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What Drinks Contain Caffeine?

Jeremy Laukkonen
Jeremy Laukkonen

A variety of different drinks contain either natural or added caffeine. Tea, coffee, and chocolate are all examples of natural sources of caffeine, so drinks made of these substances typically contain the stimulant. Many soft drinks, such as sodas, contain caffeine as an additive, in which case it will usually be listed on the label as an ingredient. These drinks all contain varying amounts of caffeine, and the original source of the stimulant can potentially result in different effects. This is due to the fact that certain polyphenols and other compounds may form complexes with caffeine that are not easily soluble.

Caffeine is a molecule that occurs naturally in plant materials such as coffee beans and tea leaves. Other natural sources include the kola nut, seeds of the guarana plant, and yerba mate leaves. Regardless of the source, caffeine tends to have a stimulating effect on the human nervous system. Some people seek out food and drinks that contain caffeine for this effect, while others choose to abstain.

A soft drink containing caffeine.
A soft drink containing caffeine.

Coffee and tea are two popular drinks that naturally contain caffeine. Though these drinks are made from different plant products, the caffeine they contain is chemically the same. At one point the caffeine in tea was known as theine, though these compounds were later shown to be the same. Drinks made from yerba matte were originally thought to contain a compound known as mateine, but this was also later found to be caffeine. The physiological effects associated with caffeine from different natural sources may vary not due to them being molecularly different, but because of the presence of other xanthines and insoluble polyphenols.

A cup of coffee.
A cup of coffee.

Cola flavored soft drinks originally contained extract of the kola nut, which is another natural source of caffeine. Artificially flavored soft drinks of this nature still often contain caffeine, though as an additive. Many other soft drinks contain caffeine as well, especially energy drinks. When these drinks contain added caffeine, it will typically be listed as an ingredient so that the presence of the stimulant can easily be determined.

Energy drinks contain caffeine.
Energy drinks contain caffeine.

Drinks that naturally contain caffeine can also be obtained in decaffeinated forms. At one point this process used benzene and other solvents to strip the stimulant, though less environmentally damaging methods are now commonly employed. In addition to decaffeinated tea or coffee, this process also results in caffeine extract that can then be added to other drinks or used as a supplement.

Discussion Comments


@SkyWhisperer - You can find quite a few foods containing caffeine. You’re not limited to tea and coffee.

The article mentions chocolate, which is certainly one option. You can of course just eat the chocolate – you don’t have to make a drink out of it.

Speaking of antioxidants I’ve heard a lot about dark chocolate having a lot of that. But as you said, moderation is the key to all things. Don’t gorge yourself on sweets thinking you’ll get healthy.


@hamje32 - I’d have to say that tea is better than coffee. Both contain caffeine. I don’t know if the tea caffeine amount is greater than coffee but it’s good enough for me, and more importantly, tea contains antioxidants, which are good for you.

I like to drink jasmine tea. I stay away from the flavored teas. To me that’s just like drinking fruit juice. It doesn’t take like tea. Jasmine tea has a nice quality to it; it’s subtle, and I like to brew it slowly in a pot rather than nuking it in the microwave.


@SkyWhisperer - I couldn’t agree with you more. I would stay away from all sodas and especially the energy drinks that send your caffeine and sugar levels through the roof, only to have your blood sugar crash hours later.

Riding that roller coaster is simply not healthy. Some IT types give themselves a caffeine overdose by drinking that stuff every few hours to keep going as they pound out line upon line of code.

I think you would do well do eat a snack every few hours that will stabilize your blood sugar to keep you going. You could also add the occasional coffee drink. But those energy drinks are like poison in my opinion.


Of all the products that contain caffeine, I think that coffee is the best. The reason is that coffee contains selenium and selenium has been shown to be good for your brain, long term, and some studies have linked it to a reduced risk for cancer.

So with coffee you get more than the temporary bounce from the caffeine. Although the caffeine is good too in my opinion. Just don’t overdo it.

Too much caffeine will make your heart race from what I’ve heard. You could also get the jitters and you don’t want that. As with so many things in life, moderation is the key.

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    • A soft drink containing caffeine.
      A soft drink containing caffeine.
    • A cup of coffee.
      By: photosoup
      A cup of coffee.
    • Energy drinks contain caffeine.
      By: lecostaloca
      Energy drinks contain caffeine.
    • Guarana berry seeds have a higher concentration of caffeine than coffee beans.
      Guarana berry seeds have a higher concentration of caffeine than coffee beans.
    • The levels of caffeine in green tea vary depending on how the tea was prepared.
      By: Fisher Photostudio
      The levels of caffeine in green tea vary depending on how the tea was prepared.