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Coffee Calories

Decoding Coffee Calories: How Your Daily Brew Affects Weight Loss

coffee calories

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with millions of people consuming it daily. It is a source of caffeine, which provides a boost of energy, and it is also a source of several micronutrients, including potassium and magnesium. However, one of the most common questions about coffee is how many calories it contains. In this post, we will explore the number of calories in coffee and how it can impact your health and weight loss goals.

Calories in Black Coffee

Black coffee is nearly calorie-free, with a minimal amount of protein and no carbs or fat. According to the USDA, one cup of brewed black coffee with no cream or sugar added (240g) provides 2.4 calories and 0.3g of protein. This means that a plain black cup of coffee is an excellent choice for those who are watching their calorie intake. Additionally, coffee is a source of potassium and magnesium, which are essential minerals that play a role in several bodily functions.

Negative Caloric Impact of Coffee

Interestingly, coffee may have a negative caloric impact on the body. Caffeine, the active ingredient in coffee, has been shown to increase calorie burn. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, caffeine can increase energy expenditure by up to 11%. This means that drinking coffee can help you burn more calories than you consume, which can be beneficial for weight loss.

Coffee Calories with Additions!

While plain black coffee is nearly calorie-free, coffee with dairy products, sugar, and other flavorings is much higher in calories. Depending on what you put in your coffee, as well as how much of it you drink, you may be consuming more calories than you think. Here are some examples of the number of calories in coffee with additions:

  • Coffee with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of French vanilla creamer: 32 calories
  • Iced black coffee: 2 calories
  • Brewed coffee from flavored beans: 2 calories
  • Espresso: 20 calories
  • Cold press (nitro cold brew): 2 calories
  • Black coffee: 2 calories

As you can see, the number of calories in coffee can vary widely depending on what you add to it. If you are trying to watch your calorie intake, it is essential to be mindful of what you put in your coffee.

Calories in Popular Coffee Drinks

Coffee drinks from popular coffee shops can be high in calories, especially if they contain added sugar, whipped cream, and other flavorings. Here are some examples of the number of calories in popular coffee drinks:

  • Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino (16 ounces): 440 calories, 12 grams of saturated fat, and 63 grams of net carbs
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Caramel Swirl Iced Coffee (medium, 24 ounces): 230 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 44 grams of net carbs
  • McDonald’s McCafe Mocha (medium, 16 ounces): 330 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 49 grams of net carbs

As you can see, coffee drinks from popular coffee shops can be high in calories, fat, and carbs. If you are trying to watch your calorie intake, it is essential to be mindful of what you order.

Are there fewer calories in Decaffeinated Coffee?

Decaf coffee has slightly fewer calories than regular coffee. A cup of black decaf coffee contains approximately 2 calories1, while a cup of regular black coffee has around 2.4 calories2. It is important to note that these calorie counts apply only to black coffee without any added milk, sugar, or other flavorings, which can significantly increase the calorie content.

The decaffeination process removes about 97% of the caffeine from coffee beans, resulting in a cup of decaf coffee containing about 2 mg of caffeine compared to the 95 mg found in a regular cup of coffee3. Decaf coffee is a suitable choice for those who enjoy the taste of coffee but want to avoid the side effects of caffeine, such as increased heart rate, anxiety, or sleep disturbances. However, keep in mind that adding milk, sugar, or other extras to your decaf coffee will still increase its calorie content.

Impact of Coffee on Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight, coffee can be a helpful tool. As we mentioned earlier, caffeine can increase energy expenditure, which can help you burn more calories than you consume. Additionally, coffee can help suppress appetite, which can make it easier to stick to a calorie-restricted diet. However, it is essential to be mindful of what you put in your coffee. Adding sugar, cream, and other flavorings can quickly add up to hundreds of calories, which can sabotage your weight loss efforts.

Tips for Reducing Calories in Coffee

If you are trying to reduce your calorie intake, here are some tips for making your coffee healthier:

  • Drink black coffee: As we mentioned earlier, black coffee is nearly calorie-free and an excellent choice for those who are watching their calorie intake.
  • Use low-fat milk: If you prefer to add milk to your coffee, use low-fat milk instead of whole milk. This can significantly reduce the number of calories in your coffee.
  • Skip the sugar: Sugar is high in calories and can quickly add up. If you need to sweeten your coffee, use a natural sweetener like stevia or honey instead.
  • Avoid whipped cream: Whipped cream is high in calories and fat and can quickly add up. If you need to add cream to your coffee, use a low-fat creamer instead.

Conclusion

Coffee is a popular beverage that provides a boost of energy and several micronutrients. While plain black coffee is nearly calorie-free, coffee with dairy products, sugar, and other flavorings is much higher in calories. If you are trying to watch your calorie intake, it is essential to be mindful of what you put in your coffee. Additionally, coffee can have a negative caloric impact on the body, as caffeine has been shown to increase calorie burn. However, it is important to note that coffee should not be relied upon as a weight loss tool on its own. It should be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise routine.

In conclusion, the number of coffee calories can vary widely depending on what you add to it. Plain black coffee is nearly calorie-free and an excellent choice for those who are watching their calorie intake. However, coffee with dairy products, sugar, and other flavorings is much higher in calories and can quickly add up. If you are trying to reduce your calorie intake, it is essential to be mindful of what you put in your coffee. Additionally, coffee can be a helpful tool for weight loss when consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise routine.

References:

1. Coffee Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits – Verywell Fit
2. How Many Calories Are in Coffee? – Healthline
3. How many calories are in coffee? | A Visual Guide – ClearVue Health
4. Sabotaging your weight loss? – Mayo Clinic
5. Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics – Mayo Clinic

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