Soda or Coffee: Which Affects Your Health More?

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Habitual caffeine drinkers tend to get addicted to either regular cups of coffee or soda to meet their caffeine fix. Many people tend to skip their breakfast but not the cup of coffee or soda can.

There have been ongoing debates regarding the benefits of either of these drinks on human health. Amidst confusions and debates, people are concerned about the nutritive value of the drinks.

Coffee is regarded as one of the most beneficial caffeinated sources that provide various health benefits. On the other hand, sodas help with basic hydration and provide better swallowing taste in some people.

Have you ever wondered if any of these drinks are doing harm to your health or what should be the limit to curb the intake?

Short answer: Caffeinated or not, both coffee and sodas should be consumed in moderate amounts. Considering the benefits provided by the individual drink, coffee is undoubtedly ahead of sodas in case of nutritional value and provides a better energy boost without the sugar crash.

The following sections will provide a better explanation of the distinguishing factors between the drinks and which would be better for your body.

Which one is more acidic?

green soda bubbles

Both the coffee and soda are acidic but coffee has a lower pH level than soda does. Remember not to confuse the state of being acidic with the actual acidity of the coffee.

Coffee contains chlorogenic acid and quinic acids which are broken down during the roasting process and produce various antioxidants. These acids are also responsible for giving the sour sensation in the beans.

The major acids found in coffee are:

  • palmitic
  • phosphoric
  • quinic
  • malic
  • linoleic
  • lactic
  • ascitic
  • citric
  • chlorogenic

The acid level of different drinks:

Types of drinkspH level
Iced Coffee5.23
Pure water7.00
Red Bull3.20
The acidic content of various drinks.

Acids in coffee differ from the acids in sodas. Most of the sodas contain common acids such as citric acid, carbonic acid, and phosphoric acid. The high level of acids has many drawing health concerns on the body.

Among the sodas, root beer is the least acidic. It contains no phosphoric acid and is usually less carbonated.

The effects of high acidity in sodas are damaging to the teeth.

The caffeine content in coffee and soda

A typical 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains 95-165 mg of caffeine. In comparison, soda has lesser caffeine content which ranges between 25-50 milligrams. Citrus-flavors sodas and root beer don’t contain any of the caffeine content.

Coffee and soda are usually consumed as a source of energy and instant boost. Caffeine is a stimulant that helps in getting the energy kick. Caffeinated drinks tend to be an effective way to feel more energetic.

Soda and similar beverages contain smaller amounts of caffeine compared to coffee. These drinks work well for the people trying to get the instant kick. However, sodas contain a lot of sugar, and that counts up your calorie intake.

Coffee vs soda: what’s healthier?

In moderate amounts, coffee is healthier than soda. The caffeine in the coffee host multiple health benefits. Coffee is made of natural ingredients. Without additives, it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients. You can read about the health benefits of coffee in my other article.

On the other hand, soda contains amounts of sugar that aren’t healthy. In addition to containing an unhealthy amount of sugar, it is also responsible for gaining weight and causing unwanted health issues.

Let’s have a look at the nutritional content of both drinks:

ContentCoffee (black)Soda
Sugar zero7-10 teaspoons (12 ounces)
Calorie intakezero 41 calories (100 grams)
Caffeine 95-120 milligrams (on average)25-50 milligrams (on average)
Total carbohydratezero12-40g (on average)
Total fatzero zero
Nutritional information of coffee and soda.

There are natural acids in coffee that not only enhance the flavor but also provide healthy antioxidants to your body. Sodas may contain higher acidic levels but are these acids good for you? Certainly not. The acidic level in the soda is problematic for your digestive system.

Unlike coffee, sodas contain carbon dioxide chemical compounds and phosphoric acids to make the drinks effervescent.

Once in a while, a can of soda may not harm you but don’t make it into a habit. Too much coffee will also necessarily affect you with caffeine withdrawal symptoms. However, it contains a natural stimulant and thus provides several health benefits as well.

How unhealthy is soda?

Different cans of soda.
Carbonated sodas do little to no help to your health.

Soda is unhealthy as it contains a lot of sugar. the only good it does to your body is giving the extra hydration for the time being.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), consuming too much of these beverages may lead to :

  • diabetes
  • weight gain
  • non-alcoholic liver disease
  • gout
  • heart and kidney diseases

Harvard Health also suggests that soda contributed to weight gain and the sweet taste of the drinks increases your appetite.

Most of the nutritional information of the soda is made of processed or artificial nutrients that are harmful in the long run. Also, too much sugar tends to cause tooth decay by breaking down the compounds and producing acids.

Soda gives you basic hydration but can lead to severe dehydration later on.

How unhealthy is coffee?

black coffee on a small white saucer

Black coffee serves you well when consumed in moderate quantities. The consumption becomes unhealthy if you’re consuming beyond your tolerance limit or adding loads of not-so-needed additives.

Healthy individuals should limit their intake to 50-100 milligrams. Overconsumption won’t accelerate the energy boost but make your body accustomed to the caffeine injection. This makes the body dependent on the caffeine dose for fixing the lack of energy.

Widely experienced caffeine withdrawal symptoms are affecting people now and then.

The unhealthy aspect of coffee comes in the symptoms and signs that include:

  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Histamine reaction
  • Urgency
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat

Does coffee have more benefits than soda?

A simple black coffee definitely contains more benefits than a sugar-packed soda. That said, can still be as detrimental to your health as soda is if you overconsume the drink.

Coffee is a great source of antioxidants. Thanks to these antioxidants, they make the drink healthy and loveable.

Here’s the list of some widely experienced health benefits from coffee:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved brain function and physical cognition
  • Contains a high level of potassium, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamins.
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease
  • Lower risk of heart diseases
  • Reduced risk of depression
  • Boost metabolic rate

Caffeine is a widely consumed psychoactive substance that blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine in the brain. Thus when you drink coffee, the enhanced firing of the neurons results in improved memory, mood, energy levels, and better mental functioning.

A single cup of coffee contains riboflavin, pantothenic acid, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and niacin that meaks a great deal with the nutrients.

Some observational studies also hoped that coffee drinkers have a relatively lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

On the other hand, sodas are interestingly more fun to drink but less healthy. The drinks may enhance digestion but the benefits are short-lived. Sodas usually have a lot of sugars which leads to weight gain, diabetes, and other cardiovascular conditions.

Which one is worse for your teeth?

Both soda and coffee can erode your teeth.

Though coffee isn’t wonderful for your teeth’ health, it is relatively less harsh than soda. Soda contains lots of added sugar and flavorings which are unhealthy in many ways.

Drinks and foods high in acid affect your teeth and erode the enamel. The acid levels in both drinks can lead to weakening the enamel and cause tooth decay.

Don’t forget that any beverages other than water, have some effects on your teeth health. When you drink too much coffee or soda, the enamel gets erodes gradually. The effects on the teeth may be of two sorts:

  1. Erosion: The sensitive dentine layer is exposed that makes the tooth susceptible to decay and tooth pain.
  2. Cavities: This also encourages bacterial growth and contributes to cavities by weakening the enamel.

Habitual drinkers of coffee may experience tooth decay but for occasional drinkers, the effects shouldn’t be severe. Moreover, the trigonelline and chlorogenic acids may help in keeping the bacteria away from your teeth.

Remember that the dark pigment from coffee can stain your teeth so it’s better to wash the mouth regularly after drinking it.

When does the caffeine in your drink become a problem?

The caffeine in coffee becomes a problem when it’s passed the recommended daily limit set by the FDA, which is 400 mg, or if it’s above the amounts of caffeine you can handle.

Though caffeine in your coffee can seem healthy, it has several overdosage and withdrawal symptoms that can alter your regular cardiovascular and neurological functions.

As moderation is the key, know your limits. US Food and Drug Administration has recommended keeping the caffeine intake within 400 milligrams per day. That means you can have 2-3 cups of coffee per day.

However, this limit isn’t something you should reach out for. Try to keep the intake within 1-2 cups.

People, who should consume caffeine wisely or should avoid completely are:

  • Children and teenagers under 18
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Patients with heart-related concerns
  • Individuals with anxiety issues

Even if you’re a healthy individual, there’s a limit you should look for and it’s best to stick to the regular pattern of caffeine intake.

Too much caffeine can increase the risk of several withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, headache, anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, and even allergic symptoms.

Final Thoughts- Which is better?

Simply put, coffee is the absolute winner. The wonderful benefits offered by coffee not only provide the desired caffeine fix but also help you in reducing the onset of several unwanted health conditions.

Even doctors believe coffee to be the wise caffeine choice as it is low in calories, contains zero fat, and contains a high level of necessary nutrients. Moderate quantities of caffeine have helped you in getting the magical fix that your body craves.

The link between sodas and heart problems isn’t a new thing. The acidity in coffee is a good thing as those are the natural acids. On the other hand, the tart flavor in sodas is due to artificially added acids that attack your enamel and are believed to create other issues due to the carbonation process.

Consuming soda once in a while for fun can be okay but it contains zero nutritional benefits so better left out of the diet. Drink black coffee in moderate quantities to get the best results from the caffeine and other antioxidants.

It’s better to leave the additives like sugar, cream, etc out of the drink for avoiding possible health issues.

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