How Much Caffeine In Coke Vs Coffee? A Detailed Comparison

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Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world, and the majority of adults use some form of caffeine on a consistent or occasional basis to provide a boost of energy.

But, knowing how much caffeine is in Coke, how much caffeine in Diet Coke vs coffee, how much caffeine is in Coke Zero, and how the caffeine in Coke vs coffee can help you understand how much caffeine you are drinking and whether you want to have coffee vs Coke for the jolt you’re looking for.

In this caffeine in Coke vs coffee guide, we will discuss how much caffeine is in Diet Coke and regular Coke vs coffee and much caffeine is in different types of Coke and popular soft drinks.

We will look at: 

  • How Much Caffeine In Coke vs Coffee?
  • Coffee vs Coke Caffeine Tables

Let’s get started!

People toasting coffee and coke.

How Much Caffeine In Coke vs Coffee?

Comparing the amount of caffeine in coffee vs Coke or other colas is not straightforward because certain types of coffee and Coca-Cola contain more caffeine than others.

The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee depends on various factors such as the type of coffee beans used, how long the coffee beans are roasted, how long the coffee is brewed, and how concentrated the coffee is in terms of the ratio of coffee grounds to liquid.

Furthermore, a “cup” or “serving” of coffee varies depending on the establishment where you buy your coffee, if you make your coffee at home, or the style of coffee drink you are having (e.g., espresso, Americano, cafe latte, etc.).

Although somewhat counterintuitive, darker roasts typically contain less caffeine than lighter ones. 

For example, a 12-ounce cup of Starbucks dark roast has 193 mg of caffeine, while 12 ounces of the medium and blonde roasts have 235 and 270 mg, respectively. 

A cappucchino design.

As a comparison, a 12-ounce cup of McDonald’s coffee contains about 109 mg of caffeine, which is only about half as much caffeine.

Then, there are highly-caffeinated coffees, such as Death Wish Coffee, which packs a whopping 728 milligrams of caffeine in a single 12-ounce cup.

As an overarching guiding principle, coffee contains more caffeine in a serving than Coke or other normal caffeinated soft drinks (“normal” meaning not extremely caffeinated versions or soft drinks with energy drinks added, etc.).

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, 12 ounces of Diet Coke has 46 mg of caffeine, while 12 ounces of regular Coke Coke or 12 ounces of Pepsi each have 38 mg of caffeine.

It is interesting that Diet Coke has slightly more caffeine than regular Coke or regular Pepsi, and the same can be said for Diet Pepsi caffeine vs regular Pepsi caffeine, but Coke Zero has only 34 mg of caffeine.

A capucchino with a heart design.

The same source reports that 2 tablespoons (which makes 12 ounces) of:

  • Folgers Classic Roast has 120-160 mg of caffeine
  • 14-ounce medium Dunkin’ Coffee has 210 mg of caffeine
  • Most Keurig K cups have about 75-150 mg of caffeine
  • 1.5-ounce Starbucks Espresso has 150 mg of caffeine
  • 20-ounce venti Starbucks Coffee, Pike Place Roast, has 410 mg of caffeine

Even after we adjust the cited coffee serving sizes to 12 ounces for an ounce-to-ounce comparison of the caffeine in Coke vs coffee, it’s very apparent that there is more caffeine in standard coffee and Coke or Diet Coke.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are about 96 milligrams of caffeine in a standard 8-ounce cup of black coffee.

If we extrapolate this up to 12 ounces to match an equal volume with the Coke caffeine amount listed, this works out to 144 mg of caffeine versus 38 mg for coffee caffeine vs Coke caffeine.

People toasting coffee.

Coffee vs Coke Caffeine Tables

We have put together the tables below that show the caffeine content in different types of popular coffee beverages and the caffeine in Coke and other colas and soft drinks so that you have a reference that can compare the amount of caffeine in Coke vs coffee of various types:

How Much Caffeine Is In Coffee?

DrinkFluid OuncesCaloriesCaffeine (mg)mg/fl oz
Black Label Brewed Coffee1201555129.6
7 Eleven Brewed Coffee16528017.5
Bulletproof Coffee8014518.1
Cafe Con Leche65615425.7
Caffe Mocha1223915212.7
Coffee (Decaf, Instant)8620.3
Coffee (Instant)80577.1
Coffee Bean & Tea leaf Coffee16533320.8
Coffee Friend Brewed Coffee8.46014517.1
Coffee Leaf Tea80202.5
COGO Caffeinated Hot Chocolate61109816.3
Cold Brew Tea80708.8
CoolBrew Coffee100606
Costa Coffee8.69027731.9
Death Wish Canned Cold Brew81530037.5
Death Wish Coffee12072860.7
Death Wish Latte817030037.5
Decaf Coffee8260.7
Demon Energy Drink16.912531609.5
Devils Brew Extreme Caffeine Coffee1201325110.4
Dunkin Donuts Shot In The Dark8.18013416.5
Dunkin’ Cold Brew24526010.8
Dunkin’ Donuts Brewed Coffee14521015
Dunkin’ Donuts Dunkaccino14350835.9
Dunkin’ Donuts Extra Charged Coffee141025218
Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee242029712.4
Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Latte241001666.9
Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Tea24230632.6
Dunkin’ Donuts Latte1410016611.9
Espresso Shot1.507751.3
Folgers Coffee8011214
K Cup Decaf8040.5
K-Cup Coffee8010012.5
Maxwell House Coffee8011214
Maxwell House Max Boost Coffee8019624.5
McDonalds (McCafe) Latte161901428.9
McDonalds (McCafe) Mocha1638016710.4
McDonalds Coffee1601459.1
McDonalds Iced Coffee11.518013311.6
Nescafe 3 in 1 Instant Coffee674508.3
Nescafe Dolce Gusto8010613.2
Nescafe Gold8.460667.8
Nescafe Ice Java85010012.5
Nescafe Ricoffy81060.8
Nespresso Coffee Capsules1.3506044.4
Seattle’s Best Brewed Coffee121026021.7
Starbucks 2X Coffee Pods8026032.5
Starbucks Bottled Cold Brew115018016.4
Starbucks Bottled Frappuccino13.73001108
Starbucks Bottled Iced Coffee4824064013.3
Starbucks Canned Nitro Cold Brew11023521.4
Starbucks Caramel Macchiato162501509.4
Starbucks Cold & Crafted115013512.3
Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee16520512.8
Starbucks Cordusio Mocha813015519.4
Starbucks Decaf Coffee160251.6
Starbucks Doubleshot Energy152201359
Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso6.514012018.5
Starbucks Grande Caffe Americano161522514.1
Starbucks Grande Caffe Latte161901509.4
Starbucks Grande Caffe Mocha1637017510.9
Starbucks Grande Cappuccino161401509.4
Starbucks Grande Coffee16531019.4
Starbucks Iced Americano161522514.1
Starbucks Iced Espresso Classics1219012510.4
Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Coffee16528017.5
Starbucks Pink Drink16140452.8
Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew1625018511.6
Starbucks Refreshers1670452.8
Starbucks Refreshers Canned1290504.2
Starbucks Triple Shot Energy1521022515
Starbucks Verismo Coffee Pods80607.5
Starbucks Via Ready Brew8013516.9
A can of coke on ice.

How Much Caffeine Is In Diet Coke, Coke, and Other Sodas?

DrinkFluid OuncesCaloriesCaffeine (mg)mg/fl oz
Coca-Cola Caffeine Free1214000
Coca-Cola Cherry12150342.8
Coca-Cola Cherry Zero Sugar120342.8
Coca-Cola Classic12140342.8
Coca-Cola Orange Vanilla12140342.8
Coca-Cola Vanilla12150342.8
Coca-Cola Vanilla Zero Sugar120342.8
Coca-Cola With Coffee1270695.8
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar120342.8
Diet Coke120463.8
Diet Coke with Splenda120463.8
Barqs Root Beer12160221.8
Diet Dr Pepper120413.4
Diet Mountain Dew120544.5
Diet Pepsi120352.9
Diet RC Cola120484
Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi120383.2
Double Cola12160363
Dr Pepper12150423.5
Dr Pepper 101210514.2
Ginger Ale1214000
Mountain Dew12170544.5
Mountain Dew Amp162201428.9
Mountain Dew Baja Blast12170544.5
Mountain Dew Code Red12170544.5
Mountain Dew Game Fuel1690905.6
Mountain Dew Kickstart1680905.6
Mountain Dew Live Wire12180544.5
Mountain Dew Major Melon12160554.6
Mountain Dew Rise162518011.2
Mountain Dew Spark12170463.8
Mountain Dew Voltage12170554.6
Mountain Dew Zero Sugar120685.7
Mug Root Beer1216000
Pepsi Caffeine Free1215000
Pepsi Made With Sugar12150383.2
Pepsi Max (UK)11.160433.8
Pepsi Zero Sugar120383.2
A bottle of Coke.

Caffeine is a stimulant that functions by blocking an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine.

In doing so, whether you are having caffeine in Diet Coke vs coffee or any other caffeinated beverage, the caffeine increases brain activity and removes the “brakes“ that would otherwise be slowing you down and causing fatigue.

Ultimately, some people find that they can have 3 to 4 cans of Cokes or a triple espresso shot and feel just energized enough to feel at the top of their game.

On the other hand, others drinking this amount of caffeine will be overcome with jitters and experience symptoms of caffeine hypersensitivity, such as anxiety, excessive jitteriness, diarrhea, racing heartbeat, high blood pressure, insomnia, irritability, agitation, headache, and rapid breathing.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you may be interested in our article about how much is too much caffeine.

A person drinking a Coke.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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