And you thought Red Bull was bad.
It turns out that while a can of the vilified energy drink has 80 milligrams of caffeine (just one-fifth the maximum amount you should have each day, according to the Mayo Clinic), one small cup of Starbucks drip coffee has more than three times that amount.
Regardless of how you get your caffeine, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s a stimulant with some positive and negative effects.
And the amount of caffeine that’s in various drinks — or even the same drink from a different chain — can vary dramatically. Here’s how much caffeine is in everything from a can of Coke to a plain coffee from McDonald’s:
According to the Mayo Clinic, most healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine each day. But while most 12-ounce cups of coffee contain 90 to 120 mg of caffeine, one 12-ounce 'tall' or small cup of Starbucks is far stronger, with about 260 mg of caffeine per cup.
These tiny bottles, or 'shots,' contain nearly the same amount of caffeine as a cup of Starbucks, which is closer to four cups of regular coffee. Each 2-ounce shot has about 215 mg of caffeine.
While there's lots of info out there about how bad energy drinks are for you, a single 8-ounce can of Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine, less than a standard cup of coffee and roughly one-third of the caffeine in a 12-ounce Starbucks coffee. It also contains other ingredients, however, like taurine, whose long-term effects have yet to be studied extensively.
You might be surprised to learn that not all tea is designed to lull you into a relaxed, sleepy state. An average cup of brewed black tea contains about 67 mg of caffeine, still less than a can of Red Bull or a cup of McDonald's coffee but far from minimal.
One 12-ounce can of Coke has 34 grams of caffeine. While that might seem pretty low, if you're like us and drink a few of these in a day, it can add up! Still, a single can is the rough equivalent of about a third of a cup of regular coffee or about a seventh of a cup of Starbucks.
A standard shot of espresso contains about 71 mg of caffeine, meaning that a small latte (espresso plus steamed milk) or cappuccino (espresso plus milk and foam) -- so long as its made with a single shot -- contains the same amount.
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