Macchiato VS Energy Drinks (A Fair Comparison)

A cup of macchiato and cans of energy drinks.

It’s a very common act nowadays to have a can of energy drink or cup of coffee while piling through loads of sheets or work on a busy day.

Not only does the caffeinated boost offered by the drinks give you better endurance, but also a better sense of productivity overall.

Macchiato is a coffee variety that is popular due to its rich flavor. The natural caffeine, nutrients, and boosting effect of the drink make it as strong as the available energy drinks in the market.

If you’re on the fence about the drinks, this article may help you in getting a detailed explanation of how to choose the best drink for you.

Short Answer: Both macchiato and energy drinks are good sources of energy boost depending on how much you’re having them.

Let’s continue to have a more detailed discussion on the topic.

Is Macchiato A Coffee?

a glass of macchiato in front of a sign that says 'Have a break'

Macchiato is a popular and commonly consumed coffee beverage.

It’s derived from an Italian word.

The drink has a bolder and much darker flavor than many coffee varieties. It is also known as the Caffe Macchiato or Espresso Macchiato.

Contrast to regular coffee, it contains less steamed milk and a larger amount of espresso shots. As it contains a relatively small amount of milk, the flavor is much stronger than typical varieties. Read the article that I wrote to know more about macchiato.

What are The Ingredients of the Two Beverages?

Macchiato is just steamed milk and espresso. Like any other coffee variety, it contains coffee beans in the form of an espresso base and whole steamed milk over it.

The best point while drinking macchiato or any coffee variety is that you can strengthen or weaken the flavor according to your preference. That means you can control the ingredients that you want to be in your drink.

Macchiato has little to no preservatives and limits the addition of unhealthy ingredients. If your macchiato is prepared with organic coffee beans, it will have zero additives and preservatives.

It also contains important vitamins such as vitamin B2 and vitamin V5 and nutrients such as niacin, magnesium, and potassium. On the other hand, most of the energy drink contains similar ingredients that are mostly derived from artificial or synthesized sources.

Let’s see the most common ingredients found in most of the brands of energy drinks:

  • Caffeine
  • Taurine
  • Caffeine anhydrous
  • Gluconolactone
  • B vitamins
  • Preservatives
  • Flavorings
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • L-Carnitine

Thus the nutritional breakdown of the two beverages’ ingredients shows that Macchiato contains a more natural list of nutrients, unlike energy drinks

Which Has More Caffeine Between Macchiato and Energy Drinks?

Both of the drinks may have caffeine content depending on the serving size.

The caffeine content on both the drinks is relatively similar unless you’re downing for super extra caffeinated ones like Bang or Reign.

Generally, small and medium macchiatos contain around 80 milligrams of caffeine. The large or extra-large cups may contain about 120 milligrams or more.

The caffeine content also varies among different brands of energy drinks. Let’s have a look over the caffeine content for some popular energy drinks:

Energy DrinkServing SizeCaffeine Content
Red Bull250 ml80 mg
Monster500 ml160 mg
Moose Juice500 ml200 mg
Bang473 ml300 mg
Reign473 ml300 mg
The caffeine content in various energy drinks.

Though you can easily control your intake portion, you need to choose something that will give the desired boost without altering your normal metabolism.

As per FDA, a healthy individual shouldn’t exceed 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Many of the energy drinks contain a significant dose of caffeine that accumulates about 3/4 of the total daily caffeine consumption.

Don’t forget that you can meet your daily caffeine need from other foods like chocolates, soda, candies, teas, bars, and even some baked goods.

Overdosing yourself beyond a healthy quantity of caffeine triggers the symptoms of caffeine overdose and withdrawal and leads to certain displeasing health concerns.

The commonly experienced signs from caffeine overdose include:

The caffeine in Macchiato is more or less fixed since it doesn’t have many distinct variations. However, energy drinks come from different brands and each has its list of ingredients. Many of the energy drinks also contain caffeine anhydrous along with natural caffeine.

Thus, most energy drinks contain more caffeine than Macchiato. If you want a stronger boost then a can of energy drink can serve the purpose well. Energy drinks with moderate caffeine content contain a similar quantity to Macchiato.

Which is Stronger Between Macchiato and Energy Drinks?

Though it may sound that energy drinks offer you a quick power boost, the caffeine content shows that both macchiato and Monster for example can provide a similar boost.

Macchiato doesn’t have any added preservatives or boosting ingredients. It doesn’t even have sugar unless you add some. The strength of the coffee can be reduced or increased depending on the drinker’s set of choices. This means, how strong your cup of macchiato gonna taste, will depend on your added ingredients.

If you want your cup to be strong, you can simply brew it in that way. Also while buying packets of macchiato, you can control your portion of intake and limit your consumption according to your need.

However, many people prefer energy drinks since they provide a high dose of energy in a short time. It’s easily purchasable, cheap, and looks like a more convenient way to have the instant energy fix.

The combination of high caffeine, added sugars, calories in the energy drink provides a strong uplift of boosting energy in your body right after the first gulp.

Comparing to energy drinks, the boosting of Macchiato can be slow but this can be beneficial for the long term.

A moderate intake of 1-2 cans of energy drinks may not harm you but regular dependence on the drink exceeds your tolerance level and once the drink wears off, you will feel more fatigued abruptly.

So the approach while choosing the better drink will depend on how the drink serves the feasible benefits for you in the long run and my personal opinion helps the Macchiato a little bit in this regard.

How Much Sugar is in Each Beverage?

Sugar on aa spoon
Coffee is sugar-free and energy drinks may or may not have it.

Macchiato naturally doesn’t contain any sugar unless you add something sugary to it. On the other hand, most energy drinks contain a significant amount of sugar.

Let’s have a look at the sugar content of some popular energy drinks:

BrandSugar (Per can)
Red Bull26 gm
Rockstar Supersours Green Apple69 gm
V Guarana37 gm
Monster 54 gm
Bang Energy ShotsSugar-free
The sugar level of different energy drinks

If you look through the table you can see that the drinks have varying sugar content so which one you’ll like will be depending upon your preference of sugar intake.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends keeping the daily sugar consumption within 12 teaspoons so it clearly shows the drink that can be harmful to you if you’re overconsuming it. Drinks such as Red Bull and Monster contain approximately a sugar content of equivalent to 14 teaspoons which is beyond the healthy daily amount.

The benefit of Macchiato over energy drinks is that you can adjust the sweetness of the drink according to your taste. You can also take it without sugar depending on your preference.

How Much Calories In Each Beverage?

Macchiato generally contains about 13 calories per 2 ounces or 60 ml.

For energy drinks, the calorie content differs among the brands. For example, Monster contains a whooping content of 110 calories whereas Bang is calorie-free.

The recommended daily calorie intake per day for an adult female is 2,000 calories and for an adult male, it is 2,500 calories. So none of the beverages will put a dent in your calorie intake.

However, many people consume multiple cups of coffee or energy drinks in a day. Too many calories will aid in gaining unwanted weight and will increase the risk of chronic health problems.

Which is The Better Stimulant Among the Two Beverages?

The stimulating effect of macchiato will be undoubtedly better since it lasts for about 5 hours and even more. On the other hand, the faster you drink the energy drink, the faster it goes away from your bloodstream.

The answer comes down to one’s preference but I feel a partial bias towards coffee owing to it attributing health benefits and nutritional content.

Caffeine in macchiato helps in getting instant alertness and better endurance by enhancing the energy level. Also, it’s the purest form that’s present in the beverage.

Even if we put the caffeine content aside, macchiato contains healthier nutrients than energy drinks. Many of the ingredients in energy drinks are still dubious so it’s quite confusing to state which of those provide you the actual boost.

Many energy drinks contain taurine. The combination of caffeine with taurine may affect your cognitive function. It can affect your reaction time and can reduce the effectiveness of the drink overall which means, you’ll get the energy boost but in a slow depleted manner.

What Are the Differences in The Taste of the Two Drinks?

A man tasting some drinks
The taste of Macchiato and Energy Drinks vary.

There are a lot of differences between the taste of macchiato and energy drinks.

Coming to macchiato, it tastes a whole lot like espresso and exhibits a strong taste compared to regular coffee flavors like latte or cappuccino.

When vanilla syrup or caramel syrup is added to the espresso base, a sweet, milky drink is formed.

On the other hand, energy drinks can taste different depending on the flavor. Some flavors have a strong citrusy texture while many of them are sweet.

The common basic taste in energy drinks is sour and like tutti-frutti. This is because the combination of bitter caffeine, sour B vitamins, and tart Vitamin C makes the overall taste strong and acidic.

Is It Better To Drink Macchiato or Energy Drinks?

Honestly, the effectiveness will depend on the way you’re consuming it and how your body is adjusting to the caffeine content.

If you like to drink coffee, macchiato can be a good option. It is packed with necessary nutrients and traces of minerals. This also has a moderate portion of caffeine. However, the espresso base is concentrated and many people might not like the strong flavor of the drink.

For someone like me who likes their coffee light, Macchiato may seem to be a bolder choice for a regular energy boost. This calls for the consumption of a healthier variety of coffee such as brewed black which is calorie-less, sugarless, and also has moderate caffeine of 95 mg on average.

Different energy drinks contain different ingredients including caffeine, sugar, and calorie quantity. The best one for you would be the one with a healthy nutritional breakdown and decent caffeine.

Look for the points comparing both the beverages.

Always remember that too much caffeine has adverse side effects on the body. Overconsumption leads to certain chronic health problems and nothing makes it healthier later on.

Moreover, if your nutrients are coming from artificial ingredients like that in energy drinks, you need to think about the consumption again.

Lastly, I ain’t policing over your preference, but remember that the caffeinated drink will only work for you when drank in moderation.

Coffee is relatively a mild stimulant and the advantage of controlling intake proportion makes it more prominent. If you don’t like coffee like macchiato, try to drink a more fun flavor like latter or hot chocolate that may help you in adjusting your taste preference.

In the case of energy drinks, make sure to check the nutritional information on the can before purchasing. It’s better if you can limit the intake to 100 milligrams a day. Even the flavors that advertise themselves as zero sugar, contain artificial sweeteners that are no good for your health.

Thus, whatever drink you’re opting for don’t overdo yourself and watch out for the signs of caffeine overdose.

In Conclusion

Both the drinks have their fair share of benefits and drawbacks.

This article isn’t about to show which drink is better. The explanations in the above sections are mostly to make you understand which drink will have a better boost for your body considering your tolerance and health condition.

There’s nothing wrong with energy drinks every once in a while in a moderate quantity.

However, if you want to have a decision between macchiato and energy drinks, my personal opinion will be macchiato.

Even if it’s a stronger coffee variety, it’s ultimately the more natural source of caffeine. Without the addition of sweeteners, preservatives, or calories, the drink serves the best for the drinker.

If you’re still in doubt, do a little research on your own and look for drinks with healthier nutritional components. It’s even better if you know what you’re putting in your body through your caffeinated drink.

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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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