A survey conducted in 2005 showed that over 80% of Americans drink coffee. Despite how common this beverage is, there is still a lot of misconception about the amount of calories it contains.
Is coffee high in calories or low in them? Is it safe to drink this even when you’re trying to lose weight?
In this article, we’ll find out how many calories are in coffee and give you some tips on how to make sure that your cup of Joe doesn’t make your waistline expand.
Coffee is low in calories… or is it?
Part of the confusion surrounding the calorie contents of coffee is due to the many types and sorts of coffee you can drink. At its most basic form, coffee is very low in calories. In fact, it’s close to having no calories altogether. A single cup of coffee will have 2 – 8 calories in total, hardly the sort of thing you should lose any sleep over. So, black or brewed coffee should be no problem, as far as your diet is concerned.
A little something extra
Coffee can become a calorie trap when you start adding things to it. Most people don’t drink coffee without including some extras to go along with it. These extra are where the calories are really hiding.
Let’s see how many calories coffee extras contain:
- Sugar – 49 calories
- Half and Half – 20 calories
- Fat free milk – 5 calories
- Cream – 52 calories
- Whole milk – 9 calories
- Flavored non dairy cream - as high as 50 calories
- Non dairy cream, plain – as high as 35 calories
The more stuff you add to your coffee, and the bigger that coffee cup is, the more calories you’re going to be consuming. Believe me, these calories pile up very quickly. You won’t believe how fast.
Calories in Popular Coffee Chains
I decided to do a little research and see how many calories the various types of coffee sold in America’s most popular coffee chains contain. Naturally, I can’t summarize every single type of coffee in this article as there are dozens if not over a hundred different kinds. However, I believe that this will give you a pretty good picture of what’s really going on.
Here are just a few examples of the calorie contents of drinks sold in this popular chain:
- Caffè Mocha - 260 calories and 8 grams of fat.
- Caramel Macchiato - 240 calories and 7 grams of fat
- Iced Flavored Latte - 250 calories and 6 grams of fat
- Pumpkin Spice Latte - 310 calories and 6 grams of fat
- Eggnog Latte - 470 calories and 21 grams of fat
Note: These data is for a Grande coffee (16 oz).
Here are some data of some drinks sold at this chain:
- Large Mocha Iced Cappucino with milk - 360 calories and 3 grams of fat.
- Large Iced Cappucino, Original with cream - 470 calories and 20 grams of fat
- Medium Iced Cappucino, Original with Chocolate Milk – 230 calories and 1 gram of fat.
- Extra Large Coffee with Cream - 90 calories and 7 grams of fat.
- Medium Caramel High Rise – 360 calories and 18 grams of fat
- Small Iced Mocha – 270 calories and 9 grams of fat
- Medium Berry White Mocha – 630 calories and 35 grams of fat
- Medium Depth Charge no cream – 5 calories with no fat
- Medium Depth Charge with cream – 105 calories and 11 grams of fat
Source: Caribou Coffee nutrition
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
- 12oz Cappuccino Single Whole Milk – 130 calories
- 12oz Latte Whole Milk – 210 calories
- 12oz Cafe Mocha – 190 calories
- 12oz Caramel Latte – 280 calories
Source: Coffeebean Nutrition
Coffee, by itself, is low in calories. The problem is that most coffee sold today may be coffee based but is very far from plain. The more things people add to their coffee or the farther your cup of Joe is from the plain sort, the more calories it is likely to contain.
As you can see in the various examples I listed above, some coffees can contain 250 calories and upward. This is more than 10% of the recommended calorie intake for men and over 15% that for women. This means that drinking high calorie coffee can easily put you into a calorie surplus which will lead to weight gain.
So, drink coffee all you want but be aware of the high calorie traps lurking in some of the coffee drinks you may be considering.
Image credit: Stepheye