How Much Caffeine in Soda vs Coffee: Ultimate Analysis + Comparison Table

So you want your well-deserved caffeine boost of the day. You already drank two cups of coffee and you’re wondering: is there another way to get a boost?

The answer is: yes! Some alternatives I use all the time are different types of tea and sodas. But how much caffeine is in a soda, in a cup of tea, or coffee?

Insider Science has a great video on debunking some common myths about caffeine:

And in this blog post, I will share some interesting statistics about how much caffeine in soda vs coffee is there, plus, I’ll give you some of favorite drinks that can help you get energized!

1. What is caffeine?

First of all, let’s get the most important question out of the equation: what is caffeine really? 

As a coffee enthusiast and a home barista, I can explain it in simple terms.

Imagine a tiny superhero living inside your favorite beverages. This superhero is caffeine – a natural stimulant!

This microscopic marvel is like a wake-up call for you brain and body. Its origin story comes from the leaves, seeds and fruits of different plants.

And how does this superhero help you?

When you sip your drink, these little heroes rush through your bloodstream. And they are so tricky that they sneak past your brain’s defense! 

Caffeine blocks the sleep-inducing signals, trick your mind into feeling alert and energized. The tiny particles (let’s pretend it’s the superheroes superpower-attack) speeds up your heart rate, gives your metabolism a gentle nudge, and in some cases, it gives your medications a boost, and helps them work more effectively.

So, the next time you enjoy your coffee, tea, or soda, remember the invisible army of caffeine molecules working their magic!

And now, onto the real questions.

2. Caffeine content in coffee

On Emergent Brew, I already wrote an in-depth article about how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee.

For the sake of this article, let’s imagine a steaming cup of coffee.

The aroma is going through the air, it promises a jolt of energy to kickstart your day.

A regular cup of coffee (typically around 8 ounces), is a great reservoir of this stimulating compound – caffeine.

How Much Caffeine In Soda Vs Coffee, Cup Of Coffee On A Table

On average, it contains anywhere from 95 to 200 milligrams of caffeine.  This amount of caffeine is enough to awaken sleepy minds and sharpen focus. The precise caffeine content in your cup can be as mysterious as the depths of a foggy mountain valley.


Well, it’s all about the roasting levels, how you prepare it, what kind of beans you use, and so on. I know, it sounds complicated, but I quickly summarized everything in this table:

3. How much caffeine in soda

What about soda?

When you’re looking for caffeine alternatives, sodas can be great, too!

But the caffeine content in sodas is a topic in itself. Some contain no caffeine at all, and some will give you a huuuuge punch. It’s a more diverse and complex story than coffee.

How Much Caffeine In Soda Vs Coffee Pouring Soda Into A Glass

Most popular cola-based sodas contain moderate amounts of caffeine: ranging from 30 to 40 milligrams per 12-ounce serving. Some citrus-flavored sodas like Mountain Dew contain more, while many fruit-flavored sodas are caffeine-free.

And here’s an important note: caffeine content is also different between countries and even between regular and diet versions of the same brand, because… surprise, surprise, brands don’t use the same recipe all around the world!

Energy drinks (I wouldn’t really recommend them, but still), are sometimes categorized alongside sodas, generally contain much higher levels of caffeine, often ranging from 70 to 240 milligrams per serving. These beverages are specifically designed to provide an energy boost and are not typical of standard soda caffeine levels.

Here’s a table listing some of the most popular sodas and their approximate caffeine content per 12-ounce (355 ml) serving:

4. Soda contains sugar

There’s one more thing to consider: sodas also have sugar.

The sugar content in sodas is a concern for many health-conscious consumers. Most regular sodas have a huge amount of added sugars – in the form of high fructose corn syrup or sucrose.

The amount of sugar can vary between brands and flavors.

On average, a 12-ounce (355 ml) can of regular soda contains about 35-40 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to about 8-10 teaspoons.

This amount exceeds the World Health Organization’s recommended daily limit for added sugars, which is no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) for adults.

Here’s a table showing the approximate sugar content for some popular sodas, based on a 12-ounce (355 ml) serving:

Diet or zero-sugar versions of these sodas typically contain artificial sweeteners and have little to no sugar content. Still, the analysis on whether the artificial sweeteners can harm your body is still up to debate.

5. Conclusion: how much caffeine in soda vs coffee 

The ongoing question and debate remains… I know it’s a boring answer, but in the end, it’s up to you, the time of the day, and your feelings in the heat of the moment.

I have a comparison table for you, if this helps:

This table gives you a clear side-by-side comparison of caffeine content in popular sodas and coffee types. As you can see, coffee is still your #1 go-to, if you want higher amounts of caffeine.

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