Do you have trouble waking up in the morning, or do you need an afternoon pick-me-up to get through your day? Coffee was historically the go-to beverage for a caffeine boost, but energy drinks have encroached on its territory over the past couple of decades. While coffee and energy drinks both have their fans, it can be difficult to know which one you should choose. Learn about the differences between the two and which is better for your lifestyle, health, and budget.


If you need to wake up, effectiveness is the most important factor to consider when choosing between coffee and energy drinks. With caffeine contents ranging from slightly more than a shot of espresso to several times the amount in a cup of coffee, energy drinks are the clear winner when it comes to pick-me-up power. However, too much caffeine can cause unpleasant symptoms like headaches and heart palpitations.

Cost and Convenience

When it comes to cost, you can’t beat coffee. With a tin of store-brand grounds and a drip coffee machine, you can make a cup of joe for pennies, while energy drinks typically sell for at least a dollar each. Even if you go for Colombian whole bean coffee or a custom Italian roast, coffee still beats energy drinks when you brew at home. However, fancy coffee shop drinks can raise the price significantly.

Health Benefits

There is no doubt that coffee comes in ahead of energy drinks when it comes to health benefits. Coffee naturally contains beneficial antioxidants and phytochemicals, while energy drinks are made of synthetic ingredients. However, some energy drinks have B vitamins added for energy.

Taste and Variety

Coffee also comes out ahead in taste and variety. Many people find that energy drinks have an unpleasant flavor that requires getting used to, whereas coffee is a well-liked flavor that often gets added to desserts and candies. Coffee also offers more varieties to choose from, including different roasts, types of beans, and added flavors like hazelnut, vanilla, and caramel.

So, should you choose coffee or energy drinks when you need an energy boost? Coffee is healthier, less expensive, and offers more varieties. However, energy drinks are convenient and pack more of a caffeine punch. Which one you pick depends on your personal preference and lifestyle needs. What if you really need to perk up? Try having a cup of coffee spiked with a splash of energy drink for an extra jolt of caffeine.