Is it caffeine season again?


When Starbucks rolls out their seasonal drinks, not only do I know that it’s the holiday season, but exams are in the here and now. Over and over again, I hear people around me say, “I’ve probably had too much coffee today, but…”

Admittedly, I only go to Starbucks for the occasional tea latte. But as for as I’m concerned, coffee and caffeine are essentials to get many students through another couple hours of studying.

The line-ups at the coffee shops aren’t getting any shorter, but it is important for you to know what’s in a cup since caffeine can cause side effects of insomnia, nervousness, irritability, and headaches. Health Canada currently recommends a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day for adults (a maximum of 300 mg is suggested for women who plan on getting pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding). To put that into perspective, a Starbucks tall (12 oz) regular drip coffee has an average of 240 mg of caffeine. Two of these would already put you over the limit. Next time you’re in line at your favourite coffee shop, maybe do a double take as to how much you need that cup of coffee.

And for the sake of knowing, here are some averages for coffee, tea, and cola:


Serving Size
(unless otherwise stated)

Milligrams of Caffeine
(approximate values)





8 237(1cup) 135

Roasted and ground, filter drip

8 237 179

Roasted and ground, decaffeinated

8 237 3


8 237 76 – 106

Instant decaffeinated

8 237 5


Average blend

8 237 43


8 237 30

Decaffeinated tea

8 237 0


Cola beverage, regular

12 355(1 can) 36 – 46

Cola beverage, diet

12 355

39 – 50