Posted in pregnancy

How much caffeine is enough while pregnant?

11438455-Heart-shape-made-from-coffee-beans-with-a-spoon-and-cup-of-coffee-on-hessian-spelling-I-love-coffee--Stock-PhotoDuring my first consult with my OBGYN, we discussed nutrition; what to eat, what not to eat, and how to cheat when it comes to limiting all the delicious but not-so-good-for-me food groups. One suggestion that he had was “ you can either have one cup of coffee or 4 cups of black tea day”. I kept listening as he jumped onto next topic supplements however after leaving his office, I started wondering does not 4 cups of tea have more caffeine than a cup of coffee?

Assuming doctor knows what he is talking about, I started thinking maybe it is because the way coffee is processed is harmful that’s why I had to limit coffee? This just did not sit right with me. I decided to Google the answer, lol.

It was really hard to conclude how much caffeine there is in a cup of coffee. Varieties of coffee beans available matter since it will naturally contain different amounts of caffeine. Although the darker roasts have a deeper flavor, lighter roasts have more caffeine than darker roasts. Aha! I did not know that! The caffeine content can vary significantly between regularly brewed coffee, espresso, instant coffee and decaf coffee. A cup of coffee may range anywhere between 8-24 ounces depending of your interpretation. In the end, my conclusion was 8 ounces of breed coffee contained anywhere between 80-140 mg of caffeine depending on your preference of light vs. dark roast.

mcdonalds-starbucks-dunkin-dnutsLooking at three different companies people usually tend to buy their morning treat from left me amazed. An 8 ounce cup from Starbucks contains 180 mg, same size from Mc Donald’s contains about 75 mg and 8 ounces from Dunkin Donuts contains about 172 mg of caffeine. Who are we kidding? On average people ask for large or X-large cups so triple that amount of caffeine.

Then I had to go back to Google for caffeine content in black tea and do a little math. I encountered the same problem: coming up with a definite number of caffeine in a cup of black tea. Apparently, how the tea is prepared plays an important role in how much caffeine it will contain. The amount of tea used, water temperature, brewing time to whether the leaves are steeped loose, in a tea bag, or strainer, all affect how much caffeine will be in your cup. In general, more tea, hotter water, and longer steeping all contribute to more caffeine per cup. After reading online, I concluded that a cup of black tea contains about 40 mg of caffeine if you are using a tea bag. If you use the same tea bag in a 16 ounce cup then you will have 80 mg of caffeine since content will be higher.

In the end, Doctors suggestion of 4 cups of black tea added up to 160 mg of caffeine while a cup of coffee could be anywhere from 90-180 mg.

Now it makes more sense…

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Images retrieved from:–



I am a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and a doctor. My motto is do not work harder, work smarter to reclaim your time & freedom to obtain inner peace, and create happy memories with loved ones

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s