How Much Caffeine Is In A Pepsi? (You’ll Be Surprised)

We all know that sodas like Pepsi contain caffeine. However, whenever I ask my friends if they know how much caffeine Pepsi has, no one can really answer me.

I did a little digging to check its caffeine content to help those who are trying to limit their caffeine intake like I am or are just curious about this information.

Here are the surprising facts about our beloved caffeinated beverage.

Caffeinated Pepsi beverages will vary by variety and size, but in general, is low compared to other drinks with caffeine.

So, if you're caffeine sensitive, would it be ideal to consume Pepsi and coffee on the same day without experiencing those dreaded side effects?

While I can't say much for you, I consulted science, so you won't have to (you're welcome!). Adults are allowed to consume up to 400 milligrams a day.[1]

Based on our recommended caffeine daily consumption on this number, let’s look at how much caffeine Pepsi cola variants have and if drinking won’t give us the jitters.

Serving (fl oz)

Caffeine (mg)

Caffeine Strength

Calories

12 fl oz

38 mg

Low

150

16 fl oz

53 mg

Low

200

20 fl oz

63 mg

Low

250

1. Caffeine In 12 Oz Pepsi (Can)

Let’s start with the Pepsi cola in a can. I don’t know if you’re the same, but I do prefer my soft drinks in a can over a bottle. I feel like it has a more refreshing taste than other Pepsi variants, but that’s just me.

There are about 38 mg of caffeine per 12 fl. oz of Pepsi.[2] That’s actually not a lot compared to a cup of coffee, which usually has about 80 to 100 mg of caffeine.[3]

This means that you need about 10 and a half cans of 12 oz Pepsi to consume the recommended amount of caffeine per day. That’s a lot of soft drinks, but that sugar will add up really quickly.

2. Caffeine In 16 Oz Pepsi (Bottle)

Next up is the regular Pepsi in a 16 oz bottle. This is probably the most common variant of Pepsi you'll find in the market.

If you consume this on a daily basis, every 16 oz Pepsi gives you about 53 mg of caffeine, which is almost the same as a cup of tea.

If you consume this along with a cup of coffee or tea, your caffeine levels won’t go overboard.

Line of Pepsi Bottles On Shelf

3. Caffeine In 20 Oz Pepsi

If you're a soft drinks lover, this size of Pepsi is probably your go-to size. Its caffeine content per serving is about 63 mg, which isn't that high compared to other caffeinated beverages.

4. Caffeine In 2 Liters Pepsi

For those who like to stock up on sodas in their fridge, a 2-liter bottle is an excellent choice. So, how much caffeine is in Pepsi 2 liters? The amount of caffeine in this size is 214 mg.

While the caffeine found in this Pepsi size is still lower than the recommended amount of caffeine consumption per day, it’s still best to drink soda in moderation.

5. Caffeine In Pepsi Max

When I'm trying to lessen my sugar intake but still enjoy carbonated soft drinks, Pepsi Max is my soft drink of choice.

Now popularly known as Pepsi Zero sugar, this soft drink contains about 43 mg of caffeine per serving size of 12 fl oz.

6. Caffeine in Other Variants Of Pepsi

Apart from Pepsi Max or Pepsi Zero Sugar, Pepsi has released other variants. Here I have listed the caffeine content based on a 12 fl oz serving size.

  • Diet Pepsi: 36.7 mg of caffeine
  • Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry: 38 mg of caffeine
  • Diet Pepsi Lime: 38 mg of caffeine
  • Regular Pepsi Wild Cherry: 38 mg of caffeine
  • Pepsi Café: 69 mg of caffeine
  • Pepsi Caffeine-Free: 0 mg of caffeine
  • Pepsi Throwback Cola (Pepsi Made With Real Sugar): 63 mg of caffeine
Pepsi Cans With Diet And Zero Sugar Variant

Brief History Of Pepsi

Pepsi, one of the world's most popular soft drinks, was created in 1893 as "Brad's Drink" by pharmacist Caleb Bradham.

The formula included kola nuts, carbonated water, lemon oil, phosphoric acid, caramel color, and natural flavors. Brad's Drink was later renamed Pepsi-Cola in 1898 as a nod to the key ingredients of pepsin and kola nuts.

Over the years, the recipe has evolved, with high fructose corn syrup replacing sugar and citric acid added to the blend.

Pepsi is often compared to its main rival, Coca-Cola, which has a similar history and ingredient profile. However, Pepsi contains slightly more caffeine, offering a modest stimulant effect to consumers.


What Ingredients Does Pepsi Have?

  • Carbonated water: The primary component that gives the drink its fizzy texture.
  • High fructose corn syrup: A common sweetener used in many soft drinks, it provides the beverage's sweetness. In some countries, sugar may be used instead.
  • Caramel color: A coloring agent that gives Pepsi its recognizable brown hue.
  • Phosphoric acid: A food-grade acidulant that adds tartness and helps balance the sweetness of the drink. It also acts as a preservative.
  • Natural flavor: A blend of ingredients derived from natural sources which contribute to the unique taste of Pepsi. These may include flavors from kola nuts, spices, and fruit extracts. This also varies depending on the variant of Pepsi.
  • Caffeine: A natural stimulant present in the beverage in moderate amounts, contributing to the overall taste and providing a mild energy boost.
Pepsi Pouring Into Glass with ice cubes

What Are Pepsi Variations?

As a Pepsi lover, I've always appreciated the variety of flavors and options the brand offers.

If I’m not drinking a regular Pepsi, I love sipping on a refreshing Mountain Dew or enjoying the unique taste of a root beer every now and then.

While I'm a fan of the classic Pepsi flavor, I'm also mindful of my sugar intake.

Thankfully, Pepsi has low- or no-calorie alternatives like Diet Pepsi or Pepsi Max, which gives me that familiar taste without the extra calories.

Oh, it also offers other flavors like Wild Cherry or Lime. These variants often have the same amount of caffeine per 12 fl oz serving size in comparison to the regular version.

So, it’s not going to be much of a problem if I switch up the flavors.


Caffeine In Pepsi Vs Coke Vs Coffee

Pepsi contains slightly more caffeine than Coke, but both have considerably less caffeine than a cup of coffee.

Typically, a 12-ounce can of Pepsi has around 38 mg of caffeine, while a similar serving of Coke has about 34 mg.[2]

In contrast, an 8-ounce cup of coffee can range from 80 to 100 mg of caffeine or even higher, depending on the brew.[3]

Some final thoughts, if you're looking for a caffeine boost, coffee is your best bet, but if you prefer a milder lift, a soft drink like Pepsi or Coca-Cola can satisfy your taste buds without a significant caffeine high.

However, while consuming caffeine in moderate amounts is generally safe, excessive intake can lead to negative effects, such as an increased risk of heart disease or tooth decay.

Pepsi Vs Coke Vs Coffee

Common Pepsi Questions Answered

Is Pepsi safe to drink every day?

In moderation, Pepsi is safe to drink daily, but excessive consumption may lead to health issues.

Should children and adolescents drink Pepsi?

Children and adolescents should limit their intake of sugary, caffeinated beverages like Pepsi, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).[4]

Why do I feel sleepy after drinking Pepsi?

Feeling sleepy after drinking Pepsi may result from a sugar crash or individual response to caffeine.

What are the side effects of drinking Pepsi every day?

Daily Pepsi consumption may cause weight gain, tooth decay, and increased risk of chronic diseases.

How long will Pepsi keep me awake?

Pepsi's caffeine effect varies, typically lasting 3-5 hours, but individual reactions can differ.


Conclusion

There you have it, folks! Now you know the surprising facts about the caffeine content in our beloved Pepsi.

With this newfound knowledge from this guide, you can make smarter choices about enjoying your favorite soda while keeping your caffeine intake in check.

So, the next time you grab a Pepsi with your buddies, you'll be the go-to person for all things caffeine-related.

Cheers to enjoying our favorite fizzy drink with a better understanding of its caffeine kick!

References:

1. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/spilling-beans-how-much-caffeine-too-much
2. https://www.math.utah.edu/~yplee/fun/caffeine.html
3. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1104137/nutrients
4. https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Caffeine_and_Children-131.aspx

Kim Fernandez

Author

Kim Fernandez
Kim offers a unique perspective on coffee culture and trends. Kim's writing is personal and experiential, providing readers with firsthand advice on the latest in coffee. Beyond her writing, Kim is an avid explorer of new coffee trends and spots, always seeking to share the most genuine advice and latest trends. True to her love for coffee, you'll often find her in a café, immersed in a book with a freshly brewed cup of joe.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... A freshly brewed cup of joe

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