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Nutrition Facts of Coffee

written by: Kumara Velu • edited by: DaniellaNicole • updated: 6/27/2011

While it is well-known for its caffeine content, not much is known about the nutrition facts of coffee. Is coffee a nutritious drink? What vitamins and minerals does it contain?

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    “Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love." Recipe for good coffee, according to Charles Maurice deTalleyrand, French Statesman (1754-1838).

    Many of us would be out-of-sorts if we don’t get our morning `fix’ of coffee. It’s an ideal drink to chase sleep away especially if you didn’t catch enough of it the night before. Whether, we take it hot or cold with or without milk or in some cases, without sugar, coffee certainly invigorates us.

    Historical records show that coffee was cultivated as early as the 6th Century in Yemen and became a popular drink with the introduction of coffee houses in Cairo and Mecca. Although it’s still roasted and ground to powder, it has evolved into a variety of forms ranging from instant, regular, drip, brewed, espresso and decaffeinated, among others.

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    Caffeine Content

    Apart from its spirit-lifting aroma, we all know that it’s the caffeine in coffee that peps us up. Here’s the average caffeine content for popular types of coffee published by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest.

    Caffeine content is in milligrams (mg) according to the serving size in ounces (oz).

    • Generic brewed – 8oz - 133mg
    • Starbucks Brewed Coffee (Grande) - 16 oz -320mg
    • Dunkin' Donuts (regular coffee) - 16 oz - 206mg
    • Starbucks Espresso - doppio 2 oz – 150mg
    • Coffee, (generic decaffeinated) - 8 oz – 5mg
    • Starbucks Espresso (decaffeinated) - 1 oz – 4mg

    Caffeine content aside, many would be curious to know if coffee contains others nutrients and whether these are good for the health or not.

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    Nutrition Facts of Coffee

    Here’s the nutrition facts of coffee provided by the US Department of Agriculture per 1fl oz or 30 grams.

    Plain coffee does not carry any calories or only a few depending on the type of coffee. However, if you add sugar and cream for taste, then it’s a different story. According to Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D writing at mayoclinic.com, if you add a tablespoon of whipping cream to coffee, it adds slightly over 50 calories, not to mention 5 grams of fat to the drink. A tablespoon of sugar alone adds 50 calories to your coffee. If you’re concerned about taste then you should opt for fat-free milk which only contributes about 5 calories. She advises you to check with coffee bars on the nutrition information before ordering your drink if you’re concerned about calories.

    Coffee has almost no carbohydrate content or protein and amino acids. It contains only 0.1g total fat with total Omega -6 fatty acids at 27.6mg.

    As for vitamins, Vitamin A is at 0.01 IU, Vitamin C at 0.1 mg, Riboflavin at 0.3 mg, Niacin at 1.6 mg, Folate at 0.3 mcg and Choline, 0.3 mg.

    Mineral content is much more impressive. It packs 0.6 mg of Calcium, 24 mg of Magnesium, 2.1 mg Phosphorous, 34.5 g of Potassium and 4.2 mg of Sodium.

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    Conclusion

    Coffee is a low-cholesterol food and is an excellent source of Potassium and Magnesium, not to mention Riboflavin and Niacin as its nutrition facts indicate. It is also known for its health benefits especially for muscular pain relief, improving glucose metabolism and the burning of calories, among others. Still, it must be consumed moderately as it disrupts sleep pattern especially when consumed at night. Also, you wouldn’t want too much caffeine in your system, would you?

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    References

    Caffeine information. Centre for Science in the Public Interest. http://www.cspi.cc/new/cafchart.htm

    Nutrition information on coffee. US Depart of Agriculture. http://www.usda.gov/

    Coffee Nutrition Information. http://www.nutritiondata.com/

    Coffee and calories. Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/calories/NU00185

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