American Beverage Association

May 27, 2009

Coffee Remains the Caffeine King

A member of the Sip & Savor team likes a good cup of coffee from a certain brand-name coffeehouse and will stop there a few times a week to grab one. Usually, this person waits in a line of 10 people, nine of whom are on their way to high school. The cashier told our teammate that they get “dozens and dozens” of high school students every morning…”far more than the business people.”

Now, Sip & Savor has no problem with the fact students like a cup of coffee or that these coffeehouses have become places for them to gather and socialize. (Though clearly, today’s teens aren’t intimidated by the myth perpetuated in the “business peoples’ generation” that caffeine will stunt your growth. Judging by the height of these kids, they’re just more proof that this notion is indeed a myth.)

But the popularity of these coffeehouses again raises interesting questions about caffeine, as we know certain activists like to find various reasons to get worked up about it. They’re helped along by the volley of “science news stories” that feature a different sensational headline of the day – one day, caffeine is good for you, the next day someone says it’s not. Another frequent target nowadays is energy drinks. We believe energy drinks get undue focus, perhaps, because the activists and scientists like their coffee or soft drink and don’t want to give it up. Or it’s just something new for the activists in the Nanny State to shoot at.

So we thought it would be good to once again remind folks about how much caffeine is in coffee versus energy drinks versus soft drinks.

As this chart shows, a regular 16-ounce coffee from a brand coffeehouse contains twice the amount of caffeine as a similar’sized energy drink and more than 5 times the caffeine of a similar-sized soft drink. If you click on the hyperlink to the chart, above it is a “Learn more” button on caffeine, which will take you to more information on this safe and widely used ingredient.

The information just provides some important perspective to keep in mind, as well as information we thought might be helpful to parents and teens.

Bottom line: unless you’re sensitive to caffeine (and if you are, we presume you already moderate yourself accordingly), enjoy your caffeinated products. People worldwide have been doing so safely for generations.


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