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Coffee vs Energy Drinks

Even with the ease of science and technology, we have found it very difficult to have our lives organized. It almost seems like our lives are choked with activities that are beyond our control. From keeping up with our social life to our academics.

coffee vs energy drinks.

From studying for tests and exams to reading for pleasure. We don’t run out of things to do, and sometimes these things can be tiring that sometimes when we start them we get tired, stop, and sometimes we just fall asleep while doing some of these things which could include important things that we have to be hundred percentage alert for.

When these things happen, some of us wish we could just get something to ignite and boost our energy levels, so that we can complete this task. The need for these energy boos has caused a lot of debate between people about which is the best energy booster to raise alertness level and keep you focused, Coffee or Energy drinks?

We all have our preferences and for some reason, we have justified them with different reasons and statistics, and some don’t even justify it with statistics, they just outrightly justify it on how they feel. The different excuses people have created have put some people at a disadvantage in knowing which one to choose to boost their energy levels and refresh them.

If you’re don’t know the best one to choose or if you’re looking for the best one in this debate, please read on as we would be talking about them in a bit.

Is There a Discrimination Between Coffee and Energy Drinks?

Coffee is seen as a white knight while energy drinks are perceived as the wicked black knights that would do anything to get what they want. Some schools have banned the consumption of energy drinks on their campus while coffee is highly welcomed.

These situations and laws have raised questions and will continue to raise questions, are energy drinks being discriminated against?

People who take a lot of energy drinks would agree with this and emotionally defend and justify why they take it stating facts about the amount of caffeine each drink contains. In a cup of coffee, you would find caffeine up to 18mg while energy drinks contain just 10mg of caffeine.

Looking at this statistic, you would emotionally justify and go for energy drinks because it has less caffeine, and you would be right to opt-in for energy drinks, because the less, the better. But that’s not the only thing we would consider if we want to accurately debate coffee vs energy drinks.

A standard energy drink has up to 54 grams of sugar which could be approximated into almost 13 teaspoons of sugar. All this sugar is coupled with some other ingredients like dyes and amino acids. Something else has established coffee as the go-to drink and this is because it has been studied, researched and its benefits checked and cross-checked to make sure they are good for consumption. Energy drinks have not been researched that much, most of us don’t know the positives and negatives it has, unlike coffee.

A lot of other things have contributed to it, like coffee being sipped and energy drinks being gulped at once, which kick starts the effect of the caffeine while the effects in coffee are gradual. It might look like a minor reason, but it cannot be overlooked either.

While both drinks have their negatives, they are always projected more than what they are by the media.

Why is Coffee Perceived as the White Knight?

The first thing I always mention when the coffee vs energy drink debate starts is that the caffeine in coffee comes naturally like coffee itself. It has not been synthesized by using any kind of chemicals. Several brands of ready-to-make coffee put a few additives into the coffee, but mostly coffee has no additives. Another edge is that it contains some nutrients that are important for our health like vitamins B2, B5, magnesium, niacin, and potassium. Even with the number of nutrients and substances that it contains, its calorie count is zero. It doesn’t have any calories.

An interesting thing about coffee is that you get to control what you take. You can drink coffee strong or weakly by controlling how you prepare it. In addition to this, you also get to decide how much sugar you want. If you are watching your intake of sugar, then you don’t have to put it.

With energy drinks, everything, from caffeine to sugar and other additives has been prepared and added that you don’t have a say in how much of them you want, once you take the energy drink, you have already taken the wholeness of the preparatory ingredients.

We can also talk about how you can save your money when you take coffee. An already prepared coffee can’t be left to sit or it goes bitter, so you prepare the little amount you want at that time. How does this help you save money? When you buy a packet of coffee, you decide how much of it you want to take, and no matter how small the contents are, you can’t use it all at once or it gets too thick. So you cut costs by using it little by little and saving the rest for later.

Why Should Energy Drinks Another White Knight?

Everyone knows coffee is an ancient drink, but it can never become old-fashioned because of its numerous benefits. Energy drinks, however, are recently becoming popular in the way that they boost energy faster than coffee. Coffee requires patience from brewing to drinking it by sipping on it or waiting for it to cool down before taking it. Its effect is gradual while that of energy drinks is instant. The instant effect of coffee is what makes it the energy boost that everyone wants, but one of its downsides is the sugar crash that eventually follows after the effects of caffeine wear off.

Caffeine in Coffee vs Caffeine in Energy Drinks

First, let’s paint a picture of what caffeine is. Caffeine is a chemical substance naturally occurring in tea and coffee, and it acts as a stimulant a trigger for our brain to be alert. This is what happens when you take coffee or an energy drink. The caffeine triggers the brain to give you more energy and keep you alert and focused to do your work. The only downside to the benefits of increasing your hours of study and the rate at which you’re focused, it can disturb your sleep pattern. This downside is why it is recommended that an adult shouldn’t take more than 400mg of caffeine in a day.

What is the Amount of Caffeine in a Cup of Coffee?

The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee depends on the size of the coffee. To get to the normal 400 mg caffeine mark, you’d have to drink up to 4 cups of coffee of regular size. But there are coffee shops that make use of large cups to serve coffee. An example of this is Starbucks coffee and one serving contains 250 mg of caffeine. 

What is the Amount of Caffeine in a Can of Energy Drink?

Like every other product in the world with almost the same ingredients, the different brands of energy drinks contain different amounts of caffeine. However, Red Bull and Monster energy drinks have up to 80 mg of caffeine in a can. What this means is that coffee has more caffeine and would release more boost than energy drinks.

We have considered some factors to determine which one is better for consumption, but there are other factors we have to mention. Factors like, the amount of sugar in each drink, the other ingredients that are present in them, the calories they contain, and their side effects.

What is the Amount of Sugar in Each Drink?


The amazing thing about coffee and why it is loved by food nutritionists and even health practitioners is the fact that coffee is naturally sugar-free. Why is this both interesting and fantastic at the same time, I’ll show you. Coffee itself has no sugar at all, not a tiny bit: this gives you a great opportunity to control how you want your coffee to taste. If you don’t like much sugar, you use little, but if you don’t like sugar at all, then you go black and strong. It’s like having a creative ability over the drink, you get to experiment and try things out as you please. This ability to try things out is not possible with energy drinks.

Energy Drinks:

We know that the amount of ingredients used by different brands of energy drinks varies, so they can’t have the same amount of sugar. But, the popular energy drink Red Bull has up to 26 grams of sugar while the large can of Monster – another energy drink – has up to 54 grams of sugar. It is also important to note that, the maximum amount of sugar recommended is 12 teaspoons in a day. Using a teaspoon to measure the amount of sugar in a monster can would leave us at 14 teaspoons, which is way above the recommended amount.

Other Ingredients Present in the Drinks

Coffee mostly doesn’t have any additives or preservatives, except the ready-to-made ones produced by some brands. And even with that, coffee doesn’t need preservatives. But if you’re not sure, there are organic coffees that have no preservatives and additives. And if you produce your coffee, then at the place where you grind, you can get coffee that has no additives. There are no additives, but coffee has various vitamins that help the body as well. Vitamins like B2 and V5.

Energy Drinks contain vitamins as well, but they also contain other foreign ingredients, both natural and artificial. They contain different additives, preservatives, flavors, and sometimes even contain dyes to give the drink a great color. Most times, these compounds are unhealthy and the body suffers from their continued use. Other ingredients in energy drinks are ginseng and taurine, which are not even needed by the body.


A calorie is an energy unit contained in any food that we eat or drink. Because they are energy units, they give us the required energy that we need for the day. Amazingly doing physical exercise can help us burn these calories.

A cup of coffee has very few amounts of calories. Mostly up to 5 calories before you add sugar or milk, of course. While a can of Energy Drink contains up to 110 calories. Looking at this, it looks like we would have much energy at our disposal for our activities. But, the opposite is the case because the more calories you take, the more exercise you need to burn them and it is also good to get your calories from healthy sources rather than unhealthy sources. So the best thing is to get your calories and energy boost from coffee.

Side Effects


  • It can disrupt your sleep pattern: the caffeine in coffee makes it a stimulant acting on your brains. This stimulation can disrupt your sleep patterns and this is the reason why it is recommended not to take coffee too often.
  • It increases your heartbeat: one of the other things that coffee does is give you jitters and increases your heart rate as well. Sleepiness is also a side effect of coffee, but all these side effects only happen when you’ve taken too much coffee and at irregular times or too late at night.

Energy Drinks:

Because of the presence of caffeine in both coffee and energy drinks, they almost have the same side effects like sleepiness and disrupting your sleep patterns.

Another thing is that some people, especially college students use energy drinks as a mixture of alcohol. What this mixing does is dull the effect of alcohol and tricking the body to take in more which can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Effects of mixing alcohol with energy drinks are dehydration, alcohol poisoning, and body system breakdown.

Coffee or Energy Drinks? 

I think the answer is obvious. Coffee has less sugar, fewer calories, and doesn’t work as rapidly and faster as energy drinks. Its effects are gradual and lasting. The only edge energy drink has over coffee is that it is easy to drink and sweetened as well.

This is not discriminating against energy drinks, it’s just that coffee is much healthier than energy drinks.

It’s easy to get carried away with the bubble of the things we have to do that we get addicted to, but watch what you take, and drink moderately and responsibly.


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