There has been a long-standing debate on whether one should consume a cup of coffee or an energy drink for a quick boost of energy or heightened mental alertness.

While both drinks offer a quick solution to the lack of energy, which is the better alternative?

Coffee has been around for centuries and has been consumed by humans ever since it was first discovered.

Energy drinks, on the other hand, are a relatively new craze that is especially popular amongst the younger population. However, promising research has only been done for one alternative: caffeine. Researchers are still researching the health consequences that energy drinks can have, especially on younger kids.

Here are 6 reasons why you should choose a cup of coffee instead of an energy drink the next time you find yourself with low energy:

1. Coffee has much less calories than energy drinks do. Energy drinks are notoriously famous for having high amounts of sugar content. It is impossible to regulate one's sugar intake with energy drinks. When the sugar rush is over, one tends to crash again. Coffee, on the other hand, gives off a regulated caffeine rush, providing you with a more sustained energy. Black coffee comes with the added bonus of not having to worry about your calorie count since it contains 0 calories.

2. The caffeine amount is about the same. Have you ever wondered why energy drinks give you a faster kick? It isn’t because energy drinks have more caffeine, the caffeine amount is almost the same as in coffee. It is simply because coffees are generally sipped and savoured whereas energy drinks are gulped down faster. Yet the main difference lies in the sugar content.

3. Coffee has no ingredients you’ve never heard of. The best part about drinking a cup of coffee is that you decide what you want to put into it. You are completely in control of what you ingest. This is definitely not the case with energy drinks. They contain a list of ingredients that we, normal consumers, have never heard of before. Sure, they do contain vitamins like B12 which some might argue is better for your health, but you are probably already ingesting B12 from your normal diet.

4. The taste can be personalised. When drinking coffee, you are also in control of its taste. You can decide how strong you want your cup of coffee to be, how much milk to add, how much sugar - it is all up to you. In energy drinks, we have to drink what we get, and let’s face it- there are not a lot of good tasting energy drinks out there.

5. We know more about coffee. Coffee has been in our lives for a very long time. This has resulted in multiple tests and research conducted on the short- and long-term effects of coffee. We can’t say the same for energy drinks. There has been little to no research done on the long-term effects of regular energy drinks consumption.

6. Extremely rare overdoses. In contrast to coffee, there has been a steady increase in the number of overdoses from energy drinks in teens causing adverse health reactions.

A study done in 2013, showed how energy drinks can cause more vehement heart contractions. This could be extremely dangerous for people with pre-existing heart conditions.

Whereas historically, the occurrence of overdoses from coffee has been extremely rare. Even though the immediate effects of caffeine felt by consumers after having had either an energy drink or coffee can be very similar, the long-lasting effects may vary significantly.

The differences between coffee and energy drinks require more research which will help us make more informed decisions in the future. Until then, it is safe to assume that a cup of coffee would be a much better and healthier option for you to get that much-needed energy boost.