Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant found in tea, coffee, cocoa and cola as well as some other plant based foods such as guarana. It can also be produced synthetically and used as an additive in 'energy drinks'.

Caffeine is one of the most commonly consumed stimulants in the world. Absorbed easily and rapidly by both the stomach and small intestine, it circulates throughout the whole body, including the brain. Like everything, caffeine should be consumed in moderation.

How much should I have?

As caffeine is not an essential component of a normal diet there are no Recommended Dietary Intakes.

Whilst research supports that a caffeine intake of up to 400 mg per day is not associated with an adverse effects in healthy adults, 3 mg per kilogram weight is the level generally accepted as the recommended limit of caffeine intake for adults.

The table below will help you work out your caffeine intake from some of the most common sources.

Caffeine content of commonly consumed foods and drinks

Natural sources Caffeine per serve Serving size
Coffee espresso 78 mg 40 ml
Coffee, instant 60 – 80 mg 250 ml
Tea 10 – 50 mg 250 ml
Cola soft drink 50 mg 375 ml
Energy drink 80 mg 250ml
Milk chocolate drink 4.6 mg 20 g in 200 ml milk
Dark chocolate 11 mg 20 g
Milk chocolate 4 mg 20 g

This page contains general information and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional for specific advice for your personal situation.