As a college student, I’ve become privy to minimizing costs and maximizing benefits — especially when it comes to coffee.

Most college students have developed a loyalty to a particular caffeinated beverage, from soda to energy drinks and coffee.

So, when push comes to shove, which is more cost effective? If coffee is the drink of choice, which type of brew do you choose? And if you don’t drink energy drinks, soda or coffee, what type of tea can give you that necessary jolt?

Before we delve in to caffeine measurements, we need to know what’s considered standard for a day’s intake. Between 200 and 300 mg of caffeine a day is plenty — just 100 mg is enough to make a person dependent.

Coffee caffeine content:

  • Espresso (2 oz) – 45 – 100 mg. That means about one latte a day is enough to get you hooked.
  • Brewed coffee (8 oz) – 60 – 100 mg
  • Decaf coffee (8 oz) – 1 – 5 mg. And yes, decaffeinated coffee has caffeine

Soda (for 12 oz cans)

  • Coca Cola – 34 mg
  • Pepsi – 38 mg

Energy drinks

  • 5 hour energy (2 oz) -138 mg
  • Amp (8.4 oz) – 75 mg
  • Monster (16 oz) – 160 mg
  • Red Bull (8.4 oz) – 80 mg

Tea

  • Black (8 oz) – 45 mg
  • Green (8 0z) – 20 mg
  • White (8 oz) – 15 mg

When you consider that the average prices of these beverages, it becomes clear that either coffee or tea is the most frugal way to get your jolt.

Average prices:

Latte – $3

Brewed coffee – $2

Soda – $2

Energy drink – $3

Tea – $1

Ounce for ounce, milligram for milligram, coffee and tea win out.

The battle between coffee and the energy drink:

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