Coffee vs Energy Drinks – A Health & Lifestyle Comparison Posted on 8th May 2018

coffee vs energy drinks

While coffee has been a popular drink around the world for centuries, energy drinks are relatively new in comparison. Invented in the 1980s, energy drinks have become another way to get that same jolt to the system. However, if you’ve been following the news recently, energy drinks have hit the headlines, with supermarkets pledging to ban under-16s from being able to purchase energy drinks.

So which is the best option for you – a hot cup of joe, or a cool can of energy? Use our coffee vs energy drinks comparisons below to help make up your mind.

Which contains more caffeine?

caffeine in coffee and energy drinks

Generally speaking, a small can of energy drink and a normal coffee will contain similar levels of caffeine. The difference is in how that caffeine is delivered into your system. Naturally occurring caffeine found in coffee is drank slowly and absorbed slowly, whereas the usually synthetic caffeine in energy drinks is designed to provider a quicker buzz – but also gives an equally rapid crash.

Which contains more sugar?

sugar in energy drinks and coffee

Coffee by itself contains very little sugar – especially filter coffee, so it all depends on how much you add yourself. Standard energy drinks definitely contain the most sugar, but there are those which come sugar-free. It all depends on whether you’re ok with drinking artificially sweetened energy drinks if you are unable to stand the slightly bitter taste of coffee but still need that caffeine hit.

Which contains more calories?

calories in coffee and energy drinks

Because coffee contains no sugar, there are no calories if you take it black. Adding milk and sugars does lead to more calories of course, but energy drinks tend to contain more unless they’re the sugar-free, zero calories variety.

Which drink is more cost-effective?

coffee and energy drinks costs

To get an idea of which drink is the most cost-effective, we’ll need to agree that what you’re looking for is that caffeine hit.

The price of coffee – and indeed with energy drinks – can vary wildly depending on where you have purchased the drink. Prices for energy drinks tend to range anywhere from 45p to £1.50, while coffee can be as expensive as £4.00 for a single drink, but can be infinitely cheaper from an office coffee machine, costing mere pence per cup.

So, if you’re out and about shopping, an energy drink can might be a cheap way to get a quick fix, but the caffeine from a coffee will last longer and can be had just as cheaply.

Which drink is more natural?

coffee and energy drinks ingredients

This section should be easy. With centuries of history behind it, the naturally grown coffee beans cannot be matched. Many energy drinks now try to harness more natural ingredients like ginseng and guarana, but any sugars or sweeteners added means it is the less natural of the two.

Which drink is better for sports?

coffee and energy drinks with sports

The verdict is out on this one, as it depends on your thinking. Some feel the instant spike from energy drinks is what you need, while others recommend a coffee early in the day to give you sustained energy. There are some energy drinks – ones with electrolytes – which are recommended for sport (and are often referred to as sports drinks) to help before and after exercise, but the science isn’t exactly conclusive.

Which drink is better for your health?

health effects of coffee and energy drinks

Since energy drinks are a much more recent invention, it’s hard to compare the history of the two. Certainly, as a species, we’ve been drinking coffee for centuries in one form or another, using it as a natural way to give ourselves the little lift we need.

Earlier this year, the University of Waterloo in Canada carried out an online survey to gauge the impact of energy drinks in comparison to coffee for people aged 12-24. They found that there were higher numbers of respondents who reported having had at least one adverse event (fast heartbeat, headaches, difficulty sleeping etc.) from drinking energy drinks (55.4%) than from coffee (36%).

Vending machines for coffee & energy drinks

Whether you’re an office in need of quality coffee machines or a sports facility looking to supply drinks to replenish energy, at Nu Vending we have a whole host of options for your premises. We can tailor the drinks in your vending machine to the taste of your staff and visitors, or supply tabletop coffee machines to match the requirements of your workforce – simply contact us today for more details or to discuss how you best like to get your energy boost.