In my opinion, McDonald's will always be one of the best fast-food restaurants in the whole world.
Not only can you get burgers and fries, but you can also get a caffeine boost if you need one--and these coffee drinks won't disappoint.
My favorite McDonalds coffee is their iced coffee. If I could only drink iced coffee throughout the day, I would.
Unfortunately, I have caffeine sensitivity, which means I have to lessen my caffeine intake.
This also means I need to be very careful with the amount of caffeine I put in my body and learn the caffeine levels of every drink I consume.
That's why I made this guide to help out people like me, so we know how much caffeine is in Mcdonalds coffee to avoid the jitters.
Caffeine Levels In McDonald’s Iced Coffees
Iced coffee from Mcdonald’s does have caffeine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in a cup of coffee.
However, the caffeine levels of coffee beverages can vary depending on many factors, including the type of coffee ground used (Arabica vs. Robusta), the brewing method, and the size of the cup.
So, with this in mind, let’s check out Mcdonalds iced coffee caffeine levels:
1. Small McDonald’s Iced Coffee
If you’re trying to lessen your caffeine consumption, a small Mcdonald’s iced coffee is a practical choice. This iced coffee contains around 100 mg of caffeine, according to the USDA Food Data Central.
You’ll also get about 115 calories per serving, which I think is a pretty good deal considering the caffeine kick this cold coffee can give.
When I was younger, I used to think that getting jitters was normal whenever I consumed iced coffee.
However, I was drinking crazy amounts of McDonald's iced coffee back then, which is the reason for the heebie-jeebies I'm feeling. Apparently, four small McDonald's iced coffee a day is too much.
So, why did I consume four small Mcdonald's iced coffee a day before instead of getting a medium or large-sized iced coffee?
Well, I thought I was consuming less caffeine that way--sounds dumb, I know. Anyway, I've learned my lesson the hard way.
2. Medium McDonald’s Iced Coffee
Before I became a crazy coffee lady, I used to think that any caffeinated beverages served in a larger container had too much caffeine. Well, I was right.
If you're just drinking Mcdonald's iced coffee once a day and no other caffeinated beverages, a medium-sized drink is enough to give you a caffeine buzz.
This is especially true if consuming caffeine makes your body feel weird, like me.
3. Large McDonald’s Iced Coffee
Go big or go home, as the expression goes, and that can also be applied to just how much caffeine you can consume. Many iced coffee lovers order a large iced coffee.
So, exactly how much caffeine in McDonalds large iced coffee?
Well, it has a whopping 167 mg of caffeine. Its caffeine content can be too high for people with caffeine sensitivity, but for those who don't, this is not a lot.
During my jittery days, I would consume as many as two large iced coffees in a day.
However, now that I know that you can kiss the jitters goodbye, the caffeine in McDonalds iced coffee is too much for me. Even if it's the only caffeinated beverage I consume in a day.
Every once in a while, I indulge (coffee drinkers can understand) and get this larger cup, but it's not worth the side effects anymore.
What’s Exactly In McDonald's Iced Coffee? (Ingredients Breakdown)
If you want a delicious and refreshing drink during hot summer days, McDonald's iced coffee is a great option.
In fact, it has become one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world, competing with Starbucks drinks and other coffee shops' specialty drinks.
Thanks to its affordable price and delicious flavor, it has become a quick pick-me-up drink for many people like me. So, what exactly is in this iced coffee?
A McDonald's iced coffee contains four main ingredients: brewed coffee made with Arabica beans, cream, your choice of flavor, and ice cubes.
Arabica beans have a sweet and smooth flavor with a hint of chocolate and sugar flavor.
That's why it's the most used coffee bean, and commercial coffee places like McDonalds choose this type of bean.
Arabica beans can come in different roast profiles. McDonald's coffee uses dark-roasted coffee beans.
Contrary to popular belief, dark roasted beans don't contain more caffeine than other coffee beans. This means that the caffeine content of these beans is almost similar to other roasts.
So, how much coffee does this delicious cup of iced coffee have?
The amount of coffee in this refreshing beverage varies depending on the size of the cup (12 fl oz for a small cup, 16 fl oz for a medium cup, and 20 fl oz for a large cup).
The next ingredient, cream, is also added to the coffee to provide a creamy texture to the coffee, making it velvety and rich. It also makes the coffee smooth, making it an irresistible treat.
However, if you're vegan or lactose intolerant, there are no non-dairy milk options for you.
Then we have the flavored syrup of your choice. This ingredient makes McDonalds iced coffee sweet, delicious, and refreshing. We'll get more into flavors in the next section.
Lastly, ice cubes! Obviously, McDonalds iced coffee needs some ice to keep it cool and chill. It is also worth noting that there may be other ingredients in the iced coffee that aren't listed here.
If you are allergic to anything, ask the crew before purchasing any iced coffee.
Fun fact: Just this April, this fast food giant released McDonald's cold brew coffee drinks. The company is only releasing cold brewed coffee in Southern California for a limited time. If you live in the area, be sure to try out this new cold brew!
While you can get McDonalds iced coffee in its original flavor, this delicious beverage rose to fame because of the flavored options.
The different flavors include caramel, hazelnut, French vanilla, and sugar-free French vanilla.
For those who want a McCafé iced coffee with a sweet and buttery taste, go for the caramel iced coffee. Fancy nutty goodness? Order a hazelnut iced coffee.
If you want a vanilla-flavored drink, a French vanilla iced coffee is a good choice. For those trying to cut down their sugar consumption, sugar-free French vanilla is a flavor for you.
Regardless of what you choose, Mcdonalds iced coffee is a sweet treat that’s hard to resist!
If you’re not only concerned with your caffeine intake but also your macros, here are the nutritional facts you need to know about this delicious iced coffee:
Original-flavored McDonalds iced coffee (12 oz): Calories 140, fat 10 g, saturated fat 5 g, carbohydrates: 18 g, sugar 12 g, protein 2 g
Original-flavored McDonalds iced coffee (16 oz): Calories 170, fat 12 g, saturated fat 6 g, carbohydrates 24 g, sugar 16 g, protein 2 g
Original-flavored McDonalds iced coffee (20 oz): Calories 200, fat 14 g, saturated fat 7 g, carbohydrates 28 g, sugar 20 g, protein 2 g
Caffeine In McDonald's Iced Coffee Vs Other Iced Coffees
We already know how much caffeine is in Mcdonalds iced coffee, but how does it compare with other caffeinated drinks from popular coffee shops? Here's a quick comparison:
McDonald’s Vs Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee
Iced coffee is a popular drink in both of these fast-food chains. However, they have different serving sizes for their coffee drinks.
At Dunkin Donuts, the smallest size is 16 oz, which is a medium cup for McDonalds.
If a small cup of McDonald's iced coffee contains 134 mg of caffeine, how much caffeine is in the same size cup of Dunkin Donuts iced coffee?
Well, drinking iced coffee this size at Dunkin Donuts will give 198 mg of caffeine.
On the other hand, a medium Iced Coffee at Dunkin, or a large Mcdonald’s, contains about 297 mg of caffeine, and a large size (32 oz) at Dunkin has about 396 mg of caffeine.
That’s almost the recommended amount of caffeine consumed in a day.
So, if you're caffeine sensitive like me, it's better to go with Mcdonald's coffee, as it contains less caffeine than Dunkin Donuts.
McDonald’s Vs Starbucks Iced Coffee
Another great option if you want a cup of coffee in summer is a Starbucks iced coffee. Like McCafé iced coffee, it's brewed fresh and uses real coffee grounds.
So, if the caffeine in McDonalds iced coffee (12 oz) is 100 mg, how much caffeine does a tall iced coffee have?
A Starbucks 12 oz iced coffee contains only 90 mg of caffeine, which is less caffeine than what McDonald's has.
While the difference isn't that significant, it matters to us who are sensitive to caffeine. Strictly because of caffeine, Starbucks is usually my first choice.
However, Mcdonald's offers a wider range of choices for me. Has anyone tried coffee and burgers together? They are an odd pair and sinful, but really worth a try.
If you’re more of a Starbucks Frappuccino kind of guy, the amount of caffeine in a tall Frappe is only 65 mg.
Good news for those limiting their caffeine, but since it’s a blended beverage, you’ll compensate with more calories and sugar. A sweet trade-off if you ask me.
How To Make McDonalds Iced Coffee At Home (Easy Recipe)
Fancy a McDonald's iced coffee at home?
Here's a homemade iced coffee recipe that tastes exactly like McDonald's or another coffee shop. The best part? You can control the caffeine content of your drink!
Here’s how you can make your own iced coffee:
*This iced coffee recipe yields 2 cups of coffee.
Barista HQ tip: If the caffeine content of brewed coffee is too much for you, switch it up with decaf coffee. If you don’t have a coffee maker or French press, you can substitute brewed coffee with instant coffee.
- 1Brew your coffee, aiming for a slightly stronger batch than your regular coffee. This is because adding ice and milk will dilute the coffee a bit.
- 2While the coffee is brewing, take this opportunity to mix your milk, sugar, and vanilla extract in a separate container. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved for optimal flavor.
- 3Once your coffee is brewed, let it cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator to chill.
- 4When you're ready to serve, fill a glass with a few ice cubes, pour in your chilled, brewed coffee, and add your sweetened milk to taste.
- 5Enjoy your McDonald's iced coffee at home!
Related McDonald’s Iced Coffee Questions
Does McDonald's iced coffee have more caffeine than hot coffee?
It depends on the size of the McDonald's iced coffee. A medium and large-sized iced coffee has more caffeine content than an average cup of brewed coffee, while a small size cup has almost the caffeine content as an 8 oz cup of coffee, which is 80 mg of caffeine.
What is the strongest coffee at McDonald's?
The strongest coffee at McDonald's is the Mocha Frappe, with a whopping 211 mg of caffeine for a large cup.
Can I get a decaf iced coffee at McDonald's?
Yes, you can get a decaf McDonald's iced coffee! This is perfect for those who can't consume too much caffeine.
Can I add espresso shots to my McDonald's Iced Coffee?
Unfortunately, there’s no option for you to add espresso shots to your iced coffee or regular coffee.
Is McDonald's iced coffee vegan?
No, Mcdonald’s iced coffee is not vegan.
Is McDonald's iced coffee gluten-free?
According to the Mcdonald’s website, their iced coffee is likely to be gluten-free, which means it’s safe for those with celiac disease.
Now that you know about the caffeine in McDonalds iced coffee, you can now be more aware of the amount of caffeine you consume.
This can help you be more mindful of what you drink in a day, making sure you don't have the jitters.
If you're not sensitive to caffeine, real coffee or energy drinks are excellent choices. Still, if the caffeine content of Mcdonald's is still too high for you, iced tea or green tea is a great alternative.