Coffee vs. Soda: The Key Differences

By Robert Parsons July 13, 2021

Coffee and soda are the two most additive products on the market. People worldwide feed their caffeine addiction with these two guilty pleasures. Everyone can agree that both are flavorful and addictive, but many are wondering, is coffee healthier than soda? There are definitely some positives and negatives to both drinks, but we are going to dive into each of their differences to help decide which is better overall. 

There is a lot to unpack. Many details come to mind to help determine this answer. Caffeine in coffee vs soda is a huge question mark for most people. There are actually quite a few question marks from flavor, content, preservatives, and overall effects on the body, so let’s not waste anymore time. We are going to dive right in.

Health Factors

It is pretty safe to say that neither coffee nor soda is considered “good for you”, but there are some valid points steering one over the other as healthier. First off, caffeine in coffee vs soda is much higher. Caffeine can be good for you in small doses, but in large doses, it can be addictive and result in a huge withdrawal when we do not have it. In today’s market, most people drink far more caffeine than the healthy amount resulting in this addiction. 

However, if drank in moderation, caffeine can be the pick me up we need when in a real bind. Whether they be pulling an all-nighter, finding the pep in your step before your morning meeting, or making it through an extremely boring dinner party. Caffeine can be your friend. However, the more we rely on caffeine, the less effect it has on our energy levels, and we enter a slippery slope of needing more caffeine to get the job done. 

Depending on the type of coffee, there can be up to 165 mg of caffeine while soda has up to 45 mg of caffeine. Each of these can vary depending on the type, but overall, coffee has much more caffeine than soda. 

There are loads of other reasons that coffee or soda can be healthier. Soda is known for its high sugar content, which is one of the main reasons it is considered unhealthy. Coffee, on the other hand, has far less sugar, even when using sugar or syrups as sweeteners, unless taken overboard. 

There are some drinks that do use sugar in excess when it comes to coffee beverages including frappuccinos, sugar-packed lattes, and large proportions of drinks, so don’t let your guard down completely when it comes to coffee. 

Diet soda is another extremely unhealthy drink due to loads of artificial sweeteners and chemicals that are loaded into it. While some people may think they can be healthy by lowering the sugar content, overall, diet soda is worse than regular soda. Surprisingly enough, diet soda has more caffeine than regular soda. 

There are loads of long term effects that a surplus of sugar and artificial sweeteners can have in excess. Just to name a few are kidney failure, heart failure, and obesity. While this might sound far off, due to the drink’s addictive qualities, many are shocked by how many people drink soda regularly in such excess. 

Coffee does have some major health benefits. Studies have shown that coffee can lower risk of depression, increase energy levels, and even improve brain function. It also lowers the risk of certain diseases including dementia, alzheimers, and strokes. 


So we have discussed the health benefits and risks of the two, but which tastes better? Comparing coffee and soda is much like comparing apples to oranges. Their flavors are completely different. Soda is a sweet, cold beverage that can only come in one form while coffee is a bitter beverage that can be served hundreds of ways. 

Coffee can be a sweet beverage depending on how it is made, and it can be iced or hot. It can be paired with milk or turned into frappuccinos for a frozen treat. Soda is known to go along with all meals while coffee is typically drunk alone or with breakfast. 

Coffee and soda have always warred with each other when it comes to popularity. They have battled for the top dog spot ever since they began. Funny enough, though, they don’t have hardly any similar qualities other than caffeine. 

Final Verdict

So there you have it. The final verdict. Overall, coffee is much healthier than soda as a rule of thumb. There are more benefits and much fewer negative health effects. However, don’t get too discouraged if you are a soda lover. Sodas are fine every once in a while to splurge on. Try to stick to normal sodas, though, and cut out diet soda completely. Neither coffee nor soda should be drunk in excess. 

If you are trying to cut back on sodas, give coffee a try! This can help wean off the sugar without the annoying headaches from caffeine withdrawals, or take the leap and cut it cold turkey if that works better for you. Regardless, be mindful of your choices to ensure a long and healthy life!