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How much caffeine is in coffee?

How much caffeine is in coffee - featured. Close up of coffee coming out of a coffee machine into a white cup

A cup of coffee can help to get you off to a flying start in the morning, but how much caffeine are you actually consuming?

Whether you’re a casual coffee consumer or a bean connoisseur, understanding how much caffeine is in your cup and how it can affect your brain and body is a good idea. A hot brew in the morning might help to get you focused on the day ahead, but having too much of the stuff can have some unwanted negative effects.

Maybe you’ve noticed some anxiety creeping in, or perhaps you’re feeling jittery or having trouble sleeping. If you haven’t been keeping an eye on your coffee consumption, it could be to blame for these symptoms and more. Knowing your limits may help you to avoid these issues.

To help you keep your coffee habit healthy, let’s crunch some numbers and take a look at how much caffeine is in coffee, and consider some common questions about how much you can safely consume. Here’s what you need to know.

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What is caffeine?

“Caffeine is a naturally occurring drug found in many products, including coffee, cocoa, soft drinks, some chocolate bars and even some medications,” explains Reema Pillai, registered dietitian for Dietitian Fit. “It is classed as a stimulant, which means it increases activity in the brain and nervous system, as it causes the increased release of chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol into the blood.

“Caffeine blocks the effects of the chemical known as adenosine, which makes us feel sleepy. In small to moderate amounts, it can help to improve focus and energy, although higher intakes can lead to increased anxiety, heart palpitations as well as having a negative impact on sleep.”

How much caffeine is in coffee?

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer as to how much caffeine is in coffee as it can vary wildly depending on the type of coffee, where it’s from and how it’s made, so a 240ml cup of coffee can contain anywhere between 60mg and 100mg of caffeine.

We’ve put together some charts to try to demystify things a little, detailing how much caffeine is in the average cup from some of the most popular commercial brands and types of coffee.

how much caffeine is in coffee different coffees statistics

How much caffeine is in commercial coffee?

How much caffeine is in store-bought coffee?

Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to say with accuracy how much caffeine is in specific brands of store-bought coffee. On average, a standard 240ml cup of store-bought coffee will contain between 80mg and 120mg of caffeine, but there’s a great deal of variation in this.

In comparison, instant coffee generally contains far less caffeine than freshly brewed coffee, with only around 62mg of caffeine in the average 240ml cup.

how much caffeine is in coffee brand statistics
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What beverages contain the most caffeine?

Coffee isn’t the only drink that contains caffeine. Though tea, energy drinks and soft drinks may all contain it, coffee generally tends to have the most.

How much caffeine is in tea?

There’s a rather persistent myth that there’s more caffeine in tea than coffee; however, the truth is not so simple. The fact is that dry tea has more caffeine by weight than coffee, but more dried coffee is used than dry tea to make a single cup. So, a cup of tea usually contains considerably less caffeine than coffee – around half the amount – with the average 240ml cup of breakfast tea, with milk, only containing roughly 40-50mg of caffeine.

Green tea contains caffeine too, but not usually as much as regular tea. On average it’s around 33mg per cup, and herbal teas tend to have even less than that.

How much caffeine is in energy drinks?

Energy drinks generally contain caffeine too – that’s usually where they get their “energy” from, along with a large dose of sugar – and some energy drinks can contain as much as, or even more than, a regular cup of coffee.

It’s not unheard of for a large can to contain as much as 200mg of caffeine. For example, a large can of Monster is more than twice the size of a cup of coffee and contains roughly 160mg of caffeine, while Red Bull has a similar concentration of caffeine, with a regular 250ml can containing around 80mg.

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How much caffeine can I drink?

“Generally speaking, up to 400mg of caffeine a day would appear to be safe to consume for most healthy adults,” says Pillai. “Pregnant women should limit their daily caffeine intake to no more than 200mg per day.

How much caffeine is in coffee. Close up of coffee coming out of a coffee machine into a white cup with Espresso written on it

“Keep in mind that the caffeine levels of foods and drinks can vary greatly depending on how it was made, the type of products used, etc. For example, a standard mug of coffee can contain anywhere between 50 and 200mg of caffeine.

“If this limit is exceeded, it may lead to symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness, irritability and chest pain. This can develop into more serious health issues such as irregular heartbeat, possible hormonal imbalances and even seizures.”


To sum up, the amount of caffeine in coffee varies greatly from 50 to 200mg for a regular-sized cup, but generally hovers around 80 to 120mg. If you want to avoid negative side effects yet still enjoy caffeine’s performance-enhancing properties, it’s best not to exceed 400mg a day – that’s just two cups of strong coffee, or three to four cups of fairly weak coffee. If you’re pregnant, try not to exceed 200mg of caffeine – perhaps just the one cup before switching to decaf.

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