Study Totals The Calories We Put In Our Coffee And Tea

Determining how many calories Americans consume by adding cream, sugar, and other additives to their coffee or tea was the goal of a recent analysis.

The study showed more than half of U.S. adults, 51 percent, enjoy drinking coffee on any given day, while another 26 percent prefer tea. The analysis further revealed about one-third of the tea drinkers, and two-thirds of the coffee consumers add calorie rich additives to their beverages.

“Many people prefer drinking coffee and tea with sugar, cream, half-and-half, or honey,” said researcher Ruopeng An, a University of Illinois professor of kinesiology and community health. “These add-in items are often dense in energy and fat but low in nutritional value.”

Although adding milk products to drinks provides us with some calcium, the amount added to coffee or tea is insignificant, only about 22 milligrams per day. Depending on age, and factors such as pregnancy our recommended daily calcium intake is 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams.

Professor An discovered that people consuming black coffee average about 69 fewer calories per day than those who add a sweetener, cream, or flavor enhancer to their coffee. That comes to 25,185 fewer calories over 365 days of coffee drinking. More than 60 percent of the extra calories people add to their coffee comes from sugar; the rest is from fat.

Tea drinkers who add caloric substances to their cup average an extra 43 calories per day when compared to those who use no additives. Of those 43 calories, almost 85 percent is from sugar.

“Our findings indicate that a lot of coffee and tea drinkers regularly use caloric add-ins to improve the flavor of their beverages, but possibly without fully realizing or taking into consideration its caloric and nutritional implications,” said An.

To complete this study, Professor An analyzed 12 years of data, ending in 2012, from a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Source: Science Daily

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