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Is Coffee Creamer Bad for You? Does Coffee Creamer Have Caffeine?

powdered coffee creamer

Coffee creamer seems to be a staple in the coffee-loving community, and this isn’t changing anytime soon. Some people prefer their coffee black, while others prefer it with cream. And creamers can come in many different textures, flavors, and brands.

We all know that all creamers aren’t made equal and that some are definitely healthier than others. But as a whole, are coffee creamers bad for you? And does coffee creamer have caffeine? We’ve done a bit of research on coffee creamers and we’ll go over the answers to these questions.

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Is Coffee Creamer Bad for You?

If you ask any doctor or nutritionist, they’ll likely tell you that coffee creamer is actually a bit bad for you. Are there worse things that you can consume? Yes. However, coffee creamer is usually very heavily processed and loaded with a ton of chemical ingredients and added sugar. Your average tablespoon of coffee creamer typically contains about 5 to 6 grams of added sugar.

Keep in mind that the daily recommended sugar intake for most adults is about 5 grams. Also, the added ingredients in coffee creamer aren’t necessarily ones that are conducive to a healthy diet. For example, most creamers contain loads of artificial sweeteners, inflammatory oils, and artificial flavorings.

coffee creamer in a plastic container
Image Credit: kariphoto, Shutterstock

Does Coffee Creamer Have Caffeine?

Most coffee creamers do not contain any added caffeine. However, there is a new kid on the block. The creamer Rapid Fire Ketogenic Turbo is another instant creamer and it contains a boost of caffeine to help you get a little pep in your step and start your morning off right. According to the brand, the creamer contains a double shot of caffeine which equates to a couple of cups of regular caffeinated coffee.

Coffee Creamers’ Impact on Health

Though many creamers claim to be lactose or dairy-free, many still contain milk-derived proteins that can cause inflammation. Creamers also don’t contain any healthy antioxidants, vitamins, or minerals that would make them beneficial from a nutritional standpoint.

These things have all been linked to health issues such as high blood sugar levels, diabetes, chronic inflammation, and high blood pressure. Not to mention the mood swings, food and sugar cravings, and weight gain that can come with consuming large amounts of creamer from daily coffee intake—especially if you’re a 2 or 3-cup a day person.

So, though it may seem like a fairly innocent decision to add creamer to your daily coffee intake, it may be a good idea to consider finding an alternative if you drink multiple cups of coffee a day or add more than one tablespoon to a single cup.

coffee creamer
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Are Fat and Sugar-Free Creamers Safer to Consume?

Not necessarily. These types of creamers usually contain the same information, producing additives such as unhealthy, chemical sweeteners, and other additives that wouldn’t be considered nutritionally valuable.

Although sugar-free creamers may not raise your sugar levels, they may still cause inflammation as a result of the other ingredients. And fat-free creamers, while low in calories, may raise your glycemic levels, due to their sugar content.

Can Coffee Creamer Impact Your Cholesterol?

Being that most coffee creamers don’t actually contain “cream” so much as they do different thickeners, stabilizers, oils, and sugars, they can impact your cholesterol levels over time. Eating a lot of trans fat will always raise your chances of having issues with cholesterol and potential heart disease.

So, if you’re someone who drinks coffee every day and adds 2 tablespoons to your cup, this can negatively impact your health.

Partially hydrogenated oil is very unhealthy, and unfortunately, many creamers have more than their fair share of this ingredient. So, if you’re worried about your cholesterol levels, be sure to take a look at the ingredients on your creamer and try to find those that are absent from this specific additive.

Looking at creamer labels is something that you definitely want to do if you’re worried about potential cholesterol and the heart issues come as you may be putting ingredients in your body that you aren’t even aware of.

pouring creamer on coffee
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Can Coffee Creamer Make You Gain Weight?

The oils and many coffee creamers can cause them to be one of the most popular sources of “hidden” calories. So yes, coffee creamer can definitely make you gain weight if you consume a lot of it, especially on a daily basis.

Know that your average creamer contains about 35 calories in a single serving, which is about 1 tbsp. So, if you drink multiple cups a day every day you can be adding an extra 500 to 1000 calories to your weekly intake.

And if you’re on a diet, you know the importance of maintaining a caloric deficit. Large amounts of cream-heavy coffee can be counteractive to helping you achieve your weight-loss goals.

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Top 6 Healthier Non-Dairy Creams To Consider

If you’re looking for healthier creamer options to add to your coffee, there are a few different ones to consider. Even if you prefer something that has a lower sugar content or no sugar at all, know that you don’t have to sacrifice your daily cup of joe.

1. Almond Milk

Almond milk
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One of the most popular creamer alternatives is almond milk. While almond milk has a slightly nutty flavor, you really can’t tell the difference between it and regular whole milk. Now, you can find almond milk that has a vanilla flavor and is slightly sweetened.

You can also find non-sugar almond milk as well. So, if you’re looking to add a bit of creamy flavor to your coffee, without the added fillers and chemicals, here’s a good alternative. Your average serving (1 tablespoon) of almond milk will have about 5 calories.


2. Coconut Milk

coconut milk
Image Credit: Tijana Drndarski, Unsplash

And if you’re a fan of coconut flavored coffee, you can also try coconut milk. Coconut milk has a creamier texture than almond milk and it also lacks all of those unhealthy additives that come with typical creamer. And it’s great for anyone who is lactose intolerant.

A tablespoon of coconut milk has about. 0.5 grams of sugar, which makes it perfect for anyone with diabetes or looking to keep their glycemic levels low. However, you can also find sugar-free coconut milk options as well


3. Oat Milk

Oat milk in a glass, flakes of baked cereals
Image Credit: Kabachki.photo, Shutterstock

Oat milk doesn’t have the Nutty flavor that coconut milk does, or the creaminess of coconut milk, but it’s definitely worth considering. You can find it pretty easily in the grocery store and it has a mild flavor profile overall. It’s low in calories and can come in flavored and sugar-free options as well.


4. Half-And-Half

Half and Half in a Measuring Cup
Image Credit: Michelle Lee Photography, Shutterstock

Another option to consider is half-and-half. Half and half is made up of equal parts of heavy whipping cream and whole milk. It has less calories and a lower sugar content as well. So to say, it has the same creamy flavor, but minus all the extras.


5. Rice Milk

Rice milk in a glass
Image Credit: etorres, Shutterstock

Let’s not forget about rice milk. This dairy-free alternative has a similar flavor to almond milk. Believe it or not it’s completely free of soy and nuts and comes in flavored and sweetened options as well.

Overall, you’ll find that rice milk is lighter than almond milk and can add a bit of texture and balance flavor to black coffee. So, if you want something that’s low on calories, additives, and artificial sweeteners, here is another option to consider.


6. Goat Milk

pouring goat's milk on the glass
Image Credit: ha11ok, Pixabay

You may not think of adding goat milk to your coffee, but it is something that many people do. Not only is it full of healthy nutrients, but it’s also very low on lactose unlike cow milk. This makes it a favorite amongst lactose intolerant individuals. Though goat milk is a bit pricier than other types of milk, the flavor is very similar to your regular whole milk.

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Wrapping Things Up

So, there you have it. Is creamer the healthiest ingredient to add to your coffee? Not necessarily. However, adding creamer is typically okay when it’s in moderation and when you have an overall healthy lifestyle otherwise.

But if you’re someone who’s watching their calories and are seeking sugar-free options, you may want to consider creamer alternatives such as regular milk or non-dairy milk.

Sources
  • https://thebeet.com/best-non-dairy-coffee-creamers/
  • https://www.eatthis.com/news-worst-coffee-creamer-dietitian/
  • https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/g20478045/5-worst-ingredients-in-coffee-creamer/
 

Featured Image Credit: zwei chen, Pixabay

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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