Once in a while (or every day for some), we’d love to go for a cold can of Coke, Pepsi, or Mountain Dew. There’s just something about these drinks’ fizziness and taste that makes them highly addictive.
But sodas aren’t the only drinks that are fizzy and delicious. Energy drinks can be fizzy and taste great as well.
But do you really know the difference between sodas and energy drinks?
Continue reading as I explain more about how sodas are different from energy drinks and their purposes.
What are Energy Drinks For?
Energy drinks are usually consumed to provide energy to the body and boost mental and physical performance. You can find energy drinks in many public places, like supermarkets, convenience stores, and gas stations.
Red Bull, Bang, and Monster – you might recognize these big names. These brands can be found everywhere (except in a few countries where they could be banned) and are usually marketed as beverages that famous athletes and personalities use.
Energy drinks contain many ingredients and can vary from one brand to another. But the most common ingredients you’ll find in energy drinks are caffeine, taurine, guarana, B vitamins, and sugars. However, these days you can find sugar-free energy drinks too.
Energy drinks can help you in a number of ways. The content of caffeine and guarana in energy drinks can reduce fatigue and boost alertness.
Besides that, consuming energy drinks can improve your cognitive functions. Studies have confirmed that energy drinks can enhance mental attention and memory.
In one study conducted in 2001, it was found that mental alertness, concentration, reaction time, and memory significantly improved when having an energy drink.
Energy drinks have also been proven to improve your mood, lessening feelings of depression, tension, anger, and tiredness.
In addition, energy drinks help in enhancing physical performance. A study performed on 15 adults confirmed that energy drinks could improve upper body muscle endurance.
Energy drinks have also been known to keep you awake when you’re driving. Studies have confirmed that drinking energy drinks during long hours of driving can prevent tiredness and improve driving performance.
Are Sodas Healthier Than Energy Drinks?
For me, there isn’t much of a difference between sodas and energy drinks, and both include a lot of sugar and caffeine, neither of which is really good for you in large quantities.
Although sodas are delicious and make great pick-me-ups, they are not exactly the healthiest drinks out there.
Considering that both sodas and energy drinks usually have some amount of sugar and caffeine (with energy drinks definitely having higher quantities of both). It’s best to have both of them in moderation.
Of course, if you happen to be caffeine-sensitive and in need some a sugar rush, soda’s are definitely the better option due to their usually lower caffeine levels.
To me, water is still the best thirst-relieving drink you can take and it rehydrates your body without the extra calories and sugar.
What Ingredients are in Energy Drinks and Sodas?
Energy drinks and sodas actually share a number of similar ingredients, namely caffeine and sugars.
Are you surprised that your sodas have caffeine? Apparently, one can of Coke contains 12 mg of caffeine, which is only around three to four times less than a cup of coffee.
Energy drinks also contain caffeine, the secret ingredient that gives them energy-boosting features. The caffeine levels in energy drinks can range from as low as 50 mg to a whooping 300 mg.
Too much caffeine can cause unwanted side effects:
- Increased heart and breathing rate
If you want to avoid these side effects, it’s best you don’t consume too much of caffeine. Based on the FDA recommendation, a healthy adult should only consume a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine in a day.
Your favorite sodas might not contain as much caffeine like energy drinks. Nevertheless. it’s still best to keep your soda intake in-check – to prevent yourself from exceeding the recommended daily limit.
|Mountain Dew||55 mg|
|Diet Coke||46.3 mg|
|Dr Pepper||42.6 mg|
|Diet Pepsi||36.7 mg|
It’s also no surprise sodas and energy drinks contain sugar, which is what makes them tasty and addictive after all.
Still, consuming too much sugar is bad for you. The American Heart Association states that men and women should respectively consume below 36g and 25g of sugar daily.
Excessive consumption of sugar can also lead to sugar crashes and low energy levels
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) comes from corn syrup and consists of the same ingredients as regular sugar, which is glucose and fructose. It’s mostly used as sweeteners in processed food and in some sodas.
Like sugar, high consumption of HFCS leads to a lot of health issues such as obesity, diabetes etc. if not controlled.
Should Children Drink Sodas?
Sodas have been known to negatively impact children’s health, as well as physical and mental performance, so children should definitely not be drinking an excessive amount of sodas.
The consumption of sodas among children is associated with aggressive behaviors. Researchers believe that this problem stems from the fact that sodas are highly processed and contain artificial sweeteners like Aspartame or Phosphoric Acid.
A study performed on US adolescents found that high soda intake can lead to an increased risk of aggression, depression, and suicidal tendencies.
As sodas also contained high levels of sugars or artificial sweeteners, children would be exposed to the eventual risk of developing diabetes, obesity, and cavities.
What Are The Side Effects of Drinking Too Much Soda?
There are many adverse effects of consuming too much soda, including cavities, headaches, and addiction.
I’d advise you to cut down on the sodas or completely remove them from your diet especially if you are suffering from any diseases. Sugary drinks won’t be of any benefit to you when you’re sick.
Based on an article from Healthline, the excessive intake of sugary sodas over an extended period of time can cause:
- Weight gain
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart diseases
- Poor dental health
- Increased risk of Dementia
Can Sodas Be Used as an Energy Drink?
Although sodas contain caffeine and sugars like energy drinks, sodas aren’t designed to boost energy levels.
Sodas typically contain low to moderate quantities of caffeine. To some, this amount might not be enough to jolt them awake and increase their alertness, especially those with a high caffeine tolerance.
However, for those with a lower tolerance for caffeine, sodas might provide them with enough energy to get through the day.
Furthermore, sodas don’t contain other beneficial ingredients that energy drinks have such as Ginseng, Guarana, Taurine, and B Vitamins.
So make sure you don’t get confused when you’re purchasing your energy drinks and read the nutritional labels at the back of the can.
Are Energy Drinks Sodas?
Energy drinks are not sodas; they don’t always have carbonated water and contain more functional ingredients compared to sodas, as well as usually having a higher amount of caffeine.
It’s easy to get confused when energy drinks taste as fizzy as sodas. Sodas are often drunk for general taste and enjoyment, while energy drinks are frequently consumed for their caffeine content.
Monster vs Coke – Which is Better?
In my opinion, neither Monster or Coke is good for your health if you don’t consume them in moderation.
A can of Monster contains 190 calories, 179 mg of caffeine, and 54 g of sugars. Meanwhile, a can of Coke (or Coca-Cola) has 140 calories, 34 mg of caffeine, and 39 g of sugar.
Sodas are extremely addictive, and in some parts of the world are consumed daily. It’s estimated that the average American consumes at least 2.6 glasses of soda per day with young adults being the highest consumer of sodas.
On the other hand, energy drink consumption also has been rising among young adults, particularly males, in the USA.
Personally, I think that both of these drinks contain a lot of calories and sugars, although Monster has more. They can cause similar side effects if not taken in proper quantities and can lead to health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and weight gain
Which is Safer for Pregnancy – Energy Drinks or Sodas?
Both energy drinks and sodas aren’t recommended for those who are pregnant and nursing mothers. This is mostly due to the caffeine and sugar content in energy drinks and sodas.
I’m not saying you can’t drink Monster or Coke anymore, but it is best if you take them in moderation to avoid complications in the long-run
If you must have your daily caffeine fix, limit your caffeine intake to less than 200 mg. This amount is around one to two cups (240ml – 580ml) of coffee.
Sodas are no better as they can affect your baby’s brain while you’re pregnant. Research has found that expecting mothers who consumed a lot of sugars, especially from sodas had children with poorer memory and problem-solving abilities.
If you’re pregnant and going through a craving for sugar, opt for healthier alternatives like fruit juice and chocolate milk.
Energy Drinks to Try Instead of Sodas
Red Bull Energy Drink
With only 80 mg of caffeine and 27 g of sugars, Red Bull is pretty modest when it comes to its ingredients. In my opinion, if you want something sweet and beneficial, you could go for a can of Red Bull.
But I wouldn’t recommend it for long-term consumption as the content of calories and sugar can be damaging to your health.
Bing Energy Drink
Bing Energy comes in many fruity flavors and colorful packaging. A can of Bing contains 40 calories, 9 g of sugar, and 120 mg of caffeine, and even consists of 5% of real juice.
In my opinion, the caffeine is too much for me, and I’m afraid it might give me a bit of a crash after consumption. Still, if your tolerance is higher, you could definitely go for this drink.
REIZE Energy Drink
When it comes to energy drinks, REIZE is my number one choice.
With a reasonable 50mg of caffeine, REIZE is sugar-free and has just 11 calories for every serving. sparing you from any unnecessary sugar.
Plus, REIZE has a special blend of beneficial ingredients like 1000mg of taurine, ginseng, and B-group vitamins that work together to supply you with the perfect energy boost without the dreaded sugar crashes.
The best part? REIZE ships right to your doorstep for only $1 per sachet, which is outstanding value for money.
That’s great value for money.
Give REIZE a try, and you might find that it’s definitely a great choice for an energy drink.
You may find these articles I’ve written to be interesting and useful in determining your choice of drinks: