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While there’s been a lot of good news about coffee consumption and health lately, the medical establishment does still recommend caffeine in moderation, especially for women who are or may be pregnant, nursing mothers and those who are sensitive to caffeine. The March of Dimes, one of world’s largest organizations focused on preventing birth defects, says that women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should limit their caffeine intake to about 200 mg daily.
The March of Dimes website notes that amount of caffeine is about the equivalent of a 12-ounce cup of coffee, but also notes that the amount of caffeine in coffee varies widely based on the kind of coffee, how it’s prepared and many other factors.
It varies so widely, in fact, that when researchers at the University of Glasgow went shopping for espresso on the High Street, they found an incredible amount of variation in the amount of caffeine contained in various popular coffee drinks in the local shops. The researchers orded a “shot” of espresso at 20 different Glasgow coffee shops and took them back to the lab to measure the caffeine in them. They found two things: the amount of espresso in a “shot” varies from shop to shop — from 25 ml to 70 ml; and the amount of caffeine in a shot of espresso ranges from 51 mg (in a 27 ml shot from Starbucks) to 322 mg (in a 52 ml shot from Patisserie Francoise). Considering the many things that can affect the amount of caffeine in your coffee, there’s a good chance that a second trip to each coffee shop could well have turned up a different amount of caffeine in each shot.
And of course, you’ll find caffeine in many things other than coffee. If you’re limiting your caffeine intake because you’re pregnant, or just because you prefer to keep your stimulant use to a minimum, you should be aware of the amount of caffeine you might be consuming from various sources. This quick chart is sourced from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. While it’s not a complete listing of every source of caffeine, it can give you an idea of where you’ll find the major sources of caffeine in your life so that you can make adjustments where needed to cut out the amount of caffeine you consume.
|Coffee, generic brewed||8 oz.||60-150|
|Starbucks Brewed Coffee||12 oz.||240|
|Dunkin’ Donuts regular coffee||16 oz.||200|
|Instant coffee||8 oz.||93|
|Decaf coffee||8 oz.||5|
|Starbucks Espresso||1 oz.||89|
|Starbucks Frappuccino||9.5 oz.||115|
|Generic Espresso||1 oz.||90|
|Tea, brewed||8 oz.||40-80|
|Tazo Chai Tea Latte (Grande)||16 oz.||100|
|Snapple, Peach||16 oz.||42|
|Arizona Iced Tea, black||16 oz.||32|
|Arizona Iced Tea, green||16 oz.||15|
|Mountain Dew MDX||12 oz.||71|
|Mountain Dew||12 oz.||55|
|Dr. Pepper||12 oz.||61|
|Coca-Cola Classic||12 oz.||23|
|Mug Root Beer||12 oz.||0|
|Monster Energy||16 oz.||160|
|Red Bull||8.3 oz.||80|
|Hot Chocolate||5 fl. oz.||1-8|
|Chocolate Milk||8 fl. oz.||2-7|
|Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Fudge Frozen Yogurt||8 fl. oz.||85|
|Haagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream||8 fl. oz.||48|
|Starbucks Coffee Ice Cream||8 fl. oz.||45|
|Dannon Coffee Yogurt||8 fl. oz.||40-60|
|Chocolate Bar||1.55 oz.||3-63|
|Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Bar||1.45 oz.||31|
|Nestle Crunch Bar||1.45 oz.||10|
|Chocolate Chip Cookie||1.45 oz.||3-5|
|NoDoz (Maximum Strength)||1 tablet||200|
|Excedrin (Extra Strength)||2 tablets||130|
|Anacin (Maximum Strength)||2 tablets||64|