Updated: Jan 27
Gone are the days of having the option of tea or coffee when ordering at a coffee shop. Now the list is endless, with superfood lattes making an appearance in many places. From matcha lattes and charcoal lattes to turmeric lattes - The list is endless! But are they really all that super?
Are they actually that healthy?
It seems like the answer to anything in nutrition is, it depends! And once again, the answer here isn’t black and white so yes, it depends. Let’s look at them in greater detail.
First up, matcha lattes!
Matcha is a form of powdered green tea. It is rich in antioxidants and as well as a compound called l-theanine. L-theanine is amazing for both relaxation as it aids in the production of GABA which is essential for relaxation. However, when made into a superfood latte, using boiling can cause loss of nutrients.
What about charcoal lattes? I hear they can cure hangovers!
Charcoal lattes are also a popular option for people looking to cure their hangover and detoxify their body. While activated charcoal has been shown to absorb chemicals in our gut (it’s for this reason it’s used for treating drug overdoses and poisoning), there’s little evidence to suggest it’s beneficial for clearing alcohol from our system. Our body also does a pretty good job at detoxing itself thanks to our liver, kidneys and lungs - So a charcoal latte probably won’t help you out with this either!
Turmeric is all the rage now, should I be trying one of those lattes?
Turmeric is a yellow spice which contains a compound called curcumin. Turmeric has become a great interest of late due to the presence of curcumin, which is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown a reduction in inflammation in the body when patients are given 1000mg of curcumin daily which makes it promising for inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Other research has suggested benefits with doses of 500mg-2000mg a day. However, the quantity of curcumin in a latte is only around 60mg meaning it is much too low to have any beneficial effect on inflammation in the body.
You can drink beetroot?
Yep, even beetroot is available in latte form now! Beetroot is rich in nitrates. Beetroot has so much nitrate that it can serve as a potential ergogenic aid, making it a favourite for people pre workout. If you find that caffeine doesn’t sit well with you, then trying beetroot may be a good option for you. Beetroot juice is also available and would contain less sugar and calories than a beetroot latte.
What are the issues with superfood lattes?
You should bear in mind that you can’t actually be sure how much of the actual “superfood” is being used. Finally, a lot of excess calories can be added with the addition of sugar and milk to make them taste appealing. If fat loss is your goal, excess calories from drinks such as these could push you over your daily calorie goal and out of a deficit.
Should I be drinking them?
No, you definitely don’t have to! But if you like the taste and enjoy them, then work away as they’re definitely not dangerous. They’re definitely by no means an essential for healthy diet and can also bear a pretty hefty price tag when compared to a regular latte.
It’s also worth remembering that good old tea and coffee are actually pretty rich in antioxidants, making them a great addition to any diet!