Everybody needs a pick me up from time to time. In fact, according to pubmed.gov results, showed that 85% of the U.S. population consumes at least one caffeinated beverage per day. So it's not uncommon for Americans to grab a cup of coffee or snag an energy drink at our local gas station.
But which one is better for you? Coffee or Energy Drinks?
The caffeine content depends on many things like the brand, size, and how strong the drink is. In general, coffee tends to contain more caffeine than energy drinks. For example, a Starbucks grande Caffe Americano (16 oz) has 225 mg of caffeine while a Red Bull can (8 oz) has 80 mg.
However, there are certain brands, like Rockstar, that contain more caffeine than coffee. According to the FDA, 400mg, about 4 cups of coffee, is cited as an amount not generally associated with dangerous or negative effects.
Keep in mind that energy drinks have a long list of ingredients that may not be great for your body and lead to the dreadful "crash." An 8oz Red Bull, for example, contains 26 grams of added sugar which is more than half of the daily recommended amount in a typical 2,000 calorie diet.
Meanwhile, coffee has only one ingredient: coffee beans. But this changes, of course, when you order specialty drinks such as the Caramel Frappuccino. Specialty coffee drinks tend to expand the ingredient list and add a lot of sugar and flavorings.
All this added sugar tends to rack up the calorie count in both beverages as well. According to nutritionix.com, one can of Rockstar contains 278 calories which are 108 more calories than a can of Mountain Dew!
So when it comes time for a pick me up, reach for a cup of black coffee, add a dash of milk, and a teaspoon of sugar. This will help you get optimal results while keeping the negative effects to a minimum. If you still find yourself reaching for energy drinks, make sure to treat it like soda - fine every once in a while but never more.