Research shows that over half of people find it difficult to know how much caffeine they are consuming every day through coffee because of the different types of coffee and variety of cup sizes available.
With guidance stating that healthy adults can safely consume 400mg of caffeine a day (equal to 4-5 cups of coffee) and pregnant women advised to consume up to 200mg of caffeine from all sources, the British Coffee Association (BCA) is seeking to address this confusion in a new video about how to track your caffeine intake in a world where we have a multitude of different coffee beverages available to us.
Matt says "I find it strange that people have a pretty good idea of what a standard alcoholic drink is, and can use that to control their alcohol intake, but very few people know what a standard coffee beverage is. With so many different ways to enjoy coffee, all with different amounts of caffeine, it's hard to keep track of what you're ordering and how much caffeine you're ingesting. I hope this video clears up the confusion about how much caffeine is in various drinks and helps to explain the current guidance on how much caffeine we can safely consume through coffee a day."
Dr Sarah Schenker, registered dietitian, says "It's important that we track our daily caffeine intake to ensure that we are not consuming too much caffeine, as people may react to caffeine in different ways. However, if you consume 400mg of caffeine a day (equal to 4-5 cups of coffee), you may experience increased alertness and concentration, improved sports performance and long-term benefits such as a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes."
Research highlights the confusion, finding that two-fifths of people think that a standard cup of coffee holds 200-250 millilitres, while it actually holds 125 millilitres. It is, therefore, important that people consume coffee in the right cup size when following guidelines of 4-5 cups of coffee per day.
What does 400mg of caffeine in coffee look like? On average, 400mg of caffeine equates to the following (based on average cups of coffee produced in the home without added extras). 6 cups of instant coffee (125ml cup). 4 cups of filtered coffee (125ml cup).
The information below provides guidance on how much caffeine is typically in your food and drink so you can better track your caffeine intake, to stay within the recommended daily allowance for a healthy adult:
1 125ml cup of instant coffee - 65mg caffeine
1 125ml cup of filtered coffee - 85mg caffeine
1 150ml cup of tea - 32mg caffeine
Regular cola drink (330ml) - up to 40mg caffeine
Regular energy drink (250ml) - up to 80mg caffeine
Plain chocolate bar (50g) - up to 50mg caffeine - milk chocolate has around half of the caffeine content of plain chocolate.
The BCA have teamed up with mathematician and stand-up comedian Matt Parker to help explain the numbers in the video. In the video, Are you caffeine confused? Matt explores the various ways we consume caffeine, which naturally occurs in coffee and how that affects our overall caffeine intake each day. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/NUv-pbLRPwA.