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Caffeine is a natural ingredient found in coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa beans, guarana and yerba maté. It is added to some carbonated drinks and cold and headache medications.
Caffeine acts as a stimulant (increases alertness). Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. For these people, too much caffeine can cause:
Milligrams per day (mg/day)
Men and women, 19 and older
Pregnant and breastfeeding women 19 and older
Children under 12 years old should not have more than 2.5 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight.
Children, aged 4 to 6
45 (about one 355mL can of cola)
Children, aged 7 to 9
62 (about one and a half 355mL cans of cola)
Children, aged 10 to 12
85 (nearly two 355mL cans of cola)
Adolescents 13 years old and older should not have more than 2.5 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight.
250mL (1 cup or 8 oz)
80 – 179
Cappuccino or Latte
45 – 148
81 – 106
30mL (1 oz)
64 – 90
250mL (1 cup or 8 oz)/span
3 – 15
Iced tea, sweetened
1 can (355 mL)
22 – 64
Tea, leaf or bag (black, flavoured black)
250mL (1 cup)
43 – 50
Tea (green, oolong, white)
25 – 45
0 – 5
Herbal teas, all varieties
Energy drink, various types
80 – 97
355 mL (1 can)
25 – 50
37 – 38
Learn more about energy drinks by reading Energy Drinks FAQs.
It is important to know what your children are drinking. Offer a beverage that has little or no caffeine. Choose beverages such as:
If you think you may be taking in too much caffeine, the best approach is to limit your caffeine intake gradually over several days.
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Dietitians of Canada acknowledges the financial support of EatRight Ontario by the Ontario government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.