Pop Quiz: Crash Course on Caffeine

Caffeine plays a big role in the lives of many Americans, with coffee, tea, caffeinated soda, energy drinks, and energy shots being some people’s daily go-to drinks. However, few actually stop to consider how much caffeine they are consuming every day or how that caffeine can affect their health. Test your knowledge with our pop quiz and learn the effects it has on your well-being.

1.) How many milligrams (mg) of caffeine does the average 8-ounce cup of tea and 8-ounce cup coffee contain?

  1. Tea has 5-50 milligrams and coffee has 15 to 35 mg of caffeine 
  2. Tea has 15-25 milligrams and coffee has 40 to 50 mg of caffeine 
  3. Tea has 30-50 milligrams and coffee has 80 to 100 mg of caffeine 
  4. Tea has 60-100 milligrams and coffee has 160 to 200 mg of caffeine 


2.) How much caffeine does the average 12-ounce can of caffeinated soda contain?

  1. Approximately 30 to 40 mg of caffeine
  2. Approximately 20 to 30 mg of caffeine
  3. Approximately 10 to 20 mg of caffeine
  4. Approximately 5 to 10 mg of caffeine


3.) How much caffeine do energy drinks and energy shots contain?

  1. Energy drinks contain 10 to 180 mg in a 16-oz. drink and energy shots contain 50 to 120 mg
  2. Energy drinks contain 30 to 200 mg in a 16-oz. drink and energy shots contain 80 to 160 mg
  3. Energy drinks contain 50 to 220 mg in a 16-oz. drink and energy shots contain 100 to 180 mg
  4. Energy drinks contain 70 to 240 mg in a 16-oz. drink and energy shots contain113 to 200 mg


4.) True or false? If coffee or tea is labeled as “decaffeinated,” that means it contains no caffeine.


5.) What is the FDA recommended maximum daily amount of caffeine for the average adult? 

  1. 300 mg of caffeine a day
  2. 400 mg of caffeine a day
  3. 500 mg of caffeine a day
  4. 600 mg of caffeine a day


6.) What might make someone more sensitive to caffeine?

  1. Certain health conditions and/or medications
  2. Being pregnant
  3. No clear reason
  4. All of the above


7.) At what amount has the FDA estimated caffeine to be toxic and could induce seizures when consumed rapidly, such as when caffeine is highly concentrated in a pill or powder form?

  1. 1,200 mg
  2. 1,500 mg
  3. 1,800 mg
  4. 2,000 mg


8.) Which of the following is a sign that you consume too much caffeine?

  1. Insomnia
  2. Feeling jittery, anxious, and/or having a fast heart rate
  3. Upset stomach, nausea, digestive problems, and/or headache
  4. A feeling of unhappiness (dysphoria)
  5. All of the above


9.) What amount of teenagers (ages 12 to 17) consume energy drinks regularly?

  1. About 10 percent
  2. About a quarter
  3. Nearly a third
  4. Approximately 50 percent


10.) True or false? It is recommended to cut down on caffeine slowly, as severely limiting intake or “going cold turkey” can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms like headache, anxiety, and nervousness; though it’s not believed to be dangerous.

compiled by ERIKA ALDRICH / Resources: Information provided by the FDA and the National Institutes of Health


  1. C. Tea has 30-50 milligrams and coffee has 80 to 100 mg of caffeine. 
  2. A. Approximately 30 to 40 mg of caffeine.
  3. D. Energy drinks contain 70 to 240 mg in a 16-oz. drink and energy shots contain113 to 200 mg.
  4. False. Decaffeinated beverages still contain some caffeine; decaf coffee typically has 2-15 mg in an 8-ounce cup.
  5. B. 400 mg of caffeine a day. Your tolerance may be higher or lower.
  6. D. All of the above. Sensitivity to caffeine can be affected by your sex, age, genetics, usual caffeine intake, medications, and more.
  7. A. 1,200 mg. This makes caffeine in pill and powder form especially dangerous.
  8. E. All of the above
  9. C. Nearly a third. Nearly one out of every three teenagers consumes energy drinks regularly.
  10. True. Quitting caffeine all at once, or severely limiting your intake, can cause uncomfortable side effects like headaches, feeling jittery, or anxiety.

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