Why it’s so hard to give up sugar in your coffee

If you’re thinking of getting fitter for summer, one of the lifestyle changes you may have considered is giving up sugar in your coffee. It’s one of those things that sounds simple but is surprisingly difficult in practice – in fact, people who successfully manage to cut down sugar in other areas, such as eating cakes and biscuits, find they still can’t give up sugar in coffee. Now, research has shown just why this is.

The study, carried out at the University of York, has discovered that the sugar isn’t just addictive in its own right, it also changes the basic chemistry of the coffee to improve the taste. The research studied how the molecules of water, caffeine and sugar interact together to affect the final taste of the drink.

Coffee (and to a lesser extent, tea) contains caffeine, which can cause it to have a bitter taste, especially if over brewed or inexpertly prepared. When you add sugar, the molecules of caffeine group together reducing their overall surface area. In turn, this means they cause less reaction on the taste buds and reduces the impression of a bitterness.

The author of the study, Dr Shimizu, said: “It’s a bit like if you were asked to look for two one penny coins and they were both stuck together – they can be mistaken for just one.” He went on to say that the findings revealed just how complex the interaction of foods can be, and how science was helping us to understand it.

If you’re serious about trying to cut down on sugar, then the best ‘tried and tested’ method seems to be reducing the amount you take over about a week to give your taste buds a chance to adapt. In the meantime, stock up on everything coffee-related at our main website over at www.wholesalecoffeecompany.co.uk, where we’ve everything from beans…yes, to sugar!