Prefer iced coffee over hot coffee but are worried that it is not a good idea to drink every day? Here’s what you want to know.
Iced coffee without any additives has the same health pros and cons as hot coffee. It’s not problem to drink iced coffee every day with the same moderation you should use to drink hot coffee. Additives like sugar, cream and syrup should be consumed in moderation.
Let’s dive into the details of what makes iced coffee suitable to drink every day and how to do it healthily.
Can You Drink Iced Coffee Daily?
If you’re worried about drinking iced coffee daily, don’t be. There is no real reason why you can’t. Iced coffee is just normal coffee served over ice. Sure, it might be brewed a slightly different way than most hot coffee but that doesn’t change if you should or shouldn’t drink iced coffee.
There is one caveat; This only goes for black iced coffee or coffee with a little bit of lean dairy. If you start adding significant amount of fats and carbohydrates, things change.
You can drink iced coffee with the same frequency and in the same amounts as hot coffee. Just because it’s cold doesn’t change much for your body. Sure, the taste and experience is different but what your body gets out of it is the same. As long as you enjoy it, there is no issue.
Some people can get headaches from drinking iced drinks. If that’s you, a cold drink is probably not worth a headache. Other than that, there is no research that suggests any negative effect from consuming cold drinks. It can even help improve performance while working out and help burn slightly more calories but that is going to be a very minimal effect.
It’s a good idea in general to have periods of time where you limit or cut out caffeine consumption but the temperature the coffee is served at doesn’t matter. If you start getting withdrawal symptoms when not having a coffee every hour, it’s time to take a break.
Is Iced Coffee Healthy?
So if drinking iced coffee every day is not a problem, is it healthy for you? Again, the temperature of the drink really doesn’t matter. Hot coffee or iced coffee are similar in their benefits and drawbacks.
Hot coffee if drunk too hot can raise the risk of certain health conditions, especially to do with the esophagus. That’s only if you drink it really hot though. Drinking cold drinks doesn’t have any proven negative health effects for the vast majority of people. It could give you brain freeze and cause headaches in some people but most people don’t have any problems. Indian and Chinese traditional medicine do warn agains drinking cold drinks in some cases but there doesn’t seem to be any research that proves this.
So hot coffee that’s cooled down a little and iced coffee are just as healthy/unhealthy as each other. Coffee helps increase mental focus, physical performance, lose weight and contains antioxidants and can help with certain medical conditions.
On the other side you can become dependent on caffeine, decrease sleep quality and cause an upset stomach. Most of these negative effects can be negated by limiting the amount of coffee you drink and by taking breaks from drinking coffee for one or two weeks once in a while.
Drinking a few cups of hot or iced coffee every day is not a problem for most people and the pros will likely balance out the cons as long as you keep consumption in control.
Above I’m only talking about black coffee without any additives. Things change when you start adding things to your coffee. But again, that’s the same hot or cold. It’s just that people tend to add more things to cold coffee.
If you add a good amount of dairy (or alternative), sugar, cream, caramel and some unicorn juice, that coffee is suddenly not all that healthy anymore. A black iced coffee might contain a few calories but it’s going to be minimal (probably under 10). However, if you order an iced caramel macchiato at Starbucks, that’s about 230 calories in a 16 oz. Drink. And if you go for the Frappuccino type drinks, it’s very easy to go over 400 calories.
Is that necessarily bad? No, you need calories to live. However, the things that are added into iced coffee are often ‘empty’ calories. They provide energy but no essential micronutrients. Doing this sometimes is not really a problem. Treat yourself but in moderation.
These iced coffee drinks with a lot of calories can also be a problem for weight gain. Drinking calories is much easier than eating them. You don’t really notice you’re eating them because liquid calories aren’t as satisfying.
A kilo of body fat contains about 3500 calories. That means to gain a kilo of fat, you have to consume 3500 calories more than you use. If your normal diet has exactly enough calories to maintain weight, adding a 230 calorie drink every day, means you would gain a kilo of body fat every +-15 days. This is pretty significant and is not something that should be ignored. Of course you can reduce your other calorie intake but some of the additives are still not healthy to consume in large quantities every day.
Of course adding in extra exercise is another way to burn extra calories and be able to drink that indulgent iced coffee with sugar and dairy. That just helps manage your weight though. That doesn’t make them healthy.
If you like to drink iced coffee every day, stick to black coffee without any additives for most days and maybe get something a little more indulgent one time a week. Sugar and fats are the biggest issue of things that aren’t healthy. A little bit of low fat dairy or dairy alternative is fine.
Recommended Iced Coffee Tools
Iced coffee is pretty easy to make but here are some things to make it taste better.
- Scale: The key to good iced coffee is to replace 1/3rd of the brew water by ice in the carafe. To do this accurately, a coffee scale is essential. The TimeMore Coffee scale (Amazon) is high quality, looks good and is accurate.
- Grinder: Iced coffee requires slightly finer ground coffee so having an adjustable grinder will improve your iced coffee. Freshly grounded beans brew better coffee anyways. The TimeMore C3 (Amazon) gives you perfect adjustability and high grind quality.
- Beans: Of course with a grinder you need some beans. I like coffee with a bit more fruitiness and sweetness for iced coffee (if you drink it without milk). This Kenyan coffee (Amazon) is perfectly fruity and vibrant for iced coffee.