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john65pennington's avatar

Do "caffeine-free" soft drinks still contain caffeine?

Asked by john65pennington (29182points) April 22nd, 2010

Before my neck surgery, the nurse told me no coffee or colas 12 hours before my surgery. she also included “caffeine-free” soft drinks and especially colas. so whats the answer? do advertised “caffeine-free” soft drinks still have caffeine(and we don’t know it)?

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12 Answers

erichw1504's avatar

I wouldn’t think so. Caffiene isn’t listed as one of the ingredients, so the company would definitely be lieing.

JLeslie's avatar

I have been told that caffeine free coffee does still have some caffeine, maybe it is true for soft drinks? It is either true, but trace amounts so it does not need to be listed on alabel (this is a fact for almost everything on food labels. Something can say fat-free and actually have fat, and by the time you eat 3 servings, which is probably very common, it adds up). Or, the people running the tests just don’t want you to risk drinking the wrong thing. Like relying on Starbucks to be sure and give you decaf when you order it.

JLeslie's avatar

I found this, no idea how reliable it is http://pol.spurious.biz/dev_zero/caffeine.html

downtide's avatar

Something that is normally caffeinated (like coffee or cola) but has had the caffeine removed, will still have trace amounts of it. Something that never had caffeine in the first place, will not.

john65pennington's avatar

JLeslie, read that article and it appears caffeine is the nations most widely used drug either by choice or by manufacturers to get us addicted in order to sell more. the site really did not give any answer to my question. thanks for the info.

Seek's avatar

Well, the back panel of my caffeine-free tea box states that a “caffeine free cola” has 5 mg of caffeine, as opposed to the 45 mg of the regular cola.

Take that however you choose. ^_^

silverfly's avatar

Caffeine has to be removed from coffee and tea which is why small amounts still remain in decaf coffee/tea. Caffeine-free sodas on the other hand do not have caffeine because it has to be added to soda rather than removed. So they just don’t add caffeine and viola!... caffeine free soda.

this doesn’t mean caffeine free soda is good for you

JLeslie's avatar

@john65pennington It says that there is some natural caffeine in the kola nut, but you are right it does not say if they try to get rid of it, or just don’t add extra caffeine to make the drink “caffeinated.” It says, “Soft drinks have become the favorite caffeine containing beverage in the United States: 12 oz. can of soft drink may contain 30–72 mg of caffeine. Less than 5% of this caffeine is from the kola nut; manufacturers add the other 95%, using the extract obtained from the decaffeination process.” but I am unclear which decaffeination process they are taling about? Is it decaffeinating soft drinks? Sorry that article was not better. For coffee it actually stated how much caffeine in decaf, and I thought I saw it did the same for soda, but no such luck.

slick44's avatar

no thats why they call it caffine free.

Taciturnu's avatar

As many people said, trace amounts remain.

Ron_C's avatar

Things that normally contain caffeine like coffee cola, and chocolate can be decaffeinated but not 100% free of caffeine, there is always a trace amount because completely removing the drug would probably ruin the taste. The worst dink that I have ever tasted was “caffeine free, sugar free” coke. The next closest is the same version of Pepsi. Either way there is no socially redeeming use for either product.

JLeslie's avatar

@Ron_C I love you for saying that The worst dink that I have ever tasted was “caffeine free, sugar free” coke LOL. I have never had the sugar free, but caffiene free is bad enough. I don’t understand why that is, I guess the caffiene has a flavor?? Somehow I doubt that though. I grew up a cocaholic; literally my mom gave to me as a treat in my bottle as a toddler (my husbands mom did the same, I figure that is why we get along so well) would not tak us to Burger King, because they had the Pepsi contract at the time; but, when it comes to caffeine free, for some reason the Pepsi is better.

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