If you’re like most adults in America, you start your day off with a little caffeine.
You wake up absolutely exhausted, drag yourself through your morning routine while half-asleep, and make a bee-line straight to the coffee maker when you get to the kitchen.
By the time you leave the house, you’ve already downed one or two cups of coffee. And you know there’s a pretty good chance you’ll drink an extra cup or two while at work.
Let’s be honest: Caffeine is a part of the foundation of modern-day America.
And you would be hard-pressed to find an adult in this country that doesn’t get caffeine somewhere in their diet on a daily or weekly basis.
But, do you know how much caffeine the average American drinks on a daily basis?
Do you know America’s favorite source of caffeine?
Do you know how the caffeine consumption of Americans compares to the rest of the world?
Well, you’re about to find out! Keep reading to learn about 51 statistics related to caffeine consumption and what that really means for our health.
Table of Contents
- Caffeine Consumption Habits
- Beverages and Caffeine Intake
- How Your Body Processes Caffeine
- Coffee Consumption and Market Trends
- Energy Drink Consumption and Market Trends
- Tea Consumption and Market Trends
- Soft Drink Consumption and Market Trends
Caffeine Consumption Habits
- About 54% of American adults get a daily fix of caffeine in their diet.
- 9 in 10 people will consume caffeine at least once daily through a meal or beverage.
- 65% of caffeine will be consumed for breakfast.
- The FDA suggests a maximum of 400 milligrams of caffeine a day for American adults, which is about 4-5 cups of coffee.
- Men aged 51 to 70 get the most caffeine at 260mg a day. They’re followed distantly by 19 to 30-year-old women, who tend to average 110mg a day. Teenagers (80mg) and children (32mg) get the least amount of caffeine in America.
- Koreans average about 67.75mg of caffeine on a daily basis, with those aged 19 and older tending to average 81.91mg per day. Korean teenagers normally don’t exceed 30.04mg every day while older children max out at 10.05mg daily.
- The highest intake of caffeine is seen in those aged 30 to 49, averaging about 101.83mg each day.
America is known for having 35,000 coffee shops, a population where 1 in 3 of citizens aren’t getting enough sleep on a daily basis, and stress levels up 44% in the last 5 years.
So, is it really that surprising that the majority of Americans get caffeine on a daily basis?
But, there is one statistic in this bunch that really puts the rest of the data into perspective: The recommended daily limit for caffeine. According to the FDA, the magic number is 400mg.
Now, take a look at how much Americans are actually getting.
Even the group with the greatest amount of daily caffeine consumption (men aged 51 to 70) is only averaging 65% of that daily limit.
So, what does that mean?
Well, it seems like most Americans are able to get their daily caffeine fix within moderation.
That’s quite surprising given the fact that there seems to be a Dunkin on every corner, most offices have a coffee maker in their break room, and just about every convenience store sells caffeinated beverages.
But there’s one more takeaway.
Even though Americans aren’t consuming too much caffeine in a day, they are consuming quite a bit compared to other countries. This might be about three times as much as Koreans.
Beverages and Caffeine Intake
- Caffeine intake is most often made up of soft drinks, tea, and coffee.
- About 70% of caffeine will come from coffee, not energy drinks.
- Up to 94% of caffeine intake will come from coffee in those aged 18 and older. In the United Kingdom and in Ireland, 57-59% of caffeine comes from tea instead.
- In children and teens, 48.9% of caffeine will come from soft drinks while another 38% will come from tea. Coffee makes up 5.4% and energy drinks make up a mere 0.6%.
Coffee is a staple in American culture. And given the choice between coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks, 94% of American adults will opt for coffee.
Other countries in the world, like our friends in Europe, prefer to get their caffeine from tea!
So, why do Americans love their coffee so much?
Patriotism, of course.
Yes, coffee became wildly popular in America during the Revolution because many Americans associated tea with England. But even after the Revolution came to an end, coffee stuck around and tea faded away into the history books (sort of).
That’s probably not why you drink coffee, right?
You probably drink coffee because you need energy and you need it quickly. Most coffee will have twice as much caffeine as tea, which is exactly what you need when you live in a country that’s always on the move.
These statistics are also interesting in another sense: How beverage choice differs with age.
Most children and teenagers seem to start their relationship with caffeine off via soda.
But when adulthood strikes, responsibilities become endless, and there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get sleep, coffee is seen as the quick fix.
The fact that very few children drink coffee and energy drinks is a pretty good sign.
A typical cola has about ¼ of the caffeine of coffee, which greatly reduces the risk of children getting too much caffeine and even developing an addiction to the drug early on.
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How Your Body Processes Caffeine
- It takes your body just 10 hours to filter about 75% of the caffeine out of your system.
- Men take longer to metabolize caffeine than women.
- It takes smokers about half the time to process caffeine, as compared to non-smokers.
- About 42% of those in the ER being treated for caffeine consumption also have Adderall or alcohol in their system.
Have you ever thought about what happens to the caffeine once it’s actually in your body? Or, do you only think about the energy boost you’ll be getting within the hour?
Probably option two.
So, what do these statistics tell us about how the body processes this drug?
Well, caffeine stays in the body for a long time and, in many cases, it’ll linger in your system for at least 10 hours after consumption.
This can be problematic in a few senses.
First off, sleep might be near impossible if you’re consuming caffeine too close to bedtime. So, that mid-afternoon energy drink meant to give you a quick energy boost might actually be what’s making you restless when it’s time to go to bed.
But there’s also the withdrawal factor.
If you drink a lot of coffee, tea, or energy drinks, you might depend on caffeine to keep you energized and focused while on the job.
When you don’t get your fix, then you might end up going through withdrawal. Depending on how close you typically get to that 400mg of caffeine per day, withdrawal symptoms may begin within the first 10 to 12 hours without caffeine.
That’s when your body has cleared it out of your system entirely.
Caffeine withdrawal can be absolutely brutal.
After your first 12 hours without caffeine, you’ll fight through a nightmare of a headache, struggle with mental focus, and even experience slight mood changes.
Coffee Consumption and Market Trends
- It takes only 2.2 cups of coffee from a coffee house to reach your maximum caffeine intake in a day (400mg).
- Every day, about 2.6 billion cups of coffee will be consumed.
- About 42.9% of American adults will drink coffee purely for the taste.
- 64% of American adults drink coffee on a daily basis, with 79% drinking coffee at home.
- Japanese citizens increased their coffee consumption by 30% between 1990 and 2010.
- Coffee is most popular among those aged 60 and over in America, with about 72% of those in this age group drinking coffee.
- Coffee is the most popular source of caffeine, accounting for 64% of intake at 105.4mg each day. Soft drinks and tea both account for 17% of intake at 27.9mg each day.
- Millennials love their espresso, with about 32% of them drinking an espresso beverage within the last day.
- The average man will drink 1.7 cups of coffee per day, as compared to women who average 1.5 cups a day. Those aged 25 to 34 will spend over $2,000 on coffee annually.
- About 20% of people will drink more than 5 cups of coffee a day.
- 68 million American adults drink 3 or more cups of coffee each day.
- 37% of people will drink at least 2 cups of coffee at work each day.
- In China, coffee consumption rates have jumped 16% annually over the last decade, advancing China to the #17 slot when it comes to coffee consumption.
- 60% of American coffee drinkers will make a monthly visit to a branded coffee house.
- 2 in 5 workers aged 18 to 24 who drink coffee will struggle to concentrate without coffee.
- A single ounce of Caribou Coffee holds around 15mg of caffeine.
- At 54.2mg of caffeine per ounce, Deathwish Coffee is the world’s most powerful coffee.
- A single cup of decaf coffee will have about 2-15mg of caffeine.
Caffeine is America’s favorite drug.
Over ⅓ of Americans will drink at least two cups of coffee per day, though a shocking 20% of the country will drink 5 cups a day. That’s bordering on (and even exceeding) the recommended caffeine limit of 400mg a day.
It’s also worth pointing out that coffee isn’t one size fits all when it comes to caffeine content.
As you can see above, some coffee retailers will have over 50mg of caffeine for every ounce. So, an 8-ounce serving of this specific coffee would put you at the limit and you’ll probably end up with a racing heart and severe insomnia by the second or third cup!
This can be extremely misleading for uninformed consumers.
Most important, decaf coffee is not entirely decaffeinated!
We know, the name is pretty misleading! Just keep in mind that, while 15mg of caffeine per cup of coffee won’t necessarily put you over the edge and cause a jittery sensation, it may come back to bite you if your doctor recommends staying away from caffeine entirely.
Even a little bit of caffeine will begin to add up after several servings.
Energy Drink Consumption and Market Trends
- The energy drink market is worth over $53 billion in today’s market and far surpasses the soft drink industry.
- Energy drink sales have increased annually in America since 2005, boosting 10.5% in 2019 alone.
- The United States leads the world in energy drink consumption.
- Red Bull was the most popular energy drink in 2019, accounting for nearly $2.89 billion in sales during the year.
- To reach the recommended limit of 400mg of caffeine a day, you’d have to drink 5 Red Bull energy drink servings.
- Those aged 13 to 24 are more likely to consume energy drinks.
- A very small portion of caffeine consumed in America comes from energy drinks.
When you picture who buys and drinks energy drinks in America, who do you think of? Your mind probably went right to teenage boys popping open a Monster Energy Drink during their first class of the day.
Yes, the 13 to 24 age group is definitely leading the pack when it comes to energy drink consumption in America.
But the energy drink industry wouldn’t survive with such a small demographic.
These statistics are actually quite surprising and give us a little insight into how popular energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and AMP really are. Surprisingly, they’re popular, but not as popular as you might think.
So, why does the energy drink industry always seem to be booming?
It comes down to taste in many cases.
Energy drinks tend to be loaded with sugar, sweet flavors, and taste like soda with an extra kick. They’re easy to chug back and they’re like the less “mature” way to drink coffee, so to speak.
Tea Consumption and Market Trends
- It takes more than 16 cups of green tea to reach the 400mg caffeine limit.
- Kenya increased its tea consumption by 1 million kilograms from 2016 to 2017, accounting for 3.08 million kilograms of tea consumed in 2017 alone.
- 4 in 5 Americans have tea at home, with 160 million consuming some form of tea on a daily basis.
- Americans drank over 84 billion servings of tea in the year 2017, which is nearly 3.8 billion gallons in total.
- China is one of the largest tea exporters, bumping up tea trade 8.2% to 323,000 tons in 2017. In the decade prior, China increased tea volume export by 1.4% on average.
- Across the globe, about 2 billion people will drink tea on a daily basis, making up about 1.4 million pounds of tea in America.
So we’ve touched a little bit on how Americans once saw tea as unpatriotic back during the American Revolution. Yet, centuries-old opinions never truly got rid of coffee from American soil.
Around 50% of Americans will drink tea daily.
Compared to the rest of the world where 2 billion people consume tea daily, America really doesn’t hold its own.
Yet, what’s most important here is the caffeine, right?
The caffeine in tea is practically non-existent when compared to coffee. In fact, you might have to drink four times as many servings of green tea in order to get the same caffeine as you would in coffee.
Tea is typically easier on the taste buds, as compared to coffee.
But we know that Americans care more about refueling after a restless night than they do about drinking something that tastes good!
Looking for a little caffeine and a beverage that tastes good hot or cold? Go for tea instead!
Soft Drink Consumption and Market Trends
- To reach the maximum caffeine limit of 400mg a day, you’d have to drink more than 11 cups of cola.
- 3 in 10 American adults will drink beverages like soda or lemonade on a daily basis.
- The consumption of soda has rapidly decreased in recent years, with Americans now prioritizing healthier drinks.
- In America, the soda industry includes soft drinks, sparkling water, sports drinks, and energy drinks.
- Companies within the soda industry are expected to stick around, willing to adapt products to be healthier to keep consumers interested.
- Most sales of soda come from the United States.
- The more popular companies within the soda industry include Nestle SA, Monster Energy Company, and The Coca-Cola Company
Soda seems to be the default beverage in America.
It seems you can’t order a meal at a restaurant or a fast-food joint without a cup of Coke coming with it. And every American party and gathering has a drink cooler loaded with cans of Pepsi, Sprite, and Fanta.
The good news?
Soda isn’t the worst offender when it comes to caffeine intake in America. So unless you’re guzzling down 11 or more servings of Pepsi a day, excess caffeine probably won’t be an issue.
The problem here would be the sugar.
A 32-ounce Big Gulp from 7-11 might contain a whopping 91 grams of sugar. That’s nearly three times the maximum daily sugar intake.
That can explain why diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are always on the rise in this country.
And it’s no surprise that Americans drink more soda than any other country.
But….what’s pretty interesting about these soda statistics is that Americans seem to be drinking less soda in recent years. So to keep sales up, soft drink companies are willing to change their product line to become “healthier.”
Now, will these new drinks actually be healthy?
If anything, they’ll include a few key buzzwords on the label like “no sugar added” or “zero calories.” It’s the thought that counts, right?
What country consumes the most caffeine?
Each country across the globe has its own trends when it comes to caffeine consumption by the population. Finland leads the globe with 9.6kg of caffeine per person, followed by Norway with 7.2kg and the Netherlands with 6.7kg. The United States doesn’t even make the list of the top 8 countries for caffeine consumption.
What percentage of people consume caffeine?
In America, somewhere around 90% of adults will drink caffeine on a daily basis. In 50% of the American adult population, the average daily caffeine consumption hovers around 300mg each day. Based on this data, the most popular drug in America is caffeine.
What age group consumes the most caffeine?
The adult population across the globe is known for consuming an incredible amount of caffeine on a daily basis. While most assume that Millennials love their caffeine, studies show that those aged 50 to 64 consume the most caffeine out of all age groups.
What is the average amount of caffeine used by adults in the US each day?
Fortunately, most Americans will be within the 400mg daily limit when it comes to caffeine. Adult women aged 19 to 30 typically consume a lower amount of caffeine at about 110mg a day. This rate is nearly doubled in men aged 51 to 70, who tend to take in nearly 260mg of caffeine in the average day. For children, this daily intake is closer to 32mg on the upper end, with teens drinking no more than 80mg each day.
When your goals are to bulk up and add some muscle mass, you want to be careful about what you’re putting in your body.
So, should you be cutting caffeine from your diet entirely?
In many cases, caffeine might actually help you to take your workouts to the next level.
That’s exactly why a lot of pre-workout powders will include caffeine in them. Caffeine can help you to run faster and longer, focus intensely during long lifting sessions, and even potentially boost your strength during a workout.
If you’re planning to use caffeine as a workout supplement, take your dose about an hour before your session, before you slap on your powerlifting belt, to produce the best results and allow you to extend your workout.
Just be aware that it’s not unusual to build up a caffeine tolerance.
You might end up setting yourself up for withdrawal if you suddenly decide to drop caffeine from your diet. So, keep your caffeine consumption within moderation for optimal gains and limited side effects!
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