How Much Caffeine Is In A Can Of Coke Vs A Cup Of Coffee?

Coca-Cola loyalists tend to reach for a can of this classic soda for one of two reasons: Those vivacious bubbles and addictively spicy-sweet flavor, or that enthralling energy rush that only caffeine can provide. The caffeine content of a can of Coke varies depending on its size and flavor, but a regular 12-ounce option has about 34 milligrams of the stimulant. For reference, there is typically 140 milligrams or more in a coffee of the same size, but on average the number hovers around 95 milligrams. 


So surprisingly, a can of Coke doesn't have nearly as much caffeine as a drip brew does, although it likely does pack in much more sugar depending on how you take your coffee. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says consuming roughly 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is safe for healthy adults, so whether you're on team coffee or Coke, both are safe to consume entirely in one sitting.

Why the caffeine in Coke is different from coffee

While people often look to sugary sodas and cups of coffee for a source of energy, the caffeine levels in Coke are actually a closer match to a cup of green tea, which typically packs in about 35 milligrams per serving. Still, the caffeine in a can of soda is usually different from the type in coffee or teas, as modern soda producers have swapped caffeinated kola nuts for synthetic alternatives, while teas and coffee still rely on naturally-occurring sources of energy. (Which is part of the reason we think Coke's recipe has changed for the worse.)


Still, every Coke is different. To find out the exact caffeine content of your soda, check the can, as most brands display the amount alongside the nutrition facts. If you're still not happy with the caffeine levels in your Coke, search for another soda with a closer amount to coffee.

Sodas with higher caffeine levels

For starters, all of these choices refer to 12-ounce cans, so if you want an even bigger boost, grab a bigger option. Let's start with Coke's longtime rival — a can of Pepsi lends a little more caffeine at 38.9 milligrams. Alternatively, Dr. Pepper has 42.6 milligrams of caffeine. For even more energy, a Diet Coke provides a little more zip than its traditional counterpart at 46.3 milligrams of caffeine, while Mello Yello yields 51 milligrams. Mountain Dew provides even more caffeine at 54.8 milligrams, and Sun Drop reigns as one of the most caffeinated sodas, providing about 64 milligrams per can. 


Still, not even a can of Sun Drop can rival the caffeine content in a cup of coffee. if you really want the most energy possible, just stick to a classic cup of drip, cold brew, or an iced coffee. Or, for a quick fix, an espresso has around 63 milligrams of caffeine.