Summer has come and gone, but it doesn't mean you can't sip your ice tea all year long. And as you enjoy your drink, you might have wondered how much caffeine is in a glass of iced tea.
As often happens with all things nutrition, the best answer to this question is: it depends.
Whether you're trying to cut back on your caffeine intake or you're after a drink that will both refresh you and help you stay awake, you've got options!
Let's dive in and take a look at the caffeine content in various scenarios.
Store bought iced teas
If you love the convenience of grabbing your iced tea on the go, you'll probably rely on store bought iced tea options.
Caffeine Informer offers very helpful guidelines for choosing the brand that works best for you. On average, your 20 fl oz iced tea bottle will contain about 13 mg of caffeine, meaning about 5.2 mg per cup.
Of course, different types of tea will come in different sizes and flavors, meaning their nutritional value will vary. A quick fact-check on your favorite brand should give you all the answers you need.
On average, it's safe to assume virtually any brand of bottled iced tea will contain a lot less caffeine than fresh home brewed black tea. Keep in mind, though, that most store bought teas tend to be pretty sugary, with up to 45 grams of sugar in a 17 fl oz bottle.
If you love a home brew
If you enjoy a good cup of hot tea in the colder months, chances are you'll want to keep that habit for the warm season as well.
Caffeine levels are not always written on your favorite tea's label. Luckily for you, the Mayo Clinic offers some helpful information on a wide range of caffeinated drinks you can pick from.
If you're looking for that energy kick in the morning, your best bet is probably black tea, 47 grams per cup. As for green tea, it averages 28 grams per cup.
If you're concerned about sleepless nights but don't want to give up your afternoon pleasure, you can opt for a decaf home brew, with only 2 mg per cup, that should seriously do the trick!
The caffeine-free option
If your guilt-free dream is to indulge in a fresh, flavorful and refreshing drink that is also caffeine-free and contains low to no sugar, you might want to look into fruit and herbal tea options. My all time favorite is this strawberry mint and hibiscus recipe.
If you're on the go and would love to grab a fresh drink for the ride, look at your local health store and you will likely find something that suits you.
Once again, we recommend you read the label and do some Googling to work out the nutritional value of your drink. There's a million options out there: a little poking around should help you find just the perfect caffeine match for you!
While there's no universal answer to the question “How much caffeine is in a glass of iced tea?” we hope our research has helped you better understand how to find out more about your tea's content.
For a balanced and holistic approach to your summer drink choice, it's worth adding a few considerations.
The sugar amount of our iced drink is almost more important than the caffeine amount: as highlighted in this article, studies show that consuming sugary food and drinks in the evening can be more detrimental to your sleep than caffeine.
And while reducing sodium is a good rule of thumb overall, on very hot days it's actually a good idea to consume drinks with a healthy balance of the mineral.
This is because the body naturally tends to release a lot of important minerals through transpiration, and it’s important to balance out that loss by staying hydrated.
You might find your perfect soft drink match at the store, and if that's the case, knock yourself out!
However, if after a few attempts you still find your soft drink needs are unmet, we suggest you rely on your home brew to have a chance to control not only the nutritional value and sugar count of your favorite drink, but also its flavor.
On the day Hannah discovered the source of true happiness, she was sitting on a cushion in a tiny teahouse tucked away on a side street in Kyoto. Between her palms, she cradled a warm teacup that emitted the fragrance of orchids and fresh grass. Now a sports journalist, Hannah collects antique teapots and has a brown belt in Jiu Jutsu.