Root beer is a creamy soft drink that is popular not only in North American but also in the rest of the world. The drink was traditionally made by brewing the root backs of the sassafras tree with herbs and sugar, hence the name root beer.
The beer has a distinct sweet herbal flavor with a rich, creamy consistency. Does root beer have caffeine? The information below will give you insight on root beers that are caffeine-free, that contain caffeine, how to spot caffeine in root beer, and other relevant information as far as root beer is concerned.
So let’s dive right in.
Caffeine-free Root Beer
Most modern varieties of root beer do not contain any caffeine. Caffeine from other varieties of soda comes from kola nut, which is a nut popularly used in carbonated drinks. The kola nut is responsible for the caffeine stimulation.
However, modern root beer ingredients include filtered water, sugar, and safrole-free sassafras extract. These are just some primary ingredients, but they can vary depending on the brand in question.
Here are some of the famous root beers that are caffeine-free:
- A&W Root Beer
- Mug Root Beer
- Dad’s Root Beer
- Barq’s Diet Root Beer
- Diet A&W Root Beer
Some Root Beers Have Caffeine
Although most varieties of root beer do not contain any caffeine, some types have a small amount.
Barq’s root beer is the most popular root beer along with caffeine. The regular Barq’s root beer contains 22.5 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce can.
How Much Caffeine in Root Beer?
22.5 milligrams of caffeine in 12 ounces don’t count as a high caffeine beverage.
Let put that in perspective using the table below.
|Drink||Ounces||Caffeine Level in milligrams|
|Barq’s Root Beer||12||22.5|
|Instant Coffee||8||65 to 100|
The amount of caffeine in the root beer is the same level as A&W Diet Cream Soda and Chocolate-flavored Slim-Fast drink.
Why Root Beer May Contain Caffeine
We have already established that caffeine is not an ingredient during the making of root beer. So then, why does some root beer contain caffeine?
Because some manufactures add caffeine separately to give consumers a buzz from the mild dose of caffeine, and caffeine is addictive.
Whether Root Beer Has Caffeine and How to Tell?
If any product contains caffeine because it occurs naturally in the ingredient, then by law, according to FDA regulation, manufacturers don’t have to list it on the label.
Examples of such foods include tea, coffee, and chocolate. But if the caffeine is added separately, as with Barq’s Root Beer, the manufacturers have to include it in the label _ Barq’s Root Beer has included caffeine as an ingredient in their label.
It’s worth noting that the FDA doesn’t require manufacturers to state the exact amount of caffeine on the label.
So it is always best to practice doing a personal follow-up with the manufacturers to get full details.
What Makes Root Beer Unique
Root beer has a unique herbal flavor and taste. This unique flavor is different from other soda drinks such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi made by treating the Kola nut, which makes the drinks caffeinated.
Traditionally root beer’s chief ingredient was the sassafras root. However, scientists discovered sassafras root to contain safrole which is a cancer-causing agent.
As such, the FDA banned the use of sassafras in food and beverage production. Manufacturers make modern root beer with artificial sassafras flavoring or sassafras root that had the safrole chemically removed.
Also root beer is manufactured by brewing the sassafras root with other spices and roots such as
- Burdock root
- Vanilla beans
These ingredients combine to give root beer a rich, distinct taste.
Other Ingredients To Watchout For In Root Beer
Root beer contains high quantities of sugar compared to other soft drinks. A 12-ounce can of A&W Root Beer contains 46 grams of sugar, while a similar amount of Coca-Cola and Pepsi contain 39 grams and 41 grams, respectively.
Root beer contains such an excessive amount of sugar because they sweeten it with corn syrup high in fructose _ which is a naturally occurring sugar.
We consider sugar an unhealthy ingredient, as it can cause obesity, insulin sensitivity, and cavities. Always check the number of calories in your root beer, especially if you have to regulate calorie intake for medical or diet reasons.
While diet root beers contain zero or one calory, regular root beer can have up to 290 calories in one can. It is over one-tenth of the daily calory requirement for women. For men, it’s one-fourteenth of the daily calory requirement.
What is the Right Amount Of Root Beer To Drink
To get the amount of root beer that is okay to drink in a day, you need to factor in the amount of sugar and calories allowed in your daily diet.
For the average adult, 2000 calories are the daily limit for women while 2500 calories for men. Also, adults need about 26 to 36 grams of sugar daily. And about 400 milligrams of caffeine.
Now, if you translate that into cans of root beer, it would mean you can consume up to 17cans a day _ when you only consider the required caffeine levels. However, those 17 cans translate to 44 grams of sugar, and remember, as we started early, each can contain up to 290 calories.
Most people will plan to eat alongside drinking, so a couple of root beers can quickly push you over the daily sugar, calories, and caffeine requirement.
However, drinking a few cans a day is perfectly fine unless you have particular health conditions restricting your diet.
Some Disadvantages of Root Beer
The root beer has a light crispy taste that is popular with most people. It is the ultimate thirst quencher too many times, but most don’t know about harmful ingredients they have. And experts have warned against them.
There may be mercury in root Beer.
The substance used to sweeten root beer is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is bad enough. Now recent studies have shown that 50 percent of HFCS samples contain mercury. Mercury can damage vital organs and your body’s immune system.
The Caramel Color Is Bad News
California Environ Mental Assessment group added caramel to the list of chemicals known to cause cancer. The caramel color gives root beer its significant brown tinge.
Caramel color can also increase your blood pressure and decrease the number of white blood cells in your blood. If you are gluten-sensitive, caramel color might cause a severe allergic reaction.
The Preservatives Are Not Better.
Synthetic versions of preservatives such as sodium benzoate found in root beer can cause DNA damage. DNA damage can cause Parkinson’s disease and a variety of liver problems
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Root Beer Healthy
Yes, some people may consider root beer a healthier soft drink. For one, soft drinks like Coca-Cola contain phosphoric acid, which eats away the enamel of the teeth and causes cavities.
But root beer is not made with any corrosive acids, and compared to other sodas in the market, it has lower acid levels. So it will be gentle on your teeth and gums.
Root beer will, however, stain your teeth like colas. Although root beer is healthier for your teeth, that might not be the case for your entire body. As we have established, root beer contains high amounts of sugar, which is associated which many health complications.
Likewise, over time root beer making has grown to include many artificial ingredients such as caramel coloring (which causes cancer) and flavors that may cause health complications like asthma, vomiting, and allergic reactions.
Is Root Beer Alcoholic
Root beer is a non-alcoholic beverage.
Yes, they make root beer similar to regular beer with comparable ingredients, such as sugar and yeast. But the yeast doesn’t turn into alcohol.
The ingredients are combined, boiled down, and concentrated. The boiling introduces a lot of carbon dioxide, making it hard for yeast to turn into alcohol. Only about 0.5% of alcohol volume is produced _ the amount is similar to alcohol found in bread and even some fruits.
Even though root beer is alcohol-free, many people use it as a mixture for alcoholic drinks. It is said to go well with rum and whisky because it brings out their sweet vanilla flavors.
Some manufacturers make root beer with alcohol. Most have five to six percent alcohol by volume. Examples of alcoholic root beer include:
- Not Your Father’s Root Beer(NYF),
- Forbidden Root
- Sprecher Fire Brewed Hard Root Beer
However, this alcoholic volume is low compared to popular alcoholic drinks. Wine, for example, has about 16 to 24 alcohol percentages. Gin, Rum, and Whisky all have a high alcohol percentage of between 36 to 50 percent.
Is Root Beer And Ginger Beer The Same
Root beer and Ginger Beer are not the same. They are very different tasting sodas, and they also have distinct looks. Even though root beer is made of different plant roots and can contain ginger in small amounts, it tastes like mouthwash or toothpaste. However, ginger beer has a robust ginger taste.
Ginger beer is typically light brown, while root beer is dark brown or looks similar to Coca-Cola.
Is Root Beer And Soda The Same
Root beer and soda are different in many ways. For one, cola has more significant popularity compared to root soda.
Flavour-wise, the two drinks couldn’t be more different. While cola has a sweet carbonated flavor with a slight mouthfeel and after taste, root beer has a unique taste created by specific ingredients.
Soda drinks contain caffeine, while typical root beer does not contain caffeine unless they add it after the making process.
Can Kids Drink Root Beer
Kids can drink root beer. It is worth noting root beer is sold in two varieties, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Because alcohol is not suitable for kids, it is best to give them non-alcoholic root beer.
Regular soda consumption can lead to type two diabetes, so it is best to limit the number of soft drinks kids consume.
Is Root Beer Gluten Free
Most sodas in North America are gluten-free.
Because in most cases, they make sodas from similar ingredients such as carbonated water, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavor, and coloring. You can also find these in root soda, and all of them are gluten-free.
Most brands consider their root beer gluten-free. Examples include:
- A&W Root Beer
Final Thoughts: Are You Ready For A Cold Root Beer?
Does Root Beer Have Caffeine? Root beer may be a healthier alternative to other soft drinks because it doesn’t contain caffeine or teeth destroying acids typical in different soft drinks. However, it causes some health risks of its own.
The high fructose corn syrup found in root beer makes it very unhealthy because of the health complications such as obesity and cavities associated with excessive sugar consumption.
So we should not consider a lack of caffeine in root beer a sign of a healthy drink. Root beers have high amounts of calories and sugar _ more sugar than most brands of cola.
Another best practice when root beer is concerned is always to check the kind you are getting.
Yes, root beer is caffeine-free and non-alcoholic, but other soda brands make caffeinated root beer and alcoholic root beer. So always check, especially if you’re buying the drinks for your little ones.
The information provided above should not stop you and your friends from enjoying a cold root beer every once in a while. Just remember to be moderate about it.