8 Ways to Make Your Coffee Healthier
Ah, coffee. There’s nothing quite like that first cup of the day, whether it’s bright and early in the morning, during your lunch break, or on your way to work.
And while it can be addictive, it can also help you burn fat, stay focused, and perform better. Plus, it has plenty of beneficial antioxidants too.
If you lace your regular cup o’ Joe with cream, high-fat milk, ice cream, sugar, and so on, it can quickly turn into a bit of a calorie bomb, effectively canceling out all of its positive effects.
Let’s explore eight different ways you can make your coffee healthier and ensure you reap only the benefits.
Some kinds of coffee, especially black coffee, can be a bit bitter. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people throw in sugar to make it taste nicer. Small amounts of refined sugar won’t do you a lot of harm, but if you want to make your coffee healthier, try an alternative.
Brown sugar is a great option, as is coconut sugar or even stevia.
What you can also do is simply switch up the coffee brand you drink. There’s a variety of coffee blends available on the market, so you can easily find one that tastes just right and requires no added sugar.
Spice It up
If you want to add a bit of extra flavor to your regular cup of coffee, you can try a hint of cinnamon or even a dash of cocoa. Both of these spices can turn a very bland drink into a completely new experience.
Avoid Artificial Creamers
Most low-fat and artificial creamers are highly processed and can contain rather dubious ingredients. They’re also usually high in calories and will instantly eliminate the fat-burning effect of coffee.
If you do need a bit of cream, try going for a full-fat cream, ideally from an organic source. This will provide some calcium to keep your bones healthy while also giving you that creamy and smooth texture. Keep in mind that it will still be high in calories, though.
Try Almond Milk
If you’re not allergic to nuts, you can also try swapping your regular dairy milk for some almond milk. It definitely won’t taste the same, but it will keep your caloric intake down.
You can experiment with oat milk, coconut milk, hazelnut milk, or any other kind of non-dairy milk that you like. Why not create a signature mixture and your own version of the perfect cup of coffee?
Try Not to Drink Too Much
A moderate coffee intake can be very good for your health. But if you go overboard and consume more than is actually beneficial, you can start experiencing some adverse effects. These include:
- shaking of the hands
- increased heart rate
- heightened anxiety
The general rule of thumb is two cups of coffee a day. But, not all coffees are made equal, so your best course of action is to listen to your body on the given day.
There will be days where you can comfortably drink three lattes and not feel any worse for wear, and on other days even one espresso will make you feel a bit on edge. Listen to the signals your body sends you and tailor your caffeine intake accordingly.
Don’t Drink It Late in the Day
Caffeine is a rather powerful stimulant, so you also don’t want to drink it too late in the day, as it may interfere with your sleep. Most sources advise you to stop drinking coffee after around 3 PM. However, personal preferences and caffeine tolerances come into play yet again.
You may find that you can comfortably have a cup of coffee around 5 PM without it affecting your sleep that night. Watch out for your body’s reactions to the coffee you usually drink, and establish your personal routine.
Your responses may vary slightly, especially as you become more caffeine-tolerant. Some adjustment will be required the longer you are a coffee drinker. Again, just trust your instincts and listen to the messages your body is sending you.
Don’t Drink Your Coffee Before Breakfast
Coffee on an empty stomach can do more harm than good. It can damage your stomach’s lining and make you feel like you have a hole in your gut. It can also make you feel quite jittery and more on edge than you would like to feel.
Always try to have breakfast before you brew your first cup. This will ensure your digestive system is protected and that you can enjoy your coffee better. After all, why drink it if it’s going to make you feel unwell?
Know When (Not) to Drink It
Coffee can be an excellent pre-workout drink. It will improve your focus and performance, ensuring you do your best and level up your form. An hour or so before you head to the workout should give the caffeine plenty of time to do its magic.
However, you should also know when not to drink it. That would be:
- when you’re hungry
- when you’re having stomach issues
- if you are already feeling a bit anxious or stressed, etc.
If you really like the taste of coffee and want to keep drinking it throughout the day, try decaf. That way, you won’t need to calculate the likely effects of caffeine on your system.
If enjoyed within reason, coffee can be your best friend. On the other hand, as with any other food or beverage, it can become rather harmful if consumed in excess.
Consider some of our advice and try to make your daily (or weekly) coffee habit a bit more healthy. By tweaking your brew and avoiding the potential drawbacks, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the benefits of this powerful drink.