It would surprise you how very unnecessary the tablespoons or pounds of sugar you add to that little cup of coffee are.
How does it sound to you, adding sugar to an already perfected drink? All in the name of getting a ‘desired taste.’ What about the desired body state? Or the desired health condition? That’s usually the last on my list, if I may.
In the course of this article, I will make you see reasons why you need to take your coffee black and if at all you need to flavor it, refined sugar isn’t an option.
Components of coffee
Coffee is made from the ripe seeds of the Coffea arabica (Linn.) plant, which belongs to the Rubiaceae family. Coffee is taken from the coffee bean, which is also present in scarlet fruits, and the spermoderm is periodically removed. Raw, roasted, whole, or crushed seeds of the botanical coffee species are available.
Coffee is the name given to the prepared beverage made from such coffee seeds. Only three of the 70 coffee species are grown commercially. Coffea arabica accounts for 75% of global coffee production, Coffea canephora for 25%, while Coffea liberica and other species account for less than 1%.
Coffee is typically used as an antioxidant, but it is also a strong source of chromium and magnesium, which help manage blood sugar by guaranteeing adequate insulin use.
The following are the primary chemical components of coffee beans:
Caffeine, tannin, thiamin, guaiacol, xanthine, spermidine, chlorogenic acid, acetaldehyde, spermine, putrescine, and scopoletin.
Green and roasted coffee have a carbohydrate content of roughly 6–7% sucrose as soluble sugars and a minor proportion of glucose. Sucrose, fructose, and glucose are the soluble sugars in roasted coffee.
Because Arabica has 8% sugar naturally, it is the most aromatic and least bitter species, while Robusta comprises 5%.
To confirm that the coffee contains sugar, the flavor of the bean changes from green to brownish-olive when roasted, which is due to sugar caramelization. The percentage of sugar moves from 10% to 2% in this sensitive phase, and a brown flavored oil emerges on the surface of the bean, determining the unique aftertaste of chocolate and a minor loss of caffeine.
Because the amount of sugar in coffee is so low, it can be called a low-calorie beverage in every way. Consider the fact that a medium cup contains only 2.4 calories.
Coffee also contains important minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, as well as antioxidant polyphenols. According to recent research, all of the elements in coffee, including sugar, contribute to overall health.
Why do we sweeten our coffee?
It’s an age-old debate among coffee lovers: is coffee bitter? Or can it be sweetened? Many people put sugar in their coffee, which is very unnecessary.
There are numerous schools of thought, as well as numerous legends. Both sides make claims based on taste, history, and the notion that “a true lover of coffee drinks coffee like it is.”
In actuality, folks who are accustomed to drinking sweetened coffee often experience a negative reaction when they try bitter coffee for the first time. Those who consume or are used to drinking bitter coffee, on the other hand, will never go back, and they may even believe that sugar in coffee modifies the true flavor and characteristic aftertaste.
Both factions in Italy are so adamant about which is superior between bitter or sweetened coffee. This is because coffee is a social and cultural issue, the symbol of a society with slow but profitable rhythms, where rather than getting depressed or giving in to sadness, you make a hot cup of coffee that drives away all your sorrows.
While a pound of sugar in a cup of coffee would convert it into a candy bar in liquid form, a small amount of sugar in your coffee can have a huge effect that goes beyond its plain sweetness. Sugar creates a chemical shift in brewed coffee that makes it less bitter, according to a report from the University of York Structural Biology Lab.
The chemistry changes at the molecular level when you add sugar to coffee
Sugar has a significant impact on bitterness reduction, not just by disguising it but also by changing the fundamental chemistry. Sugar is a major component of our hot beverages. That is, when we order coffee with milk and sugar, the sugar is not simply added to sweeten it. That particular sweetener alters the chemistry of the drink by rearrangement of molecules.
Caffeine, a chemical molecule that is a naturally occurring insecticide and is recognized for its stimulating effects, is partly responsible for the bitter taste. When caffeine molecules are inside water, they prefer to cling together, which is exacerbated by the addition of sugar. Scientists have hypothesized for decades that this is due to the strengthening of connections between water molecules surrounding the sugar.
The fundamental explanation, according to research led by Seishi Shimizu of the York Structural Biology Laboratory at the University of York, is that the affinity between sugar molecules and water, which causes caffeine molecules to stay together (or aggregate) to avoid the sugar.
This explains why we don’t have as much of a bitter taste when sugar is added to coffee.
So, why do you sweeten your coffee with sugar? Do you add a pinch of sugar to your brew, not for sweetness, but to cut down on the bitterness?
Benefits of drinking coffee without sugar
If you drink black coffee as you should, it can help you heal. Because black coffee is high in antioxidants and minerals, it provides several health benefits.
Black coffee is also good for your heart. It contains powerful antioxidants that help to maintain the health of the heart.
Some of the health benefits of drinking black coffee are listed below.
Black coffee improves memory
The human intellect benefits from black coffee. It keeps the brain active, which aids in memory enhancement. Simultaneously, it keeps the nerves functioning, which helps to avoid dementia.
Drinking black coffee regularly can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 65% and Parkinson’s disease by 60%.
Black coffee cleanses the stomach
Because coffee is a diuretic, the more you drink, the more you’ll pee because it flushes bacteria and poisons from our bodies. This aids in maintaining a healthy and clean stomach.
Black coffee aids in weight loss
If you drink black coffee thirty minutes before going to the gym, it will motivate you to work out more. Black coffee can assist in speeding up your metabolism by up to 50%. Because it is a fat-burning beverage, it also burns fat in the stomach. It also stimulates the neurological system, signaling the body to break down fat cells and use them instead of glycogen as a source of energy.
It is vital to note that if you are taking black coffee for weight loss, you should not add anything to it. This means no additional sugar, cream, milk, or other flavorings. All of the above benefits are negated if you utilize such chemicals because your coffee would contain some unneeded fats and cholesterol. To reduce weight, however, you must adhere to a strict food regimen.
Black coffee lowers the risk of diabetes
Drinking black coffee every day lowers the risk of diabetes, which could lead to organ damage and heart disease later in life. People who drank two or fewer cups of coffee had a higher risk of diabetes. Coffee helps in managing diabetes by increasing insulin production. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee aid in diabetes prevention.
It contains Antioxidants that are helpful
Antioxidants is a common word that many people are familiar with and know is good for our health. Now it turns out that the most common and largest source of these antioxidants is sugar-free coffee.
Antioxidants are a great source of disease prevention. To achieve healthy living, it is important to have antioxidants in your diet, and sugar-free coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants.
The caffeine in coffee is a specific antioxidant. Note that caffeine is not the only antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and keep our bodies healthy. Other active substances that act as antioxidants are polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acid.
Enough with the scientific words, the point is that antioxidants are good for your health and the most common source is caffeine which is found in sugar-free coffee.
Prevents Heart Disease
Good metabolism of the body is very important. And we have been able to establish that drinking coffee without sugar is a great way to enhance the body’s metabolism. This metabolism is great for the heart as well.
A lot of diseases of the heart are associated with clogged arteries. The arteries are important in the process of pumping blood to the heart. The clogging up of arteries is associated with cholesterol and fat build-up.
Clogged-up arteries are the leading cause of heart attacks and other life-threatening heart-related conditions. Beyond metabolism, it also helps to reduce inflammation which also causes heart-related issues.
Drinking sugar-free coffee helps to improve metabolism, decrease inflammation, prevent clogged arteries and subsequently preventing heart diseases.
Black coffee is beneficial to the liver
One of the most significant advantages of black coffee is that it improves liver function. Your liver is an essential organ in your body that performs a variety of activities. You must maintain a healthy lifestyle, and black coffee is ideal for this. The consumption of black coffee regularly has been related to a lower risk of cancers, liver disease, hepatitis, and alcoholic cirrhosis.
According to studies, persons who drink four cups of black coffee each day had a significantly lower risk of getting liver disease. This is because the components of black coffee can help in the reduction of toxic liver enzyme levels in the blood.
Black coffee boosts energy
The caffeine content in an 8-ounce cup of black coffee ranges from 95 to 200 milligrams, which is enough to get your heart pumping and give you a boost of energy. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, contributing to the feeling of increased energy. A cup of coffee can also help to relieve weariness temporarily. Coffee boosts mental energy as well as physical energy, enhancing concentration, focus, and mental alertness.
Black coffee prevents gall stones
Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee that contains at least 400 mg of caffeine, appear to lower the risk of gallstones. The lesser the danger, the more caffeine you consume. The risk is reduced the most when you consume 800 mg of caffeine per day (four or more cups of coffee).
Black coffee improves mood, aids treatment of depression, and reduces the risk of suicide
Caffeine activates the central nervous system and increases the production of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. Two cups of coffee every day reduces the risk of suicide by 50%.
Helps to reduce the risk of cancer
Cancer has become a common disease in recent times. The good news is that drinking coffee without sugar has the possibility of preventing cancer. This fact is supported by studies that have been able to establish that drinking an average of two cups of sugar-free coffee a day is a preventive measure for cancer.
The ability to prevent cancer present in coffee is due to its anti-cancer properties. The active ingredients in coffee have the ability to prevent the growth of cancerous cells. This is how sugar-free coffee helps to reduce your risk of having cancerous cells growing in your body.
Helps to manage aging
Aging is a process that is certain for all living things. This is a process that scares people so much due to the problems associated with the process. Aging can only be beautiful without a problem, and many want to experience this process with grace. The ability to feel younger than one’s age is a grace that makes the process of aging a beautiful one.
A lot invest a lot in getting a drink from the proverbial “fountain of youth.” At the same time, we all know that no such fountain exists. The closest you can get to that is by drinking coffee without sugar. All the benefits listed previously are what can help achieve a disease-free aging process.
For instance, a lot of diseases are associated with aging, and coffee can help reduce the risk of these diseases. The risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is reduced.
One peculiar thing about people as they age is their inability to remember things properly. This confusion and lack of focus is something that can be enhanced with a cup of sugar-free coffee. In view of this benefit of coffee with the brain, it is only expected that the brain-related part of the aging process is also enhanced.
The bottom line is that drinking sugar-free coffee helps you to age gracefully and limit your chances of having the various diseases associated with growing old.
It can help prolong your life
The previous benefit is linked with this benefit. Just as growing old comes with the onset of various diseases, so also do these diseases threaten to shorten one’s lifespan. This directly implies that consuming coffee without sugar can help prolong one’s life.
A lot of all the benefits that have been listed before all speak to this particular benefit. Being free of diseases (diabetes, heart diseases, cancer) and living a healthy life would help to prevent premature deaths.
Coffee preventing the risk of all these diseases can also help one live longer. One other unique benefit of drinking sugar-free coffee is that it helps to boost one’s mood and makes you happy. This is a property that helps to alleviate depression. Studies have shown that depression impacts one’s immune system negatively. When the immune system is down, it opens one to be susceptible to diseases which can subsequently shorten one’s lifespan.
How to gradually quit sugar
While drinking coffee is delightful, it has become a habit for many people. Before leaving for work, on the way to work, at work, and during our lunch break, we frequently find ourselves reaching for the coffee machine or our already-made cup or thermos without giving it much thought. Of course, part of the habit revolves around what we put in our coffee. Deciding to quit sugar intake in our cups of coffee is a huge decision, especially for those who love their coffee to be extra sweet.
These points would help you quit sugar gradually as an abrupt stop in sugar intake can be very difficult.
Gradually reduce the sugar you add to your coffee
Drinking coffee without sugar is not as hard as it may seem.
If you keep track of how much sugar you put in your coffee every week, you can gradually reduce it until you’re not using it at all.
Replace sugar with other substitutes
There are several natural alternatives to sugar (or milk/cream) that could be used. To make your coffee more fascinating and nutritious, switch between these options.
When you sweeten your coffee with dates, you’ll get a boost of magnesium, fiber, and vitamin B6.
To add dates to coffee, make a date paste and play about with it until you find the right sweetness.
To make date paste, soak some pitted dates in water for an hour, then mix the dates with a tablespoon or two of the water that was initially used to soak them. Blend until soft paste forms, then stir a small amount into a freshly poured cup of coffee.
Do you enjoy coffee with vanilla syrup? Add a drop of vanilla extract to the mix.
While vanilla extract does not sweeten your coffee in the same manner that syrup does, it has a similar aroma that will fool you into thinking you’re drinking the same thing.
You might have put honey in your tea at one time or the other, but have you ever considered adding honey to your coffee? Honey’s natural antimicrobial characteristics make it an excellent substitute for most sweeteners.
Because honey has such a strong flavor, a small amount goes a long way, so use half or even a fourth of the sugar you would use on a norm. You can also experiment with different honey varieties; keep in mind that darker honey has a richer flavor.
Cinnamon can help bring out the natural flavors of the beans while also potentially providing anti-inflammatory benefits when added to coffee.
You can also infuse the flavor of coffee beans by storing them with cinnamon sticks.
Cocoa powder can be used to sweeten coffee. You’ll be adding antioxidants to your coffee by stirring in a small teaspoon.
Adding salt to your coffee
While it may appear absurd at first, a pinch of salt can significantly minimize the bitterness. What if it does not work? Add a pinch more.
Utilize freshly brewed coffee
Even though you just got it yesterday, that instant coffee you bought isn’t fresh. Grinding your coffee beans adds a lot of flavor to your coffee for a little extra money. The strong coffee flavor is typically enhanced more than the bitterness, generally outweighing any unpalatable flavor in it to some degree.
Try a variety of roasts.
One of the most essential things that determine the taste of coffee is the degree to which the coffee beans are roasted.
Until now, the strength or acidity of your coffee did not matter all that much because it could always be made drinkable by adding extra sugar and cream. However, this isn’t the case any longer.
There are many various roast levels for coffee, and the flavor of the roasted beans is the most popular way to describe them.
Try out different roast levels to see which one you prefer. In addition, the flavor of coffee varies depending on its origin. Find a brand that appeals to your personal preferences. You might also try organic coffee to see which works best for you.
There are a variety of ways to enjoy your coffee or tea without sweetening it. You can pick any of the above-mentioned flavors and try them out. Coffee is said to reduce or lower the risk of Type II Diabetes in people so adding sugar to your coffee doesn’t only render its anti-diabetic properties useless, it also makes the coffee nothing but candy in liquid form.