1.1 The Chemistry of Caffeine and related products:

1. How much caffeine is there in [drink/food/pill]?

Afri-Cola 100.0 (?)
Jolt 71.2
Sugar-Free Mr. Pibb 58.8
Mountain Dew 55.0 (no caffeine in Canada)
Diet Mountain Dew 55.0
Kick citrus 54 (36mg per 8oz can, caffeine from guarana)
Mello Yellow 52.8
Surge 51.0
Tab 46.8
Battery energy drink 140mg/l = 46.7mg/can
Coca-Cola 45.6
Diet Cola 45.6
Shasta Cola 44.4
Shasta Cherry Cola 44.4
Shasta Diet Cola 44.4
Mr. Pibb 40.8
OK Soda 40.5
Dr. Pepper 39.6
Pepsi Cola 37.2
Aspen 36.0
Diet Pepsi 35.4
RC Cola 36.0
Diet RC 36.0
Diet Rite 36.0
Canada Dry Cola 30.0
Canada Dry Diet Cola 1.2
7 Up 0


Krank2o sample 1 97.7mg/500ml sample 2 101.6mg/500ml
Lab: Ameritech Labs, College Pt, NY; tested Sep 03, 96

Krank2o middle 96.4mg/500ml
Lab: Ameritech Labs, tested Aug 29, 96

By means of comparison, a 7 oz cup of coffee has the following caffeine (mg) amounts, according to Bunker and McWilliams in J. Am. Diet. 74:28-32, 1979:

Drip 115-175
Espresso 100mg of caffeine 1 serving (1.5-2oz)
Brewed 80-135
Instant 65-100
Decaf, brewed 3-4
Decaf, instant 2-3
Tea, iced (12 ozs.) 70
Tea, brewed, imported 60
Tea, brewed, U.S. 40
Tea, instant 30
Mate 25-150mg

The variability in the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee or tea is relatively large even if prepared by the same person using the same equipment and ingredients day after day.

Reference Variability in caffeine consumption from coffee and tea: Possible significance for epidemiological studies by B. Stavric, R. Klassen, B. Watkinson, K. Karpinski, R. Stapley, and P. Fried in "Foundations of Chemical Toxicology", Volume 26, number 2, pp. 111-118, 1988 and an easy to read overview, Looking for the Perfect Brew by S. Eisenberg, "Science News", Volume 133, April 16, 1988, pp. 252-253.

Quote from the lab manual:

Caffeine is present in tea leaves and in coffee to the extent of about 4%. Tea also contains two other alkaloids, theobromine and theophylline. These last two relax the smooth muscles where caffeine stimulates the heart and respiratory systems.

The effects of theobromine are, compared to caffeine and theophylline, relatively moderate. However, cocoa contains eight times more theophylline than caffeine. As well, caffeine has been shown to combine with other substances for added potency. Thus the effects of theobromine might be enhanced by the caffeine in chocolate.

Theobromine is highly toxic to dogs and kills many canids/year via chocolate poisoning. It takes quite a dose to reach fatal levels (more than 200 mg/kg bodyweight) but some dogs have a bad habit of eating out of garbage cans and some owners have a bad habit of feeding dogs candy. A few oreos won't hurt a dog, but a pound of chocolate can do considerable damage.

Clinical signs of theobromine toxicity in canids usually manifest 8 hours after ingestion and can include: thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, urinary incontinence, nervousness, clonic muscle spasms, seizures and coma. Any dog thought to have ingested a large quantity of chocolate should be brought to an emergency clinic asap, where treatment usually includes the use of emetics and activated charcoal. The dog will thus need to be monitored to maintain proper fluid and electrolyte balance.

Pathogenesis of theobromine toxicity: evidently large quantities of theobromine have a diuretic effect, relax smooth muscles, and stimulate the heart and cns.


Fraser, Clarence M., et al, eds. The Merck Veterinary Manual, 7th ed. Rahway, NJ: Merck & Co., Inc. 1991. pp. 1643-44.

On humans caffeine acts particularly on the brain and skeletal muscles while theophylline targets heart, bronchia, and kidneys.

Other data on caffeine:

Cup of coffee 90-150mg
Instant coffee 60-80mg
Tea 30-70mg
Mate 25-150mg
Cola 30-45mg
Chocolate bar 30mg
Stay-awake pill 100mg
Vivarin 200mg 
Cold relief tablet 30mg

The following information is from Bowes and Church's Food values of portions commonly used, by Anna De Planter Bowes. Lippincott, Phila. 1989. Pages 261-2: Caffeine.

Chocolate: mg caffeine
   Baking choc, unsweetened, Bakers--1 oz(28 g) 25
   German sweet, Bakers -- 1 oz (28 g) 8
   Semi-sweet, Bakers -- 1 oz (28 g) 13
Choc chips
   Bakers -- 1/4 cup (43 g) 13
   German sweet, Bakers -- 1/4 cup (43 g) 15
Chocolate bar, Cadbury  -- 1 oz (28 g) 15
Chocolate milk  8oz 8
   Jello Pudding Pops, Choc (47 g) 2
   Choc mousse from Jell-O mix (95 g) 6
   Jello choc fudge mousse (86 g) 12
3 heaping teaspoons of choc powder mix 8
2 tablespoons choc syrup 5
1 envelope hot cocoa mix 5
Dietary Formulas:
Ensure, plus, choc, Ross Labs -- 8 oz (259 g) 10
Cadbury Milk Chocolate Bar

More stuff:
Guarana "Magic Power" (quite common in Germany),
15 ml alcohol with 5g Guarana Seeds 250.0 mg
Guarana capsules with 500 mg G. seeds 25.0 mg / capsule
(assuming 5% caffeine in seeds as stated in literature)

Guarana soda pop is ubiquitous in Brazil and often available at tropical groceries here. It's really tasty and packs a wallop. Guarana wakes you up like crazy, but it doesn't cause coffee jitters.

It is possible that in addition to caffeine, there is some other substance in guarana that also produces an effect, since it 'feels' different than coffee. Same goes for mate.