Caffeinated drink

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Tea (left) and coffee, the two most common naturally caffeinated drinks

A caffeinated drink, or caffeinated beverage, is a drink that contains caffeine, a stimulant that is legal practically all over the world. Some are naturally caffeinated while others have caffeine added as an ingredient.

The most common naturally caffeinated beverages are coffee and tea, which in one form or another (usually served hot, but sometimes iced) feature in most world cultures.[1] Other drinks are artificially caffeinated as part of their production process. These include certain soft drinks (primarily cola drinks), and also energy drinks designed as a stimulant, and to perpetuate activity at times when the user might ordinarily be asleep.

The consumption of caffeinated drinks is often intended entirely or partly for the physical and mental effects of caffeine. Examples include the consumption of tea or coffee with breakfast in many westernized societies, in order to 'wake oneself up', or the deliberate consumption of energy drinks by students wishing to study through the night, or revellers seeking to maintain an alert attitude during social recreation.[2] Caffeine can cause a physical dependence, if consumed in excessive amounts.[3] The need for caffeine can be identified when individuals feel headaches, fatigue and muscle pain 24 hours after their last energy drink.[4]

Some commercially distributed drinks contain guarana, a South American berry with a caffeine content about twice that of coffee beans.[5]

Many caffeinated drinks also have decaffeinated counterparts, for those who enjoy the taste, but wish to limit their caffeine intake because of its physical effects, or due to religious or medical perceptions of the drug and its effects.

In recent years, some alcoholic beverage companies have begun to manufacture caffeinated alcoholic beverages. The manufacturing of such beverages has been met with much controversy.[6][7]

Beverages containing caffeine include coffee, tea, soft drinks ("colas"), energy drinks, other beverages. According to a 2020 study in the United States, coffee is the major source of caffeine intake in middle-aged adults, while soft drinks and tea are the major sources in adolescents.[8] Energy drinks are more commonly consumed as a source of caffeine in adolescents as compared to adults.[8]



The world's primary source of caffeine is the coffee "bean" (the seed of the coffee plant), from which coffee is brewed. Caffeine content in coffee varies widely depending on the type of coffee bean and the method of preparation used;[9] even beans within a given bush can show variations in concentration. In general, one serving of coffee ranges from 80 to 100 milligrams, for a single shot (30 milliliters) of arabica-variety espresso, to approximately 100–125 milligrams for a cup (120 milliliters) of drip coffee.[10][11] Arabica coffee typically contains half the caffeine of the robusta variety.[9] In general, dark-roast coffee has very slightly less caffeine than lighter roasts because the roasting process reduces caffeine content of the bean by a small amount.[10][11]


Tea leaves contain more caffeine than coffee beans by dry weight. A typical serving, however, contains much less, since less of the product is used as compared to an equivalent serving of coffee. Also contributing to caffeine content are growing conditions, processing techniques, and other variables. Thus, teas contain varying amounts of caffeine.[12]

Tea contains small amounts of theobromine and slightly higher levels of theophylline than coffee. Preparation and many other factors have a significant impact on tea, and color is a very poor indicator of caffeine content. Teas like the pale Japanese green tea, gyokuro, for example, contain far more caffeine than much darker teas like lapsang souchong, which has very little.[12]

Soft drinks and energy drinks[edit]

Caffeine is also a common ingredient of soft drinks, such as cola, originally prepared from kola nuts. Soft drinks typically contain 0 to 55 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounce serving.[13] By contrast, energy drinks, such as Red Bull, can start at 80 milligrams of caffeine per serving. The caffeine in these drinks either originates from the ingredients used or is an additive derived from the product of decaffeination or from chemical synthesis. Guarana, a prime ingredient of energy drinks, contains large amounts of caffeine with small amounts of theobromine and theophylline in a naturally occurring slow-release excipient.[14]

Other beverages[edit]

  • Mate is a tea-like drink popular in many parts of South America. Its preparation consists of filling a gourd with the leaves of the South American holly yerba mate, pouring hot but not boiling water over the leaves, and drinking with a straw, the bombilla, which acts as a filter so as to draw only the liquid and not the yerba leaves.[15]
  • Guaraná is a soft drink originating in Brazil made from the seeds of the Guaraná fruit.
  • The leaves of Ilex guayusa, the Ecuadorian holly tree, are placed in boiling water to make a guayusa tea.[16]
  • The leaves of Ilex vomitoria, the yaupon holly tree, are placed in boiling water to make a yaupon tea.
  • Commercially prepared coffee-flavoured milk beverages are popular in Australia.[17] Examples include Oak's Ice Coffee and Farmers Union Iced Coffee. The amount of caffeine in these beverages can vary widely. Caffeine concentrations can differ significantly from the manufacturer's claims.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David, Iulia Gabriela; Bizgan, Ana-Maria Cristina; Buleandra, Mihaela; Popa, Dana Elena; Moldovan, Zenovia; Bandea, Irinel Adriana (April 2015). "Rapid determination of total polyphenolic content in tea samples based on caffeic acid voltammetric behaviour on a disposable graphite electrode". Food Chemistry. 173: 1059–1065. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.10.139. PMID 25466125.
  2. ^ Gimba, Casimir Emmanuel; Abechi, Stephen Eyije; Abbas, Nurudeen Sulaiman (2014). "Evaluation of caffeine, aspartame and sugar contents in energy drinks". Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research. 6 (8): 39-43.
  3. ^ Rockett, Ian R.H.; Putnam, Sandra L. (February 2002). "Caffeine "Addiction" in High School Youth: Evidence of an Adverse Health Relationship". Addiction Research and Theory. 10 (1): 31–42. doi:10.1080/16066350290001696. S2CID 144490604.
  4. ^ "Caffeine (and its effects)". Health Central. Remedy Health Media. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  5. ^ Bempong DK, Houghton PJ, Steadman K (1993). "The xanthine content of guarana and its preparations". Int. J. Pharmacog. 31 (3): 175–81. doi:10.3109/13880209309082937. ISSN 0925-1618.
  6. ^ Benson, Sarah; Verster, Joris C.; Alford, Chris; Scholey, Andrew (November 2014). "Effects of mixing alcohol with caffeinated beverages on subjective intoxication: A systematic review and meta-analysis". Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 47: 16–21. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.07.008. PMID 25036891. S2CID 42390630.
  7. ^ "Caffeine Wiki: Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Dosage". 27 May 2020.
  8. ^ a b van Dam RM, Hu FB, Willett WC (July 2020). "Coffee, Caffeine, and Health". The New England Journal of Medicine. 383 (4): 369–378. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1816604. PMID 32706535. S2CID 220731550.
  9. ^ a b "Caffeine". International Coffee Organization. Archived from the original on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
  10. ^ a b "Coffee and Caffeine FAQ: Does dark roast coffee have less caffeine than light roast?". Retrieved 2 August 2009.
  11. ^ a b "All About Coffee: Caffeine Level". Jeremiah's Pick Coffee Co. Archived from the original on 18 March 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  12. ^ a b Hicks MB, Hsieh YH, Bell LN (1996). "Tea preparation and its influence on methylxanthine concentration". Food Research International. 29 (3–4): 325–330. doi:10.1016/0963-9969(96)00038-5.
  13. ^ "Nutrition and healthy eating". Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  14. ^ Bempong DK, Houghton PJ, Steadman K (1993). "The xanthine content of guarana and its preparations" (PDF). Int J Pharmacog. 31 (3): 175–181. doi:10.3109/13880209309082937. ISSN 0925-1618.
  15. ^ Martinez-Carter K (9 April 2012). "Drinking mate in Buenos Aires". BBC. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  16. ^ Rätsch C (2005). The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications. Simon and Schuster. p. PT1235. ISBN 9781594776625.
  17. ^ Smith S (18 Oct 2017). "Flavoured milk and iced coffee sales on the rise". The Weekly Times. News Corp. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  18. ^ Desbrow B (2012). "An examination of consumer exposure to caffeine from commercial coffee and coffee-flavoured milk". Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 28 (2): 114. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2012.09.001. hdl:10072/49194.

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