What is Caffeine?

CaffCaffeine is a drug that is naturally produced in the leaves and seeds of many plants. It's also produced artificially and added to certain foods. Caffeine is defined as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system, causing increased alertness. Caffeine gives most people a temporary energy boost and elevates mood. Teens usually get most of their caffeine from soft drinks and energy drinks. Caffeine is not stored in the body, but you may feel its effects for up to six hours.

Caffeine may also cause the body to lose calcium, and that can lead to bone loss over time. Drinking caffeine-containing soft drinks and coffee instead of milk can have an even greater impact on bone density and the risk of developing osteoporosis. Caffeine can aggravate certain heart problems. It may also interact with some medications or supplements. If you are stressed or anxious, caffeine can make these feelings worse.

Caffeine is usually thought to be safe in moderate amounts. Experts consider 200-300 mg of caffeine a day to be a moderate amount for adults. But consuming as little as 100 mg of caffeine a day can lead a person to become "dependent" on caffeine.

The following is a table with the amounts of caffeine in popular drinks:

Drink/Food/ Supplement

Amount of Drink/Food

Amount of Caffeine

SoBe No Fear 8 oz. 83 mg
Monster Energy Drink 16 oz. 160 mg
Rockstar Energy Drink 8 oz. 80 mg
Coca-Cola 12 oz. 34 mg
Mountain Dew 12 oz. 55 mg
Pepsi 12 oz. 38 mg
Coffee 5 oz. 115 mg (on average)
Dark Chocolate 1 oz. 20 mg (on average)
Iced Tea 12 oz. 70 mg (on average)

Source: Food and Drug Administration