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High caffeine levels are most commonly associated with coffee and energy drinks. There can be variance among the amount of caffeine offered in these beverages, but generally, they are still lower than the amount of caffeine in coffee. Where a person gets his coffee may make a difference in how much caffeine it contains, too.
The standard home brewed, 8-ounce (0.23 L) cup of coffee contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine. People who drink a cup of coffee from Starbucks®, however, will find that it can contain as much as 250 mg. Those who enjoy coffee from coffee shops might want to consider sticking with lattes or mochas, especially when they buy large sizes. A 16-ounce (0.47 L) cup of coffee from Starbucks® will have 500 mg of caffeine, but a similarly sized latte or mocha is lower in caffeine than a standard cup of coffee, with about 75 mg.
Caffeine levels in energy drinks may also vary, although most are lower, ounce-for-ounce, than the standard cup of coffee. The highest contain about about the same amount as someone would find in a home brewed cup of coffee, usually between 80 and 120 mg. A couple of energy drinks boast much higher levels of caffeine per ounce — even up to 100 mg — and they often use this as a selling point.
Virtually all colas, caffeinated sodas, and caffeinated teas fall well below the high levels found in coffee and certain energy drinks. Experts are now becoming increasingly concerned about caffeine intake among teens, especially energy drinks that contain sugar. Unlike coffee, which is primarily sipped, energy drinks are often consumed very quickly. An 8-ounce (0.23 L) can seems like a very minimal amount of a “soda” type drink. Especially for those drinks that are feature a lot of caffeine, there is a concern that young people can easily become ill from drinking so much so quickly.
Death by caffeine is fairly rare, and a person would need to drink around 35 cups of coffee very quickly. Caffeine toxicity from drinks with high caffeine levels is becoming more common, however. People may feel as though they’ve taken methamphetamines when consuming 4 to 5 ounces (118 to 147.8 ml) of some energy drinks. Higher amounts of caffeine can create the opposite of the expected reaction: many teens feel sleepy instead of alert after consuming highly caffeinated drinks.
Given the risks, individuals may want to stick with their own cup of coffee, or even try some decaffeinated drinks now and again. They may want to consider a nice herbal tea, a decaffeinated cup of coffee from a cafe, or a cup of cocoa, with only about 5 mg of caffeine per 8 oz (0.23 L).