Here's what the maximum amount of caffeine you should be drinking in a day looks like

What Coffee Does to Your Body

And you thought Red Bull was bad.

Turns out that while a can of the vilified energy drink has 80 mg of caffeine (less than a quarter of the amount you should have each day, according to the Mayo Clinic), one small cup of Starbucks drip coffee has nearly 5 times that amount.

Regardless of how you get your caffeine, it's important to keep in mind that it's a stimulant with some positive and negative effects.

And the amount of caffeine that's in various drinks — or even the same drink from a different chain — can vary drastically. Here's how much caffeine is in everything from a can of Coke to a plain coffee from McDonald's:

One and a half cups of Starbucks coffee

Samantha Lee/Business Insider

According to the Mayo Clinic, most healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine each day. But while most 12-ounce cups of coffee contain somewhere between 90 and 120 mg of caffeine, one 12-ounce "tall" or small cup of Starbucks is far stronger, with about 260 mg of caffeine per cup.

About two bottles of 5-Hour Energy

Samantha Lee/Business Insider

These tiny bottles, or "shots," contain nearly the same amount of caffeine as a cup of Starbucks, which in reality is closer to 4 cups of regular coffee. Each 2-ounce shot has about 215 mg of caffeine.

About four McDonald's coffees

Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Unlike Starbucks coffee, McDonald's drip contains roughly the same amount of caffeine as a "standard" cup of Joe. Each 12-ounce cup has about 109 mg of caffeine.

Five cans of Red Bull

Samantha Lee/Business Insider

While there's lots of info out there about how bad energy drinks are for you, a single 8-ounce can of Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine, less than the a standard cup of coffee and roughly three times fewer caffeine than in a 12-ounce Starbucks coffee. It also contains other ingredients, however, like taurine, whose long term effects have yet to be studied extensively.

About six cups of brewed black tea

Samantha Lee/Business Insider

You might be surprised to learn that not all tea is designed to lull you into a relaxed, sleepy state. An average cup of brewed black tea contains about 67 mg of caffeine, still less than a can of Red Bull or a cup of McDonald's coffee, but far from minimal.

Just about 12 cans of Coke

Samantha Lee/Business Insider

One 12-ounce can of Coke has 34 grams of caffeine. While that might seem pretty low, if you're like us and drink a few of these throughout the course of the day, it can add up! Still, a single can is the rough equivalent of about a third of a cup of regular coffee or about a seventh of a cup of Starbucks.

About five and a half lattes

Samantha Lee/Business Insider

A standard shot of espresso contains about 71 mg of caffeine, meaning that a small latte (espresso plus steamed milk) or cappuccino (espresso plus milk and foam) — so long as its made with a single shot — contains the same amount.

Also see these incredible coffee drinks:

Coffee and espresso drinks explained
See Gallery
Here's what the maximum amount of caffeine you should be drinking in a day looks like

A latte is espresso and steamed milk with a small amount of milk foam on top.

(Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

A cappuccino should be equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. 

(Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)

dry cappuccino features less of the traditional steamed milk and more milk foam in its place.

(Photo by Etienne Voss via Getty Images)

cafe au lait is traditional black coffee mixed with warmed milk.

(Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)

Espresso is specially brewed coffee, created with finely ground coffee beans brewed under pressure with nearly-boiling water. 

(Photo by Jeremy Piper/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

macchiato, traditionally, is a 'stained' espresso -- espresso with just a dot of milk.

(Photo by Nigel Noyes via Getty Images)

An Americano is espresso mixed with hot water. 

(Photo by Ben Monk via Getty Images)

cortado is espresso that is 'cut' with an equal amount of milk. 

(Photo by Anthony Collins via Getty Images)

red eye is for the severely under-caffeinated -- espresso shots mixed in with a regular black coffee

(Photo by Dima Sobko via Shutterstock)


See Also:

NEXT, CHECK OUT: What caffeine does to your body and brain

READ MORE: See how much caffeine is in the drinks from your favorite chains

Read Full Story

Sign up for the Best Bites by AOL newsletter to get the most delicious recipes and hottest food trends delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.