Dietary caffeine intake has been suggested as a risk factor for bone loss in postmenopausal women. We measured the bone density of both hips and the total body in 138 healthy, postmenopausal women aged 55-70 y who had either never used hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or had used HRT for < 1 y. In this cross-sectional study, participants were stratified according to their reported current and long-time caffeinated beverage use into one of three groups: low [0-2 cups (180 mL, or 6 oz per cup) caffeinated coffee per day], moderate (3-4 cups caffeinated coffee per day), or high (> or = 5 cups caffeinated coffee per day). Caffeine intake was measured from diet records and by gas chromatography of each subject's brewed, caffeinated beverages. No association between caffeine intake and any bone measurement was observed. The anthropometric and nutrient intakes of the three groups were similar. Compared with caffeine intake based on chemical analysis of brewed beverages, 3-d prospective food records and computer-assisted analysis overestimated caffeine intake by nearly two-thirds. In conclusion, the habitual dietary caffeine intake of this cohort of 138 postmenopausal women ranged from 0-1400 mg/d and was not associated with total body or hip bone mineral density measurements. This study does not support the notion that caffeine is a risk factor for bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women.