Love your coffee but want to watch those calories? If you’re trying to lose weight or simply monitor your calorie intake, you might wonder how many calories your daily coffees are adding up. We’ve been there too. In this post, we’ll discuss all the important questions around this topic.
Is coffee zero calories? A cup of black coffee (8 fl oz) contains 2 calories. Though coffee is not exactly zero calories, it is one of the most calorie-efficient beverages in the world. According to the FDA, anything that contains fewer than 5 calories can be considered zero calories. So technically, you can say that a cup of coffee has zero calories in it.
Is Coffee Really Calorie-Free?
If you are going to have a cup of coffee i.e. 6 fluid ounces of coffee, then you will be consuming 1 calorie.
As you can see, coffee is not completely void of calories. But you will be hard-pressed to find a beverage that is this efficient when it comes to calories.
In some cases, people prefer drinking small cups of coffee (3 fl oz) and in that case, you’re not even getting that 1 calorie which is great if you’re monitoring your calorie intake.
When it comes to coffee, there are a few things that can make it more calorie-dense, such as adding whole milk or cream. Adding these items will increase the number of calories in your cup of coffee, but if you’re looking for no-calorie alternatives, you can opt for skim milk or simply stick with black coffee.
Why Does Coffee Have No Calories?
Coffee is naturally calorie-free because it does not contain any macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, or fats. Instead, the flavor of coffee comes from compounds known as polyphenols which are non-caloric.
This means that drinking a cup of plain coffee or cold brew won’t contribute any calories to your daily intake.
However, if you opt to add creamers and sweeteners to your coffee, those can be quite high in calories, so keep an eye on how much you’re using.
Also, the zero-calorie thing is only relevant to black coffee. If you love sipping your lattes and cappuccinos, then be warned that you are taking in a lot of calories. The milk and sugar (if you prefer them) come with a ton of calories will contribute.
What Type of Coffee Has No Calories?
Black coffee comes with almost no calories in it.
A cup of black coffee, according to USDA, comes with 2 calories. This is the most negligible amount of calories you will find in any beverage.
If you’re someone who consumes 2 to 4 cups of black coffee every day, then that adds to about 8 to 10 calories which is fantastic if you’re planning on losing weight or simply counting your calories.
But all this is true only if your black coffee is plain. If you’re drinking flavored coffee i.e. coffee with added sugar, vanilla syrup, whipped cream, or any other flavoring agents, then your coffee is going to be loaded with a decent amount of calories.
Here’s a table that tells how many calories each flavoring agents are capable of adding to your coffee
|Flavoring Agent (1 tbsp)||Calories|
|Half and Half||20|
You should also be on the watch for fancy coffees like Bulletproof coffee. Bulletproof coffee comes with a healthy dose of unsalted butter and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). If you haven’t guessed already, these two things are super rich in calories and will add a ton to your coffee.
Are All Coffees Calorie-Free?
No, not all coffees are free from calories.
The calorie count in your coffee is purely based on its ingredients.
If you prefer a Latte over a black coffee, then it is going to come with more calories as it has an espresso shot (slightly higher calories than black coffee) and 2 parts of frothed milk.
The same is true for other types of coffee as well.
Cappuccinos, Cafe Mocha, and Frappuccinos are all calorie-heavy coffee drinks. If you’re looking to lose some weight, steer clear of these coffees to avoid unhealthy extra calories.
Here’s a table that gives a good idea of how many calories are in some popular coffee drinks.
|Drinks (16 fl oz)||Calories|
|Caffe Au Lait||140|
Why Does My Coffee Say It Has Calories? Where Do The Calories Come From?
If your coffee drink says it contains calories, then there is a good chance that your coffee contains milk, sugar, coffee creamer, or any other additive that adds to the calorie count.
As we saw above, just a tablespoon of sugar is capable of adding 49 calories to your coffee. If you’re going for a sugary drink like Frappuccino or Frappe, then you are going to add a ton of calories to your coffee.
Wait for a second!
I’m only having black coffee and it says it has calories in it. What’s going on?
This is another great question.
As we mentioned above, black coffee is not void of calories.
There are different kinds of black coffee like regular black coffee, Espresso, Americano, Cold brew coffee, Nitro cold brew coffee, and so on.
Each of these coffees uses a specific brewing method that brings the coffee out of the coffee grounds. Depending on the method, each black coffee variant comes with a different calorie count.
Here’s a table that gives you black coffee types and their calorie counts.
|Type of Black Coffee||Calories|
We hope this gives you a good idea of how coffee and calories work.
Can I Drink Coffee Without Gaining Weight?
Yes, it is possible to drink coffee without gaining any weight.
Stick to plain black coffee without any milk, sugar, cream, or any other flavoring agents. This way you will only be consuming 2 to 3 calories per cup of coffee and that will not increase your body weight in any way possible.
Even if you are a fan of espresso, americano, and other variants of black coffee, avoid any flavoring agents to keep your drink a low-calorie one.
If you only drink instant coffee, make sure you get one that is made from high-quality Arabica beans. With good quality coffee, you won’t feel the need to add additives that will add extra calories.
How To Drink Coffee For Weight Loss?
Drinking coffee is a good way to promote weight loss.
Coffee contains caffeine which, in more than one way, manages to aid weight loss.
Caffeine Boosts Metabolism
Caffeine helps in boosting the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
Metabolism is the process through which the body breaks down the calories you take in. It also ensures proper utilization of the calories as well.
A study conducted in 2018 found that people who drank coffee regularly had better metabolism than those who didn’t. This increased metabolism can surely help in losing some excess weight.
Caffeine Might Suppress Your Appetite
Drinking a couple of cups of coffee every day can increase the feeling of fullness which in turn helps in suppressing appetite.
A scientific study conducted in 2014 confirms the same.
With regular coffee intake, your ghrelin (a hormone that makes you hungry) levels are reduced which helps with your weight loss.
So how do you drink coffee for weight loss?
To get the best results for weight loss, you can have anywhere from 2 to 4 cups of coffee every day. Make sure it is black and doesn’t have any additives like sugar or milk. This reduces calorie intake and also is void of fat.
This amount of coffee is perfect to keep you awake and doesn’t affect your sleep or hunger in a negative way.
Consuming coffee regularly might also make you resistant to its benefits. So it would not be a bad idea to have coffee in cycles. Consume coffee for a week or two then take a break. It’s easier said than done, but it could get you better results.
Time to wrap things up.
Is your black coffee zero calories? No, but it’s the closest to having almost no calories in your cup of coffee. A cup of black coffee comes with just 2 calories which is negligible.
If you’re big on lattes and cappuccinos, then you are taking in more calories than you can imagine. It would be a good idea to take a break from these milk-heavy drinks if you’re keen on watching your calorie intake.
If you are planning to lose weight, you can do so by consuming black coffee without any additives. Just follow the tips mentioned above and you should be golden.