Hi Vasileia, thanks for this question. I think it’s essential to clear the air regarding some prejudices against coffee, particularly iced coffee.
Coffee alone has many beneficial properties because it’s rich in antioxidants and health-promoting chemical compounds. Adverse effects are usually due to sustained abuse, mainly because it’s an acidic drink that can become irritant if it’s part of an unhealthy diet.
Other problems related to coffee drinking depend on caffeine, which is addictive and can create a whole range of problems when drinking more than the recommended daily intake, of around 400 mg per day.
For drinks, brewed coffee can have around 96 mg per 8 oz, while an espresso shot has only 64 mg. We can safely drink around four mugs of black coffee or six espresso drinks per day, considering this caffeine content.
Most problems regarding weight gain and other health issues depend on cream, sugar, and syrups, not coffee itself. That said, sugary coffee drinks can be very damaging for health, just like any milkshakes or any sugary and fatty drink, or food for that matter.
This reasoning applies all the same to iced coffee drinks. Drinking an iced americano without sugar is very low in calories and harmful fats and sugars. The same happens with a nitro cold brew if drank plain and straightforward.
Iced coffee drinks at coffee shops tend to be very large, with a standard serving size of 16 oz and a minimum of 12 oz in many notorious chains. Considering that, published nutritional facts claim that a single serving of a 16 oz frappuccino can have almost 500 calories. In contrast, the same serving of cold brew can have around five calories, while an iced Americano can have about 15 calories.
Considering the differences, it’s evident that whipped cream, syrups, sweet sauces, toppings, and creamers are responsible for iced coffee drinks’ most detrimental health effects. Particularly in terms of long-term health issues like diabetes, heart problems, and even cancer, since research suggests that obesity can increase cancer risk.
In short, iced coffee is safe to drink as long as we don’t take more than the recommended caffeine daily intake and don’t mix it with sugary and fatty ingredients.