Coffee VS Energy Drinks (What’s The Best For You?)

The battle between coffee and energy drinks is a really controversial topic. Both drinks offer a particular taste, flavor, and effects, but there are quite a few differences too.

Coffee is a popular stimulant that jumpstarts your brain function. It’s primarily composed of antioxidants, riboflavin, magnesium, and potassium.

In comparison, energy drinks are high in sugar and often come with plenty of carbohydrates, calories, caffeine, taurine, ginseng, yerba mate, and B12.

Coffee contains caffeine, but energy drinks do have higher sugar content. At the end of the day, people gravitate towards both of these drinks because they want a surefire way to keep their energy up.

But which is the best drink?

In this article, I will be weighing in on the age-old debate between coffee and energy drink to help you figure out which one would suit your taste and needs.

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Which Has More Caffeine?

Energy drinks contain more caffeine but not by much.

Caffeine is an N-Compound that works like a natural stimulant. It contains theophylline and theobromine that are two major muscle relaxants.

Of all the other psychoactive stimulating drugs, caffeine is the legal and regularly consumed one.

Although caffeine is legally regulated, overconsumption can bring some negative side effects. You can read my articles on this subject that delve into the addictive properties of caffeine and how withdrawal can affect you.

There’s 40 mg of caffeine in every 100 grams of coffee. But this can vary depending on how the coffee is prepared.

This can cause caffeine content to range from 30 mg to 237 mg in a single cup of coffee.

So, yes!

Coffee does contain a pretty good amount of caffeine enough to get you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed every morning.

Energy drinks contain about 31 mg caffeine per 100 grams, which again, can vary from drink to drink.

While some energy drinks contain almost 111 to 350 mg of caffeine per can, there are some energy drinks that contain 180 mg per shot!

Now, that’s an energy boost. You can watch this video on energy drinks to know more about their effects on the body.

Get to know how the many energy drink branks differ.

On average, though, coffee typically has a higher caffeine content than energy drinks. This means that coffee can give you more of an energy boost.

How Many Cups of Coffee is Equivalent to a Monster?

A can of 16 fl. oz. Monster Energy Drink

Monster Energy Drink is one of the most recognizable energy drink brands in the market right now. A regular-sized can of Monster is more or less equal to one cup of coffee.

An 8-ounce serving of Monster contains 92 mg of caffeine, which equates to the 100 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup of coffee.

Coffee Or Energy Drinks To Stay Awake?

Energy drinks are handy and can give you a quick energy boost, but coffee can sustain you longer without any additional ingredients!

Energy drinks are chockful of sugar, calories, and carbohydrates. They are also highly-processed while coffee doesn’t need as much additives or sweeteners to give you a good, clean energy boost.

Here’s a table detailing all the basic elements that make up coffee and energy drinks.

Coffee Caffeine
Chlorogenic acids
Carbohydrates (Not added)
Energy DrinksCaffeine
Ginseng (A Chinese herb)
Yerba mate
Vitamin B12, etcetera
Coffee contains more caffeine without all the unnecessary additives.

When looking at the table, it does seem like energy drinks have a lot going for them. But the addition of minerals like B12 and taurine is considered arbitrary as they can be found in a regular, balanced diet anyway.

Coffee Or Energy Drinks To Study?

Caffeine from coffee can give you a much-needed cognitive boost when studying.

Studying requires concentration and according to some physicians, energy drinks do not help boost attention better than a cup of coffee does.

But a study has revealed that small amounts of energy drink is enough to improve memory and concentration.

Some energy drink brands advertise that their added ingredients can further enhance the drink’s energizing properties. However, you should take these claims with a grain of salt because there is not enough scientific evidence to support these statements.

Cup of coffee on a desk
Coffee can give you that daily caffeine boost without all the artificial flavors and sweeteners.

Is Coffee Healthier Than Energy Drinks?

Coffee is definitely healthier than energy drinks.

Coffee has more health benefits than energy drinks. It contains a small amount of calories and is a freshly brewed beverage that requires no preservatives.

These are the health benefits of coffee:

  • prevents Type 2 Diabetes
  • lowers the risk of Parkinson’s Disease and liver cancer.
  • improves cardiovascular health
  • anti-inflammatory properties
  • important antioxidants

On the other hand, energy drinks are highly processed and contain various preservatives and chemicals. The added artificial sweeteners also bump the calorie count.

Coffee VS Sugar-Free Energy Drinks

I choose coffee over sugar-free energy drinks because of its natural ingredients.

People often ask if sugar-free drinks are good for their health because they don’t contain any carbohydrates.

I would say that sugar-free energy drinks are less harmful to your health than regular energy drinks that contain added sugar. Plus, the other additives in sugar-free energy drinks can still be harmful.

Too much L-Carnitine can actually increase your chances of getting cardiovascular issues.

Furthermore, brands have not been accurate in specifying the amounts of these artificial additives. This means that these additives are not regulated well at all.

What is the healthiest energy drink you can drink?

Amongst my top choices for healthy energy drinks are Ora Renewable Energy, Toro Matcha Sparkling Ginger, and the Yerba Mate with Citrus and Hibiscus.

Some brands actually make more natural and healthier energy drinks because they contain no added sugar, artificial flavors, and minimal caffeine content.

First up is Sound Sparkling Organic Yerba Maté with Citrus and Hibiscus, which is a naturally sweet and light energy drink. The lemon and lime notes add a fun flavor too!

If you’re a big fan of matcha, give Toro Matcha Sparkling Ginger a try. It’s made from organic lemon, ginger, and tasty Japanese matcha. The drink gives more of a subtle energy boost, which makes it perfect for those who are caffeine-sensitive.

Finally, if you wanna get physical, Ora Renewable Energy is an ideal pre-workout energy drink. It’s certified vegan and organic, and it gives you that workout energy boost without all the artificial chemicals.

However, it’s also important to note that these energy drinks may be a bit pricier than your regular brands.

Is Coffee Or Energy Drinks Worse?

I’d have to say that from the severity and number of negative side effects that energy drinks pose a more significant risk than coffee.

Coffee is no stranger to negative side effects like insomnia, headaches, anxiety, and increased cholesterol levels. However, most of these side effects come from overconsumption.

Energy drinks also have downsides from their ingredients that include:

  • irregular heartbeat
  • increased blood pressure and glucose
  • dental erosion
  • increased risk of obesity
  • heartburn

In fact, numbers show that in the U.S., energy drink-related patient cases have doubled.

Final Thoughts

We’ve all been there: having to stay up late to finish a school assignment or a project at work. During these times, we pray to the gods for a way to stay awake. We usually turn to either coffee or energy drinks for this.

However, the conversation surrounding these two has always highlighted questions like, “which one will make me stay awake longer?” or “which one is more healthy?”

The process of finding the answers has prompted all of us to look closer at their glaring differences.

Yes, they do both provide a delicious caffeine boost, but the devil is in the details as they say. Inspecting their ingredients, energy drinks contain a lot of artificial additives that are either sugary or often unnecessary.

Meanwhile, I’d have to say that from the severity and number of negative side effects that energy drinks pose a more significant risk than coffee

Coffee at its purest is pretty much straightforward in its ingredients. The potential health concerns actually come down to the amount of sweeteners one would use or how much caffeine is being consumed every day.

Furthermore, coffee provides more health benefits. And let’s get real: nothing compares to the aroma and taste of a freshly-brewed cuppa, right?

So finally, the verdict: coffee is the clear winner here.

Both drinks have their own pros and cons, but at the end of the day, coffee is more beneficial to people.

This doesn’t mean though that you should just chuck your Red Bulls away. With proper moderation (for both coffee and energy drink), there’s no reason why you can’t have the best of both worlds!

Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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