Is there sugar in powder coffee creamer?

Powdered coffee creamer, often called non-dairy creamer, is a popular coffee additive used to lighten the color and mellow the flavor of coffee. Many people enjoy using powdered creamers because they dissolve easily in hot coffee, don’t require refrigeration, and come in a variety of flavors. However, some people wonder if powdered coffee creamers contain sugar, especially compared to liquid creamers and milk. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at the ingredients in powdered coffee creamers and whether they contain added sugars. We’ll also compare powdered creamers to liquid creamers and milk options.

Do powdered coffee creamers contain sugar?

The short answer is yes, most powdered coffee creamers do contain some form of added sugar. However, the specific type and amount can vary significantly between products and brands. Here’s a breakdown of the most common sweeteners used:

Sucrose (Table Sugar)

Many powdered creamers list sucrose, commonly known as table sugar, in their ingredients. Sucrose is composed of glucose and fructose and provides a sweet taste. Brands that use sucrose will typically list it near the top of the ingredients, indicating it’s one of the main components.


Dextrose is a simple sugar derived from corn that also provides a sweet taste. It has a high glycemic index, meaning it causes a rapid rise in blood sugar. Dextrose is sometimes used alone but also commonly combined with other sweeteners.


Maltodextrin is a processed starch that is digested and absorbed as glucose. It’s commonly used as a filler ingredient and bulking agent in powdered creamers. Though not intensely sweet, it does provide a subtle sweetness.

High fructose corn syrup

Some powdered creamers use high fructose corn syrup as a primary sweetener. High fructose corn syrup is made from corn starch and contains roughly equal amounts of glucose and fructose. It’s sweeter than sucrose while adding a smooth, palatable flavor.

Natural sweeteners

A few powdered creamer brands use natural sweeteners like cane sugar, coconut sugar, stevia extracts, or monk fruit. These may appeal to consumers looking to avoid artificial and high glycemic index sweeteners. However, they are less commonly used in mainstream powdered creamers.

So in summary, while a rare few powdered creamers contain no added sugars, the vast majority include one or more added sweeteners like sucrose, dextrose, maltodextrin, or high fructose corn syrup. The sweeteners enhance the creamy flavor and provide a sweetness that coffee drinkers expect.

How much sugar is in powdered creamers?

The exact amount of added sugars in powdered creamers varies substantially between products. Some creamers contain just 1-2 grams of sugar per serving, while others contain 5 grams or more.

Here are some approximate sugar ranges for popular powdered creamer brands:

– Coffee mate: 0-4 grams of sugar per serving
– Nestle Coffeemate: 0-5 grams of sugar per serving
– International Delight: 0-5 grams of sugar per serving
– Dunkin Donuts: 2-4 grams of sugar per serving
– Silk: 0-2 grams of sugar per serving
– So Delicious: 0 grams of sugar per serving

As you can see, brands like Coffee mate and International Delight tend to be on the higher end for added sugars, while Silk and So Delicious use less or no added sugars. Reading nutrition labels closely is important, as sugar content can really vary across the numerous creamer options.

For reference, the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to no more than 24 grams or 6 teaspoons per day for women and 36 grams or 9 teaspoons for men. Just a couple servings of a higher sugar powdered creamer could approach these daily limits.

Do liquid coffee creamers have less sugar?

Liquid coffee creamers, sometimes called non-dairy liquid creamers or coffee whiteners, are another popular choice alongside powdered creamers. But do they contain less added sugar?

The answer is they sometimes do, but not always. Many liquid creamers, especially full-fat and half-and-half varieties, contain milk ingredients like whey protein concentrate and milk protein isolate. These naturally contain some lactose sugars, but no added table sugar.

However, there are also non-dairy liquid creamers made with vegetable oils instead of milk ingredients. These more processed liquid creamers often contain added sugars for flavor and texture, including sucrose, maltodextrin, and high fructose corn syrup.

Some examples of added sugars in popular liquid coffee creamers include:

– International Delight: 1-3 grams of sugar per tablespoon
– Coffee mate liquid: 0-2 grams of sugar per tablespoon
– Nestle liquid non-dairy: 1-3 grams of sugar per tablespoon

So while some liquid creamers are unsweetened and lower in sugar, reading labels is still important. There are also natural liquid creamers made from cream or half-and-half with no added sugars.

How does milk compare for sugar content?

When comparing powdered and liquid non-dairy creamers to dairy milk, milk generally contains less added sugars. Whole milk has about 12 grams of natural milk sugar (lactose) per cup, while 2% and skim milk have less at 9-10 grams. This is compared to up to 5 grams of added sugars in some powdered creamers per serving.

However, lactose content in milk can be an issue for those with lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerant individuals lack enough of the enzyme lactase to properly digest lactose. This results in gastrointestinal issues when consuming dairy products.

For those avoiding both lactose and added sugars, nut milks like almond, coconut, and oat milk are excellent options to use in coffee instead of creamers. Unsweetened varieties contain no added sugars – just be sure to shake or stir well before adding to coffee to distribute the healthy fats.

Should you avoid powdered creamers with added sugar?

Whether you should avoid powdered creamers with added sugars comes down to your own dietary needs and preferences:

– For weight loss or diabetes control, minimizing added sugar intake from all sources, including coffee creamer, can be beneficial.
– If you’re monitoring your sugar and carb intake for other health reasons, powdered creamers with artificial sweeteners may be a better choice.
– If you’re not concerned about added sugars or calories, enjoy creamers with some added sweetness. Just be mindful of portion sizes.
– Read labels closely and aim for creamers with 2 grams of sugar or less per serving to limit your intake of empty calories.
– For the least amount of sugar, use milk or unsweetened nut milks. Or try mixing half unsweetened nut milk with half creamer.

The bottom line is added sugars should be limited as part of an overall healthy diet. But with some label reading and mix-and-matching, you can still enjoy your coffee with a splash of flavor!

Do powdered coffee creamers have any benefits?

Though powdered coffee creamers aren’t the most natural or unprocessed choice, they do have some potential benefits that make them a staple in many kitchens:

Convenience – Just a teaspoon or two mixes easily into hot coffee with no blender required. Powdered creamers are shelf-stable and have a long shelf life.

Customization – Powdered creamers come in a wide variety of flavors like French vanilla, caramel, mocha, and seasonal options. You can add as little or as much as you like to suit your taste preferences.

Consistency – Properly formulated powdered creamers dissolve uniformly in coffee for a smooth, creamy texture. Natural cream separates but powdered creamer mixes evenly.

Lower fat/calories – Many powdered creamers are made with corn starches and vegetable oils, so they’re lower in fat and calories than half-and-half or heavy cream.

Lactose-free – Powdered coffee creamers are suitable for those with lactose intolerance or milk allergies since they contain no dairy.

So for those who prioritize convenience and enjoy the flavors of powdered creamers, they can be an enjoyable part of your morning coffee. Just be mindful of added sugars and limit to 1-2 teaspoons per cup.

Are natural powdered creamers available?

As consumers pay more attention to food labels, some brands now offer “natural” powdered creamers advertised as having simpler, more recognizable ingredients and no artificial additives.

Some examples of natural powdered coffee creamers include:

Nut pod’s – Made from coconut cream and milk. Contains coconut sugar for sweetness.

CALIFIA Farms – Contains sunflower oil, coconut oil, acacia fiber, erythritol.

Natural Bliss – Made with casein (milk protein), coconut oil, and natural sugar.

SO DELICIOUS – Made with pea protein, sunflower oil, and natural flavors. No added sugar.

These tend to cost a bit more than traditional powdered creamers but appeal to consumers seeking shorter ingredient lists. They often rely on natural sweeteners like monk fruit or coconut sugar instead of artificial sweeteners, if containing any sweetener at all.

Of course, you can also make your own simple powdered creamer at home using coconut milk powder, milk powder, or nut milk powders blended with your preferred spices and sweeteners. Homemade allows you to control the specific ingredients.

What are the best low-sugar powdered creamer options?

If you enjoy the convenience of powdered creamers but want to keep sugar content low, here are some of the best low-sugar options to look for:

Nut Pods – 0g sugar

Nut Pods creamers are made from coconut cream powder and contain no added sugars. The French Vanilla and Hazelnut flavors add richness without sweetness.

Coffee Booster – 0-1g sugar

Coffee Booster makes unsweetened powdered coconut creamer plus vanilla and mocha flavors with only 1g sugar. Their creamers mix smoothly into coffee.

SO Delicious – 0g sugar

SO Delicious Unsweetened Coconutmilk Powdered Creamer contains no sugar. It mixes easily and makes coffee extra creamy.

Natural Bliss – 1g sugar

Natural Bliss creamers like Vanilla and Chocolate Cookie contain just 1g of sugar from lactose and natural sugar.

Peak – 0-2g sugar

Peak powdered creamers like French Vanilla and Cafe Au Lait are lightly sweetened with 2g sugar or less per serving.

Checking labels for nutritional information is advised, as formulas can change. But opting for unsweetened or lightly sweetened natural powdered creamers lets you control your added sugar intake.

Do powdered creamers have artificial sweeteners?

Many standard powdered coffee creamers rely on artificial sweeteners in place of sugar to provide a sweet flavor with zero or minimal calories. Some common artificial sweeteners used include:

Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) – up to 200 times sweeter than sugar

Aspartame – 200 times sweeter than sugar

Saccharin – 300-400 times sweeter than sugar

Sucralose – 600 times sweeter than sugar

Neotame – 7,000-13,000 times sweeter than sugar

While these provide sweetness without extra calories, there are some potential health concerns around artificial sweeteners with regular consumption. Talk to your doctor about whether artificial sweeteners are appropriate for your individual health situation.

To avoid artificial sweeteners, look for powdered creamers made with natural sweeteners like cane sugar, coconut sugar, stevia leaf extracts, monk fruit, or allulose. Or choose unsweetened varieties and add your own sugar if desired.

What are the best non-dairy creamer alternatives?

In addition to powdered and liquid non-dairy creamers, there are several healthy, low-sugar alternatives to use in coffee:

Nut milks – Almond, coconut, cashew, and oat milk add richness without creaminess. Look for unsweetened.

Full-fat dairy milk – Whole milk, 2% milk, and half-and-half contain lactose natural sugars with no added sweeteners.

Heavy cream – Adds lush texture and contains only minimal natural lactose sugar.

Coconut cream – Thick, smooth, and naturally sweet. Contains medium-chain triglycerides.

Nutritional yeast – Savory and cheesy-flavored. Contains B-vitamins and amino acids.

Butter or ghee – Adds body with the flavor notes coffee drinkers love. Use sparingly to control saturated fat intake.

With so many options, you can find a healthy, lower sugar creamer substitute perfect for your palate and dietary needs.


While creamers aren’t an absolute necessity in coffee, many people enjoy their convenience, flavors, and creamy texture. Powdered creamers provide a popular way to add creaminess and sweetness, but most do contain some level of added sugars. Reading nutrition labels closely and opting for low or no-sugar products can help keep added sugars in check.

Alternatives like nut milks, half-and-half, heavy cream, or coconut cream are healthy options without added sweeteners. Or try mixing a powdered creamer with an unsweetened nut or dairy milk for a balance of creaminess and sweetness.

No matter your dietary preferences, look for powdered creamers with short ingredient lists, natural sweeteners, and 2 grams of sugar or less per serving. With so many options on the market, you can enjoy your perfect cup of creamy, lightly sweetened coffee.

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