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How Much Caffeine Is in McDonald’s Sweet Iced Tea?

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One of McDonald’s best-tasting beverages is its Sweet Iced Tea, especially during the summer. Many people choose tea over coffee because they don’t want to consume as much caffeine, so they want to know how much caffeine this beverage contains. The short answer is that it contains about 100 mg of caffeine in a 30-ounce serving, but keep reading as we compare that to other drinks to see how it stacks up. We also discuss how much caffeine is safe and if any other dangers are lurking in this beverage.

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Does McDonald’s Sweet Tea Have Caffeine?

Yes, you will find about 100 mg of caffeine in every 30-ounce cup of McDonald’s Sweet Iced Tea. This number works out to about 3 mg per ounce. The 16-ounce beverage will contain 51.2 mg, and the 21-ounce glass has about 67.2 mg. It’s important to remember that the caffeine in these beverages comes from the natural brewing of the tea leaves and is not a measured ingredient, so the actual amount of caffeine can vary slightly.

iced tea
Image Credit: JASONBON, Pixabay

How Much Caffeine Is in McDonald’s Sweet Tea Compared to Other Beverages

Black and Green Tea

The caffeine content in McDonald’s Sweet Iced Tea is roughly 3 mg per ounce, which is a little low compared to regular black tea, which usually contains around 45 mg per 8-ounce cup, or 5.6 mg per ounce. It’s much closer to regular green tea, which usually has about 28 mg per 8-ounce cup, or 3.5 mg per ounce.

Coffee

If you brew your coffee at home, a standard cup usually has about 95–140 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup, which works out to be just more than 11 mg per ounce, making it more potent than McDonald’s Sweet Iced Tea. In fact, you would get roughly the same amount of caffeine from an 8-ounce cup that you would from a 30-ounce McDonald’s Sweet Iced Tea. You can get even more caffeine if you get your coffee from a chain like Starbucks or Dunkin’. Some of the 32-ounce beverages available in these establishments contain more than 300 mg of caffeine, and many drinks have multiple espresso shots, which typically have about 63 mg of caffeine per ounce.

Energy Drinks

There is a huge selection of energy drinks available, and some are quite potent. The 5-Hour Energy Drink has 200 mg of caffeine in less than 2 ounces (1.93 ounces), and the extra-strength version has 230 mg. There are other high-potency drinks, but many of the most popular brands, like Monster, contain about 160 mg of caffeine in a 16-ounce can.

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Image Credit: Gioia M., Unsplash

McDonald’s Sweet Tea Caffeine Comparison

Beverage Serving Size in Ounces Caffeine Content in Milligrams Caffeine Per Ounce in Milligrams
McDonald’s Sweet Iced Tea 30 100 3
Black Tea 8 45 5.6
Green Tea 8 28 3.5
Brewed Coffee 8 95–140 11.9–17.5
Starbucks Dark Roast 16 380 23.8
Espresso 1 63 63
5-Hour Energy Drink 1.93 200 103.6
Monster Energy Drink 16 160 10

How Much Caffeine Is Safe to Consume?

Most experts agree that consuming any more than 400 mg per day is a health risk that can lead to several problems, like the inability to sleep, tremors, anxiety, high blood pressure, and gastrointestinal issues. Also, coffee is a diuretic, and drinking too much can reduce the amount of fluid in the kidneys and bladder, contributing to stones. Fortunately, you can consume up to four 30-ounce Sweet Iced Teas before reaching your caffeine limit.

mcdonalds mccafe coffee
Image Credit: Erik Mclean, Unsplash

Are There Other Potentially Dangerous Ingredients in McDonald’s Sweet Tea

The small amount of caffeine in McDonald’s Sweet Iced Tea is unlikely to cause a problem unless you drink several a day. However, one ingredient that it does have a dangerously high amount of is sugar. The 30-ounce beverage contains 38 grams of sugar, and since a gram of sugar is equal to ¼ teaspoon, this drink contains 9.5 teaspoons of sugar. While this number is nowhere near as high as the 65 grams of sugar in a 20-ounce Coke, too much sugar can lead to several health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.

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Summary

There is indeed caffeine in a McDonald’s Sweet Iced Tea, and while it’s not as potent as many other beverages, it can still affect you if you drink multiple servings. For example, one 30-ounce drink contains 100 mg of caffeine, about the same as a regular cup of coffee that you brew at home. On a per-ounce basis, it’s a little weaker than green tea. It’s also high in sugar and could lead to weight gain if you consume too much.


Featured Image Credit: Joiarib Morales Uc, Unsplash

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Ed Malaker

Ed Malaker, a veteran writer, has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming, and of course, coffee. He drinks a lot of it when he writes, making him an expert indeed. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.

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