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6 Foods with Hidden Caffeine to Avoid Before Sleep

Coffee is the most popular beverage around the world. We prefer it to jumpstart our drowsy mornings or put us into much-needed work alert in the sluggish afternoons.

Your average cup of coffee may contain up to 85 mg of caffeine in it. That’s enough to drive us out of our morning slack.

Consuming too much caffeine, however, doesn’t do much good to us. Too much caffeine can:

  • Increase your heart rate and blood pressure
  • Makes you shaky and nervous
  • Is addicting
  • Makes your brain and heart work harder
  • Blocks sleep-inducing neurotransmitters like adenosine

Needless to say, it’s safer to keep a limit to how much caffeine you consume in a day. 

But here’s the God-awful part though. 

Your morning cup of coffee isn’t the only source of caffeine you might consume. 

Many foods, beverages, and even, medications sneakily pack a significant amount of caffeine in them. Consume it before bedtime and you might find yourself with a ruined good night’s rest.

Here are the major stealth sources of caffeine to steer clear off before bedtime for a peaceful night’s sleep.


A cup of cocoa powder contains approximately 200mg of caffeine in it. That’s enough caffeine to buzz your sleep away. The amount of caffeine in a chocolate bar depends on other ingredients as well. Generally darker the chocolate, more caffeine it would contain. 

So make sure to indulge in your chocolaty-tooth before evening.

Chocolate Candy & Chocolate DrinksServing SizeCaffeine (mg)
Crackheads Gourmet Chocolate Coffee Caffeine1 box, 40 g600
Crackheads Espresso Bean Candies1 package, 28 pieces200
Awake Caffeinated Chocolate Bar1.5 oz.100
Starbucks Hot Chocolate16 oz.25
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses9 pieces10
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar1.5 oz.9
Hershey’s Cocoa1 Tbs.8
Silk Chocolate Soymilk8 oz.<5
Silk Dark Chocolate Almondmilk8 oz.<5
Hershey’s Chocolate Lowfat Milk12 oz.2
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest

Soft Drinks, Energy Drinks & Sodas

You may wanna rethink the energy drinks and soda waters along with dinner.

A 500 ml can of Redbull packs close to 150mg of caffeine.
That’s enough caffeine to give you wings to fly. 

A 550 ml of Zero Sugar Pepsi contains around 115mg of caffeine. This much caffeine becomes more powerful than your regular coffee because of the combination of ingredients it’s packed in with. Shakes, sodas, and special waters also contain somewhere between 30 – 100 mg of caffeine in it depending on the type of drink.

Soft DrinksServing SizeCaffeine (mg)
Pepsi Zero Sugar20 oz.115
Mountain Dew—diet or regular20 oz.91
Diet Coke20 oz.76
FDA official limit for cola and pepper soft drinks12 oz.71
Pepsi Zero Sugar12 oz.69
Surge12 oz.69
Pepsi20 oz.63
Mountain Zevia12 oz.55
Mountain Dew—diet or regular12 oz.54
Diet Coke12 oz.46
Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, or Diet Pepsi16 oz.45
Dr. Pepper—diet or regular12 oz.41
Pepsi12 oz.38
Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, or Diet Pepsi12 oz.34
Pepsi True10 oz.32
Sunkist Orange Soda—diet or regular20 oz.31
Coca-Cola Life12 oz.28
Dr. Pepper—diet or regular8 oz.28
Barq’s Root beer, regular12 oz.22
7-Up, Fanta, Fresca, ginger ale or Sprite12 oz.0
Root beer, most brands—diet or regular20 oz.0
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest
Energy DrinksServing SizeCaffeine (mg)
Bang Energy16 oz.300
Starbucks Tripleshot Energy—all flavors15 oz.225
5-hour Energy2 oz.200
Hiball—Organic Energy Drink or Sparkling Energy16 oz.160
Monster Energy16 oz.160
NOS Energy16 oz.160
Rockstar Energy16 oz.160
Venom Energy16 oz.160
Redline Energy4 oz.158
AMP Zero Energy16 oz.157
AMP Energy Boost Original16 oz.142
avitae Caffeine + Water16.9 oz.90
Mountain Dew Kick Start16 oz.90
Full Throttle8 oz.80
Red Bull8.4 oz.80
V8 V-Fusion+Energy8 oz.80
Crystal Light Energy8 oz.60
MIO Energy, all flavors1/2 tsp., makes 8 oz.60
Ocean Spray Cran-Energy8 oz.55
Glaceau Vitamin Energy20 oz.50
Starbucks Refresher, can12 oz.50
Bai Antioxidant Infusion8 oz.35
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest
Caffeinated Shakes & WatersServing SizeCaffeine (mg)
Ensure Max Protein Café Mocha Nutrition Shake11 oz.100
Water Joe23.7 oz.85
Phocus Sparkling Water—all flavors11.5 oz.75
Sparkling Ice + Caffeine—all flavors8 oz.70
Kellogg’s Special K Vanilla Cappuccino Protein Shake10 oz.65
Vitaminwater Energy Tropical Citrus20 oz.50
Odwalla Chai Vanilla Protein Shake15.2 oz.29-48
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest


You might be drinking tea for its own theanine to help you relax at the end day, some teas can stealthily contain more close to 50mg of caffeine in them. Caffeine concentrations are found to be more in iced tea ranging close to 100mg per 450ml.

Choose your tea carefully with the least amount of caffeine if you have it before bedtime.

TeasServing SizeCaffeine (mg)
Starbucks Chai Latte—iced or regulargrande, 16 oz.95
Starbucks Green Tea Latte—iced or regulargrande, 16 oz.80
KeVita Master Brew Kombucha15.2 oz.36-68
Honest Tea Organic Lemon Tea16 oz.63
Tazo Organic Iced Black Tea, bottled13.8 oz.46-60
Gold Peak Unsweetened Tea18.5 oz.47
Green tea, brewed8 oz.28-38
Snapple Lemon Tea16 oz.37
Lipton Lemon Iced Tea16.9 oz.21
Arizona Iced Tea, black8 oz.15
Arizona Iced Tea, green8 oz.7.5
Lipton Decaffeinated Tea, black, brewed8 oz.<5
Herbal tea, brewed8 oz.0
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest

Ice-Creams & Yogurts

Many popular brands of ice creams and yogurt pack close to 30mg of caffeine depending upon the type and the flavor. Try to please your cravings for ice cream by evening for a good sleep.

Ice Cream & YogurtServing SizeCaffeine (mg)
Bang!! Caffeinated Ice Cream4 oz.125
Dannon Lowfat Coffee Yogurt6 oz.30
Häagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream4 oz.29
Breyers Coffee Ice Cream4 oz.15
Dreyer’s or Edy’s Slow Churned Coffee Ice Cream4 oz.14
Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Ice Cream4 oz.5
Dannon Oikos Café Latte Greek Yogurt5.3 oz.0.1
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest

Breakfast Cereals & Protein Bars

Your breakfast cereal and protein bars might be giving you an extra boost of energy every morning, all thanks to its hidden caffeine.
The amount of caffeine can range anywhere between 20 to 100 mg depending upon the ingredients and the flavor.

Caffeinated Snack FoodServing SizeCaffeine (mg)
Awake Energy Chocolate1.5 oz.100
Awake Energy Granola1 bar, 40 g100
Clif Shot Energy Gel Double Expresso1.2 oz.100
Run Gum Original1 piece50
Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans1 oz. package50
Clif Shot Energy Gel Mocha1.2 oz.50
Gu Energy Gel—Espresso Love, Caramel Macchiato or Jet Blackberry1.1 oz.40
Gu Energy Chews—Strawberry4 chews20
Gu Energy Stroopwafel—Caramel Coffee or Wild Berries1.1 oz.20
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest

Medication Pills

Pain killers and medications for Headaches, PMS, and migraines are generally filled with caffeine to offer you quick relief.
Read the labels thoroughly before popping a pill before bedtime.
It might be ruining your peaceful slumber.

Over-the-Counter PillsServing SizeCaffeine (mg)
Zantrex Blue weight-loss supplement2 capsules300
NoDoz or Vivarin1 tablet200
Zantrex Red weight-loss supplement2 capsules200
Exedrin Migraine2 tablets130
Midol Complete2 caplets120
Bayer Back and Body2 caplets65
Anacin2 tablets64
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest

Now you know.

If you hold your night’s sleep precious, choose your foods, and drinks before bed carefully.

Try to consume anything that may contain caffeine at least 4 to 5 hours before bedtime to have a better sleep at night.

No matter at what stage of life you’re in, make sleep your priority starting from today.
Sleep is a magic pill that can enhance your life and well-being significantly.

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