Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Colas not the kings of caffeine

If you're watching your caffeine intake from soft drinks, don't think avoiding colas will help.

A study conducted by food researchers at Auburn University found caffeine content in 12-ounce sodas ranged from 4.9 milligrams for a store brand of cola to 74 milligrams in Vault Zero, a citrus drink.

The federal Food and Drug Administration says a 0.02% caffeine content is generally recognized as safe for cola-type beverages.

"I don't really take a stand on whether caffeine is good or bad, but I do think the consumer has a right to know what they're getting," said Leonard Bell, one of the researchers.

David Schardt, senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said the organization first asked the FDA 10 years ago to require that food and drink labels show the caffeine content. He noted:

"People should be able to monitor their intake and to make informed choices because it can affect their sleep and can make some people jittery."

The study analyzed the caffeine contents of 56 national brand and 75 store brand carbonated drinks. It was published in the August issue of the Journal of Food Science.

Caffeine content of well-known national brands include:

• Coca-Cola, 33.9 milligrams
• Diet Pepsi, 36.7 milligrams
• Pepsi-Cola, 38.9 milligrams
• Dr Pepper, 42.6 milligrams
• Diet Dr Pepper, 44.1 milligrams
• Diet Coke, 46.3 milligrams
• Mountain Dew, 54.8 milligrams
• Diet Mountain Dew, 55.2 milligrams

The American Beverage Association says that, by comparison, a 12-ounce cup of coffee has between 156 and 288 milligrams of caffeine, and the same amount of tea has 30-135 milligrams.

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