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Does Turkish Coffee Wake You Up?

Traditionally, Turkish coffee is a drink that we like to enjoy in a leisurely manner. It is a beverage that a lot of people consume at pretty much any time of the day. But if you like to have your coffee in the morning to wake up, you may be wondering if this beverage can be an alternative to your daily cup of Joe. Alternatively, considering it’s still a type of coffee and contains caffeine, you may be concerned about the caffeine content in Turkish coffee keeping you awake at night.

One serving of Turkish coffee is about 65 mL and contains 55 to 65 mg of caffeine, which is a stimulant that can cause effects such as a boost in mental alertness, along with feelings of higher energy levels and “waking up”. Moreover, additions to Turkish coffee like cardamom, ginger and chocolate can support this effect, as well.

Turkish Coffee and Staying Awake: Caffeine Content (Compared with Many Popular Alternatives)

coffee beans

Without any doubt, coffee is an extremely popular beverage with more than 2.25 billion cups consumed globally everyday (source). We enjoy this beverage in many forms, such as espresso, latte, Americano and many others… While a lot of people drink coffee because it tastes and smells amazing, many use it in a pragmatic manner, as a tool to wake up in the morning.

If you want to use Turkish coffee to get a caffeine boost in the mornings before you head to work, I think it can be a pretty decent option. Because despite its small serving size, a cup of it (65 mL) contains around 60 mg of caffeine. To help you make a comparison, here is a chart that shows the serving sizes and caffeine content of Turkish coffee and some of the other popular types of coffee.

Type of CoffeeServing SizeCaffeine Content
Turkish coffee65 mL (~2 ounces)60 mg
Regular coffee8 ounces (~240 mL)80 to 100 mg
Espresso1 ounces (~30 mL)64 mg
Latte8 ounces (~240 mL)63 mg
Cappucino6 ounces (~180 mL)71 mg
Americano6 ounces (~180 mL)128 mg
Mocha8 ounces (~240 mL)63 mg
Instant coffee6 ounces (~180 mL)47 mg
Turkish coffee compared with various other popular types of coffee in terms of serving size and caffeine content.

Does Turkish Coffee Give Energy?

Caffeine is a popular type of stimulant consumed daily by around 90% adults in the world (source). The popularity of this stimulant is mainly due to the feeling of wakefulness and alertness that it can offer when consumed. Caffeine helps us feel more awake by messing with a chemical in the brain called adenosine, which helps us feel sleepy.

So the feeling of wakefulness we get from caffeine is not because it gives us energy but because it prevents a neurotransmitter from doing its job properly. Basically, while you may feel the illusion of having higher energy levels thanks to caffeine, I wouldn’t consider this “giving energy”. Since it’s a type of coffee, the wakefulness that Turkish coffee can provide works in the same way, unless you decide to add some other ingredients to it.

If we are going to talk about energy, we should discuss the “dietary energy” that Turkish coffee provides, along with the dietary energy provided by popular ingredients that are often added to Turkish coffee to make it more enjoyable. The most popular among these ingredients is sugar, which can impact sleep quality (source), hence can be highly relevant if you are concerned about Turkish coffee affecting your sleep.

One serving of unsweetened Turkish coffee without any extra ingredients contains around 7 calories. When sweetened with sugar, one serving of Turkish coffee can contain up to 55 calories, mostly from carbohydrates. Unsweetened Turkish coffee made with milk contains roughly 35 calories.

Here is a chart of popular ways of making Turkish coffee and their energy content:

Turkish Coffee VersionCalorie Content
Unsweetened Turkish coffee7
Turkish coffee with 1 tsp. sugar23
Turkish coffee with 2 tsp. sugar39
Turkish coffee with 3 tsp. sugar55
Turkish coffee prepared with milk35
Turkish coffee prepared with milk (+2 tsp. sugar)67
Turkish coffee versions and their calorie content

As you can see, unsweetened Turkish coffee has little to no calorie content. As a side note, it only contains around 0.09 grams of carbs, which is why it can be a nice beverage option to consider on a diet like keto. In fact, I wrote a blog post about whether you can drink Turkish coffee on ketogenic diet or not and you can check it out by clicking here.

Does Turkish Coffee Keep You Awake?

yawning man

There can be multiple reasons why you are curious about Turkish coffee and how it can impact sleep. You may be looking for an alternative coffee choice to enjoy in the mornings. As another possibility, you may be concerned about Turkish coffee keeping you awake at night.

Turkish coffee contains high amounts of caffeine despite its small serving size. The disruptive effect of the caffeine in Turkish coffee on sleep can last up to 6 hours. As a result of this, consuming Turkish coffee within 6 hours of bedtime can cause difficulty with falling asleep. For individuals sensitive to caffeine, a good alternative to avoid staying awake at night due to Turkish coffee consumption is decaf Turkish coffee.

If you have trouble sleeping due to caffeine consumption, it can be a good idea to avoid drinking Turkish coffee near bedtime, or in some cases it can be a good idea to avoid it even earlier than that. Also, make sure to check out the blog post I wrote about how much Turkish coffee to drink per day and know your limits. Beyond that, it surely can be a great idea to consider decaf Turkish coffee if you seriously need to lower your caffeine intake.

Final Words: The Practical Answer vs. the Cultural Reality

a cup of Turkish coffee with backgammon board in the background

Turkish coffee can be an excellent alternative to your daily cup of Joe, with its high caffeine content. Besides, ingredients such as ginger, chocolate and cardamom can be added to it in order to boost the wakefulness effect that it can offer. However, while some people may be after such an effect, it may not be desirable for some, especially for those sensitive to caffeine.

Whether you want a caffeine boost in the morning or you want to avoid staying awake at night because of caffeine, remember that Turkish coffee has high caffeine content. So depending on your situation, it can be a nice coffee option in the morning or you may choose to avoid regular Turkish coffee and opt for decaf instead.

But all those practical concerns aside, let me also quickly talk about the cultural reality of drinking Turkish coffee before we wrap it all up. Although it’s a drink that contains caffeine, Turkish coffee is traditionally consumed at any time of the day; after breakfast, around brunch time, at lunch, in the afternoon or in the evening. Moreover, even though it is like other types of coffee when it comes to “waking you up”, it is a drink that’s enjoyed in a leisurely manner.

So when drinking Turkish coffee, try not to forget about this traditional aspect of it and let it be an enjoyable part of your day, instead of a beverage that you hastily drink.