Coffee vs. Red Bull: Nutrients, Caffeine, and Recommendations

Medically Reviewed on 8/17/2022
Coffee vs. Red Bull: Nutrients, Caffeine, and Recommendations
Learn about the nutritional differences between coffee and Red Bull

If you are like most people, chances are you turn to caffeine from time to time to maintain your energy levels throughout the day. 

While coffee is often the first choice for many, others prefer energy drinks like Red Bull.

Learn about the nutritional differences between coffee and Red Bull, which one has more caffeine, and how each can affect your health.

What are the nutritional differences between coffee and Red Bull?

Table. Nutrient contents of a 8.4-ounce cup of black coffee vs. a can of Red Bull
Nutrient contents Standard Red Bull Sugar-free Red Bull 1 cup of coffee (250 mL)
Calories 112 13 2.4
Sugar 27 grams 2 grams of carbs -
Protein 1 gram 1 gram -
Magnesium 2% of the Daily Value (DV) 2% of the DV -
Thiamine 9% of the DV 5% of the DV -
Riboflavin 21% of the DV 112% of the DV 14% of the DV
Niacin 160% of the DV 134% of the DV -
Vitamin B12 213% of the DV 209% of the DV -
Vitamin B6 331% of the DV 296% of the DV -
Caffeine 80 mg 80 mg 99.8 grams
Fat - - 0.1 grams

Which has more caffeine?

Caffeine levels in coffee vary depending on the type of beans used. However, the caffeine content in a typical cup of coffee is between 80 and 200 mg. 

Red Bull has about 80 mg of caffeine per can, meaning it has less caffeine than a cup of coffee. However, Red Bull contains additional stimulants like taurine and sugar.

What are the pros and cons of coffee?


  • Packed with essential nutrients
  • Good source of antioxidants
  • High in caffeine, which can enhance brain function and provide energy
  • May protect against the early onset of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
  • May lower the risk of type II diabetes
  • May help enhance liver function 
  • Lowers the risk of depression and suicide
  • Acts as a diuretic and increases metabolism


What are the pros and cons of Red Bull?


  • Provide a quick energy boost
  • Contains vital nutrients, such as B vitamins
  • Enhances physical performance
  • Improves alertness
  • Boosts reaction time



Which is one of the few drinks to be considered a superfood? See Answer

Which should you drink?

Because both coffee and Red Bull contain caffeine, it is recommended to consume them in moderation.

Too much coffee can cause temporary mental disturbances, irritability, heartburn, chest pain, dyspnea, involuntary muscular movements, and caffeine withdrawal syndrome. According to a study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, you should limit your coffee consumption to about 2-3 cups a day. 

Scientific evidence suggests that energy drinks like Red Bull can have major health consequences, especially in children, teens, and young adults. Because of the added sugars, it is best to avoid Red Bull when possible. 

So if you consume caffeine on a regular basis, coffee is the healthier choice.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/17/2022
Image Source: iStock image

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