Coffee vs Coke: A Comprehensive Comparison (2023)

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Coffee and coke are two of the most popular beverages in the world. But which one has more caffeine? Which is more nutritious? In this post, I’ll do a deep dive into the world of Coffee vs Coke to see which one comes out on top.


Coffee vs Coke: Key Differences

Let’s compare coffee and Coca-Cola by examining their caffeine content, nutritional benefits, and effects on health.

1. Caffeine Content

One key difference between coffee and Coke is the amount of caffeine each contains. Coffee has more caffeine per serving than soda, with an average cup of coffee containing 95-165 milligrams of caffeine.

Compare this to a 12oz can of soda, which has about 34mg of caffeine – about three times less. The amount of caffeine consumed varies with different types of coffee and coke drinks.

A shot of espresso, for example, contains 47-75 mg of caffeine, while a can of Mountain Dew has 54mg of caffeine, similar to that of a typical caffeinated soda.

Coffee Vs Coke Infographic Showing Caffeine Difference

2. Nutritional value

In terms of nutrition, coffee wins hands down. It has antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like B3, B5, B2, manganese, and potassium.

While soda has no nutritional value, coffee has numerous health benefits backed by scientific research. So, coffee is more than just a caffeine intake system; it has stuff that’s good for you!

3. Impact on health

Soda’s high sugar content can harm your health and increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

In contrast, coffee has been shown to have several health benefits, such as lowering the risk of cancer, strokes, and heart disease and improving brain function. So, while soda may be tempting, coffee is better for your health.

4. Flavor options

Soda comes in a variety of flavors, but Coke is the king. Personally, I prefer Mexican Coke because it’s sweetened with pure cane sugar instead of corn syrup.

Mexican Coke Bottle And Nachos
Mexican Coke

When it comes to coffee, every bean has its own unique flavor profile. When roasted correctly, these flavors are noticeable when brewed.

With coffee, you may taste hints of flowers, berries, cocoa, hazelnuts, and wine. And you can always enhance your coffee’s flavor with milk, sugar, or syrups.

5. Popularity

Both Coke and coffee have a massive following around the world. In fact, more than 1.9 billion1 servings of Coca-Cola are consumed every day in over 200 countries. Coffee isn’t too far ahead, with 2 billion2 cups served daily.

6. Production & Origin:

It’s amazing to think about the scale of production and distribution for both coke and coffee. Coffee is grown on small family farms and large estates and then processed, roasted, and packaged for sale in local markets and abroad.

Meanwhile, Coke is produced and distributed on a massive scale, with a complex network of production facilities, bottling plants, and distribution channels.

Himanshu Chaudhary Ixwdzbbvipc Unsplash
Photo by himanshu Chaudhary on Unsplash

Coffee vs Coke Comparison Table

FeatureCoffeeSoda
Caffeine12oz cup: 95-165mg12oz can: 34mg
Sugar0g39g
Nutritional valueAntioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like B3, B5, B2, manganese, and potassium.Zero nutritional value
Impact on healthReduces the risk of cancer, strokes, and heart disease. Improves brain function.High sugar content can harm health and increase risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Flavor optionsUnique flavor profiles & roasts, notes of flowers, berries, cocoa, hazelnuts, and wine. Customizable with milk, sugar, and syrups.Variety of brands & flavors, but Coke is king.
Daily consumption2 billion cups1.9 billion servings
ProductionGrown globally, processed, and packaged for local and global sales.Massive-scale production and distribution
Coffee vs coke table

Benefits of Coffee

Let’s delve deeper into the various benefits that coffee has to offer. Coffee has been linked to numerous health benefits, making it a smart drink choice (which is what I tell my mom every time she gives me the Mom-Eyeβ„’).

1. Caffeine

Coffee provides quick energy and improves focus because it averages 95mg to 130mg of caffeine per cup. A few cups a day may lower the risks of diabetes, heart disease, liver, and endometrial cancers, Parkinson’s disease, and depression.

Studies suggest it can also boost mood, cognitive function, and reaction time.

Coffee Vs Coke
Coffee has caffeine! | Photo by Grafi Jeremiah on Unsplash

2. Antioxidants

Coffee is loaded with antioxidants, about 200-500mg per cup, which protect your cells from damage and keep you healthy.

Drinking coffee can also help increase your daily antioxidant intake and can be a positive addition to a healthy lifestyle. Btw…are there such things as pro-oxidants?

3. Decreased risk of heart disease

Another study has shown that people drinking up to 5 cups of coffee daily are at a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

The study also showed that coffee reduces your chances of congestive cardiac failure and stroke–no matter how much you drink. So if you’re a 5-cupper, like me, you’re basically immortal.

4. Improved physical performance

Studies3 have shown that drinking coffee before exercise can actually improve performance by an average of 11-12%. Which helps you power through your workout even if you’re fatigued.

Caffeine4 acts on the brain by blocking the reception of adenosine5. This leads to an increase in the firing of neurons and the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.

Dancer Drinking A Cup Of Coffee Before Her Workout
Does caffeine impact exercise?

The result is a boost in energy and alertness, making you feel more awake and energized. On the other hand, drinking too much coffee can also lead to anxiety and an upset stomach.

So while coffee may offer a quick energy boost, I wouldn’t drink too much before a workout.

That’s what steroids are for.

Personal anecdote: My go-to “pre-workout” I take every morning before hitting the gym at the ungodly hour of 5 am is a 16-ounce cold brew coffee.

While the caffeine rush definitely smacks me in the face, I’m not sure if it’s making a tangible difference in my workouts.

5. Weight loss benefits

Yes, coffee helps you lose weight. The caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism, provide energy, and even help with weight loss.

Coffee’s also loaded with essential nutrients like niacin, potassium, and magnesium, as well as antioxidants.

6. Increased mental alertness

Coffee is frequently praised for its caffeine content which can enhance mental alertness and improve focus. But caffeine can also result in jitters, anxiety, and decreased focus for some people.

Einstein Drinking A Cup Of Coffee

Also, caffeine’s effects tend to wear off quickly, leaving you feeling burnt out. So, while coffee might temporarily boost your mental focus, it’s not a long-term solution for improving your cognitive performance and alertness.

Summary

While it’s true that coffee contains antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, it’s important to keep things in perspective.

While some studies have linked coffee consumption to a lower risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, it’s essential to remember that lifestyle choices and genetics also play a significant role in disease risk.

One thing to keep in mind is that coffee’s high acidity can cause digestive problems for some people, and excessive caffeine consumption can lead to dehydration and other health issues.

The bottom line is that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but it’s not a magic potion that will solve all your health problems.

Woman Opening A Bottle Of Coke

Benefits of Coke

There are none. But, I love me some Coke. And while it’s well known for its high sugar content, some claim (round-earthers) it has some health benefits.

1. Hydration

It’s claimed that drinking Coke can help with hydration by replenishing lost fluids and minerals. But this isn’t really true.

While the water and electrolytes in Coke might hydrate you in the short term, the high sugar content will lead to dehydration6 in the long term. Since the body needs water to process sugar, drinking too much sugar can dehydrate you.

2. Energy boost

Coke contains caffeine and sugar, which can provide a quick energy boost7. But drinking sugary drinks can also lead to a sugar crash, leaving you feeling sluggish and tired, and worthless.

Soda’s high sugar content can harm your health and increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. According to the American Heart Association8, men should have no more than nine teaspoons of sugar per day, while women should have no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day.

A 12-ounce can of soda can contain around 39g of sugar, which is about 10 teaspoons of sugar. In contrast, coffee zero sugar has no sugar or calories, and caffeine-free sodas are also an option.

Diet Coke and Coke Zero are available if you’re looking for a sugar-free option to regular Coke. There have been concerns regarding the potential cancer-causing properties of artificial sweeteners in diet soda.

Fortunately, the Mayo Clinic reports no evidence9 to support these claims, so you can enjoy your favorite sugar-free beverage without worry.

3. Improved mood

Eating and drinking sugar releases endorphins. And Coke is loaded with sugar. So technically, drinking Coke can improve your mood. But, again, this is short-term stuff.

The sugar can lead to mood swings10, anxiety, and crappy sleep. So, with both coffee and Coke, it’s a best practice to not rely on either drink as a mood enhancer.

4. Improved digestion

Some folks think that drinking Coke helps to improve digestion by stimulating the digestive system. Not true.

In fact, the high sugar content in coke harms the digestive system by causing inflammation11 and messing up the balance of good bacteria in the gut.

Also, the carbonation in Coke and LaCroix can lead to bloating and gas.

Green And White Minimalist Nature Travel Vlog Youtube Thumbnail

Verdict

Coffee vs Soda: Which is Better?

When it comes to comparing caffeine vs soda in terms of their effects on health and wellness, there’s really no contest.

While soda, specifically Coke, may give you a quick burst of energy thanks to its high sugar and caffeine content, it’s basically a nutritional wasteland with zero health benefits.

On the other hand, coffee is actually packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that have been medically proven to improve your overall health and wellness.

In terms of caffeine, coffee generally contains more caffeine per serving than a can of Coke, so you’ll get a more sustained energy boost from coffee.

Plus, with coffee, you have the added health benefits of antioxidants and nutrients, which help to protect your body from the negative effects of stress and inflammation.

I know that personal preference is key and individual needs can vary greatly, but for me, coffee is the clear winner in this comparison. It’s a delicious drink that can give you the energy you need to tackle your day, all while supporting your overall health and wellness.

So there you have it, a quick comparison between coffee and soda. While both drinks contain caffeine, coffee offers a wider range of health benefits.

Coffee is the clear winner regarding its positive impact on health and wellness.

Which Is Better Coffee Or Coke
Coffee is better for you than Coke | Photo by Kitera Dent on Unsplash

FAQ

Coffe vs Coke: Which is healthier?

Coffee is healthier than coke due to its proven health benefits, such as reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease. In contrast, coke is high in sugar and can increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Which soda has the highest caffeine content?

Which Soda Has The Most Caffeine

The highest caffeine soda varies by brand and serving size, but energy drinks generally have more caffeine than regular soda. Energy drinks can contain 200mg of caffeine per serving, while a 12oz soda has around 34mg.

Which coffee has the most caffeine?

Espresso Ground Angle A1 575X

Coffee with the most caffeine is often considered to be Deathwish Coffee, who’s coffee beans have twice the amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee. Dark-roast (dark blend) coffee has less caffeine than light-roast coffee.

Which is worse for your teeth, soda or coffee?

Soda and coffee can both harm your teeth if consumed excessively. Soda contains sugar and acid that erode tooth enamel, causing decay and sensitivity. Coffee, especially black coffee, can stain teeth and lead to dry mouth, increasing risk of decay.

Is coke or coffee better for energy?

Coffee is often considered better for energy due to its higher caffeine levels, which can increase alertness and improve focus. Coke, while it contains some caffeine, also has high sugar content, which can result in a sugar crash and decreased energy levels in the long run.

Does coffee make you last longer in bed?

If you have a coffee kink, then yes. But there’s zero scientific evidence that coffee makes you a sex machine. Other boring factors, such as physical and emotional intimacy, overall health, and stress levels have more to do with how long you can last in bed.

References

  1. https://www.coca-cola.co.uk/our-business/faqs/how-many-cans-of-coca-cola-are-sold-worldwide-in-a-day.
  2. https://britishcoffeeassociation.org/coffee-consumption/
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2005.00445.x
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20164566/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4115368/
  6. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2004/05000/Water_and_Fluid_Replacement.26.aspx
  7. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2021/11000/Caffeine_Increases_Exercise_Performance,_Maximal.6.aspx
  8. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/how-much-sugar-is-too-much#:~:text=AHA%20Sugar%20Recommendation&text=Men%20should%20consume%20no%20more,or%20100%20calories)%20per%20day
  9. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/diet-soda/faq-20057855#:~:text=Drinking%20a%20reasonable%20amount%20of,that%20these%20ingredients%20cause%20cancer.
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30951762/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30886367/
Avatar Of Kelsey Todd
Kelsey brings over 20 years of hands-on experience in the coffee industry, having honed his craft as a professional barista in both Seattle and Santa Barbara. He is an accredited member of The Coffee Association of America and holds an active membership in The Baristas Guild. Beyond his practical experience, Kelsey is deeply committed to the academic study of coffee history and its cultural impact. Outside of his professional pursuits, he enjoys quality time with his family and shares his extensive knowledge of coffee through insightful articles on this blog.

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