How Healthy Is Your Coffee?

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In the UK we consume around 70 million cups of coffee each day and spend around £730 million doing so every year. As our morning indulgence has become such a staple in our diet, it’s wise to understand exactly what you are consuming so that you can maintain control of your health and body composition (levels of body fat and muscle mass).

 

This short article describes two important pieces of information you need to know about your morning purchase: 1) how much caffeine and 2) how much nutrition/energy (calories, fat and sugar) are hidden inside your coffee? After all, the takeaway cups don’t yet come with nutrition info as our food does. I had to search to find the information below…

 

Caffeine Content

McDonalds

A McCafe brewed medium coffee has only ~145 mg of caffeine per cup. Barely enough to wake-up in the morning for most, but hey, its simple and cheap.

 

Caffé Nero

“Nero” has the lowest caffeine content of all the popular UK coffee chains. A regular Americano provides only ~80 mg of caffeine per cup and a large (containing 3-shots) delivers only ~120 mg of caffeine. That’s very low by today’s standards where strength and caffeine content is prioritised so highly.

 

Starbucks

A Grande Americano at Starbucks will provide ~225 mg of caffeine per cup. However, one of their special roast blends (‘Pike Place’ or ‘Blonde Roast’) contains up to ~330 mg of caffeine. That’s a lot! Interestingly the caffeine content of Starbucks beverages is, on average, higher than the same beverage in Europe. The American market obviously demands a stronger morning boost.

 

Costa Coffee

The UK’s most popular coffee chain’s medium Americano contains 3-shots of espresso and ~277 mg of caffeine making it the strongest “medium” of the high-street brands. In fact, all of Costa’s most popular medium-sized beverages are >250 mg per cup. No wonder my brother and I spend so much money in there!

Energy Density

Coffee alone contains very little energy/calories. Apart from various micronutrients (magnesium, potassium etc.) and antioxidants, there is not much to a simple cup of coffee. Black coffee is simply bean-flavoured water. However, that story changes when you start experimenting with barista-created indulgences.

 

On the Menu at Costa Coffee

 

Flat White – Medium with whole milk – 180kcals, 10.5g Fat, 12.2g Sugar

 

Cappuccino – Medium with whole milk – 170kcals, 10g Fat, 12g Sugar

 

Latte – Medium with whole milk – 207kcals, 12 Fat, 14g Sugar

 

Mocha – Medium with whole milk – 317kcals 12g Fat, 35g Sugar

 

Chai Latte – Medium with whole milk – 334kcals 13g Fat 28.5g Sugar

 

Hot Chocolate – Medium with marshmallows and whipped cream – 547kcals, 26.3g Fat, 48.2g Sugar

 

Summary

 

I am a big coffee fan! If you follow me on social media, my medium black Americano is a daily luxury that I enjoy and believe fits nicely in to a healthy lifestyle. I am convinced that various barista-created beverages can indeed fit in to your healthy lifestyle is carefully placed. However, you have to know exactly what you are consuming to understand how you may fit these small indulgences in to your program and maintain (or continue to lose) body fat levels and improve general health and fitness.

 

Thank you for reading.

I will answer all comments and questions personally.

 

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