A cup of coffee in the morning or an espresso after lunch – is this ritual part of a successful day for you too? Perhaps you have already dealt with the ingredients of your hot beverage.
The caffeine content in coffee, in particular, has many positive effects on your body. But how much caffeine is actually in a cup of coffee and in other caffeinated drinks?
What is caffeine and what are its effects?
Caffeine is a chemical compound that can be found in many plants, including the coffee plant. In its raw state, caffeine is a white powder that has no odor and tastes bitter.
In moderation, caffeine mainly has positive side effects.
- According to the research, four cups a day reduce the risk of developing liver cancer by 75 percent due to the caffeine content.
- In addition to active cancer prevention, the caffeine in coffee is also useful for supporting the cardiovascular system. Especially in higher amounts, caffeine makes the heart beat faster, which in turn leads to better blood circulation. However, too much caffeine can also have negative consequences and lead to rapid heart rates for people who rarely drink coffee.
- The blood vessels themselves expand in regions far from the heart, while in the brain there is a narrowing. This means that coffee is a popular home remedy for headaches and migraines. Even the over-the-counter headache medications are increasingly containing caffeine as an ingredient.
- Since the central nervous system of the person is stimulated, the alertness, concentration, and storage capacity of the brain increase. This is exactly why you will probably drink coffee early in the morning or during work. Many people associate a good start to the day with this anti-fatigue kick.
How much caffeine is there in a cup of coffee?
The question of the caffeine per cup cannot be answered in general, as the individual types of coffee and growing areas differ significantly in some cases. There are also different types of preparation, which also have a decisive influence.
An average figure for a filter coffee with a 100 ml cup content is between 25 and 80 mg caffeine. The caffeine content in coffee can rise again if, for example, a higher proportion of Robusta beans is used. The caffeine content of a cup of Arabica coffee is on average 1.2 percent, compared to 2.2 percent for Robusta.
In addition to the beans, other factors affecting the caffeine content are the temperature during roasting, the grind of the coffee, and the temperature and duration of steeping.
Espresso, cappuccino, and coffee – How much caffeine does it contain?
All beverages in the coffee family contain caffeine – no wonder, as the coffee bean is one of the most important ingredients.
Calculated per 100 ml, espresso with an average of 120 mg has a higher caffeine content than filter coffee. However, the portions are also significantly smaller in the end, as a typical espresso cup only has around 25 ml.
For the coffee specialties cappuccino and latte macchiato, the caffeine content depends on the beans used. It takes up a third of the cup in a cappuccino and around a quarter of the glass in a latte macchiato. Accordingly, you should order a cappuccino the next time you go to a café if you feel a little tired. Calculated per 100 ml, the caffeine content of a cappuccino is 27 mg, a latte macchiato is only 11 mg.
Comparison of the caffeine content of known drinks
Coffee is the drink that in most cases has by far the highest caffeine content.
In the table below we have compared coffee with other caffeinated drinks for you. The table takes into account an average amount of 100 ml for each drink.
|Drink||Caffeine / 100ml||Caffeine / Serving||% Recommended Daily Dose|
|Regular Coffee||55 mg||82.5 mg (150 ml)||21%|
|Instant Coffee||40 mg||60 mg (150 ml)||15%|
|Espresso||120 mg||60 mg (150 ml)||8%|
|Cappuccino||27 mg||40.5 mg (150 ml)||10%|
|Latte||11 mg||16.5 mg (150 ml)||4%|
|Decaf Coffee||2 mg||3 mg (150 ml)||1%|
|Green Tea||19 mg||28.5 mg (150 ml)||7%|
|Black Tea||20 mg||33 mg (150 ml)||8%|
|Red Bull||32 mg||80 mg (250 ml)||20%|
|Coke||10 mg||33 mg (330 ml)||8%|
As you can see, only the energy drink Red Bull with 80 mg caffeine per can is in the same region as coffee. However, this is not about naturally contained caffeine, but about sustainably added.
When it comes to teas, it should be emphasized that only natural teas (e.g. green and black) contain caffeine. Chamomile or fruit teas do not contain any caffeine and are therefore also suitable for children without hesitation.
Cocoa is one of those plants mentioned above that also contain caffeine. That is why 100 g of milk chocolate, for example, contains around 35 mg of caffeine. The higher the cocoa content, the higher the caffeine content. A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate already contains 50 mg of caffeine on average. So if caffeine has a wake-up effect on you, you should refrain from eating too much (dark) chocolate before bed. In the meantime, white chocolate does not contain any caffeine at all, as only the decaffeinated cocoa butter is used for production instead of the entire cocoa mass.
How Much Caffeine is Healthy in a Day?
It’s recommended a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day for a healthy adult.
How many cups of coffee a day are okay?
Based on the recommended 400 mg of caffeine per day, you can comfortably drink four or five cups of filter coffee a day without worrying. However, you shouldn’t drink four cups in a row but spread them over the day. As with all beverages containing caffeine, it is important to ensure that a single dose of 200 mg is not exceeded.
How many espresso can you drink a day?
With 25 ml per cup, it is possible to drink around three espressos instead of one normal coffee. In total, twelve are possible in one day without the threat of further complications. It is up to you to decide whether this is a little exaggerated.
How long does coffee work?
Normally, 15 to 30 minutes are enough before the caffeine gets into the blood and exerts its anti-fatigue effect. It finally takes another four hours to dismantle. By the end of this time, however, the direct effect of caffeine will already be significantly less.
Until what time can I have coffee?
If you’re lolling on your office chair, yawning, waiting for the end of the day, and wondering whether you should have another cup of coffee now, we have the answer for you.
While the noticeable effects of caffeine differ from person to person, the basic rule is that you should drink your last coffee seven hours before you go to sleep. So if you go to bed at midnight, you should have your last coffee by 5 p.m. at the latest.
According to various experts and studies, the best time to have a cup of coffee is between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and between 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. This assessment is based on the low cortisol level that prevails in most people at these times. Contrary to the widespread habit, coffee right after getting up is not a good idea, since the body produces cortisol anyway, so no additional incentives are required.
Is caffeine recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women?
Caffeine is not a problem for pregnant or breastfeeding women. However, doctors and experts recommend reducing the daily dose for a healthy adult by around 50 percent (200 mg/day).
Thus, if you are expecting or breastfeeding a child, you should limit yourself to two to three cups a day, as the caffeine stays in the blood for much longer before it breaks down. This ensures that the fetus or toddler does not have to fear any negative health consequences. However, you should bear in mind that chocolate, tea, and other drinks also contain caffeine.
Should Children Consume Caffeine?
When we consume caffeine, it mainly happens through regular coffee, cappuccino, etc. Children, on the other hand, do not normally drink these drinks, but they get caffeine in the blood in other ways, for example through products containing cocoa. With cocoa or chocolate, however, children consume harmless quantities, as they will rarely consume a whole bar of chocolate at once anyway.
However, larger amounts can be harmful to children. For example, energy drinks can cause consequences such as palpitations and insomnia. While the drinks are freely available in Germany, minors are not allowed to buy such caffeinated drinks in many other countries. The situation is repeatedly criticized by consumer advocates without anything having changed so far. Even if the caffeine content of cola is lower, it is also not suitable as a thirst quencher in summer. Since soft drinks have diuretic properties, there is a risk of fluid loss.
Why are the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and beverage industries also interested in caffeine?
As mentioned above, other industries are also interested in caffeine. This includes the pharmaceutical industry, which uses the effects of the substance to use it in medicines. You will hardly find headache tablets without caffeine among the ingredients. The beverage industry also needs a lot of caffeine for Coca-Cola or energy drinks like Red Bull.
The latter remains as a waste product in the production of decaffeinated coffee and is purchased separately by the companies. The cosmetics industry also relies on caffeine, as its use is not only very healthy internally, but can also be helpful for external use. The best example is the frequently advertised caffeinated shampoos. The purpose of these is to prevent hair loss. Creams are also offered.
As a healthy adult, you should consume a maximum of four or five cups of coffee per day in order to rule out negative consequences. The guideline value for a positive influence on the body is 400 mg of caffeine per day. These values should be significantly reduced in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Even smaller amounts apply to children, as the health consequences are sometimes difficult to assess and can emerge from the consumption of energy drinks.
The benefits of regulated caffeine consumption are many. Above all, the cardiovascular system benefits from the caffeine injection from coffee. Coffee is also a good home remedy to relieve headaches and migraines. In addition, many people like to consume coffee, especially during work, in order to take advantage of the concentration-promoting effect and the wake-up effect.
If your day can only start after a hot cup of coffee, you can at least now be sure that your consumption is in the most likely of all cases not harmful. Rather, it is a drink that contains many other health-promoting substances in addition to caffeine. It’s high in antioxidants and protects your cells.
With this in mind: Enjoy your coffee however you prefer it.