Dubbed as having the highest caffeine content is Pret, whose Gingerbread Latte and Salted Caramel Latte contain a staggering 360mg of caffeine per serving, which is the caffeine equivalent of six instant coffees.
While that may just sound like numbers, many studies show that up to 400mg of caffeine per day is the maximum amount you should be consuming and that any more can make it harder to fall asleep, reduce your total sleep time by 30 minutes, or reduce the amount of deep, slow-wave sleep you get, which is critical for feeling refreshed the next day.
So, if you were to have a Pret coffee and then an average-sized bar of dark chocolate (70mg), this would take you over the daily limit and, therefore, negatively impact your sleep that night.
Here are the other coffee chains that are on the ‘naughty’ list due to having the highest caffeine culprits.
Sip smart, sleep sound
Costa Coffee is in second place with its various festive drinks containing around 200mg of caffeine, which is the equivalent of 3 ⅓ cups of instant coffee.
Even seemingly innocent fast-food options like McDonald’s Caramel Waffle Latte and Toffee Nut Latte contain 153 mg, which is closely followed by Greggs’ Christmas line-up with a caffeine punch of 150 mg. Both coffee chains’ festive drinks, therefore, contain around 2 ½ cups of instant coffee.
Studies report that it takes a minimum of eight hours to metabolise just half of anything you consume, so if you buy a festive coffee from Pret, Costa, McDonald’s, or Greggs, make sure it’s not within this timeframe. For example, if you typically go to bed at 10pm, make sure to drink your last (or first) coffee at 2pm at the latest.
Starbucks’ and Caffè Nero’s Christmas coffees are the most sleep-friendly
If you need to drink coffee beyond the 8-hour mark, whether you need energy for after-work Christmas shopping or festive social plans, Starbucks and Caffè Nero are the best due to their low caffeine content. This means you can enjoy a small energy boost without disrupting your sleep too drastically. Here is the ‘nice’ list due to them being the lowest caffeine culprits:
On the lower end, Caffè Nero serves up Panettone Latte, Florentine Mocha, and Panettone Iced Latte, each with 120 mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent of two cups of instant coffee and, therefore, should still be drunk with caution and not too close to bedtime.
As for the coffee chain with the lowest caffeine content, Starbucks is the clear winner. Their hot festive drinks only contain 66.2mg, which is six times less than Pret’s festive drinks. However, the Frappuccino versions of the coffee contain even less 32.7 mg of caffeine. So, if you don’t mind the chill, we’d recommend a Frappucino to fuel your last-minute Christmas shopping.