Espresso VS Energy Drinks (Who Wins?)

Espresso is made from coffee beans meanwhile energy drinks are manufactured and often contain artificial sweeteners. If compared by serving, espresso has more caffeine than an energy drink, however, if compared by the drink as a whole, energy drinks have more caffeine in them.

Occasionally, we all need an added boost of energy. The majority of people drink espresso in the morning to awaken them and reduce drowsiness.

It is also common for people to drink energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster in the midday to refuel their bodies and keep them energized for the remainder of the day.

It’s a known fact that Red Bull is one of the most popular energy drinks in the world and coffee is a mandatory daily beverage for more than half the planet.

But which of the two is better? How about their contents?

Read on as I discuss the pros and cons of both, caffeine levels, and their respective features.

What’s The Difference?

The difference between energy drinks and espresso is that energy drinks are manufactured containing caffeine and artificial sweeteners, meanwhile espresso comes from roasting coffee beans, which are considered to be nature’s energy drink.

Roasted coffee beans are used to make espressos. In the process of brewing coffee grounds packed tightly together with hot water, a concentrated beverage called espresso is created.

In addition to coffee components such as caffeine, this drink also contains a high level of antioxidants. This beverage tastes very bitter and vinegar-like since coffee components are concentrated there.

Espresso can also be used for other coffees because milk or sugar can be added to make a Mocha or Cappuccino, or hot water added to make an Americano.

This can be drunk directly as well. It’s all about preference when it comes to coffee.

This video will tell you more about espressos:

a perfect video who is not familiar with Espresso

Whereas an energy drink is a totally different kind of drink that has the same effects.

Energy drinks are an artificial drink that is non-alcoholic and contains caffeine. It’s a stimulant that provides a much-needed kick of energy especially to athletes and young people who need that extra push while working out or getting through the day.

It tastes sweet and sometimes metallic because of the caffeine. They contain vitamins and minerals that are good for your body.

This video will tell you more about Espresso.

Which Is Stronger?

When comparing the two drinks, espresso is much stronger than any energy drink. Espresso has 2 times more caffeine than a regular can of any energy drink.

Energy drinks are not that strong when compared with espresso. Though they both contain caffeine the way espresso is made makes it stronger.

Coffee powder is very closely packed and then brewed with nearly boiling water. This way more coffee compounds get mixed in the water.

All coffee compounds are active and much more potent this way. On the other hand, energy drinks are not that strong nor have a long-lasting effect.

Which Is Healthier?

Espresso is definitely healthier for you than an energy drink. Though both of these drinks contain vitamins and minerals, when compared, espresso has a lot more benefits. Plus, energy drinks are made artificially and espresso is a natural energy drink.

Energy drinks contain tons of vitamins and minerals that are helpful for your body. But along with this, they also contain artificial sweeteners which can elevate your blood glucose levels immediately.

This can lead to a sugar crash when the energy drink is out of your system making you irritated, hungry, and tired. Moreover, energy drinks are also notorious for giving kidney problems, unstable heartbeat, and addictive intoxication.

Even their sugar-free option might contain less sweetness but more or less has the same effects on your body.

a shot of espresso

Espresso is a totally different energy booster. If you don’t drink an espresso shot with syrups, cream or sugar, you can use this potent pick-me-up drink for many benefits.

It contains many antioxidants that remove toxins from your body and help with maintaining great functionality. It supports a great immunity system and helps in reducing inflammation.

Its regular consumption can protect you from many heart-related diseases and brain-related disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Plus, it aids in weight loss and reduces your chance of having type 2 diabetes.

But keep in mind all these goodies are only available and effective if you consume espresso within limits. Over-dosing on this potent coffee shot can lead to some serious health-related problems.

Which Has More Caffeine?

Energy drinks have less caffeine than espresso. The caffeine level in espresso is 63 mg. This one-shot is 1 fluid ounce. The energy drink has 9 mg of caffeine if taken in the same quantity.  

A regular can of any energy drink is 12 oz and contains about 102 mg of caffeine. But Espresso is usually a shot of 1 oz. Therefore 1 oz of Red Bull contains 9.46 mg of caffeine. Whereas, Espresso contains 63 mg in 1 oz. Crazy right?

It’s advised not to consume more than 400 mg of caffeine in a day. If you drink more than the advised limits, the caffeine can create some serious issues for you. Though each drink’s caffeine content is below the advised limit, if you overconsume either one, it will have drastic effects on your health.

You can read my other article to see how too much caffeine can be bad for you.

Pros And Cons Of Each Drink

Energy drinks and espresso both have their benefits and some negative effects. Energy drinks are synthetic and espresso is natural.

Before we discuss the pros and cons of each kind of drink, let’s clear what is the exact content of each one of them. This way we can compare more easily.

I have made a table with the content of each drink and their respective quantities.

ContentsEspresso 1 ozEnergy Drink 12 oz
Caffeine63 mg100 mg
Artificial Sweeteners0 g36 g
Additional PreservativesNoYes
Protein0 g1 g
Niacin2% of RDI160% of DV
Magnesium2% of RDI12% of DV
Vitamin B214% of RDI0% of DV
Vitamin B32% of RDI0% of DV
Vitamin B56% of RDI0% of DV
Vitamin B60% of RDI360% of DV
Vitamin B120%of RDI120% of DV

Now that you know the exact content of each drink, we can discuss the pros and cons.

Let’s dive deep into energy drinks first.

Pros Of Energy Drink

Energy drink is widely popular around the globe, especially among young people. Its benefits are:

  • Immediate pick me up
  • Great supply of vitamins
  • Uplifts mood
  • Aids in better performance in gym
a man taking out energy drink from the grocery store fridge

Cons Of Energy Drink

Most energy drinks are a great source of vitamins, it isn’t that good if you drink every day. Its negative effects include:

  • Kidney problems
  • Decreased mortality rate
  • Short lived energy boost
  • High dose of sugar
  • Anxiety
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Elevated Sugar crash
  • Irregular heart beat

Now that you know what energy drinks are all about, let’s see what espresso has for us.

Pros Of Espresso

When consumed in limits, espresso can give you many benefits. They’re as follows:

  • High amount of anti-oxidants
  • Uplifts the mood
  • Rich in caffeine
  • Aid in better focus
  • Reduces weight
  • Supports long term memory
  • Protects against many diseases like diabetes, heart related issues, and nervous system disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  •  Reduces the risk for stroke
a shot of espresso

Cons of Espresso

Espresso consumed in small quantities or in advised limits can do no harm to your health. But, if you’ve lost track of how many shots of espresso you consumed in a day, it can lead to negative effects like:

  • Heartburn
  • Ulcers
  • Jitteriness
  • Nausea
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Glucose levels
  • Kidney problems

Difference In Taste

Espresso is bitter and tart and energy drinks mostly taste sweet yet a bit fruity. Espresso does not come in any other flavor but energy drinks have many flavors like Berry, Apple, Coconut, and many more

Energy Drinks have a sweetness to them. The regular cans of energy drinks can taste like bitter coffee to some people because of the caffeine. Its general flavor profile has some tartness with cough syrupy vibes.

But unlike espresso, it has other flavors to offer. Each flavored offered has its own unique respective taste. You can choose any flavor to try if you don’t like the original Red Bull. On the other hand, espresso is very sharp yet bitter in taste. It has a lot of tartness because of the way it gets brewed.

All the coffee compounds are jam-packed therefore resulting in this lemony and bitter-tasting concoction. But if espresso is used as a base for making any other drink, you can make it sweet with sugar or syrups and less tart with cream and milk.

Final Thoughts

Energy drinks and espresso both are great sources of caffeine and can give you a jolt of energy. But consuming energy drinks more often has a downside.

Most young people face a sugar crash because of how much the sugar levels get increased when energy drinks enter your body. You can also face kidney problems and may become pre-diabetic if it gets out of hand.

Plus, young people get hooked on energy drinks like Red Bull much more than espresso. So, just drink both of these under limits and you shouldn’t face any health-related problems. 

But espresso does not have such harsh effects when consumed in moderation. It helps you lose weight and protects you from many diseases like diabetes. In short, striking a balance and drinking both of these drinks in moderation if consuming regularly is the key here.

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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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