March is Caffeine Awareness Month, which comes at a time when caffeine from coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate bars, and other foods and beverages is an especially buzz-worthy topic for consumers around the world.
I love coffee and chocolate and have a tendency to consume one or the other (sometimes both together) daily. A day without chocolate is a day without sunshine! Both are considered sources of caffeine.
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) published recommendations mentioned caffeine 414 times, and provided an evidenced-based guideline indicating caffeine consumption of up to 400 mg/day, or approximately three to five 8-oz. cups of coffee per day, can be incorporated into healthful, daily eating patterns.
While the DGAs are primarily centered on coffee, there are several sources of caffeine that can contribute to this recommended 400 mg threshold.
Ever wonder which foods contain caffeine and how much is recommended for you? Let’s take a quick look at a few common food and beverage sources and how much caffeine they contain:
- An 8.4-oz. energy drink, a 20-oz. diet cola, and a shot of espresso, all sources of caffeine, contain about the same amount as a cup of coffee (80 mg). Other recognizable choices include:
- A cup of green tea or a 12-oz. can of soda, both of which contain about 40 mg of caffeine.
- A 1.5-oz. chocolate bar, which contains about 10 mg of caffeine, whereas a darker chocolate bar the same size contains about 30 mg of caffeine. (No wonder I prefer dark chocolate!)
So know your sources of caffeine and the amounts. It all adds up across the day.
What’s your favorite chocolate or coffee?