Coffee Versus Energy Drinks

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If you need that boost, where should you get it from?

In my youthful days, I was a caffeinated juggernaut. Every day was something caffeinated, be it soda, coffee, or energy drinks. I drank so much of that stuff, it actually almost completely ceased to affect me. Eventually, I realized that this wasn’t especially healthy, and went cold turkey on caffeine for a couple of years. Now that I’m older and wiser, I practice more moderation. Even so, I do still need a pick-me-up now and then. But should I get caffeine from coffee or an energy drink?

Most consumer-grade energy drinks are almost exclusively chemicals. They’re full of taurine, artificial sweeteners, and of course, a mildly worrying amount of caffeine. However, energy drinks do have a wide variety of flavors, which I know can be a deal maker or deal breaker for some people. If you have to get caffeine from energy drinks, the best advice I can give is to ration it out. Don’t drink the whole can at once, and don’t keep it next to you. Drink maybe a fourth of it, then stash the rest in the fridge. You’ll get your quick jolt without overloading your body.

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Coffee comes from beans, so it’s obviously more natural and lower in calories. However, black coffee tastes like dirt and sadness, which is why most folk don’t drink it that way, even if caffeine is the primary goal. Remember that whatever you put in your coffee will affect its nutritional value. Cream, sugar, and flavorings can alter the nutritional value substantially if you add too much. Try to stay as close to black as you can stand.

Comparing the two side-by-side, coffee is probably the better choice over energy drinks, health-wise. Me? I actually prefer tea. It’s lighter, but still gives you a little perk-up. Matcha is especially nice, though it’s an acquired taste.