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Energy Drinks vs. Coffee (A Clear Comparison)

Coffee is associated more strongly with the morning time, while energy drinks are associated with exercise and waking up late at night. However, you may be asking yourself which drink is the better option.

Whether you’re a coffee or energy drink fan, there’s no denying they’re both fantastic, having their own benefits. Next, it is time to ask: Does coffee give you more benefits than energy drinks?

To shortly answer the question: both of these drinks are equally good and it’s just a matter of personal taste when choosing between them.

Are you curious about how I came to this conclusion?

Read on to discover how energy drinks and coffee differ and how they are similar.

Coffee: What is it?

Infusion, decoction, or percolation can be used to produce a caffeinated beverage made from ground or roasted seeds from a coffee plant.

Around the world, 2.25 billion people drink coffee daily, according to various studies.

 Many health benefits are attributed to coffee, such as reducing the risk of diabetes, liver disease, and heart disease. However, no credible evidence supports these claims.

Health Benefits Of Coffee

Pros and Cons of Coffee

Let’s examine coffee’s advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

Consuming coffee has the following benefits

  • Extends life span
  • May process glucose better
  • It may help ward off heart failure

Cons

Cons of drinking coffee include

  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attack

Energy Drinks vs. Coffee: Nutritional Facts

The composition of coffee is mainly caffeine, whereas energy drinks contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.

To provide an overview of the nutritional information of both energy drinks and coffee, the following table is provided.

Energy drinksCoffee
CaffeineAntioxidants
Vitamin CVitamins
Vitamin EDiterpenes
Vitamin B12Caffeine
Thiamine
Riboflavin
Niacin
Vitamin B6
Nutritional Information

When you examine the ingredients in energy drinks, you see that it contains more than coffee. In addition to having a moderate caffeine content, energy drinks have low sugar content, low calories, and also essential vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins in Energy Drinks vs. Coffee 

Neither energy drinks nor coffee lack vitamins in their formulas,

but on a varying scale. A cup of coffee has 21% of vitamins, which is a fair amount.

Energy drinks rich in vitamins
Energy drinks-more rich in vitamins

The energy drink formula contains 42% vitamins, including enough vitamin B12. Energy drinks contain more vitamins than coffee.

Vitamin B12, however, is necessary for numerous bodily functions. Nutritionists consider Vitamin B12 to be one of the most essential vitamins. This vitamin is responsible for:

  • Improving the functioning of the nervous system
  • Enhancing the ability to think
  • Improving eyesight
  • Preventing eyes from muscular deterioration
  • Producing red blood cells

Vitamin B12 is also free of side effects. In our bodies, the lack of this vitamin can cause these health problems:

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Mood swings
  • Memory issues

Antioxidants

The formula of coffee contains two powerful antioxidants: chlorogenic antioxidants that protect the heart from diseases.

Your blood levels of antioxidants rise when you drink coffee because of chlorogenic acid and melanoidins. Antioxidants like acid and melanoidin are being researched.

Caffeine in Energy Drinks Compared to Coffee

Energy drinks and coffee both contain caffeine as a predominant ingredient.

Caffeine has recently been suggested to be beneficial for our cognitive abilities and alertness, as well as protecting against diseases such as Parkinson’s and Type 2 diabetes.

Coffee and energy drinks contain mostly the same amount of caffeine, but sometimes they differ greatly. There is almost as much caffeine in one serving of energy drinks as in one cup of black coffee.

Caffeine increases energy, alertness, focus, and activity by inhibiting the action of adenosine. Your brain contains an amino acid called adenosine, which prevents you from feeling tired.

When caffeine is consumed, it stimulates the brain and nervous system and prevents adenosine from functioning. The result is increased energy and focus at work.

Energy drinks are packed with around 100mg of caffeine or even more, so they give you a lot of energy, and this amount won’t put you at risk of overdosage.

Caffeine in excess can be damaging to your health. Therefore, if you consume 400 mg of caffeine per day, the FDA recommends that you reduce your consumption.

The following are some problems you may encounter:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Caffeine Addiction
  • Depression
  • Heart attack

Calories

Calories don’t necessarily indicate an unhealthy food or drink (calories keep your body functioning), however. In addition, you need to pay attention to where your calories are coming from and seek out filling, healthy foods. A cup of black coffee contains zero calories, whereas a can of a typical energy drink like Monster contains 110 calories, mainly from its high sugar content.

Drinking energy drinks occasionally isn’t bad, especially if you have no other alternative – it’s almost like drinking soda.

A decision on whether to drink energy drinks versus coffee should be made based on the fact that coffee has a natural caffeine source. If you drink coffee black, you don’t have to worry about calories, sugar, or additives.

Sugar

In the case of sugar, when you drink coffee, you have easy control over how much sugar is in your drink, whereas energy drinks can have anything from no sugar at all to 54 grams of sugar per serving, as demonstrated by Monster Energy Drink.

The story will be quite different if you take canned coffee, where for example, Nescafe’s canned coffee contains 11.1g of sugar per 8.11 oz, which cannot be altered.

If I exclude sugar-free energy drinks, coffee would win because it has lower sugar content; however, if I include them, sugar-free energy drinks would be superior.

However, do remember to follow AHA‘s recommended maximum sugar intake at all times, whether you’re drinking energy drinks or coffee:

GenderMaximum daily intake
Men150kcal / 37.5g / 9 tsp
Women100kcal / 25g / 6 tsp
Recommendation

In any case, you may encounter adverse reactions that are harmful to your health, including:

  • Weight gain
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Acne
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Increased risk of cancer

Health and Safety

When it comes to whether it is unhealthy to drink energy drinks or coffee at a certain age or demographic, it really depends.

Both drinks contain caffeine and there is a possibility that adolescents may become caffeine-toxic through unsupervised consumption.

In addition to age, consumption of highly caffeinated energy drinks or coffee is strongly discouraged when you are pregnant since research suggests they may contribute to premature birth.

Due to this, neither beverage is completely safe for adolescents or pregnant women to consume, and as such, I would say that energy drinks and coffee are equal in that regard.

In any case, if you want to have an energy drink while you’re pregnant, you can refer to the article that I’ve written regarding drinking.

Where Can You Buy Them?

Coffee and energy drinks are readily available almost anywhere. To make things easier, you can either buy them at your local store, or you can order them online.

In the event you want a better price or prefer to have the items shipped to your home, I recommend purchasing them online.

If you’re a true coffee connoisseur, you might even consider brewing it yourself from scratch at home, something that may take some time but is well worth the effort if you’re a coffee enthusiast.

There is also powdered coffee and energy drinks, which you can prepare yourself instead of using canned versions, giving you more freedom of customization.

In contrast to energy drinks that come in a set formulation, powdered coffee is available as either a pure black drink or one that is premixed with sugar and creamer.

Although you can definitely add more sugar to powdered energy drinks, I find that unnecessary since energy drinks generally come with enough flavor as it is.

Effects of Coffee and Energy Drinks

As with both coffee and energy drinks, there are many effects, some good and some bad. The positives come first.

Coffee-numerous benefits
Coffee-numerous benefits

Coffee is a beverage that comes with a wide range of benefits. The following are a few of them.

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Liver disease, including liver cancer
  • Heart attack and stroke

Drinking energy drinks can provide you with several benefits, including

  • A boost in energy levels
  • Improved concentration and memory
  • Faster post-workout recovery
  • Improved mood

On the other hand, too much coffee or too much energy drink can also have some nasty side effects. The good news is that by knowing your limit and controlling yourself, you can avoid negative consequences.

There are several undesirable effects of coffee, including:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Increase in blood sugar levels
  • Acid reflux
  • Heartburn

There are quite a few potential side effects I can think of, but from what I’ve seen, they’re quite risky.

You may suffer from some health problems from energy drinks, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia

Which One Is More Beneficial?

A cup of coffee will get you going in the morning, and an energy drink will give you that extra kick of energy to work out or stay up the following night. Actually what you are looking for that matters.

Ultimately, neither stands out clearly over the other, and it depends on your personal preferences and which occasion you’re drinking for.

It’s not recommended to drink excessive amounts of either of these, as you might suffer some negative consequences if you drink too much of either.

Make sure to not overdo either and suffer from some of the most detrimental effects.

Alternatives

Last Thoughts

Energy drinks are my preferred choice over coffee since they offer an all-over boost that coffee lacks. Having a set composition is just a preference for me since I feel more at ease knowing what I’m drinking.

Additionally, I can control the amount of caffeine I drink by choosing an energy drink with the amount of caffeine I prefer.

My opinion may differ from yours, however.

I think it usually comes down to taste preferences when deciding whether to drink an energy drink or a cup of coffee.

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