Whether it comes in the form of coffee, pop, or energy drink, people are always looking for their next energy fix. With all these choices, though, you must wonder how these caffeine-laden drinks stack up to each other. This article will provide you with a quick comparison of coffee, pop, and energy drinks to see how they measure up to each other on a few different scales.
Pop: It’s no surprise that soda pop contains a lot of calories. It’s one of the major reasons that so many North American children are overweight. Drinking your calories can result in major weight gain and it’s no surprise why. A 20-oz. bottle of Pepsi-Cola contains about 250 calories while a 7-Eleven Double Big Gulp contains about 800 calories!! That’s more than half the calories that an average person should consumer each day!
Coffee: The amount of calories in a cup of coffee really varies, depending on the type of coffee you are consuming. A regular cup of black coffee contains only about 6 calories, but as soon as you start adding whipped cream, sugar, cream and other fatty ingredients, the caloric value goes up dramatically. For example, a Venti (24 oz.) Mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks contains 380 calories! If this beverage is replacing your breakfast, then you probably won’t gain any extra calories, but if your coffee is in addition to your breakfast, you will very quickly consume more calories per day than you should if you are trying to maintain your present weight.
Energy Drinks: Red Bull has 27 grams of sugar in an 8-oz. can and contains 110 calories. Rock Star drink has the same amount of sugar and calories as Red Bull. To compare, a can of Coke has about 39 grams of sugar while a can of Pepsi has about 41 grams of sugar. However, the pop cans are slightly bigger than the energy drink cans (355 ml vs. 250 ml).
Pop: A regular can of Coca-cola contains about 35 mg of caffeine. Pepsi-Cola has about 38 mg of caffeine. Barq’s Root Beer has about 23 mg of caffeine. 7-Up has no caffeine in it. This is significantly less caffeine than is found in energy drinks or coffee.
Coffee: The amount of caffeine in coffee really depends on a number of factors. First, the type of coffee bean used in the coffee will vary the amount of caffeine because the conditions of growth can affect the amount of caffeine in a coffee bean. Second, how finely the beans are ground will also affect how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee. It is interesting to note that a cup of coffee made using the drip method (which would use finely ground coffee beans) contains the most caffeine of any type of coffee. In one cup of coffee produced using the drip method, you will have about 110-150 mg of caffeine. Compare this to a cup of instant coffee which contains only 40-100 mg of caffeine.
Energy Drinks: Red Bull, the first popular energy drink marketed across North America, contains 80 mg of caffeine per 250 ml serving (i.e. 1 can). Other energy drinks contain similar amounts of caffeine. Take, for example, Kaboom and Pimp Juice which both contain about 80-85 mg of caffeine per 8-oz. can. However, some energy drinks contain far more caffeine than Red Bull. For example, Cocaine Energy Drinks contain about 280 mg of caffeine in an 8-oz. can!! This drink was banned in Australia because of its high caffeine content.
How much caffeine is too much caffeine?
Ever wondered how much caffeine you would have to consume in order to have it kill you? A little website called Caffeine Informer claims to be able to calculate how much caffeine would kill a person. For example, according to this website, a person that weighs 175 lbs. could drink about 150 cans of Red Bull before dying. The same person could only drink about 43 cans of Cocaine Energy Drink before dying.
Price Pop: Pop is cheap. That’s one of the reasons that so many people consume so much of it. You can buy cases of pop for only a few dollars and a single can often sells for about $1/can.
Coffee: Coffee used to be cheap. Actually, you can still find cheap cups of coffee, but now that everyone buys specialty coffees at Starbucks, the price of coffee has gone up. A brewed cup of plain coffee at Starbucks goes for around $2 a cup, and that’s the cheapest thing you’ll find in a Starbucks coffee shop. A Venti Mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks sells for about $4-$5. Buy one of those 5 times per week and you’ll be consuming about 1900 calories and spending about $20-25. Over a year, that would add up to $1040-$1300!
Energy Drinks: Energy drinks aren’t cheap either. One 8-oz. can of Red Bull or Rock Star will cost you about $2, unless you are buying it at a bar, in which case it will cost a lot more than that. Buying it in bulk will always make the price go down, but it’s still more than pop or plain coffee.
So there you have it – a quick and dirty comparison of your favorite drinks: pop, coffee and energy drinks. There are a few things that you should take away from this article. First, be wary of how many calories you drink without realizing it. One fancy high fat drink from Starbucks and you could have consumed upwards of 400 calories! Second, be wary of how much money you spend on drinks. One $5 coffee a day or 2 energy drinks a day can cost you about $100-$150 each month! Third, consume caffeine carefully. There is such a thing as too much caffeine so pay attention to what you are drinking.