How much caffeine is in your daily drinks?

20 Apr 2021


Are you a caffeine fiend? Find out how high your intake is.

Ah, coffee. That cup of liquid gold that we just can’t go without. If you’re anything like us, the day just isn’t complete without a sip of that smooth, delicious drink. Our own coffee range uses coffee beans from five different blends, so that you can select the perfect type for your tastes.

Most opt for a cup of coffee for its wonderful taste and aroma, yet others may reach for coffee in pursuit of its other powers. For many, the kick of caffeine is what makes coffee even more irresistible. That sudden energy boost you feel after you’ve thrown back a cup or two is much needed in moments of tiredness.

However, can you ever have too much caffeine and is it only found in coffee? We take a look att its highs and lows to avoid any extreme intake.

What is caffeine?

Caffeine might be a common word, but do you know what it is exactly?

This naturally occurring stimulant belongs to the alkaloid family. Caffeine is widely known for its ability to wake people up and make them feel more energised. This is no accident: it works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system.

cup of coffee with caffeine next to a bed

Think of caffeine as a defence against fatigue. Caffeine functions by blocking the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that helps to relax the brain, therefore making you feel sleepier. Although adenosine levels normally build up throughout the day – causing you to feel increasingly more tired – caffeine prevents this by stopping your brain cells from signalling your fatigue.

Caffeine can also increase blood adrenaline levels and improve the brain’s activity of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. This helps to stimulate your brain further, improving general alertness and energy levels.

Because caffeine impacts your brain, it is known as a psychoactive drug. Considering that we drink almost 1.4 billions cups of coffee every day worldwide, this makes coffee the most popular drug in the world.

Don’t worry – although it may be considered a drug of sorts, this doesn’t make avid coffee drinkers addicts that need to be sent to caffeine rehab. However, you may want to reconsider the amount of cups you consume a day.

How much caffeine should I drink a day?

Do you know someone who gets the jitters after drinking just one coffee, whilst you can knock six back with ease? Although you may pride yourself on your impressive caffeine stamina, it’s important to remember that everyone’s reaction to caffeine is different.

This is because our individual genes have different sensitivities to this stimulant. Genes vary in their effectiveness of determining how well enzymes break down the caffeine in your liver. They also can determine how much the receptors in your brain are affected by caffeine. 

This explains why some people can’t drink caffeine past 2pm, whilst others can drink a caffeinated cup well into the evening and still get to sleep with ease.

Generally, an average person should consume no more than 400mg of coffee a day. For pregnant women, this should not exceed 200mg. Children are expected to consume less caffeine, with their intake varying between 45mg-100mg. Considering that an average americano coffee ranges at about 150mg per cup, you can still go about your day without limiting your coffee intake too much.

Is caffeine good or bad for you?

Generally speaking, a moderate amount of caffeine won’t do you any harm. However, in high dosages it can lead to slightly more problems.

Possible side effects of coffee

Higher amounts of caffeine can lead to people feeling irritable and anxious, as well as experiencing racing thoughts at night. This can disrupt your sleeping pattern and give you heart palpitations. If you already suffer from anxiety, you may find that an increase in caffeine consumption makes it worse.

In addition, over time, too much caffeine may result in your adrenal glands weakening, resulting in hormone imbalances. This is why pregnant women are encouraged to consume less. In some cases, a high caffeine intake can also result in a high blood pressure, which may be dangerous if you are diabetic.

However, it must be remembered that you are only at risk of these side effects if you are excessively drinking over the recommended daily intake. Caffeine also has great health benefits, and consuming it daily can even be good for you.

Positive impacts of coffee consumption

Multiple studies have shown that caffeine can improve your overall mental health. One report revealed that those who regularly consumed drinks that contained it were at a 13% lower risk of depression. There is also evidence to suggest that drinking between 3-5 cups of coffee per day can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by up to 68%.

In terms of physical health, caffeine may increase your metabolism by 11%. This means that consuming 300mg per day can help you burn an additional 79 calories each day. This may not sound like much, but over time it can really make a difference if you continue to eat healthily and exercise regularly.

Although caffeine can raise blood pressure, this doesn’t mean you’re at an increased chance of suffering from heart disease. In fact, the opposite is true: evidence reveals that men are at a 18% lower chance of heart disease if they drink between one and four cups of coffee every day.

Decreased cancer risk, improved gut health, lovevity, liver protection and more are all possible benefits of drinking coffee regularly.

How much caffeine is there in:

A cup of coffee

One mug of filter coffee gives you around 150mg, whilst a mug of instant coffee comes in slightly lower at 100mg of coffee.

A cup of tea

Although tea has less caffeine in it than coffee, it still delivers an impressive 75mg serving: only five mg less than an energy drink!

A cup of green tea

matcha tea in a cup with powder and whisk

Green tea delivers a gentle 28mg. Matcha tea, on the other hand – or powdered green tea leaves – packs more of a punch at 70mg.

Coca Cola

A can of Coca Cola provides you with a moderate 40mg.

A hot chocolate

This can depend on the type of hot chocolate you drink. Ready-to-drink, powdered hot chocolate mixes contain a very low percentage of caffeine, ranging between 0-5mg. However, hot chocolate made from cocoa powder tends to be higher in caffeine. This is because cocoa beans have caffeine in them, and a large mug of hot cocoa can serve you a surprising 25 mg.

At Hotel Chocolat, we think the secret behind making the best hot chocolate is to use the real stuff only. In fact, we’ve even got our experts to come up with a guide to making the best hot chocolate. We make our hot chocolate from shaved flakes of our luxury chocolate to give you a cup of cocoa that’s creamy, smooth and delicious.

Things you didn’t know had caffeine in them

Although we may think of tea or coffee as being the biggest boost of caffeine, there are plenty of other ways to boost your caffeine intake. Surprisingly, water brands such as Vitamin Water or Avitae give you a staggering 90mg. Other foods such as ice cream (30mg), cereal (11mg), protein bars (14mg) and cookies (33.36 mg) also give you a caffeine burst.

Our coffee

At Hotel Chocolat, we believe that a quality cup of coffee isn’t just in the tasting. We source our five different blends from either small cooperatives or family owned farms to ensure our coffee farmers are treated fairly.

We don’t just look towards caring for the coffee before it’s in your mug. Our espresso machine The Podster and our filter coffee cone The Graviator are compatible with our 100% recyclable coffee pods. Give back to nature – after all, she’s the one who allows us to enjoy her fruits (or should we say beans).