The benefits of drinking coffee are enormous: It provides many antioxidants, decreases depression and stress and also reduces the risk of disease.
However, many people do not know how to drink it properly and can often end up being sleep-deprived or jittery with coffee. What can you do to make your morning (or afternoon) coffee as effective as possible? Here are five important tips.
1. Moderate Your Intake
Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that speeds up the central nervous system to make you awake and alert. A moderate caffeine intake is usually 250 milligrams per day, or the equivalent to two cups. Many people overdo this (it is considered safe to consume six cups of coffee per day), which is why they experience an increase of adrenaline, causing jitters and a fight-or-flight response.
Make sure you drink just enough to feel awake, and instead of drinking it all at once, drink half of what you normally would in the morning and save the rest for the afternoon in order to allow your body to process it over a longer period of time.
Coffee can dehydrate you only if you overdo it. Most people who drink coffee in the morning forget to stay hydrated and balance their coffee and water intake, causing dehydration headaches.
Drinking iced coffee with ice cubes is a great way to water down your drink and get some water out of it when you are done drinking the coffee part! If you’re drinking hot coffee, make sure to drink two cups of water for every one cup of coffee, which will both keep you hydrated and help your body better absorb the caffeine.
3. Mix It Up
Try mixing your coffee with additions such as in Bulletproof Coffee, which is blended with grass-fed unsalted butter and Brain Octane Oil, a coconut oil extract which improves brain function. Grass-fed, unsalted butter is nutrient-dense, with high amounts of vitamin K2, vitamin D and vitamin E, while Brain Octane Oil helps provide energy without a crash.
Some additional healthy and vegan options to traditional sugar and cream are coconut milk and sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar, and cashew, almond and soy milks (which can often be more delicious!) Science has shown that vegan options can often trump those which contain dairy.
The natural fats found in these and the Bulletproof Coffee recipe can help balance blood sugar and energy levels and also prevent coffee from raising your stress levels.
4. Have a Snack
Drinking coffee on an empty stomach just acidifies your stomach, and balancing it with food will give you energy that isn’t wired, later turning into a crash.
Eating a piece of fruit such as a banana or a grapefruit can give you the fructose boost you need while also giving something to balance out the pH in your stomach. Making an oatmeal latte can give you a caffeine fix and filling breakfast all at once!
5. Make Time for Tea
Tea, especially Yerba Mate, is a great alternative to coffee because it usually contains less caffeine and affects the body differently. Changing up your daily routine and trying tea (whether it’s Yerba Mate, black, green, white, pu-erh or oolong) can assist in having longer and more sustained energy because of their rich polyphenols.
Tea has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, protect against cancer and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, so it’s definitely worth a shot.
Make sure to balance your coffee with food and water, as well as other types of caffeine, to help your body stay sustained and help you be the best that you can!