Hey coffee lovers, are you iced-coffee obsessed but wondering if your beloved beverage is actually good for you? Don’t worry, I’ve got the scoop on everything you need to know about the health benefits (and potential drawbacks) of iced coffee.
Table of Contents
Iced Coffee vs Cold Brew
Just to be clear, this article is about iced coffee, not cold brew. Iced coffee is brewed hot and then chilled over ice, while cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for a lengthy period to produce a smoother, less acidic coffee.
|Iced Coffee||Cold Brew|
|Method||Coffee poured over ice||Coffee grounds steeped in cold water for 12-24 hours|
|Taste||Mild||Smooth, rich, less acidic|
|Prep Time||Quick||Long (12-24 hours)|
How to make iced coffee
- Brew your desired amount of coffee using your preferred brewing method, such as drip, French press, or Aeropress.
- Pour 10-12 ounces of hot coffee into a separate mug to help it cool down faster.
- Once the coffee has cooled, fill a separate cup with ice.
- Pour the cooled coffee over the ice.
- Enjoy your homemade iced coffee!
Helpful tip: To avoid watering down the flavor, make sure to let the coffee cool before adding ice.
Does Iced Coffee Have More or Less Caffeine?
Hot coffee typically has more caffeine than iced coffee. A 16 oz cup of hot coffee can have anywhere from 210-360mg of caffeine, while 16 oz of iced coffee has a bit less at 165mg.
|Hot Coffee||Iced Coffee|
|Caffeine content per 16 oz||210 mg||165 mg|
If you’re an iced coffee enthusiast but wish it had a bit more caffeine, fear not! Just ask your friendly barista to throw in a shot or two of espresso, and voila – you’ve got yourself an extra 65mg of caffeine to fuel your day.
Comparison of Caffeine Content in Different Coffee Drinks
|Beverage (12 oz)||Caffeine Content (mg)|
|Espresso (2 oz)||64|
Does Iced Coffee Help You Lose Weight?
It’s commonly said that coffee increases metabolism, leading to weight loss. But is this true? Well, the science is mixed.
One often-cited study1 shows that coffee helps you keep weight off if you’re already healthy and barely helps you burn fat if you’re overweight.
Get it girl
A different study2 showed that drinking coffee while dieting can help reduce body fat….in men only. Sorry, ladies. The study involved 60 overweight men and women. Men who drank coffee had greater weight loss and reduced fat than men who drank a placebo beverage.
So, Is Iced Coffee Good for You?
Iced coffee can offer a refreshing and low-calorie energy boost, with proven health benefits3 that include reduced deaths from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and strokes.
However, its important to be mindful of added sugars, creams, or syrups that can increase calorie intake and negate some of the benefits.
Science-Backed Benefits of Drinking Iced Coffee:
- Can boost energy levels and increase alertness4
- May improve cognitive function and brain performance
- Can offer a low-calorie alternative to other caffeinated beverages
- Has been shown to have higher levels of antioxidants, which can reduce the risk of chronic conditions like liver disease, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease. 5,6,7,8
Potential Drawbacks of Iced Coffee:
- May contain added sugars, cream, or syrups that increase calorie intake
- Can cause an upset stomach, especially if consumed on an empty stomach, due to the acidity in coffee
- May lead to dehydration if consumed excessively
- May interfere with sleep if consumed later in the day
In conclusion, the answer to whether iced coffee is good for you depends on your health goals and preferences. While it can offer potential benefits, it’s important to be aware of possible pitfalls.
Now that you know the potential benefits and drawbacks of iced coffee, let’s explore some tips and tricks for making the perfect cup of iced coffee.
Tips for Making the Perfect Cup of Iced Coffee
1. Make Cold-Brewed Coffee Instead
Simply put, cold brew surpasses iced coffee in terms of flavor and texture. Its rich, velvety profile and low acidity make it an excellent option for those who struggle with the acidity of hot coffee.
2. Let the hot coffee come to room temp
When making iced coffee, it’s best to use room-temperature coffee. This will reduce the amount of ice that’s melted when you pour the coffee over it.
3. Add Ice Cubes
To keep your iced coffee chilled, add ice cubes to your glass before pouring in the coffee. This method can help prevent diluting the coffee’s flavor and keep it fresh and cool.
4. Consider Adding Milk or Cream
If you prefer a creamier taste, consider adding milk or cream to your iced coffee. This addition can help balance the coffee’s acidity and add a velvety texture to your drink.
5. Use Quality Coffee Beans
To ensure the best taste and flavor, always use quality coffee beans when making iced coffee. Spirit Animal Coffee offers an excellent selection of coffee beans.
I really like these guys if you’re a fan of dark roasts. My personal favorite is Volcanica.
Is cold-brewed coffee healthier than hot-brewed coffee?
If you usually drink your hot coffee black, there’s not much difference between iced and hot coffee. They’re both good for you in moderation.
Does drinking coffee lead to weight gain?
Drinking coffee can contribute to weight gain by adding sugars and creamer to your drinks. This contributes to calorie intake and potentially leads to weight gain.
Can drinking too much coffee lead to a heart attack?
While excessive caffeine consumption can lead to increased heart rate, there is no conclusive evidence linking coffee intake to a higher risk of heart attack. In fact, moderate coffee consumption has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Is it okay to drink cold coffee every day?
Yes, it’s generally safe to drink cold coffee daily in moderation.
Is iced coffee better for you than Coke?
Yes, iced coffee can be a healthier option than Coke because it has fewer calories and less sugar.
What happens after drinking iced coffee?
After drinking iced coffee, you may experience a temporary increase in energy, alertness, and focus due to the caffeine content.
Does cold coffee raise cholesterol?
There’s no evidence that cold coffee specifically raises cholesterol levels.
Is iced coffee good for your skin?
While there’s no direct link between iced coffee and skin health, the antioxidants in coffee may have some skin benefits. Coffee also dehydrates you, so be sure to drink a lot of water.
- Acheson KJ, Zahorska-Markiewicz B, Pittet P, Anantharaman K, Jéquier E. Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/33.5.989. PMID: 7369170.
- St-Onge MP, Salinardi T, Herron-Rubin K, Black RM. A weight-loss diet including coffee-derived mannooligosaccharides enhances adipose tissue loss in overweight men but not women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Feb;20(2):343-8. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.289. Epub 2011 Sep 22. PMID: 21938072; PMCID: PMC3677212.
- Poole, R., Kennedy, O. J., Roderick, P., Fallowfield, J. A., Hayes, P. C., & Parkes, J. (2016). Coffee consumption and health: Umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes. The BMJ, 359. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5024
- Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Military Nutrition Research; Marriott BM, editor. Food Components to Enhance Performance: An Evaluation of Potential Performance-Enhancing Food Components for Operational Rations. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1994. 20, Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209050/
- van Dam RM, Hu FB. Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review. JAMA. 2005 Jul 6;294(1):97-104. doi: 10.1001/jama.294.1.97. PMID: 15998896.
- Hu G, Bidel S, Jousilahti P, Antikainen R, Tuomilehto J. Coffee and tea consumption and the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord. 2007 Nov 15;22(15):2242-8. doi: 10.1002/mds.21706. PMID: 17712848.
- Gallus S, Tavani A, Negri E, La Vecchia C. Does coffee protect against liver cirrhosis? Ann Epidemiol. 2002 Apr;12(3):202-5. doi: 10.1016/s1047-2797(01)00304-0. PMID: 11897178.
- Lopez-Garcia E, van Dam RM, Li TY, Rodriguez-Artalejo F, Hu FB. The relationship of coffee consumption with mortality. Ann Intern Med. 2008 Jun 17;148(12):904-14. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-148-12-200806170-00003. PMID: 18559841; PMCID: PMC3958951.