Surprising Foods That Contain Caffeine
(Photo: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash)

When you think of caffeine, what’s the first thing to come to mind? For many people, it’s that cup of coffee we can’t seem to do without each morning. For some, it’s a secret energy boost they drink to stay productive throughout the day. 

Caffeine has become a staple in today’s diet, and while everyone has their favorite way of consuming it, you might be surprised to learn that many foods contain caffeine without being obvious about it. Check out these surprising foods and drinks that may be giving you more caffeine than you realize: 

1. Decaf Coffee

Whether you buy coffee beans online to prepare yourself or pop to your local coffee shop for your decaf fix, you’re likely getting far more caffeine than you realize. There are many different decaffeination processes, but none of them is capable of fully eliminating the caffeine content from the beans. You can be getting anywhere from 2-25 milligrams of caffeine per serve of decaf coffee, and potentially more if you’re getting venti decaf drinks from famous coffee chains. 

2. Chocolate

If you’re in the habit of eating your favorite chocolate before bed, you may want to consider a healthier snack instead. Although a chocolate bar doesn’t contain as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, it can still pack an energetic punch, especially if it’s a darker variety. As a general rule, the more cocoa content in the chocolate, the more caffeine it contains. 

3. Protein Bars

Many of us eat protein bars on a daily basis with nary a thought as to what’s actually in them. Depending on the brand and type, the caffeine content could be anywhere from nothing up to 78 milligrams per bar. If the bar contains mocha or coffee flavors, the caffeine content could be even higher. If you want a protein bar that contains caffeine, click here and choose your flavor.

4. Some Cereals and Breakfast Pastries

While many parents assume it’s the sugar in cereal that makes their kids hyperactive, there could be another culprit adding to the issue. If a cereal contains chocolate, even in small amounts, then it likely has caffeine in it. This won’t be enough to have a noticeable effect on an adult who’s already drinking coffee regularly. However, it most certainly can affect children who are smaller and who don’t have any tolerance to caffeine. So, if your kids are unruly after eating cereal or breakfast pastries, you may wish to consider trying an alternative like muesli, yogurt, and fruit. 

5. Ice Cream

Caffeine… in ice cream?

If you enjoy chocolate or coffee-flavored ice cream, then yes, you’ll get an extra dose of the stuff every time you eat it. 

Each four-ounce serving of coffee-flavored ice cream contains about 29 milligrams of caffeine. Let’s be honest, though – when was the last time you sat down and only ate a single serving of ice cream? If you do the calculations correctly, a pint of Haagen-Dazs (14 oz.) contains 101 milligrams of caffeine, which is more than a single cup of coffee if you eat it all in one sitting. 

6. Soda

We all know that cola contains caffeine, but did you know that plenty of other soda types also come with a caffeine kick? If you drink four to five sodas in a day, you could be getting anywhere from 88 to 575 milligrams of caffeine, depending on the brand. 

Caffeine seems to be what keeps people going these days. Whether naturally or synthetically added, many foods and drinks contain the substance – some without us even realizing it. If you’re on a mission to avoid as much caffeine in your diet as possible, this list will be a helpful resource. 

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