There is widespread confusion about how many calories are in coffee, and it’s not surprising as there is no simple answer. The amount of calories in your cup will depend very much on what you’re adding into your coffee and this can make the calorie amount vary dramatically.
When trying to figure out exactly how many calories are in your coffee, the best way to do the calculation is to start at the beginning, with the coffee itself. Plain black coffee is very low in calories. An espresso, instant coffee or black coffee from a coffee shop will only have 5 or 6 calories per cup. Adding in other things like sugar, milk and especially cream, will be what increases the calorie count significantly. If you prefer your instant or filter coffee with some semi-skimmed milk, that will increase the calories to around 25 per cup. A teaspoon of sugar brings in another 16 calories, increasing the total for the cup of coffee to 46 calories. If you prefer your coffee made with heated milk rather than water, this also boosts the calorie count. A standard sized takeaway latte from a coffee shop comes in at around 195 calories, whereas a cappuccino is anything between 125 and 180 depending on the size and whether you add chocolate on to the top. Right at the top of the calorie lists when it comes to coffee are the fancy concoctions made by the major coffee shop chains. Something like a Frappuccino with whipped cream and syrup can be as much as 345 calories.
Cutting down on the calories
The easiest way to cut down on the calories and not compromise on your coffee drinking is to switch the type of coffee you are drinking. Choose a filter coffee or Americano to which you can add your own milk rather than going for a milky latte. If giving up your latte or Frappuccino is a step too far, switch the milk from full cream to semi-skimmed, or skimmed. Finally, try to cut down on the added extras such as the cream, syrups, chocolate sprinkles on the top and marshmallows. If you’re drinking a lot of coffee it might be worth making the switch from sugar to a low calorie sugar substitute or artificial sweetener, or try to give up sugar in your coffee completely.
Does iced coffee have fewer calories?
Again, it depends on what else apart from ice and coffee you are putting into your glass. If it’s nearly all ice and black coffee with just a dash of milk then it’s a low calorie drink. If it’s full of sugar, syrups, cream or flavorings in addition to the coffee and ice, then It could be as high as 300 calories, or more.