Hot Coffee vs Iced Coffee 

Shandra Martinez

| 3 min read

Cold brew coffee
These days, coffee is all about how you personalize it. Long gone is the time when black, cream or sugar were the only options. Or when cappuccinos seemed exotic. This is the era of cold brew, hot French press and flat white. It’s an age when multi-flavored lattes rule and soy, oat and almond milk are served right alongside the dairy options. So, with all these choices at our fingertips, how do we know what’s better for us: hot coffee vs iced coffee?

Health benefits of caffeine

When you’re talking about regular coffee, no matter what temperature it’s being served at, caffeine is present in both. Caffeine and other substances in coffee carry health benefits that are worth filling your cup. According to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, here’s a quick rundown of how coffee can improve your health:
  • It contains antioxidants that can decrease inflammation in your body.
  • Coffee drinkers are less likely to die from stroke or heart disease.
  • Coffee is linked to a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Both regular and decaf coffee work to protect your liver. It lowers your risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Two to three cups of coffee per day can decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

What’s a serving of coffee?

Now that we know the benefits of coffee, how many cups should you be drinking? An 8-oz cup of coffee has about 95 milligrams of caffeine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said adults can drink about four or five cups of coffee per day without risking negative side effects. Although, it’s worth noting that people who have caffeine sensitivities will want to drink less than this, or switch to decaf.

Hot coffee vs iced coffee

While research on the benefits of hot coffee vs iced is pretty slim, people who like their brew served hot are getting a bigger punch of antioxidants, one study has shown. One university team determined that a larger amount of these body-protective compounds are present in hot coffee compared to cold coffee beverages.

Additives make a big difference

The other thing to watch when you’re comparing hot brew to cold brew and iced coffee drinks are the additives. Obviously, a cup of plain coffee – hot or cold – will give you health benefits with no added fats or sugars. The unhealthy side of coffee comes with all the personalization that happens when people start layering in the flavor shots, dairy or non-dairy cream options and sweeteners. In many cases, people are ordering a coffee drink but consuming a dessert. Depending on the size of the coffee drink ordered, some restaurant or coffee shop lattes can clock in at more than 250 calories, while flavored frappuccinos might tip the scales at more than 400 calories.
More than anything else, the health benefits of hot coffee vs iced coffee come down to how you dress up your drink, not the temperature of the brew. To keep it healthy, make it yourself or, at the very least, control what additives are mixed in and the amount of fat and calories added to each cup.
Photo credit: Getty Images

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