Q: I love coffee, but caffeine makes me too jittery. What can I do?
– Sally in Louisville, Kentucky
A: Decaffeinated coffee is very low in, but not free from, caffeine. Most brands of decaf contain only about 2 to 9 milligrams of caffeine per cup. That’s quite a drop from the 200 to 272 milligrams in a cup of regular coffee and a lot less than you’d get from coffee-flavored ice cream (about 40 milligrams of caffeine in a cup) or a 12-ounce cola (about 45 milligrams). Watch out for other sources of caffeine, including chocolate, hot cocoa, and many over-the-counter drugs, such as Excedrin, Anacin, and, of course, No-Doz, which range from 32 to 100 milligrams per tablet. Also, watch out for caffeinated soda pops, from Sunkist Orange Soda to Mountain Dew, contain up to 55 milligrams of coffee, the caffeine equivalent of almost 28 cups of Sanka. It is very unlikely that a cup or two of decaf would have much effect on anxiety levels, while your enjoyment of a cup of decaf brew is one of life’s little pleasures you might not want to give up. – Elizabeth Somer