Coffee and Soda: A Comparison of Caffeine Levels, Health Benefits

Coffee vs. Soda: A Comparison

By 03/15/2016Driftaway Blog, Health

Coffee and soda are two favorite beverages that many Americans drink daily. They’re both delicious and caffeinated, which is why so many people turn to them on a regular basis. They also have an intertwined history. Here’s a look at the similarities and differences between coffee and soda.

Coffee Has More Caffeine Than Soda

The caffeine levels in coffee are significantly higher than those in most popular sodas. The typical caffeinated soda has between 25 and 50 milligrams of caffeine. In comparison, a 6-ounce cup of arabica coffee has around 100 milligrams of caffeine, and a shot of espresso contains about 70 milligrams. (Coffea robusta has twice as much caffeine as coffea arabica.)

Sometimes, it might seem like soda gives you more energy than a cup of coffee. That’s largely because soda also has a lot of sugar, which black coffee doesn’t have.

Coffee Has More Health Benefits Than Soda

Although some health providers say it’s alright to consume soda in moderation, it has virtually no health benefits. At best, zero-calorie sodas have neutral health effects. At worst, the calories in sugar-laden sodas has devastating consequences on people’s cardiovascular systems and waistlines.

When consumed in moderation, coffee has many health benefits. Drinking too much of it will lead to a caffeine dependence and interfere with sleep. In moderation, many studies have shown that coffee:

  • reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • lowers the risk of stroke
  • reduces the risk of liver cancer and liver disease
  • lowers the risk of Parkinson’s disease
  • might protect against Alzheimer’s disease

These are just a few of the health benefits studies have found. Of course, these benefits are only linked with black coffee. Drinking a double-whip breve mocha mint latte isn’t going to do anything good for your heart. Additionally, it’s important to remain hydrated when drinking coffee.

Coffee and Soda Have an Inverse Relationship

Since World War II, when Coca-Cola introduced soldiers to soda for 5 cents a can, coffee and soda have had an inverse relationship. When one’s popularity has declined, the other’s has increased.

As we detailed in A Story About Why America Moved Away from Coffee After the World War, the world’s leading coffee companies began producing low-quality coffee following World War II. They were importing robusta beans and soluble coffee, as well as shortening roasting times, adding water to coffee beans and reintroducing chaff to roasted coffee in order to boost their bottom line. At the same time, soldiers returning from overseas were turning to the soda they learned to love while deployed.

Through the 1970s, the quality of coffee being offered in the U.S. continued to decline. Many Americans followed soldiers and switched to soda,

In the 1980s, however, a revolution began that has continued through today. It’s in the 1980s that the coffee culture began to reemerge. As the culture grew, more and more people were reintroduced, or introduced for the first time, to great coffee. During the same time, medical researchers railed against the damaging health effects of soda and began to study the positive benefits of coffee.

Since 2000, the shift from soda to coffee has been especially prevalent. Between 2000 and 2012 (when data was updated), soda consumption fell by 38 percent, and coffee consumption rose by 24 percent.

Switch to Great Coffee

If you’re trying to cut back on soda, perhaps coffee’s the drink you should switch to. After all, many people have made the change recently. Let us send you a sample pack, so we can reacquaint you with outstanding coffee.

Author Scott

Scott is a professional writer for Driftaway Coffee. He worked as a barista for eight years, but today prefers to enjoy his beverages from the other side of the counter. When not drinking Driftaway Coffee, Scott usually has a mug of his own roasted coffee nearby.

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