There are lots of kinds of Energy Drinks out there today with different strengths and weakenesses but I have always wondered why drinks such as Red Bull were so popular and why people would prefer to drink it more then coffee, even though they essentially do the same thing. So I wanted to learn more about this and I did a little research and here is what I found.
The main difference between Red Bull and Coffee is the sugar content, the number of calories, the amount of caffeine and the convenience of buying
Coffee and Red Bill have often been confused as giving the drinker the same effect – energy – but they actually provide this benefit in two very different ways. Knowing this made me want to know why and what truly made them so different.
After doing more research I found a lot of cool facts and thought I would pass them along for those who were as curious as myself about these two caffeinated drinks.
Amount of Caffeine in Red Bull and Coffee
Caffeine and its effects is what everyone is looking for when they drink either a can of red bull and to large extent a cup of coffee. Caffeine is widely known to increase your energy levels and helps you get through the day ( or night)
However, most people, I think assume that Red Bull has more caffeine then coffee. Part of the reason for this is that the Red Bull company does a great job of marketing giving one the impression that its the go to product if your looking for that extra push.
However, you may be surprised to hear that when compared side by side and in equal amounts, coffee actually has a higher caffeine content then Red Bull.
In a normal can of Red Bull, which is 8.4oz, you are going to have 77.4mg of caffeine where as in standard 8oz cup of coffee will have 94.8mg of caffeine.
So, why do you feel like you get an extra jolt when you drink a red bull instead of coffee? Well.. lets talk about sugar next.
The Sugar Content In Red Bull vs Coffee
When comparing Red Bull and Coffee, this is probably where the biggest difference is between the two and where you notice (and feel) the biggest contrast.
In a Red Bull that standard 8.4 cup that I mentioned earlier, there is a whopping 26g of sugar. If your a man, that is over half the amount you should have on a daily basis and if your a woman, its more then the what you should have each day according to the American Heart Association
You might say then, well if that is the case, I will just drink a Diet Red Bull but there are some that might say that this is even worse because instead of sugar they use aspartame, which is an artificial sweetener and even worse. You can read this article explaining in detail about this from the American Heart Association
Coffee on the other hand, if you are drinking fresh roasted and properly brewed, you really do not (and should not) add any sugar. If you do this then you will not have the potential adverse affects of having too much sugar but at the same time you will not get that “punch” you would get and that is associated with a sudden flood of sugar into your system.
However if you have a coffee and add sugar or a sugar substitute, cream or coffee syrups then you will have the same effect as if you were drinking a red bull and maybe even more so depending how much you add.
Amount of Calories in Red Bull vs Coffee
When comparing the calorie amounts in each of these two beverages, there is a huge difference in the amount of in can of red bull as compared to a black cup of coffee.
To make my point, lets go back o the standard 8.4oz that I referred to earlier when talking about sugar. This size can of Red Bull has 117 calories and therefore make is one of the highest calorie non alcoholic drinks out there. To give a comparison, a can of soda of the same size has 104 calories
In comparison, the same size cup of a black coffee has about 1.. yes this is not a misprint.. 1 calorie… Now this will change significantly if you start adding extras sweeteners and flavors, like sugar (see above), milk, vanilla, soy and chocolate syrup which add large amount of calories to any cup of black coffee even used in moderation.
If you want to add something to your black coffee but want to keep the calories down, You may consider adding something like honey or nut milk, for example, Oat or Almond, to boost the taste.
The Convenience Of Buying Red Bull vs Coffee
There used to be a clear advantage here for Red Bull. One of reasons it has become so popular is that you are able to find it in just about any convenience store, supermarket or even a gas station. In any of these places, they usually have it in their own dedicated refrigerator close to the entrance or the place where you pay.
Its easy to pick up and take with you. In addition it is refreshingly cold so on hot days its easier to drink then the traditional hot coffee.
However, with the increase in popularity therefore the marketing of craft coffee you can find a huge variety of options from your standard black coffee on a burner.
For example, if your looking for something cold and quick from the same places that Red Bull is sold, instead you can now grab a can of cold brew or iced coffee. You also have the option picking up a can of nitro coffee as well.
This also doesn’t take in account coffee shops like Starbucks or all of the craft coffee shops that are open now which makes it much easier to get a great cup of black coffee or any of the others I mentioned.
Origins of Red Bull and Coffee
Red Bull (GmbH) is an Austrian company that created Red Bull as we know it in 1987. It has become today, one, if not the most popular choices for people who are need a boost to get through the day (or night).
But you also might be curious on how did it get is name Red Bull. Well, the story goes that the two creators Dietrich Mateschitz and Chaleo Yoovidhya came up with the logo of the bull because it represented power and they made the bull red to signify perseverance. The final touch of the Sun was added to symbolize power.
Coffee has a long a storied past which I wrote about here. But in brief it was discovered in what is today Ethiopia by a goat herder who saw that the goats were eating the berries from certain trees and when they did they became very energetic and where not resting.
So did ever wonder how coffee got its name? Its been a bit of a transformation so stay with me here but the word “coffee” comes from the Italian word “caffe”. And that word “caffe” comes from the country of Turkey and their uses of the word “Kahveh”. Finally they Turks got that word from a Arabic translation that originated from the word “Qahwah”