Everyone needs a cup of coffee in their life once in a while (or possibly every day if you are like me). Coffee is a very pleasant drink for the taste buds and it has such a strong ability to subdue a person and make them feel less stressed and focused when they need it. People all over the world understand the purpose and potency of coffee. Coffee is good, it promotes socialization, and it offers a good energy boost when you really need it, but other than that does anybody really know a lot more about coffee. Aware of the benefits? What it can do for you? What types of coffee you should try to drink and which you should try to avoid for your own health? What can coffee give you calorie wise and what happens when you start throwing in all those extra ingredients like caramel, chocolate, milk, sugar, syrups, etc.? Not much of the general population of coffee drinkers know much about coffee in that sense. Nonetheless if you feel as if you are lacking in your skills and knowledge of coffee when it comes to what it can offer you nutritionally, then look no more. You can read this article and find out for yourself what you are getting nutritionally from your morning cup of joe as well as what you shouldn’t expect to get from your daily coffee! Who knows maybe some of the facts can surprise you.
Coffee Nutrition 101
Talking about the nutritional value you can get from coffee can be a pretty complex subject to talk about considering coffee is so diverse. There is a myriad of ways that you can choose to make your coffee and so many ingredients you can add to your coffee in order to manipulate it to your own taste preferences. For this reason, there are no set nutritional facts that you can expect from each coffee you consume. It will definitely vary depending on the amount of coffee you drink, the amount of extra ingredients you choose to add to it and so on. Yet this article will work to generalize and estimate what you can roughly expect nutritionally in your cup of joe and will go through the process of adding more complex ingredients to your coffee to see what you are receiving from it! The main nutrition facts we will focus on in relation to coffee include fats, protein, calories, sugar, sodium, potassium, and calcium. Before we start delving a bit into how you can understand your coffee and what it can do for you, it is first extremely important that you we go through a process of understanding exactly what the above nutrition facts can do for your body. By understanding what nutrition facts to look out for you can understand what certain nutrition facts mean for your body.
Some fats can be good for you, but some are not. Do not fall into the habit of thinking that all fats are naturally bad for you and therefore should be avoided. It is important to understand what type of fats you should what to get from your diet. All fats have nine calories per gram. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can help protect your heart and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Harmful saturated and trans fats can have the opposite effect for you and end up damaging your body. When thinking about your fat intake and consumption, focus on keeping your fat to 20-35% of your total daily calories!
Protein is very important for you! It is a structural component for your muscle tissues, organs, and cell walls. In addition, it is a great source of energy for when you do not have carbohydrates or fat. Protein is about 4 calories per gram. When it comes to how much protein you should be consuming in a day, keep in mind that 10-35% of your calories should come from protein. This number can be altered depending on your activity level.
Most people are very much aware of what calories are. They are definitely not a type of compound like the other nutritional facts, rather a unit of energy. The whole world though is very much aware of what calories are and our entire diet is based off calories and caloric intake in a day. They are a unit of energy and are very important when understanding what amounts of vitamins and nutritional compounds you need to have daily as well as helping you to understand if you are eating enough to provide yourself with energy for the day.
Sugar is often regarded as a very bad part of a diet, but not all sugars are bad for you. Sugars from fruits as well as sugar from the lactose in milk are not bad for you. The sugars that you should be aware of are sugars like sucrose, dextrose, maltose, or any other sweeteners that are added. If the sugar is not naturally occurring in the food or drink than most likely it is not good for you (meaning any sugar you add in your coffee in the form of syrups, sauces, and sweeteners are not healthy for you).
Potassium in the correct amounts can actually be very good for you. Potassium intake that is low can actually lead to low blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. High potassium can actually decrease mortality rate by about 20% by decreasing the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, protecting against loss of muscle mass, preserving bone mineral density, as well as the reduction of the formation of kidney stones. Of course, too much potassium can be very bad and for that reason is recommended in moderate amounts.
Sodium is an essential mineral for your body. It helps to regulate the body’s fluid balance and can help send nerve impulses that can affect muscle function. Changes in sodium can be very detrimental to the body and brain. Low levels of sodium can result in the body and brain going into a state of lethargy, confusion, and dizziness. The recommended daily amount of sodium can help aid in regulating blood pressure which is vital for maintaining good heart health. Any high levels of sodium (like high levels of anything) are not good for the body and therefore it is recommended that you stay within the target amount as not doing so can lead to high blood pressure. Overall though a good amount of sodium is needed daily to promote a strong and healthy body.
No doubt, calcium is vital for good health. A good consumption of calcium is needed to build and maintain strong bones and a healthy communication between the brain and the other parts of the body. In addition, calcium can help with muscle contraction, prevent blood clotting, and more. They affect the smooth muscle surrounding blood vessels allowing them to relax. Calcium is also the cofactor for many enzymes and without the presence of calcium, such enzymes cannot work properly. In this way, it is ideal that your body has good calcium intake.
We first start this off by talking about plain black coffee. The simplest that coffee can possibly get and probably the healthiest you can get when it comes to consuming coffee. Black coffee is merely the product of ground up coffee beans and water. Coffee in its purest form. When it comes to black coffee, if you consume about an eight-ounce cup, you can expect around 2.4 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of sugar, 0.3 grams of protein, 5 mg of sodium, 116 mg of potassium, and about 4.7 mg of calcium. Therefore, with black coffee consumption you can look to reap the benefits of low calories, some protein, sodium, potassium, and a bit of calcium. It is good that black coffee has no sugars or bad fats, so in this way you do not have to worry about high sugar consumption of the bad kind and fat.
If you are unaware of what bulletproof coffee is. It is basically this new trend of coffee that has been making the rounds as a new way to lose weight. It should contain healthy fats from the grass-fed butter and its ingredients are known to help reduce appetite and increase the feeling of being full. Bulletproof coffee is known to be made with about 2 ½ heaping tablespoons of bulletproof coffee beans, 1 cup of filtered water, 1 tbsp-2 tbsp of brain octane oil, and about 1-2 tbsp of grass-fed unsalted butter. With this type of coffee, you can expect about 223 calories, 25.1 grams of fat, 11 mg of sodium, 235.9 mg of potassium, 0 grams of sugar, 0.7 g of protein, and about 1.3% of your daily calcium (calculated based off a 2,000-calorie diet). As you can compare to the black coffee, bulletproof coffee offers you healthy fats, extra protein by about 0.4 grams, 6 extra grams of sodium, and 119.9 extra grams of potassium. As you can see bulletproof coffee can offer you an extra boost in some nutritional compounds, minerals, and vitamins and it still lays off of the artificial sweetener which is very important. If you dislike the taste of plain black coffee and are looking for a way to liven your coffee up a bit without making it too unhealthy than bulletproof coffee may be just the thing for you!
Iced Caramel Macchiato
The iced caramel macchiato is all the craze for younger coffee fanatics who absolutely love their coffee with a good amount of sweetness. This drink is one of the most popular drinks to grace coffee houses like Starbucks and it is quite the sugary drink for the coffee lovers. An iced caramel macchiato is simply cold milk mixed with pumps of vanilla syrup, espresso poured over the top, ice and caramel sauce drizzled all over. This beautiful and absolutely eye-catching coffee drink is a lot more on the unhealthy side of the other two more simple coffee drinks. A medium iced caramel macchiato roughly contains about 250 calories, 7 grams of fat (about 4.5 grams of it is from saturated fat), 34 grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein, 150 mg of sodium, 270 mg of calcium, and about 0 mg of potassium. You can tell that this drink warrants a bit of some unhealthy unsaturated fats and a lot of unhealthy added sugars that most likely arise from the caramel sauce and vanilla syrup. It seems that with these nutritional facts, iced caramel macchiatos should serve as a once in a while coffee treat and not your go-to coffee drink.
Iced mochas are also another popular drink that you see many people ordering and consuming in coffee shops. They are definitely one of the most standard coffee drinks that probably make it onto the menu of every known coffee house. Iced mochas are the delicious result of espresso combined with bittersweet mocha sauce, milk, and ice. They are the epitome of a delicious coffee drink, but once again are probably not the best nutritionally for everyday coffee consumption. Iced mochas are typically about 350 calories, 17 grams of fat (with 11 grams of that fat being saturated, 100 mg of sodium, 30 grams of sugar, 0 mg of potassium, 9 grams of protein, and 270 mg of calcium. Once again, the coffee is a source of sodium and protein, but not a very good source of fat as it contains a lot of saturated fats and is very high in sugar. Iced mochas should probably be your guilty pleasure drink that you enjoy here and there, but when selecting a go-to everyday coffee drink, it is probably wise to stick to cold brew or plain coffee.
Since there are so many different types of coffee drinks, this article would be so incredibly long if we went through all of them as well as all of the nutrition facts associated with those drinks, but hopefully these few common coffee drinks have inspired you to be more educated about the coffee you choose to drink and put into your body. If you realize that you probably are not making the healthiest decision for your daily coffee than hopefully seeing some of the nutritional facts associated with the first few coffee drinks can inspire you to create your own coffee tailored to your preferences while also keeping you happy and healthy!