Depending on how much sugar you’re dumping in, your coffee cup might not always be the picture of health. However, that black gold in the morning can be the difference between a great day and feeling like you should still be in bed.
Now, you can feel even better about drinking it because you have a list of scientifically-backed healthy coffee tricks from which to learn.
1. Drink Black Coffee.
Did you know that depending on what goes in your coffee, you can add up to 630 calories (1)? Stick to black to keep your cup of joe low calorie. If you don’t like black coffee, there are several other ways to get a creamy cup without the huge number of calories that store-bought coffees have.
2. Use Almond Milk.
Light, nutty, and delicious, Almond milk is a healthy way to lighten up your java. It adds only 80 calories (2). Almond milk is a great alternative to heavier creamers, especially for those who can’t have dairy.
3. Forget About Artificial Creamers.
Beware of trans fats in your coffee if you use artificial creamers (3). Some of them might be tasty, but they can pack a lot of unhealthy fat into your morning cup of joe. It’s usually better to just forget they exist and leave the chemicals and unhealthy fats with them.
4. Use Organic Beans.
Leave the pesticide residues, and unhealthy farming practices on the supermarket shelf and opt for healthy true organic beans.
5. Embrace Cinnamon.
Cinnamon is not only delicious in coffee, but it’s also been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. More recently, modern scientists are finding out about its powerful antioxidant properties (4). Just a sprinkle in your cup adds a warm, deep flavor and makes for a healthier coffee.
6. Chocolate (Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or Dark Chocolate)
Unsweetened and dark chocolates have a host of benefits of their own, including possibly improving brain functions, as well as being a perfect complement to your morning cup (5). Add a pinch of shaved dark chocolate with almond milk for a smooth flavor and a hint of nuttiness.
Believe it or not, you can have a beautifully foamed cup of rich coffee without any extra equipment, and healthy butter is the secret. While it sounds strange, once you’ve tried it, you will forever be a fan.
8. Avoid Drinking Coffee on an Empty Stomach.
While it’s not common knowledge, the acids in coffee can make you feel just a bit queasy if you drink it on an empty stomach (6). This makes it harder to eat a healthy breakfast. Try to eat healthy first, then enjoy your coffee.
9. Add Turmeric to Your Coffee.
A powerful antioxidant, and inflammation reducer, turmeric is also a delicious aromatic with multiple health benefits (7). Add some turmeric to your coffee for a healthy flavor you can feel truly good about drinking.
10. Mix Your Coffee With Coconut Water.
Did you know that coconut water showed no difference in the ability to hydrate compared to sports drinks in a 2012 study (8)? Add that hydrating power to your java! Iced coconut coffee is great on a hot day and easy to make, too.
You can make iced coconut water coffee by using a quarter cup of coarsely ground coffee per cup of coconut water and refrigerating overnight (12 to 24 hours is best).
11. Add Coconut Oil.
In addition to butter, coconut oil has been shown to offer the benefits of medium-chain fatty acids, which may boost the immune system. That’s awesome and all, but it also tastes great in coffee, so you have a win-win with coconut oil in your coffee.
Adding a healthier fat to your coffee may boost your health, but it will also make it rich and add great flavor.
12. Reduce Your Syrup Pump (if You Can’t Ditch It).
Syrups are made of sugar and flavoring, so adding them is basically adding a large portion of highly refined white sugar. That’s not healthy for you. If you are used to two pumps of syrup, cut back to one, which will halve the amount of sugar in your coffee.
13. Take a Coffee Nap.
Feeling exhausted and need to add a bit of pep to your step? Harness the power of science by taking a coffee nap. Because of how your brain works, taking a 20-minute nap after drinking your coffee will allow you to use the caffeine more efficiently, making your feel even more awake.
14. Add Collagen to Coffee.
Your coffee can help your skin look better, hydrated, and rejuvenated if you add collagen creamer to it regularly. Over time, the benefits of taking a collagen supplement will show on your skin, and your healthy java will have done the trick (9).
15. Add a Hint of Protein.
High protein diets may lend themselves to weight loss, as they can help you feel less hungry (10). Adding protein to your coffee is easier than you think, too. You can add a hint of protein powder, collagen, or butter, and you’ve done it. The health benefits of added protein are all yours.
16. Try DIY Flavor Recipes, With No Artificial Syrups.
You don’t need to use sugary or artificial syrups to flavor your coffee. You can use healthier alternatives. One such option is a delicious pumpkin spice Bulletproof coffee, which comes with the added benefits of cinnamon and butter.
17. Add Some Ashwagandha Powder.
Ashwagandha powder may sound like a funny ingredient, but it also shows clinically significant potential in reducing the symptoms of anxiety in at least two studies (11). The most popular way to eat ashwagandha is in powder form, which can you just scoop into your java.
It has a somewhat bitter flavor, as does black coffee. This flavoring with healthy benefits does well in milk, which adds it to hot, creamy coffee with a natural sweetener, an excellent choice for elevating your java.
18. Add Cayenne – Spice it Up!
Like some spice with your hot coffee? If you haven’t tried it, you should. There are at least five health benefits of cayenne, and it also complements the coffee flavor really well (12). Because of the capsaicin in cayenne, you’ll add a healthy and spicy kick to your cup.
The Bottom Line
You have a list of healthy coffee tricks that taste great and really work. From cutting excess sugar to adding beneficial flavors and fats to your coffee cup, we hope you’ve found a new way to make healthy coffee part of your morning routine.
If we missed something, let us know in the comments below. We’d be happy to broaden our list for everyone’s pleasure.
- (n.d.) How Many Calories in a Cup of Coffee? Retrieved from https://www.freedieting.com/many-calories-cup-coffee
- Dr. OZ. (n.d.) The Best Milk Options for Your Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.doctoroz.com/article/best-milk-options-your-coffee
- Vandana D., Neelam G., Kulveer S. A., and Bhupender S. K., (2011, January 28). Trans fats—sources, health risks and alternative approach – A review. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3551118/
- Lamotte S., (2018, March 8). Cinnamon: Pantry staple — and medical powerhouse? Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/24/health/cinnamon-health-benefits/index.html
- Efrain S. R., Brenda E. Z., Elba Z. U., (2018, November 8). Effects of Dark Chocolate Intake on Brain Electrical Oscillations in Healthy People. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6262453/
- Weiss C. et al, (2010, February 10). Measurement of the intracellular ph in human stomach cells: a novel approach to evaluate the gastric acid secretory potential of coffee beverages. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20070100/
- Hewlings S. J., Kalman S. D. (2017, October 22). Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/
- Kalman S. D. et al. (2012, January 18). Comparison of coconut water and a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink on measures of hydration and physical performance in exercise-trained men. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3293068/
- Bolke L. et al. (2019, October 17). A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835901/
- Lonnie M. et al. (2018, March 16). Protein for Life: Review of Optimal Protein Intake, Sustainable Dietary Sources and the Effect on Appetite in Ageing Adults. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872778/
- Pratte M. A., et al. (2014, December 1). An Alternative Treatment for Anxiety: A Systematic Review of Human Trial Results Reported for the Ayurvedic Herb Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4270108/
- Miller Korine (2019, November 2). 5 Legit Health Benefits Of Cayenne Pepper, According To Nutritionists. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/a29515863/cayenne-pepper-benefits/