Coffee and Calories

How many calories does a cup of coffee have?

For the health-conscious among us, this is a question we often ask when we look at our diet and calorie intake. But just how many calories does a cup of coffee have? This question has many different answers that, in turn, depend on various factors.

Your average cup of coffee with absolutely nothing added to it has a grand total of zero calories. If your cuppa is water and coffee, then you can sup away to your heart’s content in the knowledge that it will not negatively impact any eating plans you might be following. But if you are someone that likes to add things to your coffee, this is where the calories start building up.

Whether is Drip, Press, Moka, AeroPress, or regular Espresso, read on to find out more about the calorie composition of your cuppa. 

French Press

WHAT IS A CALORIE?

A calorie refers to a unit of measurement for energy derived from food. The number refers to how much energy your body can get from that particular food. However, when that energy is not used and expended, it is stored within the body, meaning we get heavier and fatter. It is essential to eat a balanced diet that provides our bodies with the fuel it needs to allow us to carry out our lives and be healthy.

 

WHY IS A CALORIE IMPORTANT?

Counting every single calorie you consume is not a healthy or sustainable way to live. However, you should aim to have an approximate idea of how many you consume daily. The reason is simple; you need to consume a similar amount of calories to those you expend every day to maintain your weight. If you want to lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you expend, but if you’re going to gain weight, you must consume more.

Obesity is on the rise, both in Malta and globally, and it can cause significant health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, heart disease, stroke, asthma, and even depression and anxiety. Drinking coffee will not make you lose weight, and you should be careful not to drink too much, but drinking it black will not up your calorie intake.

In other words, as part of a healthy diet combined with being active, coffee will not hinder or accelerate your weight loss or impact your health.

 

HOW CAN COFFEE CALORIES ADD UP?

But if you like to add lots of things to your coffee, like some of us at Vicky Coffee, then its zero-calorie status will soon disappear.

MILK AND CREAM 

If you add milk or cream to your coffee, you immediately up the calorie intake. On the bottom end of the scale, a dash of skimmed milk has around 22 calories, while heavy cream would have at least 51. These figures will go up or down depending on how much you add to your drink. If you have just a dash of skimmed milk in your macchiato, it could be as low as 12 calories, but if you go wild with cream in a huge latte, you could be looking at 80 calories plus. If you cannot live without milk in your coffee, just make sure to use a kind that will suit your health goals.

 

DAIRY ALTERNATIVES 

For those who don’t drink milk from animals, there are many plant-based alternatives, such as almonds, rice, coconut, soya, and oat milk. Again, each of these vary in terms of calorie content. Be sure to check the labels of any that you buy, as they often have lots of sugar in to boost the taste. Oat milk is low in sugar but high in carbohydrates, meaning it has a high-calorie content, while unsweetened almond milk has the lowest with 30 calories in a whole cup, meaning even less for the dash in your coffee. Other lower-calorie plant milks include unsweetened hemp, rice, and cashew milk, most with up to 63% less calories than cow milk.

SUGAR

A teaspoon of sugar in your coffee can add at least 16 calories to your cup. While it may not seem like much, those who have more than one spoon and drink several cups a day will find this soon adds up. There are slight differences between brown sugar, cane sugar, refined and unrefined sugar, demerara, and others. Some may also like to sweeten with honey or other syrups that come with additional calorie counts.

 

SWEETENERS

Some like to keep their coffee sweet but want to keep the calories low. In these cases, they turn to sweeteners such as stevia and artificial sweeteners. They tend to have around one calorie for each serving, sometimes slightly more and sometimes slightly less.

 

LIQUEUR

Many of us enjoy an Irish or an Italian coffee, but these bring additional calories and alcoholic content. A coffee with a shot of whiskey, brandy, vodka, rum, tequila, or a liqueur such as Kahlua, baileys, or amaretto, can easily have more than 100 additional calories in. A shot of Bailey’s can have some 164 calories in, 163 calories more than a coffee on its own. Adding a shot of alcohol can bring a nice twist to a coffee, but just be cautious not to do it too often or first thing in the morning!