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Does Coffee Have Calories and if so, how many?

Are you starting a new diet? Do you love coffee? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you’re probably wondering just how your new diet will work with your love of coffee. This is especially true if you tend to drink multiple cups of coffee each day. Well, the good news is, coffee by itself tends to be fairly low in calories.

This doesn’t mean you can walk into a coffee shop and order whatever you want and expect it to be low-calorie. Rather, you need to take the time to become informed on what coffees and coffee preparations have the least and most calories.

How Many Calories Is Black Coffee?

Black coffee is both the easiest and lowest-calorie way to enjoy your favorite cup of the beverage. Black coffee refers to hot water which is brewed over coffee grounds. Then there is nothing else added to the cup afterwards. Because black coffee is mostly water, for one cup, or eight-ounce portion, you will only be consuming a mere 2 calories. So, feel free to enjoy a cup or two of your favorite joe without hurting your new diet plans!

If you like to order cold brew black coffee, note that while this may lower the acidity of the coffee, it does increase the calorie count to about five calories for every eight ounces. Still a small amount that one cup shouldn’t ruin your diet plan but it is still something to keep in mind.

Does Caffeine Have Calories?

Some people think that ordering decaf coffee, or decaffeinated coffee is healthier. This is not true at all. The number of calories in caffeine is so negligible (basically nothing) that removing the caffeine from your coffee doesn’t make it any healthier, it just won’t keep you up all night.

The Number Of Calories In Espresso

While your regular old black cup of joe is only 2 calories, a shot of espresso plain will set you back a few more. One shot of espresso is 3 calories, and note that this is a significantly smaller volume than your eight-ounce cup mentioned above. This has to do with the way espresso is brewed as compared to a brewed cup of coffee.

Why Does Coffee Get A Bad Rap?

You’ve probably read this far wondering just why coffee is ever considered bad if it’s so low in calories and is basically water. Well, that’s because most people don’t drink coffee plain. Rather, they add lots of unhealthy and calorific ingredients to their coffee which drives the calorie counts for their favorite coffee beverage through the roof. Below are some of the common ingredients added to coffee.

Sugar

People around the globe love to add sugar to their favorite cuppa. And sugar, when added to a cup of coffee, is usually done so by using a teaspoon rather than a pinch. And that’s if you stop at one teaspoon. Generally, whether you choose white or brown sugar, one teaspoon of sugar is 16 calories. And this refers to a properly measured out teaspoonful, not one which is piled high.

Artificial Sweeteners

Many people solve the sugar calories problem by adding artificial sweeteners to their coffee rather than real sugar. And while this does lower the calorie content of the coffee when compared to regular sugar, it’s important that you know that these sweeteners are not calorie-free. In fact, most teaspoons of artificial sweeteners come in at 2-4 calories depending on the brand you buy. So before you spoon in three teaspoons full, make sure you read the label for more information.

Honey

While honey is more commonly used to sweeten tea, it can be used as a sweetener for coffee as well. Honey is a healthier alternative to sugar as it contains a number of vitamins and minerals which are good for your body while it sweetens your beverage. Not only that, but it is much easier for your stomach to digest if you have digestion issues. One tablespoon of honey will usually have about 64 calories. While this may seem like a shocking number, remember that honey is better for your body and a better sweetener. This means however much sugar you add to your coffee, you can add have as much honey and achieve the same result.

Cow’s Milk

Now, most people don’t just drink their coffee with sugar, usually, they also like to add something rich and creamy. Cow’s milk is one of the most popular additives worldwide. Of course, the number of calories it will add to your beverage will depend on just how much you are adding to your cup. One ounce of whole cow’s milk contains 31 calories.

Skim Cow’s Milk

You may think that a better, lower-calorie, alternative to adding whole milk to your coffee would be to add skim milk instead. Although it is generally advertised as better for you, skim milk only has one less calorie per ounce when compared to whole milk. So at 30 calories per ounce, it doesn’t seem worth the switch from whole milk.

2% Cow’s Milk

Similar to skim Milk, 2% milk doesn’t save you as many calories as one would think. For each ounce of 2% milk you add to your coffee you still add 30 calories, so don’t be deceived and think that 2% milk is a lower calorie version of the skim or whole-fat versions.

Almond Milk

While you may be struggling with how to cut down the calories in your favorite beverage without skimping on the milk, consider switching to almond milk. At only 7.5 calories per glass, you can still get the richness you get from milk without all the calories. The only downside to almond milk is that it does have a bit of a nutty flavor which may change the taste of your favorite coffee—but maybe you’ll find you like this new nutty flavor more!

Coconut Milk

Another popular milk alternative, which doesn’t tend to change the flavor of coffee as much as its almond counterpart is coconut milk. Unfortunately, coconut milk tips the scales at a whopping 55 calories per ounce. Of course, all these calories are coming from a healthy fat source and can be part of a healthy diet, but if you are counting calories, watch how much coconut milk you are pouring in your coffee.

Oat Milk

Oat Milk is another popular milk variation that is considered a healthy alternative to full-fat milk while also not changing the flavor of your coffee. And thankfully, this replacement is much less calorific than coconut milk, with only 10 calories per ounce added to your coffee.

Cashew Milk

Now this nut milk is nowhere near as popular as its almond counterpart, but it can be found in some coffee shops and homes nationwide. And for a good reason too, at only 3 calories per ounce, this milk alternative is one of the best creamy substances you can add to your coffee! And, in general, people tend to claim that cashew milk change the taste of their coffee less than almond milk.

Half And Half

Of course, the most popular, and perhaps tasty of the coffee additives cannot be overlooked. Poured into thousands of cups of coffee every minute, half and half can be added to your morning beverage for 34 calories an ounce, putting it just above the calorie cost of whole milk.

Whip Cream

Whether you visit a coffee shop or like to make fancy coffees at home, whip cream also can make an appearance as a coffee additive. Be cautious with how much you add to your beverage, however, because whip cream is both difficult to measure out, and has a massive 52 calories for each tablespoon you place on top of your joe.

How To Cut Calories In Your Coffee

Now that you’ve seen how some of the most popular coffee additives can really add up, it’s time to make some decisions each morning when it comes to your morning cup of joe. The easiest way to cut calories would be learning to drink your coffee black, but of course, this isn’t that realistic. Start first with learning to read food labels and calculate just how many calories you are adding to your beverage. For example, you may be adding a “pour” of half and half that you don’t know how many calories it has in it. Instead, measure out exactly one tablespoon so you know exactly how many calories you are getting.

But also, if you considered switching out your half and half entirely for a tablespoon of almond milk you can save yourself a ton of unnecessary calories.

Besides swapping an ingredient entirely, it’s also possible to look for lower-fat versions of your favorite creamers and flavored milk. Or, some coffee-loving dieters will also water their coffee down with water so that they don’t have to add as much sugar and cream to achieve the same taste. Whatever you think may work for you, try multiple methods. Who knows, you may just find your new favorite coffee combination during an inadvertent low-calorie coffee experiment.

What About Flavored Coffee?

Most people, when they drink coffee at home, only add milk or sugar or a combination of the two. But when you go to a coffee shop, there are a wide variety of pumps of flavor that you can add to your beverage to make it sweeter and change the taste to fun things like caramel or raspberry. The exact number of calories per pump of flavor will differ depending on the flavor you choose, but in general, for each pump the barista adds to your drink, this is an extra 70 calories.

If you’ve ever watched a barista make a drink, you know that he or she often puts more than one pump in your drink. And this is truly how coffee becomes a high-calorie drink and fast. So next time you have the urge to order a flavored coffee, remember the unnecessary calories and consider a beverage without instead.

And Fancy Frappuccino’s?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, whenever you add anything to make your coffee better, you’re going to be adding the calories as well. If you’ve been keeping track of the calorie counts for all your favorite additives, you know what’s coming next is not good news. But fancy coffee beverages purchased at coffee shops like Frappuccino’s and macchiatos are simply loaded with calories.

Of course, each drink will differ in its final calorie count, but a number of popular coffee beverages, ordered in their large size, can exceed 1,000 calories. That is half of your daily calorie intake in one beverage. And chances are you are consuming it with a pastry or other breakfast food.

This doesn’t mean that if you are on a diet you can no longer order your favorite blended coffee treat, but it does mean that it’s time to make some changes. Next time you go to the coffee shop, inquire about milk alternatives, sugar alternatives, and even lower calorie options of the famous pumps of flavor. You may be surprised by what your favorite barista can whip up. Also make sure you always order the smallest size and consider lowering the frequency at which you order your favorite beverage to make it more of a treat and less of a daily addition to your calories.

How many calories in a cup of coffee (Video)

Conclusion

As you embark on a diet or more mindful eating habits, it can be tempting to let your coffee habit be. But in reality, how you make your coffee each morning can be adding hundreds and even thousands, of calories to your diet. Start counting the calories of what you are putting into your morning coffee, and make switches for lower-calorie alternatives. And if you still want to go out occasionally for your favorite beverage, this is okay too, just try to make some lower-calorie changes there as well. Or, learn to drink your coffee black each morning, the choice is yours.