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How Much Caffeine Is In Pepsi Max? 2024 Breakdown

cola soda with ice in a drinking glass

Caffeine (serving: 11.16 fl oz)
43 mg
Caffeine (mg / fl oz)
Caffeine strength

Soft drinks are one of the most popular in the United States, with millions of gallons being enjoyed daily across the nation. From Coca-Cola and Sprite to Fanta, ginger ale, root beer, and more, soft drinks are a ubiquitous part of the fabric of America and many other countries.

One of the biggest soft drink brands in the world is Pepsi which, although smaller than Coca-Cola, is still a massive company with a product enjoyed by millions. That includes their Pepsi Max, which was sold in the US for several years before being renamed Pepsi Zero Sugar. If you are a fan of Pepsi Max, you’ll be glad to know that, in the UK and Europe, it’s still being sold. This Pepsi offshoot contains 42.6 milligrams of caffeine in every 11.16-ounce (330 milliliters) serving. Read on to see how Pepsi Max compares to other soft drinks and coffee in terms of caffeine, and learn some fun facts about this popular soft drink.

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How Much Caffeine Do Soft Drinks Contain?

When first invented, the goal of soft drinks wasn’t to give you a boost of energy from caffeine. Rather, it was to provide a refreshing alternative to the alcohol-loaded drinks of the day, like whisky, beer, and wine. The main reason some soft drinks contain caffeine is that when Coca-Cola was first created, kola nuts were used in the recipe, and kola nuts have caffeine. However, many soft drinks don’t have a lick of caffeine, including Sprite, root beer, and others. If you were to average the amount of caffeine in soft drinks, it would be between 30 and 50 milligrams in a 12-fluid-ounce can, similar to a cup of coffee, which is 8 fluid ounces.

Today most soft drink manufacturers add caffeine to their drinks rather than using ingredients that contain caffeine. With 42.6 ounces, Pepsi Max has more caffeine than Pepsi, but not by much; Pepsi has 34 milligrams of caffeine. Some soft drinks contain more caffeine, and a select few have a lot more caffeine, but again the average amount of a typical soft drink is 30 to 50 milligrams.

two glasses of cold soda
Image Credit: Fortyforks, Shutterstock

Caffeine Content

Pepsi Max vs Other Soft Drinks

Do you want to know how Pepsi Max compares to other popular soft drinks regarding the amount of caffeine they contain? If so, the chart below will be very helpful. It shows the caffeine of several of today’s most popular soft drink brands.

Soft Drink Caffeine per can (12-ounce)
Pepsi Max 42.6 mg
Coca-Cola with coffee 69 mg
Pepsi Zero Sugar (formerly Pepsi Max) 69 mg
Mountain Dew 54 mg
Sun Drop Soda 64 mg
Shasta Mountain Rush 54 mg
Mello Yello 51 mg
Dr. Pepper 51 mg
Diet RC Cola 48 mg

Pepsi Max vs Coffee and Coffee Drinks

If you’re a fan of coffee like most of our readers, you might want to know how Pepsi Max stacks up against your favorite coffee and coffee drinks in terms of caffeine content.

Caffeinated Drink Caffeine per serving
Pepsi Max 41.6 mg
Coffee 40–80 mg
Decaffeinated Coffee 2–12 mg
Instant Coffee 40–80 mg
Regular Cappuccino 250–300 mg
Regular Espresso 150–170 mg
Regular Latte 160–170 mg
Iced Coffee (average) 40–60 mg
Cold Brew Coffee (average) 180–200 mg

What Is Pepsi Max?

Some people refer to Pepsi Max as an energy drink because of the “Max” in its name. They mistakenly think that max refers to the amount of caffeine in the drink and that it’s the maximum allowed by law, which is incorrect. The “Max” in Pepsi Max stands for maximum taste, which is why Pepsi Max only has 41.6 milligrams of caffeine while a typical energy drink contains 150 milligrams. That’s a big difference and means, even though it will give you some energy, Pepsi Max is not an energy drink per se but more a soft drink. Its function isn’t to give you an energy boost but instead to quench your thirst.

Fun Facts About Pepsi Max & Other Soft Drinks

  • Pepsi’s ad slogan from the 1960s, “Come alive! You’re in the Pepsi generation,” was translated for the Chinese market, unfortunately, the translation was “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.”
  • Coca-Cola tried to replace coffee as the preferred morning drink in the latter part of the 1980s. This was known as their “Coke in the Morning” campaign, and, as you might have guessed, it was unsuccessful.
  • In 1767, an English citizen named Joseph Priestley discovered the process of artificially carbonating water. He did it using sulphuric acid and chalk, leading to the first soft drinks being invented.
  • You can use soda to clean your wash, remove rust from a bumper and get blood stains off your clothes.
  • The invention of the automatic glass-blowing machine to make bottles is one reason soft drinks became so popular.
  • Cuba and North Korea are the only countries on the planet where you can’t purchase Coca-Cola.
  • The Coca-Cola company produces approximately 4,000 types of beverages spread over a whopping 500 brands.

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Final Thoughts

Although the “Max” in Pepsi Max doesn’t refer to its caffeine content, this popular soft has about 42 milligrams. That’s roughly the same amount as a cup of coffee but far less than many of today’s most popular energy drinks. Compared to most soft drinks, Pepsi Max has an average amount of caffeine. Whether you like Pepsi Max for the taste of the small energy boost it provides, finding it in the US will be difficult if not impossible because it was rebranded several years ago as Pepsi Zero Sugar.

Featured Image Credit: DG FotoStock Shutterstock


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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