Coffee is quite often compared to energy drinks to establish which one is the healthiest. Energy drinks often get a bad reputation, but in this article, we are going to look at the facts and compare these two popular drinks. It is coffee vs energy drinks.
Before we continue, we would like to state that it is not our intention to favour coffee over energy drinks or vice versa. Even though this is a coffee lover site, we look at the facts and we aim to be objective.
Coffee vs Energy Drinks
Why are we looking at coffee and energy drinks specifically? Well, they both contain the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug, caffeine. Caffeine has many health benefits when consumed in moderation, but it can also have unwanted side-effects when consumed in large amounts.
Many people are still on the fence as far as coffee and energy drinks are concerned. Energy drinks have been banned from various school campuses, while coffee is still allowed.
But why is this?
Let’s first have a look at the caffeine content in each drink.
Coffee vs Energy Drinks Caffeine
As with coffee, there are quite a variety of energy drinks. But let’s have a look at a typical cup of coffee and a popular energy drink brand.
A standard 240ml cup of brewed coffee has 96mg of caffeine, whereas a 240ml energy drink has 80mg of caffeine.
A standard 30ml espresso has 60mg of caffeine, and a 30ml energy drink only has 10mg of caffeine.
By looking at the figures above, we can see that generally speaking, coffee has more caffeine than energy drinks.
But why do energy drinks get such a bad rep, and not coffee? Well, caffeine is not the only substance found in energy drinks.
Energy Drinks Ingredients
Besides caffeine, energy drinks contain various other ingredients.
But the ingredient we will focus on is sugar. A standard can of energy drink from a popular brand contains 54mg of sugar. That amounts to 13 and a half teaspoons. While coffee can also have sugar in it, it won’t amount to that much sugar.
With the added sugar, a high amount of calories is also found in energy drinks. If we once again take a look at a can of energy drink from a popular brand, you will see that it has 110 calories. And yes, certain types of coffee like a latte can have that amount of calories as well.
But here’s the thing.
With coffee, you can choose which type of coffee you will like to drink. Certain types of coffee have varying amounts of caffeine. You can also choose what types of additives, like sugar or milk, you want to add to your coffee.
This is not the case with energy drinks. When you opt for an energy drink, you don’t get to choose how much sugar you’d like to add. And while there are energy drinks with less caffeine than others, your choices are limited compared to coffee.
But let’s not make energy drinks the bad guy in this comparison.
Consume in Moderation
As with coffee, you should consume energy drinks in moderation. The occasional energy drink won’t do you harm, but overindulgence will lead to unwanted side-effects. It is generally safe to consume up to 400mg of caffeine per day, however, with the added sugar in energy drinks you should be extra careful when consuming multiple energy drinks per day.
Looking at the information above, it is safe to say that energy drinks generally have less caffeine than most types of coffee. But the deciding factor here for most would be the added sugar in energy drinks. As with coffee, consume energy drinks in moderation. If you have an existing health condition, please check with your doctor first before consuming either coffee or energy drinks.