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All Coffee Isn’t Created Equal; Caffeine In Starbucks, McDonald’s, Others Varies By An Absurd 541 mg Per Cup [Infographic]

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All coffee isn’t created equal, and considering that caffeine content from brand-to-brand swings more ballistically than a chimpanzee hopped up on 3 cups of Deathwish, you likely have no idea what you’re actually drinking.

With a little help from the Center for Science in the Public Interest & EnergyFiend.com, Thrillist mapped the caffeine content per oz. for a variety of big coffee powerhouses, including Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Caribou, and McDonald’s, into a clever infographic.

It produced a spectrum that, on a per oz basis, varied by as much as 45.1 mg — that’s an absurd 541 mg swing per standard 12 oz. cup. Take out the anomaly, Deathwish, and that’s still a 138 mg gap between Starbucks and McD’s.

It produced a spectrum that, on a per oz basis, varied by as much as 45.1 mg — that’s an absurd 541 mg swing per standard 12 oz. cup.

That’s a BIG difference for one caffeine dump.

Considering our propensity to supersize everything, even Starbucks spirals out of control in a heartbeat (or better yet, a rapid flurry of them). A Venti (20 oz.) contains 412 mg, whereas a Tall (12 oz.) — considered “small” — has roughly 250 mg per cup.

And then there’s Deathwish, which plays by its own maniacal set of rules. It sports an egregious 650 mg of caffeine per 12 oz. cup — that’s 6X the caffeine in a mug of McD’s, and 2.5X more than what’s in the next strongest cup, Starbucks.

Chill. Your. Beans.

 

My Advice


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If you’re a caffeine fiend, don’t freak — large-scale research in NEJM found that 2-6 cups of coffee per day may decrease the risk of death by up to 16%.

But those are standard cups; not Deathwish cups — the massive variability is a critical point of uncertainty, which makes it enough for me to recommend drinking only 8-12oz. cups. Plus, you’ll save money.

Get in the habit of sprinkling a little cinnamon or nutmeg in your coffee in lieu of sugar or even milk — it’s a great way to make your coffee “leaner,” cut out calories, sugar, and artificial sweeteners, infuse antioxidants, and amp up the health benefits.




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Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto