How many calories are in coffee? | A Visual Guide

Reviewed by The Clinical Committee

June 17, 2020

  • Black coffee has only 2 calories per cup. The caffeine itself has negligable calories.

  • Coffee may actually have negative caloric impact, since caffeine increases calorie burn.

  • However, if you're getting your caffeine fix with milk and sugar, you may be taking in significant calories.

Calories in Black Coffee

Calories in Black Coffee

Pure caffeine has essential no calories, in the amounts used for humans. (You would probably feel very sick before consuming any significant amount of calories)

Black coffee, without creamer or sugar, only has two calories per 8 oz cup. You would have to drink 70 cups of coffee in order to ingest the same amount of caffeine as one cup of Coke.

However, this only applies to coffee without creamer and sugar. Adding sugar and cream to your coffee can dramatically increase your calorie intake.

A mocha latte has the same amount of calories as two cans of Coke.

More Info on Caffeine

Calorie Burn with Caffeine

Calorie Burn with Caffeine

Calorie Burn with Caffeine. Caffeine significantly boosts calorie burn compared to a placebo control. Researchers gave participants 100mg every 2 hours and measured their calorie burn. Individuals who were given caffeine burned significantly more calories over the 12 hours compared to individuals who were given the placebo control without caffeine.

Multiple studies have shown that caffeine causes you to burn more calories. Your body is constantly burning calories and using energy, which we call your basal metabolic rate. Caffeine causes you to burn a little bit more.

What is your Basal Metabolic Rate

Your basal metabolic rate refers to the amount of calories you burn at rest. If you're watching TV, sleeping, or on instagram, you're probably burning calories at around your basal metabolic rate. Your body needs calories to maintain your body temperature, digest food, and feed your brain. These, among other calorie consuming functions, make up your basal metabolic rate.

This means that overall, after drinking a cup of black coffee, you would have burned more calories than you would have ingested.

Researchers found that just by giving volunteers 100 mg of caffeine, they were able to significantly increase calorie burn by around 5 calories per pound per 12 hours.

Calorie burn by caffeine dose

Calorie burn by caffeine dose

A small double-blind controlled trial, one of the best types of clinical studies, looked at how healthy individuals respond to caffeine intake. Participants were given capsules containing either a placebo (sugar pill), 100mg of caffeine, 200mg of caffeine, or 400mg of caffeine. Their metabolic rates were then measured by collecting their blood and their breath.

A second study found a dose-dependent response for caffeine and calorie burn, which confirms the results of the first study.

This means that you burn more calories with 2 cups of coffee than 1 cup of coffee, And more calories with one cup of coffee than no cups of coffee.

They found that participants burned more calories for every additional 100 mg of caffeine they were given.

Source: Caffeine: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of its thermogenic, metabolic, and cardiovascular effects in healthy volunteers.

Keys to health

One thing to keep in mind is that these differences are relatively small. Coffee certainly doesn’t burn enough calories to justify grabbing that extra burger.

What it does mean is that combined with a good diet and regular exercise routine, a little bit of coffee every day is most likely going to be pretty good in terms of weight loss and your health.

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