Coffee Vs Energy Drinks

Coffee Vs Energy Drinks: Which to Choose From?

29th April 2024 | 19 Views

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Coffee Versus Energy Drink

Whether coffee is better or an energy drink – the question is very much alive and kicking. And, why not? After all, we are living in a time of trends and hashtags—societal norms much influence our eating and drinking choices. Brandwatch consumer research has tried to capture the mood of today’s generation regarding their favorite beverages. Coffee is still a favorite among the older generations or Gen X. Whereas, Gen Z or young people talk about energy drinks. As per the website, the search trends for energy drinks have seen an upward movement. Coffee vs energy drinks is, therefore, a matter of curious debate.

The Science of Coffee

I don’t drink coffee to wake up. I wake up to drink coffee. – Unknown

This is true for the majority of us who drink coffee for the sake of our love for it.

Don’t you think that your much-loved morning beverage deserves some of your time?

For good or bad reasons, coffee has always been the subject of discussions and debates.

Once accused of causing cancer, the growing research on coffee has shown that drinking coffee in moderation is beneficial for your health.

Coffee 1

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Coffee, Nutrition, and Benefits

A cup of coffee is more than a morning starter. It contains many beneficial nutrients also.

Coffee contains caffeine, vitamins B2, B3, magnesium, potassium, and various phenolic compounds, or antioxidants.

One 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine.

Let us see the benefits of moderate consumption of coffee on your health: 

1.1.)  Caffeine keeps you Active

Caffeine is the main component of coffee and helps to keep you awake.

Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptor, a natural substance in our body responsible for making us sleepy, and keeps us more awake and alert.

2.2.)  Reduces the Risk of cancer

A study at the American Institute for Cancer Research found that drinking coffee reduces uterine and liver cancer.

Coffee improves antioxidant response in the body and reduces inflammation – both necessary for reducing cancer risk.

Various animal studies have shown that polyphenols in coffee have prevented the growth of cancer cells.

33.)  Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

A long-term study has concluded that regular drinkers of coffee are less susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes in comparison to non-drinkers.

This is due to the natural substances like polyphenols and magnesium in the coffee.

They help the insulin to work better and help the body to use glucose more effectively.

PS: There is a temporary rise in blood sugar levels due to the caffeine in the coffee. However, in the long run, drinking coffee lowers the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Coffee 2

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1.4.)  Good for your Heart

As per MedicalNewsToday, a 2018 study has found that drinking 3-5 cups of coffee per day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems by 15%.

2.5.)  Acts as an Antioxidant

Inflammation and oxidative stress cause damage to our cells.

Polyphenols present in the coffee act as antioxidants and help reduce the damage caused by inflammation and oxidation.

3.6.) Reduces Anxiety

Caffeine has a neurological impact, in a way, that it boosts your mood.

Research has found that consuming coffee in moderation, less than 6 cups per day can affect your brain positively.

A mild amount of caffeine makes you less anxious and more alert.

It also reduces the chances of depression and suicide.

Coffee 3

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1.7.)  Reduces the risk of Age-related Neuro Problems

Coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of age-related neurological disorders.

It is seen that men and women who regularly consume coffee have a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

2.8.)  Reduces the risk of Liver Diseases

Coffee reduces the risk of gallstone diseases.

Caffeine and other components found in coffee prevent gallstones from forming.

Gallstones are usually made of cholesterol.

By stopping the cholesterol from turning into the crystal in your gallbladder, coffee prevents the gallstones and keeps your gallbladder healthy.

 Excitement of Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are a craze among the younger generation.

There has been a phenomenal increase in the demand for energy drinks over the last two decades.

As per Google Trends, the graph for energy drinks in the last 5 years has seen an upward tendency.

Energy Drinks Graph

Image courtesy: Google Trends

The first energy drink was introduced as a tonic for tired workers in the US in 1949.

This energy drink was called “Dr. Enuf”.

Since the launch of Red Bull in 1997, the energy drinks market has seen a dramatic rise in popularity.

Today, the market is flooded with various brands of energy drinks.

As per the website of NIH, of the total consumers of energy drinks, two-thirds are in the age group of 13-35 years.

Boys make up about two-thirds of the total energy drink consumers.

What is Energy Drink and its Benefits

Energy drinks mostly contain high amounts of caffeine, added sugar, B vitamins, stimulants like taurine, L-carnitine, and herbal extracts such as guarana, and ginseng.

1 cup or 8 ounces of an energy drink contains about 85 mg of caffeine.

Energy Drink 1

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Some studies have found beneficial effects of energy drinks which are listed below:

  • ·       The caffeine in energy drinks makes you more alert and increases your attention span.
  • ·       It is also found that these drinks can improve your memory.
  • ·       Energy drinks enhance performance during exercise by increasing your overall stamina. This includes both types of exercises – aerobic (like running) and anaerobic (like weightlifting).
  • ·       Studies have found that energy drinks increase strength and help you handle physical stress better.
  • ·       Energy drinks may improve your cognitive ability, especially when tired or sleepy. They may help you to stay alert, focused, and awake for a longer period.
  • ·       Since energy drinks contain caffeine and sugar, they help restore your energy levels when feeling fatigued.

PS: It is noticeable that other studies have not found any significant benefits of energy drinks. Rather, many studies have pointed towards the negative impact of energy drinks on health.

Coffee Vs Energy Drinks: Research-Based Facts

Mostly, the ongoing debate of coffee vs energy drinks is about their impact on our health.

Some research-based facts will help you make a more conscious decision regarding your favorite beverage.

1.) Moderation is the Key 

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans consider taking up to 400 mg of caffeine a day safe.

Pregnant women must limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 mg a day.

Hence, a moderate amount of coffee can be defined as 3-5 cups a day.

A standard energy drink serving is 16 ounces, which is about 170 mg of caffeine.

2.) Energy Drinks can be Risky for your Heart – A New Study

Do you know that drinking many energy drinks, compared to coffee, can make your heart beat irregularly and cause blood pressure to go up faster?

As per a new study, it is because of other ingredients in energy drinks than caffeine.

18 healthy men and women were made to drink regular energy drinks with caffeine, sugar, vitamins, and other ingredients.

They were, then, asked to drink another drink with the same amount of caffeine but no other ingredients.

Experts noticed that heartbeats and blood pressure raised to an alarming level due to energy drinks.

This was not the case with the ‘caffeine-only drink’. 

1.3.)  Do Energy Drinks Claim More Than They Offer?

Energy drinks are often marketed with the claims of containing ‘extraordinary energizing’ components ranging from taurine and l-carnitine to ginseng.

However, studies have found that energy drinks don’t offer the benefit of making you more attentive and alert than a cup of coffee. 

1.4.) Energy Drinks are Loaded with Sugar

Energy drinks mostly contain large amounts of sugar ranging from 21 – 34 g per oz.

This increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in habitual drinkers of energy drinks.

PS: Comparatively speaking, coffee is a natural and plant-derived food which is when taken without unnecessary sugar and in moderation has many benefits to offer to your health.

Kid With Energy Drink

Image courtesy: https://www.needpix.com/photo/314596/child-drinking-soft-drink-can-boy-portrait-young-sweet-kid

5.) Energy Drinks Are More Harmful for Young Kids 

Energy drinks are a craze among youngsters mostly.

A dangerous trend is that energy drinks are marketed vigorously to the younger generation.

However, a new study has indicated that they are dangerous for the health of young kids.

The side effects noticed in young kids included heart problems, seizures, liver damage, and even death.

Aap On Caffeine

Takeaway Message

The coffee vs energy drinks debate is not going anywhere because of the huge following of these two beverages around the globe.

However, a point of advice is to weigh the benefits and adverse consequences before making any choice.

I am hopeful that the following tips might bring some closure to this ongoing coffee vs energy drinks discussion:

  • ·       As per a 2017 study, those who drink too much coffee in a day, develop higher levels of fat and cholesterol in their blood. This can make them susceptible to heart diseases.
  • ·       Experts recommend that people with certain heart conditions must be cautious in consuming energy drinks.
  • ·       The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 12 must avoid caffeine, in any form.
  • ·       For kids 12 or older, caffeine intake should not exceed more than 100 mg a day.
  • ·       Keep in mind that excess intake of caffeine in a day can have adverse health consequences including headache, insomnia, anxiety, faster heartbeats, gastrointestinal troubles, muscle twitching, restlessness, seizures, hallucinations, frequent urination, or inability to control urination.
  • ·       If you are sensitive to caffeine, try the decaf versions of coffee and energy drinks.
  • ·       To avoid excess sugar in any standard energy drink, choose a zero-sugar option. However, note that they contain artificial sweeteners which, too, have adverse consequences.

By being a knowledgeable consumer, you can make smart and informed choices and keep enjoying your favorite drink.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Please consult your treating physician for more details.

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Malavika Chandel

@Malavika-Chandel

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