Coffee Vs Soda: Caffeine, Acidity & More Compared

Coffee has become an integral part of most people’s morning routine. Its caffeine gives a boost of energy that helps them go through their day. But many people forget that coffee isn’t the only drink that contains caffeine. Tea, soda, and energy drinks also have caffeine in them.  

If you’re only drinking coffee because of the energy boost, you're probably thinking of switching to soda instead to power through your day. But is soda good for you? 

In this article, we will discuss coffee vs. soda, why many people like them, and the difference between these two drinks, so you can decide where to get your caffeine fix.  

Coffee has been a part of our life for many years now, and we constantly consume it almost every day. People from all over the world enjoy coffee, be it day or night. However, coffee is more than just a drink we consume. It has become something that people enjoy going out for, which is why there are many cafes all over the world, making it one of the most popular drinks.  

Another reason for its popularity is that it is something that everyone can enjoy. It is not expensive, and people of all classes can afford this drink. Drinking coffee is one of the simple pleasures that can be appreciated by almost everyone and can even bring friends and family together to talk. It isn’t simply a drink; it is an experience.  

Apart from that, there are endless styles and varieties of coffee drinks. From strong bitter drinks like espresso to milky sweet coffee such as Vietnamese coffee, you can have a cup of joe however you’d like it to taste. Some even add chocolate and caramel to it, enhancing its rich flavor. You can even have it hot or cold, so even if it's scorching hot, you can still consume coffee.  

Lastly, coffee also has numerous health benefits that make it an excellent drink. It is rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients that are good for our bodies.  

Coffee Vs Soda

Soda Overview: Why Do People Like it? 

Soda is one of the few drinks beloved by many people, even if it has been proven to have harmful effects. This drink is so tasty that people can look past its impact and become addicted to this drink. Some people even drink it with every meal. Soda can also be found almost everywhere. Vending machines have them. Fast-food chains offer them with their meals, and you can even find them at supermarket checkouts.  

Because of its convenience, people are more inclined to get them whenever they’re on the go. They also come in different sizes, whether you want a drink just for yourself or you want to share it with your family and friends. Apart from that, soda is cheaper compared to fruit juices and milk. You can even get a large soda for only an extra dollar to go with your favorite fast food combo meal.  

Many people also crave soda when they’re thirsty, especially during hot weather. It can easily quench your thirst and even give you a boost of energy. Lastly, sodas are heavily consumed partly because companies promote them vigorously. From social media ads to billboards and commercials, you can see this sugary drink, making you crave it.  

soda drink

Coffee Vs. Soda (Differences Compared) 

It’s no doubt that coffee and soda are two favorite beverages that many people drink every day. They're both tasty and contain caffeine, making them addictive to many individuals. If you're wondering which is a better choice, we have listed down their differences for you.  

Acidity 

When people discuss soda, the last thing you’d probably hear is its acid levels. Unfortunately, it’s not the same with coffee. Coffee is infamous for being acidic. However, it has a lower pH level compared to soda. But don’t confuse pH levels and the state of being acidic with the actual acidity of the coffee. 

Acidity plays a crucial role in the taste of coffee. When coffee is in its natural state of being green, it contains a variety of both good and bad acids. Some of these acids disappear after being roasted, but some remain. The main culprits for the high acidity of coffee are chlorogenic acid and quinic acid. 

Chlorogenic acids or antioxidants are usually broken down during the roasting process. This is why many people often equate coffee beans that are darker and roasted longer with having lower acidity compared to other beans. Those chlorogenic acids that are not broken down during the process turn into quinic acid. You can usually find quinic acids in darker roasted coffee beans, and the reason for the sour sensation in your stomach after drinking coffee.  

Caffeine  

Both soda and coffee contain caffeine, but coffee has more caffeine compared to soda. An 8-oz (237 ml) cup of brewed coffee has around 95 to165 mg of caffeine, and a 1-oz (30 ml) shot of espresso contains 47 to 64 mg of caffeine. 8-oz coffee drinks with other ingredients like latte and mocha have 63 to 126 mg of caffeine.  

Even decaf coffees contain small amounts of caffeine. A regular cup of decaf coffee will give you 2 to 5 mg of caffeine, perfect for those who are sensitive to this substance. However, you should note that the caffeine content depends on the beans’ origin, how they are processed, and the preparation methods. So, brewing coffee longer can increase the amount of caffeine in a cup.  

Compared to coffee, soda contains less caffeine. For example, an 8-oz cup of black cola soda only has around 24 to 46 mg of caffeine, while citrus-flavored sodas and root beer don’t have any caffeine in them.  

Sugar Content 

Sodas are already sweetened by sugar,  high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose or aspartame. This means that you don’t have control over how much sugar you’ll consume when you drink sodas.

On the other hand, coffee doesn’t come with sugar, and you are in charge of how much sugar you want unless you buy a pre-made coffee drink. So if you’re going to get the same amount of sugar in your coffee as in your soda, you need to add ten teaspoons of sugar. This is why even though soda has less caffeine content, it gives you more energy than a cup of coffee.  

Calorie Content 

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, an average can of sugar-sweetened soda has 150 calories.

An equal serving of coffee (12-oz) only has four calories. While diet sodas contain zero calories, it isn’t suitable for your diet, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Zero-calorie sodas make you crave other sugary drinks and food throughout the day and often contain high amounts of artificial sweeteners.  

While coffee contains fewer calories, adding sugar, cream, or syrup to it will raise the calorie count and be as high-caloric as sodas.  

Taste 

Soda contains carbonation giving it the distinctive taste that many people refer to as crispy or bite. Only later in the tasting process, your tongue picks up other flavors and sugar in sodas. However, if the soda has less carbonation, the different flavors and sugars are much easier to taste.

Depending on where it comes from, how it's grown, and the brewing process, coffee can be bitter, sweet, sour, or a combination of two or all three flavors. However, the taste of coffee can easily be modified by adding sugar, coffee, or other ingredients like chocolate.  

Ingredients 

Sodas often contain carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup (sugar), caffeine, caramel color, natural flavors, carbon dioxide, organic diol, phosphoric acid, citric acid,  Brominated vegetable oil (BVO), and many other ingredients, depending on the manufacturer. On the other hand, brewed coffee only has coffee and water, and other drinks may have milk, sugar, chocolate, syrup, caramel, and other ingredients depending on the beverage you drink.  

Health Effect 

Coffee has numerous health benefits proven by various scientific studies. For example, it can help improve brain functions such as concentration and memory and reduce the risk of certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s diseasedementiaParkinson’s diseasetype 2 diabetes, and stroke. It is also rich in antioxidants and contains small amounts of vitamins such as manganese, B2, B3, and B5.  

On the other hand, sodas may not be suitable for your health because of their high sugar contents. Consuming it in massive amounts can contribute to diabetes, weight gain, and cardiovascular conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), consuming too many added sugars can lead to health problems.  

Coffee Vs Soda

Commonly Asked Coffee and Soda Questions

Is coffee or soda worse for your teeth?  

Both coffee and soda have a dark pigment that can stain your teeth. However, coffee can only stain the teeth after extended exposure to a tooth with weakened enamel. On the other hand, the sugar in the soda and its dark pigment can cause more harm to your teeth.  

How many cans of soda equal a cup of coffee? 

Coffee has three to four times more caffeine content than soda. So if you need to consume the same amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee, you need to drink three to four cans, which isn’t ideal.  

What sodas have the most and least caffeine? 

Dark-colored sodas have more caffeine than root beers and citrus-flavored ones. This is because citrus-flavored sodas and root beers usually don’t contain caffeine.  


Conclusion

If you need a boost of energy, coffee is still your best bet. While soda contains caffeine, the energy boost it gives comes from its sugar content. At the same time, coffee provides more health benefits the more you drink it. It also has a rich aroma and flavor. Definitely a win-win for anyone!