It’s late. You’ve had dinner, and would love to unwind with a nice cup of coffee. Only, you would like to sleep tonight, so instead of a regular coffee, it’s time for decaf. And what goes great with coffee? Ice cream, of course.
The only ice cream in the freezer is coffee ice cream, but that’s just a flavoring, right? There isn’t really any caffeine in ice cream, right?
Three hours later, when you were desperately hoping to be asleep, you are staring at a dark ceiling, tossing and turning. Does this sound at all familiar? Some people metabolize caffeine slowly, meaning the effects of even small amounts of caffeine can be magnified.
What is Caffeine
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant. It is most often found in plants such as coffee, tea, and cacao. Caffeine increases neuron activity in the brain, which in turn prompts the release of adrenaline. In moderate amounts, caffeine is considered safe for most people.
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Everyone processes caffeine differently, though. For most people, caffeine remains in the bloodstream in diminishing amounts for about five or six hours. That is the amount of time it takes for the body to metabolize the compound.
Some people, however, process caffeine much more slowly. For them, that adrenalin rush and neuron activity can make it difficult to sleep, cause them to feel jittery, or cause an upset stomach.
Where is Caffeine Found
Coffee and tea are the primary sources of caffeine. The average cup of coffee has about 100 – 150 mg of caffeine, while a black tea has between 40 – 60 mg. Chocolate contains between 12-25 mg per one ounce. These numbers can vary a lot, depending on any number of factors from serving size to the level of concentration.
Caffeine can also be found in over the counter pain medications. It is often combined with ibuprofen or acetaminophen to enhance the pain relieving effects of those drugs.
If you are keeping track of the caffeine you consume, remember that some foods have caffeine, too.
And caffeine in ice cream is no exception. Ice creams and yogurts flavored with coffee will contain caffeine because the coffee contains caffeine. Eating a bowl of coffee ice cream isn’t going to be the same as having a cappuccino, but if you are watching your caffeine intake, it is good to be aware.
To a lesser degree, deserts containing chocolate will also contain caffeine.
Here’s a list of the caffeine content in popular ice cream and yogurt products.
Bang!! Caffeinated Ice Cream, all flavors (4 fl. oz.) – 125 mg
Ben & Jerry’s Coffee, Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz (4 fl. oz.) – 45 mg
Cold Stone Creamery Coffee Ice Cream (Gotta Have It, 12 fl. oz.) – 40–45 mg
TCBY Coffee Soft Serve (13 fl. oz) – 40 mg
Dannon All Natural Coffee Lowfat Yogurt (6 oz.) – 30 mg
Häagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream (4 fl. oz.) – 29 mg
Stonyfield Gotta Have Java Nonfat Frozen Yogurt (4 fl. oz.) – 28 mg
Baskin Robbins Jamoca Ice Cream (4 fl. oz.) – 20 mg
Dreyer’s or Edy’s Grand Ice Cream—Coffee or Espresso Chip (4 fl. oz.) – 17 mg
Breyers Coffee Ice Cream (4 fl. oz.) – 11 mg
Häagen-Dazs Coffee Almond Crunch Snack Size Bar (1.9 oz.) – 10 mg
Dreyer’s, Edy’s, or Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Ice Cream (4 fl. oz.) – less than 1 mg
The amount of caffeine in these foods, and many others, is not always easy to locate. So next time you are in the mood for some ice cream or yogurt, and you are wondering if there is caffeine in ice cream, chances are, if it is coffee or chocolate flavored, there is at least some.
Are you sensitive to caffeine? Are there other foods to watch out for? Let us know in the comments.
NutritionAction.com doesn’t accept any paid advertising or corporate or government funding. Any products recommended by NutritionAction.com have been vetted by our staff of nutritionists and are not advertisements by the manufacturers.
Caffeine contents are accurate as of February 2014. Information was obtained from company Web sites or direct inquires.
This article was originally published in 2014 and is updated regularly.