Really? Does coffee have zero calories?
We all know that coffee is a calorie-free drink, right? Well not exactly. While it’s true that black coffee has zero calories, once you start adding things like milk, sugar, and flavorings, the calorie count starts to rise.
So is coffee zero calories? Let’s unravel the caloric truth behind everyone’s favorite caffeinated beverage.
The truth about coffee and zero calories
The coffee itself is quite low in calories. A cup of coffee only has 2 calories, while a cup of cold-brewed coffee has 3 calories.
However, when you start adding things like milk and sugar, the calorie count starts to climb. A cup of coffee with 1% milk and 2 teaspoons of sugar has 50 calories. And a flavored latte made with whole milk and topped with whipped cream can be up to 300 calories.
So if you want to control your weight or cut calories, you may want to stick to black coffee or make your own coffee at home and add your own milk and sugar.
And if you order a flavored latte or other specialty drink at a coffee shop, be sure to check the nutrition facts to find out how many calories you’re consuming.
Why doesn’t coffee have calories?
You may not realize it, but every time you take a sip of coffee, you’re actually drinking a calorie-free beverage.
That’s right, coffee has no calories, which means it won’t contribute to weight gain or affect your diet in any way.
So how is it possible? Let’s take a look at the science behind why coffee has no calories.
Related: Why coffee upsets your stomach?
The science of why coffee has no calories
To understand why coffee has no calories, we first need to understand what calories are. Calories are units of energy that the body uses to eat itself. When you eat or drink something, your body breaks down the food or drink into calories and then uses those calories for energy.
Most foods and drinks contain calories, but there are some exceptions. Water, for example, contains no calories because it contains no nutrients that the body can break down for energy.
Similarly, coffee also contains no calories because it does not contain any nutrients that the body can use for energy.
So if coffee has no nutrients, where does the caffeine come from? Caffeine is actually a calorie-free compound found naturally in coffee beans.
When coffee beans are roasted, the caffeine is extracted and it becomes the coffee we know and love.
Calories in different coffee drinks
- Coffee with milk and sugar: 70-80 calories
- Cappuccino: 100-120 calories
- Coffee with milk: 110-120 calories
- Mocha: 170-180 calories
- Iced coffee: 30-40 calories
Here is a list of coffee drinks and their calorie contents:
|Drink Name||Calories per 8 ounces (240 mL)|
|iced black coffee||2|
|Cold pressed (nitro cold brew)||2|
|Coffee made with flavored beans||2|
|Coffee with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) French vanilla cream||32|
|Coffee with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of skimmed milk||7|
|Coffee with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of media leche and 1 teaspoon of sugar||38|
|skimmed milk coffee||72|
|Flavored coffee with milk||134|
|Fat free cappuccino||46|
|Stained without grease||52|
|Bulletproof Coffee with 2 cups (470 mL) of coffee, 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of butter, and 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of coconut oil||about 325|
How many calories does instant coffee have?
A cup of black instant coffee without added milk or sugar contains only 2 calories. However, if milk and sugar are added to the coffee, the number of calories increases.
A cup of instant coffee with whole milk and sugar contains about 90 calories. And a cup of instant coffee with skim milk and sugar contains about 50 calories.
How many calories does a packet of instant coffee have?
A packet of instant black coffee without added milk or sugar contains about 16 calories.
However, if milk and sugar are added to the coffee, the number of calories increases. A packet of instant coffee with whole milk and sugar contains about 120 calories. And a packet of instant coffee with skim milk and sugar contains about 80 calories.
Do coffee beans have calories?
On average, a single coffee bean contains about 4 calories. This may not sound like a lot, but it can add up quickly if you eat a lot.
For example, a 1-ounce serving of coffee beans (about 28 grams) contains about 113 calories. That’s more than twice the caloric content of an equivalent serving of regular coffee, which only has 50 calories.
Of course, most people don’t eat coffee beans by the handful. But if you like to snack on them while brewing your coffee, or adding them to smoothies or other recipes, it’s important to be aware of the calorie content.
Otherwise, you could end up consuming more calories than you think.
How coffee beans affect your daily calorie intake
The calorie content of coffee beans is relatively low, so it shouldn’t have a major impact on your daily calorie intake, unless you eat large amounts of them.
However, if you are concerned about your calorie intake, there are a few things you can do to limit the number of calories you consume from coffee beans.
- Avoid eating them by the handful. A single grain here or there probably won’t hurt, but eating a lot can add up quickly.
- Be careful with flavored coffee beans that have been coated with chocolate or other high-calorie substances. These can significantly increase the caloric content per grain.
- Limit the amount of coffee beans you add to smoothies or other recipes. Only a few will add flavor without adding too many extra calories.
Final Thoughts: Does coffee have zero calories?
Now that you know how many calories are in some of the most popular coffee drinks, even though black coffee has zero calories, once you start adding things like milk and sugar, the calorie count starts to increase.
So if you’re trying to control your weight or cut calories, stick to black coffee or make your own coffee at home and add your own milk and sugar.