You’re looking for a caffeine boost in the morning or perhaps before a tough workout. So, how do you choose between Celsius vs coffee? Well, let’s look into the various reasons you may choose one over the other.
What is Celsius?
First, let’s discuss what a Celsuis is and its various components. Celsius energy drink is a very popular energy drink on the market today.
It comes in a variety of flavors and is often marketed as a health energy drink as opposed to more traditional options like Red Bull or Monster.
First, let’s go over the main ingredients in Celsius to see if there are any that are potentially harmful. Ingredients slightly differ for each flavor, but these key ingredients will stay the same.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract or green tea leaf extract is the ingredient behind the fat loss claims. According to the Celsius website, EGCG, a compound in green tea boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories.
But is this backed up by the data? A 2016 meta-analysis and systematic review found that EGCG alone can mildly improve metabolic rate at a 300 milligram dose.
Unfortunately, the label does not indicate how much EGCG is in the Celsius energy drink and the compound is certainly not consumed alone. Based on this, it’s impossible to know if the green tea extract has any positive effects on fat loss.
Guarana Seed Extract
According to the Celsius website, guarana seed extract or guarana extract are what is used as the source of caffeine in the drink. The seeds contain twice the amount of caffeine as a coffee bean.
But is guarana seed extract safe to consume? According to a 2019 review study, guarana seed extract is generally recognised as safe to consume and is not causally associated with any serious health risks when consumed in moderate amounts.
That being said, it does contain caffeine which can cause issues when consumed in large doses. Make sure to track your daily intake of caffeine, especially if you are sensitive.
According to the Celsius website, ginger root extract or ginger extract is meant to help with the process of thermogenesis and have a positive effect on digestive systems.
Does the research support these claims? In a 2012 pilot study they found that ginger did lead to enhanced thermogenesis and reduced feelings of hunger. That being said, the study was very small, observing only ten overweight men.
A 2019 systematic review found that ginger did have a positive effect on nausea, but there wasn’t enough research to support any other claims.
The Celsius website claims that B vitamins are essential for energy production and cell health. They also support your adrenal glands.
It’s important to note that there is no “Vitamin B”, instead there are several B vitamins including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, folate and vitamin B12.
All B vitamins have similar and differing roles. Celsius contains most B vitamins, with the exception of thiamin and folate. Of the remaining B vitamins, they do play a role in energy production and cell health.
The Celsius website claims that vitamin C or ascorbic acid aids the immune system, helps with tissue repair and production of neurotransmitters.
This is generally true. Vitamin C’s main function is the biosynthesis of collagen and certain neurotransmitters and protein metabolism. It’s particularly important for wound healing.
It also plays an important role in immune function and absorption of iron, particularly from plant sources. Overall, the claims are true for vitamin C.
According to the Celsius website, chromium can help control hunger, normalize blood sugar levels and improve the metabolism of fats, protein and carbohydrates.
These claims are generally true. Chromium plays a role in carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism, though the mechanism behind this is unknown.
It also has an effect on insulin action, improving blood glucose control and reducing HbA1c (a long term average of blood glucose).
There is also preliminary research to suggest chromium might reduce food intake, hunger and fat cravings. Overall, the claims described are accurate.
Sucralose is the sweetener used in most Celsius drinks, while the Celsius-Stevia collection uses stevia as the sweetener.
While there has been controversy around this sweetener over the past few years, it is considered generally recognised as safe.
Along with this, it’s a zero calorie sweetener, meaning it contains no calories. This can potentially be helpful for weight loss if you replace a sugar sweetened beverage with a Celsius.
Celsius energy drinks also contain other ingredients such as citric acid, taurine, caffeine, vegetable juice, malic acid, glucuronolactone and natural flavor.
The long names at the end of the ingredient list are the added vitamins. For example, pyridoxine hydrochloride is just a form of vitamin B6.
As for the other ingredients, they are all considered generally recognised as safe by the Food and Drug Administration. They have all been studied extensively and have plenty of evidence to support their safety.
Now let’s check out the Nutrition Facts Label. Celsius energy drinks have the following nutrition information.
- Calories: 10
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
- Caffeine: 200 milligrams
- Sodium: 5 milligrams, 0% daily value
- Calcium: 50 milligrams, 4% daily value
- Vitamin C: 60 milligrams, 70% daily value
- Riboflavin: 1.7 milligrams, 130% daily value
- Niacin: 20 milligrams, 130% daily value
- Vitamin B6: 2 micrograms, 120% daily value
- Vitamin B12: 6 micrograms, 250% daily value
- Biotin: 300 micrograms, 1000% daily value
- Pantothenic Acid: 10 milligrams, 200% daily value
- Chromium: 50 micrograms, 140% daily value
Overall, the drink is fortified with plenty of vitamins, specifically B vitamins. It contains zero sugars and about 200 mg of caffeine, which is a somewhat large dose.
Where to buy
You should be able to find Celsius energy drinks at most grocery stores and gas stations. If you are in a more isolated area, you may need to order them online.
What about coffee?
Coffee is a very popular caffeinated drink consumed around the world. It is a natural source of caffeine and contains about 95 milligrams per cup.
There are two main coffee plants, which produce the two most common forms of coffee, Arabica and Robosta. Robosta is the most common variety and arabica is its milder and more aromatic counterpart.
Coffee comes in a variety of types based on region, altitude, processing, roast appearance and bean size and density. Two common varieties are dark roast and light roast.
The coffee plant is of African origins, likely coming from Ethiopia. From there, coffee spread to other parts of the world starting in part of Europe.
Originally, coffee beans were cultivated mostly in Yemen, but eventually began cultivation in other places such as the Hawaiian islands, America and Indonesia.
Now, Brazil and Africa produce most of our coffee and it’s enjoyed in all parts of the world, even Asia.
One eight ounce cup of coffee contains about 2 calories and less than 1 gram of protein, fat and carbohydrates. It contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine as well.
As for micronutrients, one cup of coffee contains very small amounts of most vitamins and minerals with the exception of riboflavin and pantothenic acid, which coffee is a good source of.
Where to buy
You should be able to find coffee in all forms (whole bean, ground bean or ready made) at most every grocery store. Most gas stations have ready made coffee you can grab a cup of on the go.
Potential negative side effects
Unfortunately, coffee and Celsuis energy drinks can have negative side effects since they contain caffeine.
Healthy adults should stick to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily. This is equal to about four cups of coffee daily or two Celsuis energy drinks.
Too much caffeine can have several potential side effects including restlessness, inability to fall asleep, headaches, dizziness, increased heart rate, dehydration, anxiety and dependency.
Several groups should avoid or limit caffeine consumption. These groups include children, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, have sleep disorders, anxiety, GERD, arrhythmia or high blood pressure.
Along with this, if you have caffeine sensitivity, meaning you get symptoms even with small amounts of caffeine, you should also limit your caffeine consumption.
Potential health benefits
As long as you are consuming an appropriate caffeine intake, less than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, you can experience the positive effects of caffeine.
The positive effects of caffeine include stimulation of the central nervous system, leading to a feeling of alertness. This is, of course, the main reason people consume caffeinated beverages.
There is also some evidence to suggest that coffee can reduce risk of certain chronic diseases. There still needs to be more research on this topic, but in general consuming moderate amounts of coffee is at least safe.
Which has more caffeine?
Clearly, Celsius has a high caffeine content, over double as much caffeine in a cup of coffee. If you are looking for a large dose of caffeine, Celsius may be the way to go.
Some forms of coffee like espresso have higher concentrations of caffeine. One ounce of espresso contains about 64 milligrams of caffeine. Since espresso is most commonly consumed in two shot doses, this could be about 128 milligrams of caffeine per drink.
Which is the healthier option?
Celsius vs coffee… which is healthier? This is a tough question. It’s hard to say which is the “healthier” option because it largely depends on the person, their lifestyle and their diet.
In general, coffee has been around for longer and there have been plenty of studies regarding its safety and health benefits.
Celsuis, on the other hand, is rather new and while the ingredients in the drink are considered safe, there hasn’t been much research into the drink as a whole.
Overall, the amount of caffeine in Celsius is much higher, meaning you are more at risk of consuming too much caffeine and experiencing negative side effects.
To avoid excessive caffeine consumption, coffee may be the better choice. Also, it tastes worse (let’s be honest) so it’s probably easier to avoid overconsumption.
What about artificial sweeteners?
I discussed this a little earlier in this article, so let’s revisit this topic in more detail. Celsius energy drinks contain sucralose, a kind of zero calorie artificial sweetener.
Artificial sweeteners have a bad reputation in general. People tend to veer away from “unnatural” foods, assuming they must be less healthy than their natural counterparts.
But this simply isn’t true and is playing into the “appeal to nature” fallacy. There are many potentially deadly natural substances out there, just as there are many perfectly safe artificial substances.
The Food and Drug Administration thoroughly examines the safety of food additives before allowing them in our food. If you don’t trust the FDA, you can look at the research yourself. Whatever way you look at it, there is strong evidence to suggest sucralose is safe.
Which is better for weight loss?
Since both Celsius energy drinks and coffee are very low in calories, they both can be good drink options for weight loss.
As discussed earlier, while Celsuis claims to have special ingredients that aid in weight loss and boost metabolic rate, the dose of these ingredients are not listed, meaning we have no way of knowing if there is enough to actually have the effects listed on the website.
Another note to add is that no drink can make you lose weight. To lose weight, you must consume less calories than you burn daily.
So while coffee is low calorie, the sugar and cream you add to it will add on extra calories and may contribute to weight gain. When choosing between Celsius vs coffee, you must consider what you typically put in your coffee!
Focus on maintaining an active lifestyle, manage your stress the best you can, consume a nutrient rich diet with limited added sugar and saturated fat and you should be able to maintain a healthy weight. That being said, a healthy weight looks different on everyone.
Which is the cheaper option?
Celsuis vs coffee… which is cheaper? Well, coffee is definitely the cheaper option. It does depend on the brand and form you purchase the coffee in, but even with the most expensive option it’s still cheaper.
Here is a comparison of a few popular coffee brands. For the conversion, I used 10 grams of ground coffee to one cup (8 ounces) of coffee.
- Maxwell House Medium Roast Ground Coffee: $0.16 per cup
- Peet’s Medium Roast Ground Coffee: $0.40 per cup
- Dunkin’ Donuts Medium Roast Ground Coffee: $0.32 per cup
- Starbucks Breakfast Blend Medium Ground Coffee: $0.38 per cup
- Stok Cold Brew Coffee: $0.99 per cup
- Starbucks Premium Dark Roast Iced Coffee: $1.08 per cup
One Celsius energy drink costs about $2.49 per can when purchased by itself or $2.08 per can when purchased in a 12 pack.
That being said, coffee usually requires some sugar and/or creamer to taste good, so that would be an added cost to consider in the calculation.
Also, if you are in the habit of buying coffee at a coffee shop, that can cost about $3-6 per cup, so that is also something to consider.
Other energy drink options
There are plenty of other energy drink options out there to choose from that aren’t too different from Celsius energy drinks. Try to choose a low to zero sugar option if you are trying to find a close match. Here are a few options:
- Monster Energy Zero Sugar Drink
- Rockstar Pure Zero Energy Drink
- Red Bull Sugar Free Energy Drink
- Bang Energy Drink
- Zevia Zero Sugar Energy Drink
- C4 Energy Drink
- Alani Nu Energy Drink
- Ghost Energy Drink
- WIRED Energy Drink Sugar Free
- Zoa Energy Drink Zero Sugar
As you can see, there are a variety of low to zero sugar energy drinks that are similar to Celsius and often lower in price.
When you’re deciding between Celsius vs coffee, make sure to consider caffeine content, ingredients, potential health benefits or risks and costs. Hope this article was informative!