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Are Energy Drinks Worse Than Coffee? (The Truth)

Cans of different energy drinks
Energy drinks are considered worse than coffee because of their severe side effects

Energy drinks gained popularity because of their effects on the human brain, the ingredients included in energy drinks help in providing a boost of energy and keep you hydrated throughout the day. Besides energy drinks, coffee can also be a reliable source of energy.

Consuming energy drinks comes with a price that your health has to pay. It’s certainly true that energy drinks are worse than coffee, because coffee only contains caffeine in a moderate dose, while energy drinks include huge doses of caffeine, sugar, taurine, and other ingredients.

To give you an idea of how worse energy drinks are than coffee, several deaths have been reported that are associated with the daily consumption of energy drinks. In contrast, coffee caused nothing more than insomnia and constipation.

Now, don’t get me wrong, coffee can easily cause heart attacks or strokes if consumed in excessive doses, but it’s extremely rare.

The first case regarding lethal caffeine intoxication was observed in 1959, which discovered the accidental death of a young woman, followed by an intravenous administration of caffeine.

Energy drinks on the other hand have caused more deaths than coffee. For instance, Monster energy drink has faced several lawsuits as there have been deaths linked to regular consumption of Monster.

Stay with me while I dig into more differences between energy drinks and coffee. Let’s begin!

What Is Worse For You Red Bull Or Coffee?

Red Bull is the most consumed energy drink and has the largest market share. Red Bull is quite a well-known energy drink brand, it has evolved and launched many flavors since it came out.

One can of 8.4 oz Red Bull includes 80 mg of caffeine, 27 g of sugar, 1 g of taurine, and 110 calories. Coffee, on the other hand, contains 94.8 mg of caffeine with only 1 calorie per every 8 ounces.

Coffee may have a larger dose of caffeine than Red Bull, but Red Bull contains 27 g of sugar which is a much higher dose than the recommended limit. Moreover, the calorie content is high as well, so all things considered, Red Bull is worse than coffee.

Red Bull is harmful for us in many ways
Red Bull is harmful to us in many ways

Check out the nutritional facts of Red Bull to know more about it:

Typical ValuesRed Bull
(8.4 fl.oz)
Energy110 calories
(Of which Saturated)
0 g
(0 g)
(Of which Sugars)
28 g
(27 g)
Caffeine80 mg
Taurine1 g
Sodium105 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)22 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)5.05 mg
Vitamin B65.05 mg
Vitamin B125.1 µg
Nutrition facts about Red Bull

While coffee can only cause side effects like insomnia and jitteriness only when consumed in excessive doses, the consumption of Red Bull has been connected with much worse side effects.

Check out this video where two doctors differentiate between coffee and energy drinks.

Two doctors share their perspectives on energy drinks and coffee

Here’s a list of side effects that can be caused by immoderate consumption of Red Bull:

  • It can increase blood pressure and heart rate.
  • It may increase type 2 diabetes risk.
  • It may damage your teeth.
  • It may negatively affect kidney health.
  • It may increase high-risk behavior.
  • It can cause caffeine overdose and possible toxicity.

Should I Switch From Energy Drinks To Coffee?

Coffee beans scattered around a cup of coffee
Coffee can be much healthier than energy drinks

The common ingredient found in energy drinks and coffee is caffeine. Caffeine is often included in high doses of such beverages.

The effects of caffeine on the human brain are what make people consume more caffeine, whether it’s from energy drinks or coffee.

However, consuming caffeine from coffee can be a better decision as they are much more dangerous ingredients in energy drinks than caffeine.

Although, caffeine should always be consumed in moderation as excessive caffeine consumption can lead to side effects like:

  • Restlessness and shakiness.
  • Insomnia.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fast heart rate.
  • Dehydration.
  • Anxiety.
  • Dependency.

Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the brain and the Central Nervous System in ways that makes you more focused and energized. Nonetheless, caffeine is also making you depend on it which has its side effects.

For instance, caffeine dependency can make you starve to more and more caffeine every day which ultimately increases your daily dose. This can cause severe health complications, like heart attacks and strokes.

Thus, keep your caffeine consumption in moderation, whether it’s from energy drinks or coffee.

Is Sugar-Free Red Bull Worse Than Coffee?

Acan of Red Bull placed beside a glass and a laptop
Coffee is much healthier than the Original Red Bull as well as the Sugar-Free Red Bull

Many energy drink brands create no-sugar energy drinks, and Red Bull has one as well. The only difference between the Original Red Bull and the Sugar-Free Red Bull is of sugar.

The Original Red Bull has 27 g of sugar with an artificial sweetener called Sucralose, while the Sugar-Free version only contains Sucralose.

Red Bull Sugar-free isn’t generally better or worse than coffee, with this version you basically have to keep track of how much you are consuming it. Sugar-Free Red Bull may not contain any sugar, but it has other ingredients that can be harmful if consumed in immoderate doses.

However, coffee is typically much healthier for many people, as it contains no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or colors.

Furthermore, a good amount of coffee can provide several benefits as it’s a rich source of antioxidants.

Can Too Much Caffeine Cause Side Effects?

Caffeine is a devil in disguise, the more you consume it, the greater will be the side effects. The excessive dose is different for everyone, some people are able to process 400 mg of caffeine, while others can’t even process 80 mg.

Nonetheless, too much caffeine has never boded well for anyone, there have been several health complications for consuming a dose of caffeine that your system isn’t familiar with and can cause a number of side effects.

Here’s a list of side effects that can be caused by caffeine overdose:

  • Feeling more awake and alert.
  • Reeling restless and anxious.
  • Increased irritability.
  • Increase in body temperature.
  • Dehydration.
  • Severe headaches.
  • Faster breathing.
  • Increased heart rate.

According to the FDA, healthy adults should limit their caffeine consumption to 400 mg per day.

What Are The Side Effects Of Too Much Sugar?

Four cans of Monster Energy drink
Sugar is the same as caffeine, too much sugar can cause health complications

Sugar is the main ingredient included in energy drinks in order to mask the bitterness of certain ingredients, however, it’s also included to add another source of energy, besides caffeine.

Sugar is included in huge doses in many energy drinks, which can be bad for human health and can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

For instance, an 8-ounce of Red Bull has 27 g of sugar, and a 16-ounce can of Monster has 50 g of sugar. Furthermore, according to the AHA, women should consume 25 of sugar, while men should consume 36 g per day.

As you can see for yourself that, energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster contain high doses of sugar for such moderate sizes.

Red Bull and Monster are also the most consumed energy drink, thus I advise you to check the nutritional facts of such energy drinks.

Here’s a list of side effects that are associated with excessive sugar consumption:

  • Headaches.
  • Irritability.
  • Fatigue and difficulty concentrating.
  • Feeling jittery or anxious.
  • Feeling shaky or dizzy.
  • Hunger.
  • Bloating.
  • Higher blood pressure.
  • Inflammation.
  • Weight gain.
  • Diabetes.
  • Fatty liver disease.
  • Increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

Alternatives to Energy Drinks

A man taking out a can of energy drink from a freezer in a store
Green tea have many health benefits unlike energy drink, so choose wisely

Energy drinks aren’t entirely bad for you, how much you consume them is what matters and can cause some potential health complications.

However, I understand, if you’re looking for some alternatives, so check out the list below:

  • Green Smoothies.
  • Fruit Smoothies.
  • Green Tea.
  • Fruit Juices.
  • Herbal Teas.
  • Kombucha.

In addition, if you don’t really want to switch to the above-mentioned drinks, you can start consuming energy drinks that are low in caffeine and sugar.

So, check out the list below for some low caffeinated and low sugar content energy drinks:

  • OCA
  • Aspire Healthy Energy
  • Shine
  • ZOA Energy
  • Zevia Zero Calorie Energy
  • Zipfizz Healthy Energy Drink Mix
  • Marquis Sugar-Free Sparkling Yerba Mate Drink


  • Energy drinks are worse than coffee because, besides caffeine, energy drinks contain many other ingredients that can be harmful to you.
  • An 8-ounce serving of coffee contains 98 mg of caffeine with only 1 calorie, while an 8.4 oz can of Red Bull has 80 mg of caffeine, 27 g of sugar, 110 calories, and 1 g of taurine.
  • Red bull also contains artificial sweeteners and colors.
  • If you want to switch to coffee, you should do it if you consume energy drinks in immoderate amounts. Coffee can be a great substitute for energy drinks.
  • Coffee can also provide the same boost of energy that you require, so consuming energy drinks is just unnecessary.
  • Energy drinks are far worse than coffee, in fact, there have been several deaths that linked to the regular consumption of Monster energy drinks.
  • However, coffee can also cause some side effects, but they won’t be as severe as the ones that you will probably get from energy drinks.
  • Consume energy drinks in moderation, if you want to avoid any health complications.

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