coffee boost energy

Coffee Versus Energy Drinks

With the very busy lives that we all lead, it is natural to want to have a drink on hand that acts as a boost and replenishes energy levels.  For many years, the drink of choice for that boost has been coffee but now energy drinks have emerged as a contender.  So what is the difference between the two in terms of the boost you get and the other health considerations?

Caffeine amounts

The boost that we need usually comes from caffeine so how do the two types of drink compare?  Caffeine is a chemical drug that comes from the kola nut, the coffee plant or even from the tea bush and is a stimulant.  The more you drink, the more reaction you get from your body and this can help improve metabolic rate and boost stamina.  Caffeine is also a brain booster, helping you be more alert and attentive.  It can even help some medication work faster.

But there is a downside, usually when you drink too much.  More than the recommended dose, around 300 mg per day and you can start to see the negative side of things such as insomnia and lack of focus.  So how does coffee and energy drinks rate in terms of the amount of caffeine they contain?

An espresso coffee of one ounce contains 64 mg of coffee while a Grande Cafe Latte from Starbucks has 150mg in a 16 ounce drink.  This compares to an 8.2 ounce drink of Red Bull that contains 80 mg and a 16 ounce drink of Monster that has 160 mg of caffeine.  What this shows is that the two types of drinks often have a similar amount of caffeine.

Other considerations

The big difference between the two comes not from the caffeine content but from the amount of sugar or sweeteners they include.  With coffee, you manually add the sugar you want to the drink so you always know exactly how much sugar you are taking.  But with energy drinks, it can be a little more confusing.

For example, many of them are listed as ‘sugar free’ and this is true but what they do contain is sweeteners.  Red Bull has around 10 grams of sugar for every 100 grams of drink and Monster is a little higher at 11 grams per 100 grams of drink. 

Sugar is a hot topic at the moment with people being urged to consume less.  The other consideration with sugar is that it means that a drink has calories whereas coffee, with no milk or sugar added, has no calories in it.

Enjoy the taste

Unless you are a real die-hard fan of energy drinks, most people will admit that coffee tastes much better than energy drinks.  Coffee is made from natural products while energy drinks can be a mixture of natural and chemical products to get the desired effect.  This means that you can have the same amount of caffeine, less sugar and more taste in a cup of coffee than in an energy drink.  Cuppa anyone?

coffee weight loss

Is Coffee Really Good for Weight Loss?

Coffee is one of those drinks that seems to be surrounded by myths and stories.  One of these surrounds whether it really is good for weight loss or not.  Here’s a look at some of the facts behind the stories.

The benefits of caffeine

One of the main reasons that coffee is seen as potentially good for weight loss surrounds the natural properties of caffeine.  Caffeine is a stimulant that contains a number of ingredients that can help with weight loss:

  • Theobromine and theophylline – have a stimulant effect that boosts the metabolism
  • Chlorogenic acid – slows the intake of carbohydrates
  • Caffeine – central nervous system stimulant

Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and one side effect from this are boosting the signals to fat cells that tell them to work and break down fat.  It also increases the amount of adrenaline in our bodies that give us more energy and means we can feel like doing more activity or exercise – this is why sports drinks that also contain caffeine are popular before workouts.

Another study by the University of New Mexico showed that caffeine increases the number of fatty acids in the blood that means we can do more for longer.  It is an energy booster and also a brain booster that stimulates neurotransmitters that make the brain work better.

Metabolic effects

One of the side effects of those metabolic boosts we receive from coffee is that we can eat less and better control our appetites.  Overeating is a common problem because our brains take around 20 minutes to tell our bodies that we have enough food and stop eating – by which time we have often eaten too much.

By boosting the metabolism and brain function, caffeine can help us realise we are full quicker and therefore avoid overeating.  The effects do diminish as we get older so it is a benefit to make the most of while we can.

Coffee types

One of the big myths is that all coffee can help weight loss.  While a straight black coffee can have benefits that can assist with weight loss, a big milky coffee with lots of sugar in it won’t be as beneficial.  If you are trying to lose weight, look at what you put into your coffee and consider the calories that you are consuming from those extra ingredients.

For example, a large mocha can have 400-500 calories in it while an iced cappuccino with syrup added can top 600 calories.  If you are working to control your calorie intake to help with weight loss, then you need to consider this in your daily plans.  Maybe use this kind of coffee as a treat rather than a daily ritual!

Conclusion

There is some evidence that the natural benefits of caffeine can help with weight loss but coffee on its own isn’t a weight loss drink.  You do need to think about how you take your coffee and how this impacts the benefits of the drink.  And like everything, always drink in moderation as too much of a good thing can still be bad for you.

Coffee Cocktails

As one of the most versatile commodities in the world, there is no wonder that some bright sparks decided to merge coffee with a touch of good old alcohol. Coffee cocktail recipes can be found in abundance now a days. Since around the 1980’s people in the UK have been gradually exploring further afield when it comes to their coffee. In those days a coffee at home would likely to be granulated and come with labels such as Maxwell House or Mellow Birds. With the rise of café culture more and more of us explored more than the old trusted household granules and started to experiment further with beans and blends after sampling the delights of coffee houses and bars as they rose in our cities.

It seems only right then that we should merge coffee culture with the British pub culture that we are so well known for, when it comes to coffee and booze though, it’s always better to do this with a touch of class. Mixology is where the wine and cocktail bars as well as plush restaurants can really add a touch of flavour and style to their bar menus, if done correctly offering some mouth-watering cocktail blends. Coffee Mixology brings you way more than just the trusted Espresso Martini or Irish Coffee so get your mixing hats on and look at a few recipes like the one above to get you going.