Is Your Coffee Or Tea Giving You A Muffin Top?

Coffee cup and muffin top

Morning coffee. Coffee break. Afternoon tea. A nice cup after dinner. Many of us love – need – our coffee or tea.

A nice hot steaming cup of coffee or tea can hit the spot and a hot skim latte is a great snack – soothing, calorie controlled, and protein laced.  On the other hand, a giant hot coffee drink filled with syrup and whipped cream – often clocking in at 400 to 500 calories — might be soothing but sure isn’t great for your waistline.

Black Or Light And Sweet?

How do you like your coffee?  Black, light and sweet, regular?  Do you add sugar and pour milk until the color and taste is just right?

As you dump sugar and pour cream into mugs and those too hot to touch cardboard containers, have you ever thought about how many calories you’re actually adding to an otherwise very low calorie drink? Probably not. They’re calories not usually measured and all too easy to forget.

What Do You Put Into Your Coffee Or Tea?

There are about two calories in eight ounces (a small cup) of unsweetened black brewed coffee or tea – doesn’t matter if it’s hot or iced. Not a bad deal.

What a lot of us don’t think about is how many calories are in the add-ins that we stir into our coffee and tea.

How much milk or half and half do you add to your coffee or tea? How much sugar? Bet you don’t have a clue. We all do a freehand pour.  Try measuring how much you pour and you might be really surprised.

The Add-Ins

  • Heavy cream, 2 tablespoons:  104 calories
  • Half and half, 2 tablespoons (1/8 cup):  40 calories
  • Whole milk, 2 tablespoons:  18 calories
  • 2% (low fat) milk, 2 tablespoons:  14 calories
  • Non-fat milk, 2 tablespoons:  11 calories
  • Table sugar, 1 tablespoon:  49 calories
  • Table sugar, 1 teaspoon:  16 calories

How’s This For An Eye-Opener?

Say you have 3 grande (Starbuck’s) – or 3 large (Dunkin Donuts) – size coffees a day.  Each is 20 ounces or 2.5 times the size of a traditional 8 ounce cup.

If you add 4 tablespoons of half and half and three teaspoons of sugar to each that’s adds up to128 calories for the additives and around 5 calories for the coffee. That’s 133 calories for each grande/large cup of coffee.

Have three of those and that’s 399 calories a day of coffee (or tea) your way.

Do that every day for a year and mathematically that’s the equivalent of 145,635 calories. Does that make you stop and think?

Coffee Drinks And Hot Chocolate, Too

Sweet, creamy comfort in a cup is how Starbuck’s describes their hot chocolate made with steamed milk, vanilla and mocha-flavored syrups, and topped with a generous swirl of sweetened whipped cream. With a description like that, how can you resist? Just remember that hot chocolate and specialty coffee drinks come not only with a monetary price, but with a caloric one, too.

Here’s the nutritional information for some other Старбак and Dunkin’ Donuts drinks:

  • Starbuck’s Caffe Latte, grande (16 oz), 2% milk:  190 calories; 7g fat; 18g carbs; 12g protein
  • Starbucks’ Non-Fat Caffe Latte (espresso and non-fat milk)
    • Tall (12 oz):  100 calories, 10 grams of protein
    • Grande (16 oz):  130 calories, 13 grams protein
    • Venti (20 oz):  170 calories, 16 grams protein
  • Starbuck’s Cappuchino, grande (16 oz), 2% milk:  120 calories; 4g fat; 12g carbs; 8g protein
  • Starbuck’s Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha, grande (16oz), 2% milk, no whipped cream:  440 calories; 10g fat; 75g carbs; 13g protein
  • Starbuck’s Gingerbread Latte, grande (16 oz), 2% milk:  250 calories; 6g fat; 37g carbs; 11g protein
  • Starbuck’s Hot Chocolate, grande (16 oz), 2% milk with whipped cream:  370 calories; 16g fat ; 50g carbs; 14g protein; 25mg caffeine.  Without whipped cream: 290 calories
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Gingerbread Hot Coffee with Cream, medium:  260 calories; 9g fat; 41g carbs; 4g protein
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Mint Hot Chocolate, medium:  310 calories; 10g fat; 52g carbs; 2g protein
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Vanilla Chai:  330 calories; 8g fat; 53g carbs; 11g protein

For flavored lattes, add (in sugars): 50 calories to the tall, 70 calories to the grande, and 80 calories to the venti and drop the protein count for each by a gram.


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