That morning cup of joe is one of the most important parts of many people’s daily routines. For some, it’s a pick-me-up, while others rely on it to get them through the day. But did you know that there are healthy coffee hacks that can make your cup of coffee even better for you? Fact is, coffee can have some unhealthy side effects if you’re not careful. For example, coffee can dehydrate you and disturb your sleep if you drink it too close to bedtime. It can also upset your stomach if you drink it on an empty stomach (11). But by making a few simple changes, you can turn your coffee into a healthy drink. Here are eight healthy coffee hacks everyone needs to know.
1. Don’t Drink Coffee Past Midday
If you want to enjoy the benefits of coffee without disrupting your sleep, it’s best to drink it early in the day. Coffee has a half-life of about five hours, which means that it takes five hours for your body to eliminate half of the caffeine from your system (8).
If you drink a cup of coffee at 1pm, half of the caffeine will still be in your system at 6pm. If you want to avoid insomnia, it’s best to drink coffee before noon.
Depending on your schedule and bedtime, you may need to adjust this hack. For example, if you have a late bedtime, you might get away with drinking coffee as late as 3pm.
Note that not everyone is equally sensitive to caffeine. Some people may be able to drink coffee later in the day without it affecting their sleep. If you’re not sure how caffeine affects you, it’s best to err on the side of caution and stick to drinking coffee earlier in the day.
2. Add Cinnamon
Adding a dash of cinnamon to your coffee can do more than just make it taste good. Cinnamon is a potent antioxidant that has been linked to numerous potential health benefits, such as improved blood sugar control and reduced inflammation (5).
Plus, cinnamon can make your coffee even more fragrant and flavorful. If you want to try this hack, simply add a dash of cinnamon to your coffee grounds before brewing. You can also sprinkle some on top of your finished cup of coffee.
3. Use A Reusable Filter
If you’re concerned about the environment, ditch the disposable coffee filters and opt for a reusable one instead. Reusable filters are usually made of metal or cloth and can be reused indefinitely.
What’s more, using a reusable filter may even make your coffee taste better. That’s because most disposable coffee filters are made of paper, which can absorb some of the coffee’s oils and flavors.
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4. Add Some Healthy Fats To Your Coffee
If you want to enjoy all the benefits of coffee without the jitters, it’s important to include some healthy fats in your diet. Healthy fats help to slow down the absorption of caffeine, which means that you’ll get a more steady stream of energy from your coffee.
Plus, healthy fats are incredibly good for you. They may help to improve your cholesterol levels, boost your cognitive function, and reduce inflammation (2).
So what are some good sources of healthy fats? You can find them in avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. If you want to add healthy fats to your coffee, you can do so by adding a dollop of full-fat coconut cream or coconut milk. Coconut is high in saturated fat, which is usually considered an unhealthy fat, but it’s thought to possibly not be as detrimental as animal-based saturated fat sources.
MCT oil is another great option. It’s a type of medium-chain triglyceride that’s derived from coconut oil. MCT oil is known for its potential to boost energy and might promote weight loss (13).
5. Be Picky About Your Sweeteners
Plain, black coffee is the healthiest way to go, but if you can’t stand the taste, you may be tempted to add sugar or artificial sweeteners. If you do choose to sweeten your coffee, be picky about your sweeteners.
As far as sweeteners go, you have a few options. You can use sugar, honey, agave nectar, or stevia. Of these options, sugar is the least healthy. That’s because it’s high in calories and can cause spikes in your blood sugar levels.
Stevia is the best sweetener for coffee because it’s completely natural and calorie-free. What’s more, stevia doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
Not all artificial sweeteners are created equal. Some of them, like aspartame, are said to be linked to health problems or weight gain. If you want to use an artificial sweetener, some say you should opt for stevia or erythritol (9).
6. Go Organic
The quality of your coffee beans can make a big difference in the taste and healthfulness of your coffee. If you want to make the best cup of coffee possible, it’s important to choose organic, fair trade beans.
Organic coffee beans are grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers (7). Fair trade coffee beans are sourced from farmers who are paid a fair price for their coffee.
When you choose organic, fair trade coffee beans, you can be sure that you’re getting the highest quality beans possible. Plus, you’ll be supporting farmers who are treated fairly.
The health effects of pesticides on food are still being studied, but some research suggests that they may be linked to health problems like cancer at high exposures (4). This type of exposure level usually happens when people work with pesticides at their job, not from foods and beverages. However some people still prefer to avoid them.
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7. Drink Coffee In Moderation
If you’re new to coffee, start by drinking one cup a day. If you find that you tolerate coffee well, you can gradually increase your intake to two or three cups per day if you want to.
Coffee is a diuretic, which means that it can cause you to lose water. To offset this, be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water per day (3).
Drinking plenty of water will do much more than just keep you hydrated. It can also help improve your skin, boost your energy levels, and flush out toxins.
The Bottom Line
So there you have it! These are eight healthy coffee hacks that everyone needs to know. By following these tips, you can enjoy all the benefits of coffee without the negative side effects.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Agave syrup: An alternative to conventional sweeteners? A review of its current technological applications and health effects (2022, sciencedirect.com)
- A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion (2017, biomedcentral.com)
- Caffeine ingestion and fluid balance: a review (2003, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Cancer health effects of pesticides (2007, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant (2014, hindawi.com)
- Honey and Health: A Review of Recent Clinical Research (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Impact of Organic and Conventional Systems of Coffee Farming on Soil Properties and Culturable Microbial Diversity (2016, hindawi.com)
- Pharmacology of Caffeine – Caffeine for the Sustainment of Mental Task Performance (2001, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Sugar substitutes: Health controversy over perceived benefits (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Ambiguous Role of Caffeine in Migraine Headache: From Trigger to Treatment (2020, mdpi.com)
- The Impact of Caffeine and Coffee on Human Health (2016, mdpi.com)
- The Safety of Ingested Caffeine: A Comprehensive Review (2017, frontiersin.org)
- Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil (2008, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)