A morning cup of coffee can be a great thing. Coffee consumption has been linked to longer life, lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and lowered risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, and it’s also a wonderful source of antioxidants, But all these health benefits can be canceled out if you’re loading your latte with tons of cream, sugar, and chemical-filled syrups.
It’s easy to get carried away ordering fancy-sounding lattes, but consuming them daily can greatly increase your intake of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. However, you don’t have to switch to black coffee just yet. There are plenty of ways to spice up your coffee without doing it at the expense of your health. Try these seven coffee hacks to help you have a healthier coffee and an energized morning.
1. Flavor With Cinnamon
If black coffee isn’t your thing, considering adding a little kick to your morning cup of joe with a little dash of cinnamon. Not only do the flavors mesh well together, but having a teaspoon of cinnamon every morning can help fight inflammation and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, among other benefits. “Cinnamon improves the way fat cells respond to sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity and helping to maintain blood sugar levels,” says Erinn Gregory, RDN.
2. Ditch The Dairy
If you like your coffee creamy, nix the creamer and go for almond, soy, or coconut milk instead. “‘s not the milk fat I’m worried about,” says personal trainer and sports nutritionist Shane Allen, CPT, CSN, WMS. “It’s the milk sugar, also known as lactose. Lactose is what gives milk its sweet taste and can raise your sugar levels.”
3. Go Organic
You may not think it matters with coffee, but beans that aren’t grown organically can contain pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, and other potentially harmful chemicals. If you’re buying coffee from a chain, look for “green labels” that indicate the coffee is organic.
4. Mix Your Coffee With Coconut Water
Not only will coconut water sweeten your drink, but it will also keep help you hydrated. Coconut water is also a great source of potassium, which can help fight stroke and high blood pressure.
5. Get A Shot Of Espresso In Tea
If you want a caffeine boost, but get too jittery or anxious with the two to four shots of espresso typically found in coffee drinks, order a tea latte with one shot of espresso. A typical shot of espresso contains around 64 milligrams of caffeine, while a cup of tea can range from 30 to 75 milligrams. Combining both can give you that energy boost without so much intensity.
6. Drink Your Coffee After Breakfast
Do you drink your coffee first thing in the morning? You may want to think again.”Caffeine causes sugar to release into the bloodstream, creating a spike in insulin and a resulting drop in blood sugar,” says health coach and nutritionist Kristie Santana. “This will cause your body to require even more sugar, which will lead to food cravings.” Additionally, studies have found that drinking coffee first thing in the morning interferes with our bodies’ production of cortisol, which can increase your tolerance to caffeine and make you more reliant on the drink.
7. Choose 1 Pump
If you can’t do without your pumpkin spice lattes, consider opting for less of the flavored syrup. “Go with just one pump versus the usual two to three pumps of syrup,” suggests Dr. Stefanie Painter, D.H.Ed., RD, LD of Retrofit. You’ll still get the taste you love, but you’ll cut down significantly on sugar.