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How The Caffeine In A Can Of Soda Compares To Coffee

Close-up of cans of name brand soda on a shelf
Close-up of cans of name brand soda on a shelf - Scott Olson/Getty Images

If you're not a coffee drinker, you might reach for a can of soda to get a boost of energy. Caffeine is found in many major soda brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, but if you think a can of your favorite soda provides the same energy level as a cup of coffee — then you should think again. A cup of coffee that's comparable in size to an average can of soda typically contains higher levels of caffeine in each serving.

As a refresher, caffeine is a naturally derived stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate products, and the sodas we're discussing now. For reference, a 12-ounce can of Coke has 34 milligrams of caffeine and a 12-ounce can of Pepsi has 38 milligrams. In comparison, an 8-ounce cup of coffee has between 70 and 140 milligrams of caffeine depending on the variety and how it's brewed. That means you'd have to drink at least three cans of soda to get the same energy kick as you would from a smaller cup of joe. Still, a can of soda is ideal if you want an afternoon boost without consuming too much caffeine.

Read more: 25 Popular Bottled Water Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

Some Diet Sodas Have More Caffeine Than Plain Varieties

Pouring soda into a glass
Pouring soda into a glass - Rawpixel/Getty Images

You can find some sodas that have slightly more caffeine than plain Coca-Cola or Pepsi, but it's not usually a major difference. For example, a 12-ounce can of Dr. Pepper contains 41 milligrams of caffeine and a can of Mountain Dew has 54 milligrams. If diet soda is your preference, it might have slightly more or less caffeine than its sugary counterpart depending on the brand. For example, a 12-ounce can of Diet Coke has 46 milligrams of caffeine, while a can of Diet Pepsi has 35 milligrams.

If you appreciate a can of soda but don't want to consume much caffeine, there are many caffeine-free sodas on the market like Sprite, Starry (formerly Sierra Mist), and most brands of ginger ale like Canada Dry, Seagram's, and Schweppes. Brands like Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, and Pepsi also offer their classic and diet sodas without caffeine — although we can't promise that the flavor is exactly the same. Fanta, which is owned by Coca-Cola, comes in fruity flavors like orange and grape, all of which are caffeine-free. And if you're just looking for some carbonation without any caffeine, pop open a can of flavored seltzer water.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.