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What is the Most Caffeinated Iced Drink at Starbucks? (Surprising!)

man holding a starbucks drink

Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed stimulants to turn to if you need a bit of alertness in the morning or afternoon. Sometimes, a quick cup of joe can give you the perfect energy boost needed to finish the day. And if you’re a fan of caffeine, you may be more than familiar with your local Starbucks. But which Starbucks drink has the most caffeine?

At the moment, the Sumatra Clover Brew coffee is the most caffeinated iced drink at Starbucks with an astonishing 470  milligrams (mg) per 20-ounce cup (the Venti). If this is a bit too much caffeine for you, their Blonde Roast comes in close second place with 360 mg. Other high-caffeine drinks include the Pike Place Roast, which has 310 mg, and the Featured Dark Roast which contains 260 mg.

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How Does the Sumatra Clover Brew Coffee Caffeine Content Compare to Other Starbucks Drinks?

Here is a list of other notable (and popular) Starbucks drinks with a considerable amount of caffeine:

Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew 185 mg
Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream 265 mg
Caramel Macchiato 150 mg
The Honey Oat Milk Latte 170 mg
Blonde Caffè Latte 170 mg
Blonde Vanilla Latte 170 mg
Caffè Mocha Espresso w/ Steamed Milk 175 mg
The Flat White Espresso w/ Steamed Milk 195 mg
Skinny Mocha 150 mg
White Chocolate Mocha 150 mg
The Caffè Americano Espresso 225 mg
starbucks cup on a wooden table
Image Credit: Engin Akyurt, Pixabay

Do All Starbucks Drinks Contain Caffeine?

It is also worth noting that not every Starbucks drink contains caffeine. If you prefer not to drink caffeine or are looking for drinks for kids, you’ll be happy to know that they have quite a few different options to choose from. Drinks such as fruit juices, hot chocolate, steamers, Frappuccinos, and herbal tea selections typically don’t have caffeine. However, each individual location will have a slightly different menu.

Can Someone Overdose From Caffeine?

If you drink too much coffee within a certain period of time, you may experience side effects sometime afterward. However, a life-threatening overdose caused by caffeine alone is actually fairly rare. However, there have been reported cases of it, particularly with the energy beverage Red Bull and not so much with coffee.

How Much Is Too Much In A Single Day?

The FDA recommends capping your daily caffeine limit at 400 mg. This seems to be the upper safe limit for many healthy adults, and you can find this amount of caffeine in about 10 cans of soda or one or two energy shots, depending on the brand.

So, this means that if you do plan to try out the Sumatra Clover Brew, you may want to limit it to one a day. Note that the FDA also recommends limiting daily caffeine consumption for young adults, as it can affect them differently and more quickly.

woman drinking coffee
Image Credit: Ketut Subiyanto, Pexels

Reasons To Cut Back On Your Daily Caffeine Routine

If you are drinking more than three or four cups of caffeinated coffee each day, it may be time to scale it back a bit if you begin to experience any following side effects:

  • Muscle Tremors
  • Headache or Migraine
  • Nervousness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Inability to control urination or issues urinating
  • Daily Jitters

Everyone experiences caffeine differently, and some people may be way more sensitive than others. However, if you start to feel side effects daily, you may want to stop drinking caffeine cold turkey, or at least for a week to see if this is the source of your issues.

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Ways To Curb A Caffeine Habit

Whether you are curbing your coffee consumption because of health issues or you simply want to save money on your daily habit, it can be quite the challenge. Cutting your caffeine intake cold turkey can cause withdrawal symptoms including fatigue, headaches, difficulty focusing on tasks, and general irritability.

The good news is that these withdrawal symptoms typically only last for a few days. Here are a few ways that you can help ease the transition by cutting off your daily caffeine intake:

Try Baby Steps

If you’ve been consuming boatloads of caffeine daily for a number of years, it can be hard to quit cold turkey. You may find it easier to reduce your caffeine intake in phases. For example, if you’ve been drinking a full cup of coffee every morning, consider drinking half a cup every morning for one or two weeks. The next week, consider cutting this amount in half again.

Drink Decaf

Switching to decaf coffee is another great way to ease the transition. Decaf coffee tastes the same as caffeinated coffee, except it leaves you without the extra pep in your step. If this is too much, consider making half of your coffee caffeinated and the other half decaf and phase it out week by week.

decaf coffee
Image Credit: nile, Pixabay

Check Labels

If you want to cut out caffeine completely and don’t drink coffee, be sure to watch other beverages and foods that may contain caffeine. The most common ones include energy drinks, soda, over-the-counter drugs, chocolate, and tea.

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Does Coffee Help or Cause Headaches?

Let’s first examine what actually causes a headache. When you have a headache, the blood vessels in your brain begin to tighten, causing an increase of the blood flowing around your brain. This in turn causes pressure surrounding the nerves of your brain, which send pain messages to it.

The result is a headache. Caffeine is a substance that restricts your blood flow by narrowing the blood vessels. As a result, it can alleviate the pain associated with common headaches.

This is why you’ll often see caffeine listed as a main ingredient in pain medicine such as Tylenol, aspirin, and ibuprofen. The caffeine in coffee helps increase the absorption of the medicine and it helps provide quick relief.

Ironically, caffeine in coffee can also trigger a headache. When you consume coffee on a daily or regular basis, your body can become dependent on the effects of caffeine. As mentioned previously, caffeine narrows your blood vessels. But when you stop consuming it, the same blood vessels will enlarge, which can cause an increase in blood flow and pressure around the brain–the result, a headache.

This is common when you withdraw from daily coffee intake. It’s known to last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks until your body adjusts to the lack of caffeine.

Image Credit: RobinHiggins, Pixabay

People Who May Want To Avoid Caffeine

Unfortunately, for some people, the effects of caffeine can have a negative impact on their overall health, and it may be best for them to avoid it completely.

People Who Have Heart Issues

Since caffeine can cause an immediate increase in your heart rate and blood pressure, some doctors may advise anyone with heart conditions to speak with the healthcare provider about caffeine intake.

Anyone With Anxiety Issues

Caffeine is a stimulant that has been known to worsen anxiety and individuals who are already suffering from it or from panic attacks. While caffeine itself may not trigger issues specifically (though it can in large amounts), it can potentially prolong panic attack episodes and periods of anxiety

Anyone With An Overactive Bladder

Coffee typically acts as a diuretic, which means that you will likely go to the bathroom after having one or two cups. But if you have an overactive bladder, this can be exacerbated. In fact, you may be even more sensitive to the issue if you don’t drink coffee on the regular. If you suffer from this condition, you may want to limit your daily coffee consumption.

Women Who Are Pregnant

The ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) recommends that pregnant women limit their daily caffeine intake to no more than 200 mg per day (which equates to about 2 cups of coffee).

This helps to minimize the potential for premature labor, low birth weight, and even miscarriage. And many gynecologists recommended that some pregnant women cut off their daily caffeine consumption completely due to pre-existing health conditions.

pregnant woman holding coffee
Image Credit: komokvm, Shutterstock

People Suffering From Gastrointestinal Issues

Anyone suffering from gastrointestinal issues such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, or ulcers may be advised to avoid coffee as well as other caffeine-heavy beverages. Caffeine can increase the chances of developing diarrhea, which can spell issues if you suffer from GI problems.

People With Sleep Dysfunctions

High levels of daily caffeine intake can negatively affect the quality of your sleep. The Sleep Foundation recommends avoiding caffeinated beverages and food for at least six hours before turning in for the night. And if you heard someone who suffers from frequent insomnia, limiting your caffeine intake may help you avoid exacerbating the issue.

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Final Thoughts

There is no shortage of highly caffeinated beverages at Starbucks. Whether you prefer a cup of hot premium coffee or a tasty cold brew to help cool down on a hot summer day, they’re guaranteed to have exactly what you’re looking for. If you choose a highly caffeinated beverage, you may want to consider limiting your consumption to one drink a day, so as not to cause some of the known side effects that can come with caffeine.



Featured Image Credit: Omar Lopez, Unsplash


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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