How Much Caffeine Is in a Can of Coke Compared to Coffee?

Medically Reviewed on 9/23/2021
how much caffeine is in a can of coke compared to coffee
Regular Coke and Diet Coke contain less caffeine than other caffeinated beverages, including coffee, tea, and energy drinks

While the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee varies depending on the brand, type of beans used, and how long it’s brewed, coffee still has more caffeine per serving than Coke.

Coca-Cola contains only 2.5-3 mg of caffeine per ounce, and Diet Coke contains between 3.5-3.75 mg of caffeine per ounce, which is much less than coffee.

Table: Caffeine content of various beverages
Beverage Caffeine (mean range)
Filtered coffee (125 mL) 85 mg (60-135)
Espresso (30 mL) 60 mg (35-100)
Soluble instant coffee (125 mL) 65 mg (35-105)
Decaffeinated coffee (125 mL) 3 mg (1-5)
Caffeinated soft drinks, such as Coke (330 mL) 39 mg (30-48)
Sugar-free caffeinated soft drinks, such as Diet Coke (330 mL) 41 mg (26-57)

Why do soft drinks contain caffeine?

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, keeping you alert and energized. 

Caffeine used to be a naturally occurring component of cola drinks because soft drink makers (such as Coca-Cola) used kola nut extract to make the drink, and caffeine is naturally present in the kola nut. 

Coca-Cola later incorporated coca plant extracts into their drinks. Because none of these natural sources is employed anymore, it is only logical that fizzy sodas would incorporate caffeine to replace the kola nut's flavor. This is the justification given by soft drink producers. 

Caffeine was proposed to be removed from soft drinks by the FDA in 1980. Soft drink producers responded by saying that caffeine is added to the beverages to give them the desired flavor, which is not harmful to health.

There are roughly 60 plant species that contain caffeine; cocoa beans, kola nuts, and tea leaves are the most well-known. Caffeine is found in many popular soft drinks, as well as a variety of pharmaceutical preparations and over-the-counter drugs, such as analgesics, diet aids, and cold or flu cures. 

What are the long-term effects of caffeine?

Most people have no problems with 400 mg of caffeine or 4 cups of coffee a day. If you are sensitive to caffeine, however, even small doses can cause insomnia (inability to sleep), a racing heart, anxiety, and restlessness. 

Caffeine consumption of more than 600 mg per day (equal to 4-7 cups of coffee) is considered excessive according to health and nutrition experts. Excessive caffeine intake (e.g., more than 4 cups of coffee per day) in the long term may cause:


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

What are symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?

Giving up caffeine after a long period of consumption can be difficult as the body adjusts. Withdrawal symptoms normally appear 12-24 hours and the effects may continue anywhere from 2-7 days or even longer. These symptoms may include:

Scientific research suggests that withdrawal symptoms can occur from daily consumption of only 100 mg of caffeine, indicating that drinking 3 cans of soft beverages a day is enough to get addicted.

Caffeine is classified as both a food additive and a medication by the FDA. Because the amount of caffeine in different goods can vary greatly, read the label before consuming.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 9/23/2021
Center for Science in the Public Interest. Caffeine Chart.

National Soft Drink Association. Caffeine Content of Popular Drink.

Healthdirect. Caffeine.

Mayo Clinic. Nutrition and Healthy Eating.