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.