The verbal attacks we assume that you are among the enthusiasts that are stuck with the decision of which soda is the best between coke and Pepsi. The verbal attacks still rage on between enthusiastic die-hard lovers of coke and Pepsi with no one admitting fully that his favorite drink is outshined by the other.
The confusion is even huge to occasional drinkers, because, ideally, they see the same soda if not apparent as seen in their respective cans and bottles. The fact is that, there is a real difference between these sodas.
Some experiments have been undertaken in this regard to unfold the main difference between these drinks beyond the apparent similar color. Sources such as the businessinsider.com and ‘the independent’ have devoted reports on this increasingly hot topic between Pepsi and Coke. Some of the findings are highlighted below.
Main differences between Pepsi and Coke
- Flavor → it may not seem so obvious at first glance, especially when you drink them with a huge gap of time in between that these sodas are actually different in flavor. Take them and drink in sequence or let a friend blindfold you while you taste each drink. You will realize that Coke has a flavor that resembles vanilla raisin, while the Pepsi has a flavor that resembles the citric acid.
The popular author of the book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell has devoted some time in analyzing the main difference between Coke and Pepsi, and had actually identified the citrus and vanilla raisin flavor as the determinant behind the difference. And indeed the nutritional facts depicted on the containers justify that finding with the absence of citric acid seen in the coke sodas.
- Taste intensity → those with great taste differentiating abilities will tell you how smooth the coke feels and how robust the Pepsi feels like down the throat. Again, the citric acid and other ingredients play a role in this taste. There is an after-taste after drinking the Pepsi soda and this smooth taste helps Coke to outshine Pepsi
- Sweetness → without disclosing the identity of the soda, with a first taste you would notice that the other is sweeter. Looking at the ingredients, we notice that Coke has little sugar compared to Pepsi. In Pepsi, there are more artificial sweeteners used that are responsible for the after-taste after drinking, and a burst of flavor. You are, therefore, more likely to drink more of Pepsi because of this sweetness unless the doctor has restricted your sugar intake.
- Carbonation → by shaking the plastic bottle of both Pepsi and Coke, you will realize more bubbles in the Coke bottle. This is attributed to the presence of more carbon dioxide in Coke than Pepsi. Even when you are pouring the soda in cups, you will notice more bubbles in the Coke side. Coke has more carbonation than Pepsi.
- Ingredients Composition → Pepsi is armed with sugar, caffeine, carbonated water, citric acid, fructose corn syrup, coloring and other natural flavors, whereas Coke has Carbonated water, sugar, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, and caffeine. The main difference in these ingredients is the citric acid and more sugar content which then contribute to the significant difference the two sodas. Coke has more of sodium.
Which is the best soda between Coke and Pepsi?
With little information, the answer can be more subjective that the other is much better. But it goes down to individual preference in touting one as the best soda. Statistically, more people have showed their preference on Pepsi because of the first impression of sweet taste and a burst of flavor with just a single sip. The sugar conscious consumers would probably side with the coke for its lower sugar levels.
Even the sales show that there is a fierce competition between these sodas. But Coke predominantly emerges as the winner in the sales category mainly due to branding. But we cannot base the preference based on the sales only because Pepsi and Coke, as the companies, have other products they sell that have contributed to their marginalized annual sales.
So our take is that, it all depends on your preference that which soda is the best among Coke and Pepsi. Some are defiant of the fact that Pepsi outsmarts coke in some areas because of the branding of the soda. Coke has been around for many years and many people are loyal to it. It’s not easy to give them an alternative. By insinuating this, we do not endorse Pepsi as the best soda.
Safety of Coke and Pepsi drinks in your body
Also noteworthy concern to the difference of Pepsi and Coke is their safety in our bodies. They are pretty cool soft drinks to quench the thirst after eating, but too much consumption may have adverse effects. Some effects are highlighted hereunder:
- Caffeine Content → Both the Pepsi and the Coke have the caffeine content, and Pepsi relatively has more than Coke has. We usually consume caffeine from our daily intake of coffee but too much of it can be detrimental to our health. Such problems may be seen mostly in kids whereby they start to develop some stomach problems, anxiety, insomnia and other related health issues. It can also be detrimental in pregnant women overly consuming it.
- High fructose corn syrup → Coke is said to have large amount of fructose corn syrup and this ingredient is associated with the likelihood of obesity. Its effects are even worse than a regular sugar is. So, if you are on an endeavor to curb weight gain, coke is a no-go area. Luckily Coke has alternatives such as coke light beverages, but still not endorsed unless your doctor does. The high fructose can be converted into fat during metabolism in the body.
- BPA coating → the canned beverages produced have been found to have a BPA lining of which the chemical was associated with possible health risk although the research is not that intensive into them. Reports assert that Coke has been reluctant in discontinuing the lining on their cans. The company justifies the use by saying the findings are not concrete because the independent scientists have not declared the cans to be health-risk. Such findings are not heard of with Pepsi.
Whether coke or Pepsi, each soft drink has got its adverse effects if over consumed. For example, Pepsi is too sugary compared to coke. That might be a no-go area for the sugar conscious consumers. Users need to monitor their coke and Pepsi beverages as none is declared healthy especially for frequent intakes.
Tabular Comparison of Coke and Pepsi
|Taste||Tastes like the citric acid||Tastes like the vanilla raisins|
|Sweet||More artificial sweeteners||Less artificial sweeteners|
|Flavor||A burst flavor with after taste||Smooth flavor|
In spite of the nutritional facts we have stated regarding the difference between coke and Pepsi, other enthusiasts will still remain defiant that their favorite soda tops. The significant lies in the main ingredients that make these two beverages to feel different. They are the same in color but not in the quality of the ingredients.
The Spoon University has conducted a survey in which it has found out that 64% of people prefer Coke over Pepsi. But we have to acknowledge the fact that some people are more influenced by the branding behind the choices rather than the quality of the ingredients. But on overall, we also admit that Coke, in most the cases, emerges victorious especially that smooth taste down the throat.
Author: Lusi Madisha
Lusi is a professional writer and a researcher for more than seven years. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of South Africa.