Is Your Coffee Drink Packing Serious Calories?

It's important to be mindful of the sugar, fat, and calories that mixed coffee drinks may contain.

a barista pours milk into a latte coffee drink

Medically reviewed in October 2021

Updated on March 15, 2022

If you're looking to be mindful about your calorie intake, it's worth paying extra attention to what goes into your coffee.

While a 12-ounce cup of straight black coffee contains roughly 5 calories, those numbers can rise quickly once toppings are included. Blended beverages (anything other than straight coffee or tea) can pack upwards of 300 calories or more if you factor in add-ins like whole milk, whipped cream, sauces and other sweeteners.

Coffeehouse caloriefest
We really do love our tasty mocha drinks, don't we? In fact, Americans consume more than 200 calories each day on average from sugary drinks, which is more than four times the amount consumed in the 1960s. Most of these calories come from sweetened drinks like soda and juice, but blended coffee drinks contribute, too. Think cappuccinos, lattes, frappes, smoothies—anything where the barista blends something into your drink.

How to keep coffee healthy
There's no need to ditch your daily coffee jaunt completely. In fact, your java may have health benefits. But make smart choices. Drink brewed coffee or tea with added milk and sugar and you're looking at only about 60 calories a serving. A little skim milk and sugar by your own hand is bound to be less calorie-laden than the coffeehouse prep. And if you have to do the blended thing, order the smallest size available, and opt for the "light" version.

Tired of relying on coffee to get you through the day? Trying a caffeine-free alternative can help get you over the afternoon slump.

Article sources open article sources

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source. Public Health Concerns: Sugary Drinks. Accessed March 22, 2022.
Drew DeSilver. What’s on your table? How America’s diet has changed over the decades. Pew Research Center. December 13, 2016.

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