ARJUN SANYA/THE VARSITY

Caffeine is one of the most popular drugs today. To fuel your midterm studies, here is a ranked list of commonly consumed caffeinated products based on caffeine content and nutritional quality.

  1. Pop

Coca-Cola contains a relatively low level of caffeine at 34 mg per bottle. It often isn’t enough for most students. Moreover, Coca-Cola has 35 grams of sugar, an overwhelmingly high amount that meets the recommended daily sugar intake level in just one can.

Regular Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and Dr. Pepper all have similar caffeine content and sugar levels. Diet pop drinks, such as Pepsi Zero Sugar, can contain up to 69 mg of caffeine per bottle.

Overall, due to its high concentration of sugar and relatively low caffeine content, pop should be a last resort when looking for an energy boost.

  1. Energy drinks

Energy drinks are highly concentrated with vitamins and minerals. However, they often lead to a sugar crash and potentially serious side effects like high blood pressure and hyperactivity.

Red Bull and Monster energy drinks, for example, contain up to 160 mg of caffeine per can and 27 g of sugar along with B-vitamins. Additionally, the 110 calories per can may cause weight gain if consumed excessively.

5-hour ENERGY drinks have zero grams of sugar, but 18 mg of sodium — enough to elevate your blood pressure. A slightly healthier alternative is the V8 Fusion energy drink, which has a lower level of caffeine than Red Bull and Monster at 80 mg per can, while containing a full serving of fruits and vegetables at only 50 calories.

  1. Commercially sold and specialty coffee beverages

Coffee may have potential health benefits such as improving cognitive function. Tim Hortons’ original blend has around 140 mg of caffeine for one small cup, while Starbucks’ short coffee has around 180 mg. Specialty beverages like cappuccinos, mochas, espressos, and Americanos contain around 70–150 mg.

While those beverages are relatively harmless, there are some extremely caffeinated beverages that should be avoided: a Starbucks Venti for example, may contain over 400 mg of caffeine, meeting the recommended daily dosage.

  1. Tea

Whether it’s hot brewed oolong or fruit-infused iced tea, tea is an affordable and healthy way to energize your body in the mornings.

Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to help lower blood pressure. Green tea from brands such as Tetley and Tazo only have around 30 mg per cup, but some brands, such as the Teavana Matcha Japanese Green Tea, can contain over 40 mg.

Black tea, like those under common brands of English Breakfast and Earl Grey, has around 40–70 mg per cup. For a stronger caffeine boost, Zest Tea Blue Lady, a flavourful black tea with an aromatic mix of citrus fruits contains about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

1.Traditional ‘homemade’ brewed coffee

Freshly ground and without extra additives or sugar, homemade coffee is the number one go-to in the morning and before an all-nighter. Brewing your own coffee is not only more affordable, but it’s a healthier option than buying out.

Typical brands like Nescafé, Maxwell House, and Starbucks VIA Ready Brew have around 90–200 mg of caffeine per cup. Lightly roasted, more finely ground beans may result in higher caffeine levels. Cold brewed coffee may have higher caffeine content and be less acidic than hot coffee. Depending on how it is brewed, it may be tastier and easier on a sensitive stomach.




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