7 Easy Ways To Make Your Morning Coffee Even Healthier
Coffee is a staple in so many people's morning (or even afternoon) routines. And besides an energy boost, the fan-favorite beverage delivers antioxidants, supports brain health, and can even aid athletic performance.
But what if you could take your coffee to the next level, adding even more nutritional value to your cup of joe? Here are just a few ways you can elevate your coffee, improving not only the taste but its impact on your well-being too:
1. Store your beans properly
Founder and CEO of Kahawa 1893 and third-generation coffee farmer Margaret Nyamumbo previously told mbg, "Oxygen, moisture, and light are the enemies to coffee's freshness, so you want to keep the coffee away from these elements." To avoid these three elements, store fresh coffee beans in an airtight, opaque container in the pantry or cupboard or on the counter.
2. Add a collagen powder
Collagen powder easily dissolves into coffee to enhance the nutritional value of everyone's favorite morning beverage.
Providing the body with 19 unique amino acids, mbg's chocolate beauty & gut collagen+ helps boost the benefits and taste of your cup of joe without spiking your blood sugar.
For creamy-coffee lovers, this is the best way to create a rich consistency while stabilizing your energy throughout the day.* No midday crash here!
3. Buy dark-roasted, fresh coffee beans
In the book This Is Your Brain on Food, nutritional psychiatrist Uma Naidoo, M.D., recommends buying dark-roasted, fresh coffee beans to support brain health. Compared to a light or medium roast, dark-roasted beans tend to have the lowest levels of acrylamide.
"Acrylamide, a chemical formed when coffee beans are roasted, can inhibit neurotransmission, destroy dopamine neurons, and increase oxidative stress," Naidoo writes. Avoiding this chemical by opting for a darker roast is one way to protect brain health.
4. Grind your coffee beans before each brew
Buying whole beans and grinding them freshly every day is the best way to optimize coffee's flavor. "Ground coffee loses flavor so rapidly, it's basically stale by the time it gets to you," Nyamumbo says. Whereas, whole beans hold their flavor for longer, extending the shelf life of your coffee purchase.
5. Make it cold brew
Cold brew coffee has about 65% less acidity than regular hot coffee, says registered dietitian Nour Zibdeh, M.S., RDN. This can make it easier on the gut and eliminate any discomfort a traditional cup may cause.
Don't worry; this doesn't mean you have to drink cold coffee year-round. "You can reheat cold-brewed coffee in a small pot or microwave," Zibdeh says. The "cold" in cold brew simply refers to the actual brewing process, not the final product.
6. Try microdosing
Instead of downing two full cups of coffee early in the morning, integrative gastroenterologist Marvin Singh, M.D., recommends caffeine microdosing. The process helps to eliminate that dreaded afternoon crash or unwanted jitters and instead gives you little boosts throughout the day.
"This might look like drinking a cup of coffee in the morning and then only having green tea throughout the rest of the day," he writes. "Or slowly sipping your coffee in the morning, which may help you drink around 10 milligrams or so of caffeine at a time." For reference, it takes about 60 to 100 milligrams of caffeine to reach the optimal energy zone, so microdosing can help sustain and build that energy over time.
7. Add some healthy fats
Adding grass-fed butter and/or MCT oils to your coffee, a la Bulletproof coffee, may increase focus, stabilize energy levels, and keep you fuller longer. To get all these benefits without the fuss of making coffee, grab these convenient on-the-go options.
There are plenty of ways to optimize your morning (or midafternoon) coffee. Simply changing the way you buy, store, and prepare your beans can help improve the flavor of black coffee. For those who need a little flavor boost without added sugars, incorporating collagen, healthy fats, and nondairy milks can enhance both health and taste.
Abby Moore is an editorial operations manager at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine. She has covered topics ranging from regenerative agriculture to celebrity entrepreneurship. Moore worked on the copywriting and marketing team at Siete Family Foods before moving to New York.