Coffee has plenty of health benefits to offer, from raising your insulin sensitivity, which reduces the risk of diabetes, to proving antioxidants that have been proven to reduce the risk of colon cancer in animal studies.
If you want to make the most out of coffee, while also using it to keep your energy levels up, there are a few tips which can help. Discover the healthy ways to drink coffee, in order to minimize all the potential risks associated with it.
1. Always Drink Water First
The first thing you drink in the morning should be a stimulant that also has a diuretic effect and can lead to dehydration. Start your morning with a glass of water before any coffee. Keep it on your nightstand so you can reach for it first thing in the morning. Coffee should come later, after you already got a little hydrated.
2. Go Organic
If you’re going to drink it every day or a few times per day, you should care about quality. If you care about healthy ways to drink coffee, start with a healthy coffee. You should go organic to make sure that the coffee beans haven’t been sprayed with different toxins. Pesticides can have mood-altering effects, so you don’t want them in a drink you have each morning.
3. Keep Calories in Check
A cup of coffee only has 5 calories, while a shot of espresso just a single calorie. Adding cream and sugar and different flavors can quickly bring it up to hundreds of calories. Light and nonfat creamers are the way to go, and keeping your sugar intake under control is also important. Forget about syrups and ice cream in your coffee.
4. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners and Flavors
They’re not just full of calories, they can also have other unwanted effects on your digestion and health. Artificial flavors and sweeteners are no included in the healthy ways to drink coffee. If you’re on a diet or simply don’t want to use sugar, and you hate black coffee, stevia should be your top choice as a sweetener. It’s not great, but it’s better than other artificial sweeteners.
See also: Foods That Ruin Your Mood
5. Grind Your Own Beans
Even if you don’t want to enhance the flavor of your coffee, grinding coffee beans yourself is definitely a better idea than buying it already ground and storing it for a long time. If you really want to benefit from the antioxidants found in coffee, it’s better to make it yourself from freshly ground beans.
6. Flavor with Great Antioxidants
There are plenty of natural ways to flavor coffee. Cardamom and cinnamon are the most common, and they also provide an extra boost of antioxidants. You can also try using cocoa, carob, chicory, or cloves as dry spices.
7. Try Coconut Oil
Bulletproof coffee takes a good idea (a little fat in your coffee), but pushes it too far with butter. You don’t need a lot of fat in the morning, even if it’s the healthiest kind of fat. However, a touch of coconut oil will deliver the right amount of Omega-3s, while also containing lauric acid, which can also have beneficial effects. And if you try coconut oil, don’t forget to add a touch of coconut milk as a non-dairy creamer.
8. Don’t Drink It on an Empty Stomach
Caffeine doesn’t just suppress your appetite, it can also mess with your insulin on an empty stomach. One of the most important healthy ways to drink coffee is to always do it after a meal. Don’t skip breakfast and don’t drink your coffee before it. You’ll experience more sugar cravings once your appetite returns.
9. Always Use a Paper Filter
While caffeine and antioxidants are the most discussed compounds in coffee, the beverage also contains diterpenes, which can raise your cholesterol levels. Brewing your coffee using a paper filter can help remove these oily components from your cup of coffee.
More: 10 Food Myths That Just Won’t Diet
10. Stop Drinking It in the Afternoon
Building up your tolerance to caffeine might give you less energy, but the quality of your sleep is still affected by it. Stop drinking coffee around 2-5 PM, depending on the time you go to bed. If you keep at it, your won’t get a restful sleep, and your immune system will suffer. Keep in mind the healthy ways to drink coffee, and if you’d like to enjoy another cup in the evening, go for decaf.