What is Caffeine?Caffeine is a bitter white powdered substance that acts as a central nervous system stimulant. This effect can provide an energy boost and improve alertness, but too much caffeine can cause adverse effects. Difficulty sleeping, jitteriness, dehydration, headaches, and abnormal heart rhythms are all potential side effects of caffeine overconsumption.
Caffeine occurs naturally in coffee, tea, and chocolate. It is also manufactured and added to other products, including soda, energy drinks, and some medications. Some people, including women who are pregnant or nursing, are extra sensitive to the effects of caffeine and should avoid it entirely. Most caffeine-free products are labeled as such. If caffeine has been added, it is required to be on the ingredient list.
Is Some Root Beer Caffeinated?A common rule of thumb is that darker colored sodas generally contain caffeine, while clear sodas do not. But studies and research have shown that this is not always the case. For example, Mountain Dew, a light-colored soda, is high in caffeine. Root beer, on the other hand, is often caffeine-free.
While many people think of root beer as a decaffeinated alternative to colas, some root beers do contain caffeine. The amount varies according to the brand.
Barq’s Root Beer, produced by the Coca-Cola Company, is considered low in caffeine. It has roughly 1.83 mg of caffeine per ounce, or about 22 mg per 12-ounce can. Diet Barq’s – the sugar-free, calorie-free version of the drink – is caffeine-free.
Among major national root beer brands, Barq’s is the only one with caffeine. Both Berghoff’s Original Root Beer and our hard Rowdy Root Beer are caffeine-free.
Why Do Some Sodas Contain Caffeine?Darker colas, the sodas most likely to contain caffeine, originally derived their flavor and coloring from the kola nut, which contains caffeine. Light-colored sodas like Sprite came from other sources, which didn’t naturally have caffeine. Although similar to colas in color, root beer is usually caffeine-free because it derived from the sarsaparilla root.
Today, most mass-produced sodas primarily contain artificial coloring and flavoring, along with synthetically-manufactured caffeine. But as companies transitioned to using less expensive means of production years ago, it was important to maintain consistent taste to keep consumers happy.
Cola companies argue that caffeine continues to be added to their beverages because consumers prefer the taste. However, a 2000 study published by the Archives of Family Medicine found that only 8% of regular cola drinkers could detect a difference in flavor based on the level of caffeine in the beverages. The authors of the study surmised that caffeine continues to be a common ingredient in certain sodas because of its addictive properties.
Looking for a delicious and classic root beer? Look no further than our Original Berghoff Root Beer, based on the draft soft drink we created during Prohibition. We’ve been offering our root beer in bottle form for over 75 years with a delicious creamy flavor reminiscent of the first half of the 20th century. Best of all, it’s caffeine-free. If you’re looking for an extra kick, try our new Rowdy Root Beer, with a 6.6% alcohol content.