percent of Americans consume caffeine in one form or another on any given day. Yowza! Caffeine is everywhere, but how much caffeine are you actually drinking each day?

But not all caffeinated beverages are created equal. It is well known that coffee has more caffeine than tea, for instance. But do you actually know how much caffeine you’re drinking, or are you just guzzling it down? While astandard serving of coffee is actually only six ounces, most people easily consume 12 ounces of morein their morning mug, which is means you’re already drinking two servings! Reach for another full cup, and you’re at four cups of coffee before you even leave the house. No wonder so many of us suffer from sleep issues, chronic stress, and adrenal fatigue!

How muchcaffeine are you drinking?

To avoid caffeine-induced problems, it is important to start understanding how much caffeine you are actually consuming every day. Here is a simple breakdown of the caffeine content in popular drinks, from least caffeine content to greatest:

  • Decaf espresso: 10mg in one shot (1 oz.)
  • Hot cocoa: 10mg in a 12 oz. serving
  • Decaf drip coffee: 20 mg caffeine in a 12 oz. serving
  • Green tea: 40mg in a 12 oz. serving
  • Black tea: 60 mg in a 12 oz. serving
  • Caffeinated soda(Coke): 65 mg in a 12 oz. serving
  • Espresso: 75 mg in one shot (1 oz.)
  • Latte or cappuccino: 75 mg in a 12 oz. serving, including 1 shot of espresso
  • Matcha tea: 105 mg in a 12 oz. serving
  • French press coffee: 200 mg in a 12 oz. serving
  • Drip coffee: 250 mg caffeine in a 12 oz. serving
  • Cold brew coffee: 280mg in a 12 oz. serving

How much caffeine is safe to drink?

For adults, asafe limit for caffeine consumption is no more than 400 mg a day. That’s over 5 shots of espresso! But, don’t take that as a personal guideline.

While 400 mg may be safe from a drug perspective, that amount of caffeine would turn some of us into twitchingpiles hyperactive, strung-out mush. But, there are others who can handle that sort of stimulation without blinking an eye. What’s the deal?

The way each of us processes caffeine is wholly based on genetics. There are slow metabolizers and fast metabolizers. If you’re a fast caffeine metabolizer, you can probably drink multiple cups of coffee without much adverse reaction besides a big energy crash in a couple of hours.

Slowmetabolizers are the ones who will be wide awake until 1am if they have even a sip of coffee after noon. I know it’s not fair, but that’sgenetics. To understand your inner workingseven more deeply, it can be helpful to get a DNA test from companies like 23 and Me.

How to Avoid a Caffeine Crash

Regardless of what type of caffeine metabolizer you are, it’s nice to cushion the energy crash that comes from drinking caffeine with a smart little trick.

Consuming any sort of fat or protein along with your coffee can slow its absorption and prevent a steep energy drop-off later on. Try asoy milk latte or a buttered coffee if you are especially sensitive to caffeine. Or always have your coffee with foodor on a full stomach.

Believe it or not, since caffeine is a stimulant and causes cortisol to skyrocket, drinking caffeineimmediately upon waking is one of the worst things you can do for your body. Tomorrow, enjoya little breakfast and some warm lemon water, and sip on your coffee forat least an hour after waking. This allows cortisol levels to decrease (which are highest within an hour of waking) and helps your body remember how to wake itself naturally.

If nothing else, it is nice to take the time to estimate your regular caffeine intake. Maybe it’s higher than recommended. Maybe it’s low. But knowing what you are putting into your body everyday is the first principleof good health.

Related at Care2

Image via Thinkstock.


Lisa M
Lisa M20 days ago

None, actually.

Lisa M
Lisa M20 days ago

None, actually.

Maureen G
Maureen G5 months ago

It would take a lot of self discipline to replace my first coffee in the morning with warm lemon water. Though recently I have been making myself only half a cup of coffee many times a day instead of a full cup.....perhaps we should go back to the tiny coffee cups that were popular many many years ago.

Greta H
Past Member 5 months ago


Chad A
Chad A5 months ago

It is a constant struggle for me.

Lisa M
Lisa M5 months ago


Lisa M
Lisa M5 months ago

I don't drink or consume ANY caffeine. I never have in my entire life of 50 years.

Janet B
Janet B5 months ago


Diane W
Diane Wayne5 months ago

I love coffee! And drink 2 cups of espresso instant coffee in the mornings! I've heard for years that 4 cups of coffee a day is the max for health.

Winn A
Winn A5 months ago

Not much - 1 mug of black tea in the AM - that's it for me.