Caffeine. Love it or hate it, this popular ingredient seems to be everywhere. From the foods we eat to the drinks we can’t seem to start our morning without, caffeine has become a staple of the American diet.
But when you think of caffeine, what’s the first thing to come to mind? Is it your favorite Starbucks drink or the extra tall can of energy drink you pound during your workout? Maybe it’s the chocolate bar you like to eat before you go to bed.
Although it could be any of these, there’s a good chance that coffee tops the list for most people. But what you may not know is that there are a lot of other foods and drinks that have just as much caffeine as coffee.
Jackie Arnett Elnahar RD, Esq., co-founder and CEO of TelaDietitian told INSIDER that depending on the brand, some food and beverages can have quite a bit of caffeine — even as much as coffee, which is around 95 milligrams of caffeine.
We rounded up a list of these surprising sources of caffeine.
Arnett said protein and energy bars, which many of us eat on a daily basis, can have close to the same amount of caffeine as coffee. Depending on the brand and flavor, they can range from no caffeine to 75 milligrams of caffeine, especially if it’s a mocha or coffee-flavored bar.
There’s no doubt that energy drinks are known to provide a jolt. Arnett said they can include caffeine near the range of coffee (and some even exceed it). On average, an 16 ounce energy drink contains anywhere from 50 to 357 milligrams of caffeine. Again, it depends on the brand.
Chocolate can also have quite a bit of caffeine, especially if it’s ultra dark. The higher the cocoa content, the more caffeine there will be. Arnett explained that while these sweet treats do not have as much caffeine as coffee, they still pack quite a punch.
In fact, one small square of Ghiradelli dark chocolate (.44 ounce) has 14 milligrams of caffeine. But who eats that small of a portion? If you ate three or four of these at one time and followed it up with a caffeinated soda, you’re looking at a similar caffeine content to one cup of coffee.
Your favorite cup of black tea has anywhere from 25-48 milligrams of caffeine. According to Arnett, all it takes is two cups of this brew and your caffeine content has just surpassed that of a cup of coffee.
There are coffee drinkers and then there are soda drinkers. Some soda fans will consume as many as four or five cans of the sweet stuff each day. And when you consider that the average can of soda has anywhere from 22-115 milligrams of caffeine, it’s no wonder that they’d feel pumped up.
One place you might not have considered looking for caffeine is in your freezer. If you like your ice cream flavored with coffee, get ready to add some extra caffeine to your day.
Coffee flavored ice cream can have 29 milligrams of caffeine per 4 ounce serving. But seriously, how many times have you sat down to a pint of ice cream (14 oz. for Haagen-Dazs) and had just 4 ounce? If you eat the entire container in one sitting, that’s a little over 100 milligrams of caffeine.