Many coffee lovers have coffee as a morning ritual, but knowing the nutritional value of what you’re consuming can cause a significant difference to your day.
Carbohydrates are micronutrients found in many of the foods and drinks that we consume daily. Carbs are one of the primary energy sources for our bodies, but refined carbs can be unhealthy for your body.
Flavored coffee beans do not contain carbs as the coffee beans are infused with flavor during the roasting process. Therefore, coffee itself does not have any carbs, but other flavored beverages can increase the carbs in your drink, such as syrups or steamed milk.
To understand what carbs are and whether your flavored coffee contains them or not, it is essential that you know the source of flavor in your coffee.
Carbohydrates are essential micronutrients your body requires as the primary energy source. The other sources include fats and proteins.
Carbs are the sugar, starch, and fiber found in many foods, particularly dairy food. Your body turns carbs into glucose (sugar) and then uses this as fuel for the proper functioning of the body.
Without carbs, the primary source of energy, your body won’t function properly and would require you to consume more fats and proteins to compensate.
As carbs turn into sugar, too many carbs will turn into fat to be stored for later use when the body requires it. This build-up can cause weight gain.
Not all types of carbohydrates are healthy to consume, and neither all types of carbohydrates are harmful to you.
There are mainly two types: carbs, simple carbs, and complex carbs. Both types of carbs are present in many foods that we consume daily.
Simple carbs usually consist of one or more sugars and contain a shorter chain of molecules. It means that simple carbs are absorbed and digested faster by your body. This quick digestion leads to a temporary spike of sugar in your blood and provides a short-lasting source of energy for your body.
This sugar rush created by simple carbs is the type that everyone should avoid. The common food items of simple carbs include:
- Dairy products
- Sugary drinks
Complex carbs contain more than one type of sugar, and it takes your body a long time to digest these carbs. Therefore, complex carbs provide your body with a more sustainable energy source. If you’re looking for a low-carb diet, you should try to remove simple carbs and keep the complex carbs in your diet.
Foods with complex carbs include:
Black coffee itself is a carb-free drink, but as soon as you add any additional ingredients to your black coffee, it’s no longer a carb-free beverage.
The additives to your plain black coffee usually include creams, milk, flavored syrups, chocolate, sauces, and any other ingredient that you add to enhance the flavor and taste. These include carbs and calories that add to your drink without any nutritional benefits.
The flavors added to your coffee are made by dissolving sugar in boiling water and then adding the taste of your choice. The mixture is then set to cool down into a sweet liquid.
Many coffees in coffee shops are often topped with whipping creams such as mocha and cold coffees; this also adds to the carbs in your drink.
Many cafes and coffee shops use sugar-free syrups and sweeteners to add to your coffee. Sugar-free syrups usually replace sugar with natural sugars that add sweetness and flavor to your drink but have fewer carbs.
The two most common ingredients for replacing sugar in sugar-free versions of syrups are:
Stevia and Suclarose are the most used ingredients for sugar-free syrups and sweeteners with low calories and carbs. If you’re trying to reduce carbs consumption, then many dieticians recommend using stevia as a sugar replacement in your diet.
Coffee itself does not contain any carbs or calories. The flavored coffee beans also do not have any additional carbs; however, if you add any different ingredients, then you are likely to add carbs with those ingredients to your cup of coffee.
Carbs are highly important as they’re the primary source of energy for your body. There are mainly two types of carbs, simple and complex carbs. You should avoid simple carbs as they are unhealthy and mostly contain sugar.
Additives such as whipped cream, sauces, syrups, milk, etc., to your coffee, will increase the amount of carbs to your beverage. Instead, try using stevia or sucralose as sugar-free options for your flavored syrups or sweeteners.