Drinking coffee black is definitely not for everyone. For most coffee lovers, creamers like Coffee Mate are convenient additives for a creamier and lighter coffee blend. But the thing is, there’s a catch or two about Coffee Mate, just like any other instant and easy-to-store food item.
Coffee Mate, especially in its powdered form, is easy to store and is quite tasty. However, it contains a lot of potentially harmful preservatives, refined sugars, partially hydrogenated oils, and corn syrup which can be a suspect for a lot of health risks.
What is coffee Mate exactly?
A coffee creamer is a store-bought powder or liquid that is added to black coffee or tea. It is supposed to give them a lighter taste and a creamier texture. The ingredients in coffee creamer are thickeners, oil, and sugar substitutes and are supposedly created without dairy.
When in powder form, it has a longer shelf life than milk products which makes it preferred for most households. You can buy it in a wide range of flavors, including seasonal variations, and it is most frequently available in the United States.
Coffee Mate is one of the biggest brands of creamers out there, manufactured by Nestlé. It is marketed as a non-dairy lactose-free coffee whitener that comes in powdered, liquid, and concentrated liquid forms.
Is coffee mate non-dairy? Uh. that’s a no. and we’ll explain later on.
It was first introduced in 1961 as the “first non-dairy creamer” in the market, now it retains its popularity as much as creamers and coffee additive products are concerned.
coffeemate instant coffee ad from 1960's
What is coffee mate made of?
Nestle lists glucose syrup, corn syrup, and hydrogenated vegetable oils as Coffee Mate's main ingredients.
But it’s not entirely dairy-free as the company claims. So what is in coffee mate creamer?
Here are the different ingredients in 900g of Coffee Mate original:
- Glucose syrup
- Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
- Acidity Regulators (E340ii, E452i)
- Milk Protein (👈 See? This is from cow's milk)
- Emulsifiers from Plant Origin (E471, E472e)
- Anti-caking Agent (E170i)
- Natural Identical Dairy Flavor
Take a look at this picture of the ingredients list at the back of the bottle:
What is the milk derivative in Coffee Mate? So, despite claiming to be dairy-free, Coffee Mate does contain milk-derived proteins like sodium caseinate.
So, yes, it does contain milk protein.
It does not contain any antioxidants, minerals, or vitamins, so there is nothing in particular that makes adding coffee mate beneficial. It’s not exactly a must-add to your coffee (health-wise).
Is coffee creamer healthy? Not exactly. But we’ll get to that soon.
Does coffee mate have caffeine?
Some creamers have recently added caffeine into their mix to add a little more punch to any coffee drink.
Here’s the Cremora Caffeinated Coffee Creamer Coconut.
Another one is Rapid Fire Turbo Creamer has a shot of caffeine too.
However, just like most creamer products, Coffee Mate does not have caffeine in it.
Is Coffee Mate bad for you?
Unfortunately, Coffee Mate, like other creamers, can be really bad for you because of all the partially hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, potentially dangerous preservatives, and other refined sugars.
Creamers like Coffee Mate may seem like a harmless addition to an otherwise healthy morning pick-me-up, but you may want to reconsider which ones you’re adding to your coffee or tea.
Let’s list and break down the reasons why coffee mate might not be as beneficial to your favorite caffeinated drink:
1. Coffee-Mate’s Main Ingredient is Full of Trans Fat
Hydrogenated oils are glaringly at the top of Coffee-Mate’s ingredients list, a component that is notorious for having great amounts of Trans Fat in it. That’s right, Coffee-mate includes the kind of fat that causes blockages in the arteries.
To be able to solidify in higher temperatures, a metal molecule is inserted into a fat molecule that then becomes a Trans Fat, which allows the creamer to stabilize better.
Unfortunately, this means that one of the bad Coffee Mate side effects is that it causes the fat in your bloodstream to solidify at a higher rate.
Regular prolonged consumption of products with large amounts of Trans Fat can lead to increased cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, as well as the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and more recently, links to the dangers of Alzheimer’s.
2. Coffee-Mate May Pose a Risk to your Kidneys
Milk and most creamers increase how much potassium is already present in your coffee. Alarmingly, Coffee Mates’ health risks include kidney problems.
Coffee alone already has some potassium in it, a component that when taken in large amounts may cause damage to the kidneys.
Coffee Mate itself does not contain a lot of potassium. But adding multiple portions of the product to a serving of coffee can entice you to drink more coffee than necessary.
Obviously, when you drink TOO MUCH, the supposedly minimal risk may potentially lead to chronic kidney disease.
Chemical phosphates are added to coffee creamers by most manufacturers. Chemical phosphates are easily absorbed by the body and should be avoided by anyone suffering from kidney disease.
Is coffee mate bad for your kidneys?
For sure it is.
It's a synthetic chemical substance. It has zero health benefits. Na-da! And excessive consumption can lead to serious kidney problems.
3. Coffee-Mate May Cause Unwanted Weight Gain
Is coffee creamer fattening? Heck yeah! Creamers in general contain a lot of “hidden calories” in them, and Coffee Mate is no exception to this.
A serving of Coffee Mate can contain approximately 35 calories, which is harmless on its own.
But wait up!
This seemingly tiny amount could instantly add up to 1000 calories when copious portions are added to your drink and you consume it multiple times a day.
And the thing here is you don’t usually stop at a cup do you?
So if you are trying to control your weight, maybe holding back on Coffee Mate is the best move for you.
Sticking to plain black coffee is best for weight loss!
Is sugar-free coffee Mate bad for you?
Artificial sweeteners in sugar-free Coffee Mate may cause weight gain. Artificial sweeteners change the natural balance of gut bacteria too and even increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.
Sugar-free Coffee Mate might have fewer calories than its normal variant. But the artificial sweeteners they use are gonna get you. 💀
Such additives may seem safe, but several studies claim that they can negatively alter your gut microbiome. It is one of Coffee Mate's health risks to watch out for.
If you still prefer using the sugar-free version of Coffee-Mate, then take note of how much serving you add to your drink and the total amount of the beverage you consume daily.
Is there a healthy alternative to coffee Mate?
Coffee Mate isn’t the healthiest, so we got to find options. Here are some options for what to use instead of coffee creamer.
In picking out the best alternatives, let’s go back to the main purpose of creamers like coffee mate.
It is 1. to add a lighter taste and 2. Give a smoother texture to black coffee or tea. In this regard, coffee lovers actually have a lot of choices if they want to forego using Coffee Mate.
Half and half is one of the most popular options for coffee additives. It shares the same milky mouthfeel as Coffee Mate which makes it blend perfectly with coffee.
It is made of equal parts whole milk and cream, allowing for a balanced richness and thickness.
Half-and-half is also good for avoiding excess calories since it doesn’t have all the unnecessary additives like sugars and syrups in Coffee Mate.
2. Almond Milk
Almond Milk, as its name suggests, has a slightly nutty flavor but is mostly indistinguishable from regular whole milk.
Some brands even offer different flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and other sweetened varieties.
A lot of coffee lovers swear by almond milk as a non-dairy creamer alternative thanks to its creamy texture, being lactose-free, as well as having copious amounts of protein in it.
As a bonus, it only contains around 5 calories per 1 tablespoon serving, making it favorable for many who want to keep drinking caffeinated drinks guilt-free.
3. Coconut Milk
The taste of coconut milk in coffee can be quite refreshing with just a hint of sweetness. Want something creamier than almond milk? Coconut milk is worth the try.
It’s perfect for those who are lactose-intolerant since it is an alternative that does not contain unhealthy additives as most creamers do.
It’s also a great choice for the weight-conscious, or those looking to keep their glycemic index low. This is because a tablespoon of coconut milk only contains 5 calories.
The glycaemic index or GI is a rating system to measure foods containing carbohydrates.
4. Oat Milk
Oat milk doesn’t have the nutty flavor that almond milk has, nor the creamy texture of coconut milk. But this plant-based alternative complements the taste of coffee quite well.
It might not have a calorie content as low as almond milk, but it still checks out as a healthier substitute to your standard coffee mate. Also, it has a fair amount of extra fiber as a bonus.
It’s been getting popular, especially for those who want to keep their soy consumption in check or are not fans of the nutty flavor of almond milk.
5. Soy Milk
Soy milk typically has a mild and creamy flavor which can vary between brands. It has been a solid substitute for coffee creamers like a coffee mate for a while now.
It is plant-based, rich in proteins similar to almond milk, that blends well with coffee thanks to its silky texture. It also offers various flavors like chocolate or vanilla to add more flavor to your coffee.
It's typically sweeter than other milk alternatives. But of course, it also comes unsweetened for an even more guilt-free coffee experience.
If you want dairy-free milk that tastes much like milk, soya milk is probably your best option.
6. Goat Milk
Goat milk could taste grassy and has a hint of earthy flavor. Pretty much what you get when you are eating goat cheese.
Unlike cow’s milk, goat’s milk offers a very low lactose content packed with a lot of nutrients. That makes it highly preferred by lactose-intolerant individuals.
Its benefits, all the while tasting similar to regular whole milk, make it a good alternative despite being on the pricier side.
7. Rice Milk
Rice Milk tastes almost similar to Almond Milk. However, it does have a lighter feel to it.
In addition, it is also free from soy and nut components, as well as other chemical additives and artificial sweeteners.
All this makes rice milk another great healthy option for when you decide to never stock up on Coffee Mate on your shelves again.
How to use coffee Mate powder responsibly
The ideal amount of coffee mate to your beverage should only be around 1-3 tablespoons for every 8-12 oz mug. Is powdered coffee mate bad for you? Well, anything in excess may pose plenty of risks.
Just imagine how many additives are found in a serving of Coffee Mate. Yikes!
Like any other food item, make sure to practice proper hygiene and safe handling practices to avoid any food-related illness. Imagine being safe from overconsumption, only to get a trip in the E.R. because of improper food handling and storage. 🤦
This makes it really important to know how long is coffee mate creamer good.
Coffee Mate’s powdered variant, is safe to consume for up to 2 to 4 months after the printed date on the packaging. But only if unopened. That shelf life is going to be reduced to half when it’s already opened.
As for the liquid Coffee Mate variant, make sure it is stored in the fridge once opened, and consumed within 2 to 3 weeks.
Now that we are wiser about consuming Coffee Mate, here are some more frequently asked questions about this additive.
Is Coffee Mate Banned in Europe?
Because it contains trans-fat, Coffee Mate is banned in some areas of Europe.
So why is coffee mate banned in Europe?
Generally, there are stricter regulations regarding the types of food available for consumption in Europe. One of these includes cutting down on products that contain trans fat because of the health dangers it may cause.
Unfortunately, coffee mate has substantial amounts of hydrogenated oils in it, which is a source of trans fat, resulting in a ban on this popular creamer brand in European countries.
These countries include:
Does Coffee Mate have calcium?
No, Coffee Mate does not contain calcium.
Can you freeze Coffee Mate creamer?
Yes, you can freeze a full bottle of liquid coffee mate creamer.
The product does not expand as much as water does so it’s going to be fine. A lot of people are actually considering this to extend the shelf-life of liquid Coffee Mate variants.
You can freeze it in single-serve portions. Pretty convenient rather than thawing an entire bottle.
Why is there a shortage of Coffee Mate creamer in 2022?
The global pandemic that began in 2020 caused problems within the labor force of most industries, interrupting the supply chain. Coffee Mate turns out to have been one of the companies greatly affected by it.
Understaffed factories, and the slow movement of goods, eventually snowballed into more problems resulting in the shortage of coffee mate creamers in 2022.
The Grocer also found out that Nestlé shrunk Coffee Mate packs by 50g to alleviate the rising costs.
What happens to your body if you drink coffee Mate every day
Drinking coffee with Coffee Mate every day can put you at a higher risk of developing heart disease or stroke. You could also gain more weight than you’d like.
So if you’re wondering “is coffee creamer bad for you?’ The answer is yes. As with most processed foods, Coffee Mate should be avoided.
But if you can’t live without it just try to consume it in moderation. You can also always try the alternatives I listed above.
If you drink multiple servings of coffee every day, make sure you don’t get too wild adding Coffee Mate or other commercial creamer products.
Is coffee mate bad for you? A tablespoon might look harmless, but adding too many, several times a day, regularly, definitely calls for danger.