How many times a day do you drink a regular cup of coffee? By regular we mean dark, strong coffee sweetened with sugar.
Perhaps your doctor has advised you to cut down on your coffee intake, or you may simply want to adopt a healthier lifestyle and are wondering if you can change this habit for the better.
The answer is a resounding yes, and in this blog you will find 11 ways to make your coffee healthier without sacrificing the benefits of regular coffee.
Table of Contents
Hours of coffee drinking
Surely we’ve heard that there is a time when one should drink tea. Could one intuitively say that there is a coffee hour?
We know that coffee contains caffeine and keeps us awake. So why is it that sometimes we drink coffee and don’t feel any different? It’s like that energy isn’t coming. This may be because we drink coffee at the wrong time.
Everyone is really free to drink coffee whenever they want. However, in terms of effectiveness, there may be times of the day when our bodies are better able to absorb the coffee.
According to the book “Best time to eat & exercise guide ” by the American triathlete and marathon runner Vince Rozier, you should drink a cup of coffee at two times.
- The first cup of coffee should be drunk between 9:30 and 11:30 in the morning. By this point, the brain has already released a large amount of cortisol, and cortisol levels begin to fall. You could say that coffee gives you a boost and prolongs this effect. This is at least true for people who get up early in the morning.
- On the other hand, if we drink coffee earlier in the day, around 7 or 8 a.m., our cortisol levels are already at their peak, so the effects of the coffee are lost.
- Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone, but in the morning it’s function is to tell the body that it’s awake and alert and ready to respond.
- The second cup of coffee is recommended after lunch, between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. This ensures that the effects last for the rest of the day. Maybe until about 5 p.m. when the physical and mental exhaustion gets worse.
- In addition, the cortisol level then dropped significantly. However, since this is usually the end of the working day, we can do without coffee as it can cause problems falling asleep later in the day.
As we can see, the ideal time to drink coffee is directly related to our routine and habits of waking up, being active and finally sleeping and resting.
These habits vary from person to person, as does our chemical composition and the way it works in the body. But these recommendations are easy to adjust if your daily routine deviates a few hours from those shown.
What happens if we stay up late?
Sometimes we are forced to change our ideal 7-8 hour sleep schedule and we compensate by drinking coffee in the morning before breakfast.
That’s a big mistake, because a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that that morning cup of coffee after a long night can negatively impact our metabolism.
Essentially, it limits our body’s ability to tolerate the sugar we’ll later eat at breakfast. This is because caffeine prevents the muscles from absorbing the glucose from the blood. At the same time, caffeine contributes to the release of fats into the blood, which makes it difficult to process glucose.
Also, drinking coffee first thing in the morning can cause intestinal discomfort. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach increases stomach acid production. If you suffer from acid reflux or other gastrointestinal issues, coffee may make your symptoms worse.
Therefore, a calcium-rich breakfast is recommended, which counteracts the acidity of coffee and our stomach.
So we should drink coffee after breakfast or better yet, follow the hourly recommendation so we can stick to our routine.
Avoid using sugar in coffee
Let’s think about the benefits of adding sugar to our coffee.
We can say that it is solely his taste. Coffee is inherently bitter, but that doesn’t mean it has to be sweetened.
In fact, making coffee can be considered a holistic art that takes much more time than we think and whose goal is to achieve an ideal taste through a specific preparation. A taste that we could change by adding sugar, giving up a perhaps unique or healthier experience.
But remember that this is also a matter of taste and not of constraints.
Eliminating sugar in our coffee has three major benefits. It retains the benefits of caffeine and antioxidants, such as: B. the stimulating effect, the cardiovascular and memory-promoting properties.
- When we think of sugar and health, diabetes inevitably comes to mind. If you have this condition, cutting out the sugar in coffee can help your body regulate insulin. But it’s also effective when trying to prevent type 2 diabetes.
- It has been proven that consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and significantly increases the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Drinking two cups a day makes us more active and energetic. If we combine this effect with physical exercise, we can see more changes.
Use organic coffee
Organic coffee is a healthier alternative because it’s grown without the use of fertilizers, chemicals or genetically modified organisms. Birds are responsible for controlling pests. This type of coffee is grown in the shade of taller plants that protect it from extremely high or low temperatures.
They also try to limit the use of machines and pick the coffee directly by hand, which ensures a higher quality through the selection and filtering of the harvested coffee.
The roasting also takes place in roasters that are only used for chemical-free coffee, as this could otherwise be contaminated. The latter is a measure that is also strictly observed during transport to keep the coffee as pure and clean as possible.
The advantage for our health lies in the fact that the beans do not contain any toxic residues from chemical fertilizers, pollutants and aromatic substances.
A cup of organic coffee can contain a higher concentration of caffeine, which can prolong the effect of the energy boost by a few hours. However, this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and it can even be offered in decaffeinated form.
In order to buy high-quality organic coffee, you have to look carefully at the packaging and check whether it bears one of the seals that certify its ecological purity. Of course, its price is 20% higher than regular coffee.
Don’t drink too much coffee
Surely we have heard or applied the saying that “everything is bad in excess”. That’s why it’s good to know how to do which things in moderation. This also applies to coffee.
Coffee bingeing is defined as drinking more than four cups a day, or the equivalent amount if you include other caffeinated foods like energy drinks.
Our genes also play a role when it comes to drinking coffee. We can tolerate caffeine more or less well.
A similar effect can be observed with our coffee habits. For example, a person who does not drink coffee regularly or for the first time may feel the effects of caffeine more abruptly and more strongly…
The main effects of excessive caffeine consumption are insomnia, addictive behaviors, anxiety, increased heart rate and digestive problems.
Put cinnamon in the coffee
We can add a teaspoon of cinnamon to our cup of coffee, but like the previous recommendation, there’s a limit to that too. We should avoid more than two teaspoons of cinnamon a day.
That’s because cinnamon contains a compound called coumarin, which in large amounts can damage the liver and increase the risk of cancer.
Benefits of Using Cinnamon
Cinnamon is more than just an ideal flavoring agent.
It contains vitamins and minerals
Cinnamon provides the body with various nutrients such as fiber, manganese, vitamin K, iron and calcium.
Helps you lose weight
Coupled with caffeine, which leads to satiety and more energy for more activity, cinnamon helps regulate insulin levels naturally. Insulin spikes can trigger hunger pangs, but cinnamon can reduce this.
Combats the symptoms of a cold
A good hot drink is often the best way to cure a cold. Cinnamon can help reduce mucus build-up.
It enhances and complements the effects of caffeine
Properties such as increasing mental performance and reducing cardiovascular risk are attributed to cinnamon, and it is also a source of antioxidants. These properties are also found in caffeine, so they complement each other and amplify these benefits even further.
Avoid using artificial ingredients with coffee
Artificial coffee whiteners come in powder or liquid form. They do not require any special storage measures and we can use them simply because we like the taste they leave in the coffee.
However, it may be healthier to avoid them. The reason? Coffee creamer is a combination of trans fats, artificial flavorings, and water.
- Trans fats are the bad kind of fat that is known to clog arteries. Eating trans fats can lead to increases in cholesterol, blood pressure, risk of diabetes, and risk of heart disease.
- Artificial flavors are a combination of chemicals that react with each other to create a specific smell/taste.
So, to avoid possible health complications from chemicals and to continue pursuing the goal of a healthier lifestyle, it’s best to steer clear of them.
Use paper filters to filter coffee
Filtered coffee is also a personal choice. In some recipes, e.g. B. for Greek or Turkish coffee, it is even expressly pointed out that it must not be filtered.
However, in the case of health, using a paper filter is crucial. Paper-filtered coffee can be good if you suffer from high blood pressure or want to avoid it.
The oily part of the coffee is caught and filtered by the paper. This oily part contains kafestol, which stimulates bad cholesterol (LDL) by blocking a cholesterol-regulating receptor in the gut.
Bad cholesterol can build up in the arteries and lead to high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.
I make it clear that these consequences occur when we over consume unfiltered coffee over an extended period of time. For example 4 cups a day for several months.
Add turmeric to the coffee
Turmeric is an aromatic plant with medicinal properties. Its flowers are clustered in light yellow panicles. It is similar to ginger. Also, it is usually consumed in powder form and has a bitter taste.
Half a teaspoon is added to the coffee, which is 1.5 grams per cup. However, do not take more than 6-8 grams per day.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric contains curcumin and curcuminoids, components with the following benefits.
Curcumin can reduce chronic inflammation that is characteristic of diseases like cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, mental retardation and some digestive disorders.
Can relieve inflammatory pain. Many natural supplements for pain relief contain curcumin as a key ingredient.
Increased antioxidant activity
It helps neutralize harmful compounds that cause damage at the cellular level when they build up in the body in sufficient quantities.
Support of the immune system
By reducing inflammation and increasing antioxidant activity, it can help our body protect itself from harmful pathogens more effectively.
The amount of turmeric we should add to reap these benefits is one teaspoon (6 to 8 grams). In addition, we can enhance its effects by adding ground cinnamon.
Stevia to reduce the bitter taste.
Take a nap after coffee
Drinking our cup of coffee and then taking a nap allows us to complete the first two stages of sleep at the same time while our bodies absorb the caffeine. This acts as a natural alarm clock, waking us up with more energy.
The ideal time for a nap is 90 minutes because that’s how long it takes to complete the four stages of the sleep cycle. However, we can complete the first two phases in 20 minutes so that we don’t fall into a deep sleep from which it is more difficult to wake up.
However, it is worth remembering that naps can interfere with and delay nighttime sleep. Therefore, it is advisable to keep them taking into account the fact that caffeine lingers in our body for 5 to 6 hours.
In other words, the best time of day for a long nap is around noon. But we can make the variation or adjustment that best suits our routine.
Adding protein or collagen to coffee
Collagen is found in skin, bones, muscles, tissues and ligaments, making it a very important protein. It is responsible for the elasticity and connection of the tissues in our body.
Studies show that short- and long-term intake of collagen can aid in skin healing and is popular in anti-aging products. It can also help with exercise and joint pain.
So there is an option to take it as a dietary supplement, usually in powder form. However, as with any product, before using collagen or protein as a dietary supplement, consult your doctor.
We should also be aware that it is a supplement that may or may not give us results.
Whether it is collagen or protein, we can add 20 grams to our coffee. However, we should not consume more than two servings per day.
Put the cocoa in the coffee
Cocoa is a plant-based ingredient (it’s derived from cocoa beans) that’s commonly extracted and used to make the chocolate baked goods we love. But because it’s derived from a plant, it’s packed with a variety of immune-boosting polyphenols. These nutrients also play an important role in cardiovascular health and lowering blood pressure.
A Clarkson University study showed that participants who combined cocoa with coffee had less anxiety than those who only drank coffee. This allowed the first group to concentrate better and longer on tasks.
It is possible to change our coffee habits. If we want to enter this world, then we hope that following one or more of the tips listed will help you to do so in the best possible way.
Remember that you should always consult your doctor or nutritionist before making any dietary changes.