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The clock strikes 10. You’re still stuck in the office, rushing to finish your report to be submitted tomorrow for a client. Your eyelids feel heavy but, you’re nowhere close to the finish line. Entering the nearest convenience store, you’re presented with two options – a cup of coffee or energy drinks. You know both are effective in helping you to stay awake, but which one is actually a healthier drink for you?

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Energy Drinks

Energy drinks can give you that refreshing sweet taste, with an instant boost in energy, making you super awake and alert. One of the more well-known energy drink is associated with a bull, and these energy drinks are usually advertised with sports activities. Other than drinking pre-workout or post-workout, they are seen mixed with other alcoholic beverages too. Though they might provide that surge of energy you need, it is short-term and its dangers might far outweigh its benefits. 

Most energy drinks contain sugar, caffeine, vitamins and other ingredients in high concentration. A large amount of sugar in energy drinks can lead to health risks such as diabetes or obesity. It is also bad for your blood vessels as it can cause your blood vessel to contract, restricting the blood flow. People with heart conditions are advised to avoid the consumption of energy drinks as it can affect the blood flow to their heart, complicating their condition.

In another study, some energy drinks might contain a larger amount of caffeine compared to a cup of coffee. Too much caffeine might overstimulate your brain, causing your brain to enter a state of confusion rather than clarity. If your goal is just to stay awake, it’s best to opt for a coffee over energy drinks as you do not want that large amount of sugar to be stored in your body without the intention of burning it off through exercising.  

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A cup of coffee, besides for giving you the energy you need in the morning, might have more health benefits than you think. According to Dr. Donald Weaver, a co-director of the Krembil Brain Institute, consuming coffee might decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, but more research is needed to support the claim. 

Coffee has no questionable ingredients unlike energy drinks, and it also does not help you put on any calories – that is if you don’t add sugar to your cup of coffee. However, if you do prefer sweeter coffee, you can still have it calorie-free by opting for stevia instead of sugar. Stevia has no calorie, yet it is 200 times sweeter than your regular sugar. It is derived from a plant so rest assured that it’s all natural! Besides that, coffee is also a more cost-effective option! (Just don’t buy your coffee from any cafes which can cost easily more than $5 per cup.)

Of course, coffee does have its dangers as well, so do drink in moderation! But overall, we think coffee wins hands-down if all you want is just a drink that can help you power through your project.