Iced Coffee vs. Iced Tea

Do you crave a few ice cubes in your morning cup of java instead of steamed milk? Have you swapped your lunchtime seltzer with a refreshing iced herbal tea infusion?  What nutritional value does your daily ritual have? Which one has more benefits: iced coffee or iced tea?

Iced tea nutrition

Since its discovery in China, tea has become one of the most popular beverages in the world. Legend says that iced tea was invented at the World’s Fair in 1904 by a tea plantation owner that cooled down samples of his product with ice cubes. Since then, ice tea has evolved from a Southern staple to artisan flavors of different tea leaves such as ginger peach and pomegranate berry.

Caffeine in iced tea

These  teas have delicate flavors that are tasty sans sweeteners. Iced tea contains about 40 to 50 milligrams of caffeine per 16 oz serving. 

Calories in iced tea

Plain, unsweetened iced tea has zero calories. The calories of sweetened iced tea will depend on the amount of sweetener you add.

Iced coffee nutrition

To be clear, we are talking about the “classic” iced coffee that is made by pouring fresh hot coffee over ice, not the latest cold brewed version. The super dose of caffeine is a diuretic, so make sure you drink lots of water during the day to prevent dehydration.

Iced coffee calories

There is between two and five calories per 16 oz serving of iced coffee. You won’t sabotage your eating plan with a plain iced coffee, but adding syrup and milk can add up to 120 calories.

Iced coffee caffeine

There is about 150 milligrams of caffeine in one 16 oz serving of iced coffee. Zing!

Iced tea vs. iced coffee

This decision is not based on all of the bad press coffee has received lately. It was based on which beverage is least likely to wreak havoc nutritionally. With iced coffee, there are so many ways you can turn the midday pickup into the equivalent of a liquid donut. Yes, you can add sugar calories to iced tea, but no one is going to order an iced tea with a dollop of whipped cream or a shot of chocolate syrup. Ice tea is the winner this week. Bonus: the lower caffeine level won’t leave you feeling too buzzed or jittery.