Caffeine in Foods

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Caffeine is a natural part of:

  • tea
  • coffee
  • chocolate
  • flavourings and extracts, such as:
    • kola
    • guarana
    • yerba mate

Some foods are also allowed to contain added caffeine. Health Canada regulates the addition of caffeine to foods.

Recommended maximum daily intake

Health Canada scientists have reviewed several studies about caffeine and its potential health effects. Based on this review, we recommend maximum daily caffeine intakes depending on your age and circumstances.

Some of the side effects of consuming caffeine may include:

  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • headaches
  • nervousness

If you're sensitive to caffeine, consider avoiding it or lowering your intake.

Table 1: Recommended maximum caffeine daily intake
Age group Recommended maximum daily intake
Adults (18 years and over) 400 mg
People planning to become pregnant 300 mg
People who are pregnant 300 mg
People who are breastfeeding 300 mg
Children and adolescents (up to 18 years) 2.5 mg per kg of body weight

Amounts in food and drink

Different foods contain different amounts of caffeine on average. You can use this table to help follow Health Canada's recommendations. You can also check food labels as some may tell you if the product contains caffeine and how much.

Table 2: Average amounts of caffeine in food and drink
Product Serving size (unless otherwise stated) Average amount of caffeine
Brewed 8 oz 237 ml (1 cup) 135 mg
Roasted and ground, percolated 8 oz 237 ml 118 mg
Roasted and ground, filter drip 8 oz 237 ml 179 mg
Roasted and ground, decaffeinated 8 oz 237 ml 3 mg
Instant 8 oz 237 ml 76 to 106 mg
Instant decaffeinated 8 oz 237 ml 5 mg
Black or green, brewed 8 oz 237 ml 30 to 50 mg
Instant 8 oz 237 ml 15 mg
Decaffeinated tea 8 oz 237 ml 0 mg
Soft drinks
Cola beverage, regular 12 oz 355 ml (1 can) 36 to 46 mg
Cola beverage, diet 12 oz 355 ml 39 to 50 mg
Cocoa products
Chocolate milk 8 oz 237 ml 8 mg
1 envelope hot-cocoa mix 8 oz 237 ml 5 mg
Candy, milk chocolate 1 oz 28g 7 mg
Candy, sweet chocolate 1 oz 28g 19 mg
Baking chocolate, unsweetened 1 oz 28g 25 to 58 mg
Chocolate cake 2.8 oz 80g 36 mg
Chocolate brownies 1.5 oz 42g 10 mg
Chocolate mousse 3.2 oz 90g 15 mg
Chocolate pudding 5.1 oz 145g 9 mg

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