When You Drink Coffee Creamer Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Body

There aren't very many bad things you can say about coffee these days. Harvard says research has shown that folks who drink three to four cups of coffee per day enjoy longer lifespans, and the beloved beverage been linked to a reduced risk of diseases like Parkinson's, type 2 diabetes, uterine and liver cancer, as well as gout. What research has been less clear about, however, is whether the way we drink coffee might impact its health benefits.

HuffPost says 72 percent of coffee drinkers enjoy their brew with a dairy or non-dairy coffee creamer, and 30 percent sweeten their coffee with a sweetener, which leads us to flavored coffee creamers, because really, they just bring the best of both worlds into one coffee cup.

In an effort to save money and avoid a daily coffeeshop tab, it's understandable that you're thinking of replicating your favorite flavored coffee experience at home each morning. But before you do that by using the coffee creamers on the market today, you might want to find out just what goes into creamer and why it may be a good idea to avoid indulging on a daily basis.

What's the difference between heavy cream, half-and-half, and coffee creamer?

If you are one of the 72 percent that likes cutting black coffee with milk or or another non-dairy option, you're likely to reach for one of three choices: heavy cream, half-and-half, and coffee creamer. Healthline explains that heavy cream or heavy whipping cream is the high fat cream which normally gets skimmed off the top of fresh milk, and then packaged and sold separately. Cream is usually sorted according to its fat content, though some creams have thickeners added to it to improve its consistency. Half-and-half is the product of mixing cream and milk, giving us a dairy product that is thicker than milk, but lower in fat than cream. Healthline points out that fat-free versions of half-and-half might substitute cream with corn syrup, making for an additive that is higher in sugar. 

Coffee creamer, which today comes in a variety of flavors from Dunkin' vanilla to Coffee mate Snickers contain no real milk, so are typically non-dairy and lactose-free. But of the three, coffee creamer comes with alarm bells, because most are usually made with a mix of water, plenty of sugar, and vegetable oil. Healthline also notes they can come with additives like carrageenan, cellulose gum, and artificial flavorings to mimic textures and flavors of the real deal. 

Coffee creamer may contain a dairy derivative and trigger allergies

MedBroadcast says pouring or spooning creamer in your coffee three to four times a day, day in and day out, can present its own set of issues. People with milk allergies who take non-dairy creamers thinking they're in the clear could actually be setting themselves up for problems, because some of those products still contain casein, a milk protein. As a result, they will be ingesting a dairy derivative that has the potential to trigger their allergies on a daily basis. 

Also, in order for creamer to have the same qualities as dairy, manufacturers need to add ingredients like sugar, sodium, food coloring, and corn syrup. Some non-dairy creamers can even contain trans fat, which adds to your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels; and adding a high-cholesterol chemical mix can only be bad news if you're trying to keep your cholesterol count down.

Coffee creamers are an extra source of calories

Flavored creamers also have the added disadvantage of being a potentially hidden source of calories. While some creamers claim to have 35 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and 6 grams of sugar, we don't really look at serving sizes, which can come to about 1 tablespoon. Eat This, Not That! says an unmeasured pour of creamer can actually be equal to four times that amount, or about 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 24 grams of sugar. If you're taking creamer with your multiple cups of coffee per day, you could exceed your maximum daily sugar intake after just the second cup. The American Heart Association (via Healthline) recommends that women don't exceed 25 grams per day.

We get that you're one of the 55 percent of coffee drinkers that HuffPost says would rather gain 10 pounds than give up coffee for life, but if you take creamer with that coffee, Eat This, Not That! reports that those hefty daily pours of the wrong stuff could actually amount to a 15-pound weight gain a year.