Coffee Vs Soda: Which Is The Healthier Choice?

If you're thinking of switching from drinking soda to coffee then you need to know the 7 key differences. 

The amount of caffeine in coffee vs soda is one of the differences, but there's actually a lot more to consider. We've taken a deep dive and gathered everything you need to know in this article. 

So, you can go with your best guess about which is healthier, or you can keep reading and make an informed choice about what is healthiest for your body. 

Soda and coffee consumption are at an all time high globally. They're fundamentally very different drinks, but there are a few similarities - primarily that they both contain caffeine. 

Coffee is primarily consumed because it gives an energy boost from the caffeine. However, having too much caffeine can be bad for your body and cause health issues. 

Drinking soda doesn't give you the same amount of caffeine and it can be delicious. However, your average soda can contain a lot of sugar and calories which are not good for your body. 

Making the healthy choice isn't easy, but here are the 7 key differences you need to understand in order to make a healthy choice:

Acidity Levels

If you drink coffee or soda you've probably never even considered the acidity levels. The acidity of food and drink can impact our body's natural digestive processes and leave you with a sour sensation in your stomach. 

In terms of actual pH, soda and diet sodas are more acidic than coffee. However, coffee actually has higher acidity levels

This is because of the chlorogenic acid and quinic acid in your morning cup of coffee. These are naturally occurring ingredients in the coffee beans which add to the taste which any true coffee lover enjoys.

These acids are mostly broken down in the roasting process. However, there can be some trace amounts left, and this can give you a sour taste in your stomach. 

Unlike coffee, soda doesn't have these acids so it won't give you the same sensation. 

Caffeine Levels

Both soda and coffee contain caffeine, but coffee has much more caffeine than soda

A regular cup of brewed coffee has around 95 to 165 mg of caffeine. A shot of espresso contains 47 to 64 mg of caffeine, and other drinks like lattes and mochas have 63 - 126 mg of caffeine.  

The caffeine levels can vary depending on the coffee beans and the preparation methods, but even decaf coffee contains a small amount of caffeine. 

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. Sugary drinks can wake you up, but there's less caffeine intake when you consume them.

When it comes to the caffeine in coffee vs soda there is a clear winner, so if you want a bigger caffeine boost you're better with coffee.

Sugar Content 

The sugar content of coffee vs soda isn't very close. Soda contains a lot more sugar. 

One can of Coca Cola has 39 grams of sugar (over 10 teaspoons worth!). The sugar is already in the drink, in the form of sugar,  high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose or aspartame. This means you can't control the amount of sugar you’ll consume when you drink sodas. 

Coffee has no sugar. If you drink black coffee then there's no sugar and very few calories. However, when you add milk, sugar, syrups, and other extras it can become very sugary. 

The key difference is that you stay in control, and you can monitor how much sugar you have in your coffee - so it's the healthier option in this category. 

Calorie Content 

Coffee generally has far fewer calories than soda.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, an average can of sugar-sweetened soda has 150 calories and just one can of Coca Cola has 138 calories. 

Black coffee contains less than 5 calories. Unless you add milk, sugar, or syrups to your morning up it's not going to be any sugar content either. 

You can get diet soda options almost everywhere now. These generally contain no sugar or calories, and diet soda options like Diet Coke are really popular. 

Unless you add a lot of sugar, cream, or syrup, then soda will have a lot more calories and is the more unhealthy option in this category. 

Taste and Flavor

The taste of coffee vs soda is very different, and it all comes down to personal preference. 

Soda is carbonated. This gives it a bit of a bite, followed by a sugary sweetness

Coffee is slightly bitter, sweet, and often robust. Certain beans produce chocolate or fruity flavors, and it can vary depending on the brewing process. You can also add milk and sugar to change the taste.

The taste of coffee can vary, but there's a lot more varieties of soda flavors to choose from. 

Ingredients List

The ingredients in soda will vary depending on the manufacturer, but they typically 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)

You can add milk, sugar, syrups and other extras to coffee, but in its most basic from brewed coffee only contains:

  • Coffee
  • Water

Coffee contains more natural ingredients so it's easier to see what you're putting in your body. This makes it the healthier option in most cases. 

Health Effect (Long Term)

Coffee has more health benefits than soda. This is largely because it's made with more natural ingredients. 

Coffee has many health benefits proven by various scientific studies. 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.

Coffee is also rich in antioxidants and contains small amounts of vitamins such as manganese, B2, B3, and B5.  

On the other hand, sodas have high sugar content and a higher calorie count. 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.  

There is more caffeine in coffee, but the evidence shows that drinking coffee leads to more health benefits compared to drinking soda. 

Coffee Vs Soda

Coffee vs Soda - Which Is Better For Weight Loss?

The health of your body is about a lot more than your weight. However, coffee is much better for weight loss

Weight loss ultimately comes down to calories consumed, and black coffee without any extras, milk, or sugar has far fewer calories than soda. 

Diet soda options are also good because they contain close to zero calories. There has been some debate about whether even diet soda actually causes weight gain, but studies have shown there's no evidence behind it. Therefore, diet soda is also good for weight loss.

If your goal is to lose weight then you're best with black coffee or diet soda.

Coffee Overview: Why Do People Like it? 

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

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.  


Coffee and soda are two very different drinks - but coffee has more health benefits. 

There is more caffeine in coffee, but it has very few calories and very little sugar. You're also in control of how much added sugar or milk is in there. 

Sodas have less caffeine, which can be a good thing, but they have much more sugar and calories. Even zero calorie sodas have ingredients which can be bad for your body. 

So, if you want to lose weight and be healthier we'd recommend switching from soda to coffee. If the caffeine is an issue then you can explore decaf coffee options. 

Kim Fernandez


Kim Fernandez
Kim offers a unique perspective on coffee culture and trends. Kim's writing is personal and experiential, providing readers with firsthand advice on the latest in coffee. Beyond her writing, Kim is an avid explorer of new coffee trends and spots, always seeking to share the most genuine advice and latest trends. True to her love for coffee, you'll often find her in a café, immersed in a book with a freshly brewed cup of joe.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... A freshly brewed cup of joe

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