Caffeine is the God-send psychoactive drug that helps billions of people to go through the day. Despite its notoriety, caffeine has many health benefits if taken at a reasonable amount. This natural stimulant is present in coffee, tea leaves, cocoa beans, kola nuts, and other 60 plant species. Besides, it is also artificially added to drinks, including our beloved sodas.
In this article, we will discuss how much caffeine is in a can of Pepsi and compare that with other popular drinks.
As you can see from the infographic, we have compared the caffeine element in a 12 fl oz Pepsi can with other drinks — coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other sodas.
So, let’s learn more about caffeine levels in various drinks.
Caffeine | The Good & Bad
We all know that excess of anything can turn a blessing into a curse; the same goes for caffeine. If you take the right amount of caffeine, which according to the FDA is:
For healthy adults, the FDA has cited 400 milligrams a day—that’s about four or five cups of coffee—as an amount not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects.
Please note this amount is for a healthy adult, not anyone sensitive to caffeine.
Truthfully, caffeine is not as bad as people perceive it; in fact, it contains health benefits.
Caffeine is a magic drug that can instantly make you more alert by reducing your tiredness and fatigue. How does this work? Well, the science behind this caffeine magic is very intriguing, let me explain it!
When you go about your day, the adenosine level in your brain increases which triggers your brain into thinking that you are tired. When your brain gets this intimation, it gets more relaxed and makes you tired. Hence you feel drowsy due to this neurotransmission. Now, what caffeine does, is that it blocks the effects of adenosine. It prevents adenosine activation, thereby preventing you from feeling tired or sleepy. Not only this, caffeine activates other hormones in your body, making you feel more alert and active. And all this is done quickly, in an hour.
That’s how beautifully caffeine performs its magic, making you in need of more of your favorite tea or coffee to stay awake during overtime work, or late-night studies.
Besides its ability to stimulate our nervous system, heart, and muscles, there are other benefits of this psychoactive drug. According to various research and studies, caffeine can aid people in preventing heart diseases, liver cancer, and diabetes.
All is good if the right amount of the drug is consumed, the excess of it can almost turn the tables for you.
Various studies have revealed that excessive caffeine can lead to anxiety, insomnia, muscle breakdown, restlessness, agitation, digestive issues, and even heart problems.
Did You Know?
Caffeine leads to addiction, which can lead to caffeine withdrawal symptoms once you stop the caffeine intake. Caffeine withdrawal is considered a disorder. These withdrawal symptoms include headaches, sleepiness, lethargy, constipation, nausea, and depression.
So, anything is as dangerous as you deal with it. It is always advisable to properly administer your caffeine intake for the good of your body.
If you want to monitor your caffeine intake, then the next part is definitely for you. Let’s now see how much caffeine is in a can of Pepsi, and compare its caffeine content with other popular drinks.
How Much Caffeine Is in a Can of Pepsi
Pepsi is found everywhere in the world, wherever you travel. It is still the highest-selling soda brand right after Coca-Cola and Diet Coke. Pepsi is generally sweeter than Coca-Cola and has more sugar than Coke. Today, Pepsi soda has evolved and now comes in different flavors. Each variant of Pepsi has a different composition of sugar and caffeine in them.
We have collected our data from the Caffeine Informer website, which contains a caffeine database for over 1000 drinks. The data shows caffeine amounts in mg divided into drinks categories.
So, we have referred to this database to answer — how much caffeine is in a can of Pepsi.
A 12 fl oz Pepsi can have 38 mg of caffeine with 41 grams of sugar and 150 calories. According to a caffeine informer, with this level of caffeine, the caffeine strength in a Pepsi can is low.
If you look at other variants, then Pepsi Caffeine Free (as the name indicates) has zero caffeine. Similarly, Diet Pepsi also has a low caffeine strength of 35 mg. Pepsi Zero Sugar has the highest caffeine level of 69 mg in the Pepsi family, with a moderate caffeine strength.
Pepsi Versus Other Sodas
As you can see from our infographic, a 12 fl oz of Mountain Dew has the highest caffeine level of 54 mg, as compared to other soft drinks. This resonates with the overall brand image, which clearly shows with Mountain Dew you get so much energy to climb buildings (for no apparent reasons).
Similarly, other cult favorites, Fanta, Sprite, and 7up, are caffeine-free drinks to enjoy without a care in the world. But, beware, these drinks still have excessive sugar in them.
Pepsi Versus Coffee
Whenever we talk about coffee and tea, the word caffeine echoes, as these are original sources of caffeine. You need a good strong tea or coffee to escape all the dizziness you experience from late-night work, parties, or even hangovers.
There are various coffee brands — from Starbucks to Canadian Tim Hortons, each has its own blends and techniques. Here, the list consists of an average caffeine content for each coffee type.
Now, if you look at our infographic, you notice brewed coffee has an extreme level of caffeine, followed by espresso shots. The reason behind this is in the process of creating your rich cup of brewed coffee. To brew a coffee, you need hot water to extract all the richness from grind coffee beans. Every method of brewing results in different coffee flavor and contents.
For example, a drip coffee will have a different caffeine level than a French press. So, let’s not go into the science and keep it simple here, brewed coffee is the most highly caffeinated coffee.
Similarly, beautiful caramel-colored expresso shots also have very high levels of caffeine. Likewise, cappuccinos and Latte, as created from one or two espresso shots topped with steaming milk, also have very high levels of caffeine.
Did You Know?
Black Label Brewed Coffee has a dangerous amount of caffeine. A 12 fl oz of this brewed coffee has a dangerous 1555 mg of caffeine.
Pepsi Versus Tea
Now, let’s go from coffee to the next most popular morning drink — tea. Caffeine is present naturally in the tea plant, thus we get it when we consume it. The caffeine in tea depends on the color of the tea — which depends on the quality of the tea and brewing time. Generally, an 8 fl oz of black tea has 42 mg of caffeine. Matcha tea has the highest caffeine level as compared to others.
Similarly, decaf tea has the lowest caffeine strength with 4 mg of caffeine.
Pepsi Versus Energy Drinks
Energy drinks are marketed to make you alert and enhance your performance. To do all this, nearly all energy drink brands use caffeine to stimulate your brain and make you more alert and active.
If you look at our infographic, you can see all popular energy drinks have high to very high levels of caffeine in them. And some even can give you wings with extreme caffeine levels .
Pepsi Versus Other Popular Drinks
We also compared some popular cult favorite drinks to give you an idea of their caffeine level. As you can see, most of them have low caffeine levels. If they do not have enough caffeine, it does not mean you start gulping them. These contain ridiculous amounts of sugar, so avoid them as much as possible.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that if you want wings or climb Mount Everest without any help (as the brands claim), then you need ridiculous amounts of caffeine. Nearly all drinks that we consume contain caffeine; some have more than others. We discussed how much caffeine is in a can of Pepsi versus other popular drinks.
The key, however, is not to get overboard with caffeine if you do not want to experience the adverse effects.