Even if you’re not much of a breakfast person, you probably rarely (if ever) go without coffee, do you? There’s nothing wrong with having a routine - especially one that wakes you up and gets you going. Plus, the National Institutes of Health reports that drinking coffee does more than just jolt us awake. There are some substantial health benefits like reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. But did you know that you can boost your morning joe to get even more health benefits? Here are a few simple and proven ways to get more from the very first thing we put in our bodies each day.
Wait to Caffeinate
This one might be a little bit of a bummer, but it’s good news for those of us who wake up and workout before turning on the coffee machine. In an attempt to wake you up, your body releases high levels of cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.” And when cortisol is high, caffeine doesn’t do much for your body (except for maybe relieving your caffeine addiction), so give yourself an hour or so before drinking your coffee. With lower cortisol levels, the caffeine will give you a legitimate burst in energy.
Add a Little Cinnamon
A dash of spice adds more than flavor. Cinnamon's unique smell and flavor is due to a compound called cinnamaldehyde. And scientists believe this is what's responsible for most of cinnamon's powerful effects on human health. Adding just a pinch of cinnamon to your coffee can boost antioxidants and lower your blood sugar. Due to its natural anti-inflammatory properties, it can help your body fight infections and repair tissue damage while cutting your risk of heart disease. The Ceylon variety is known as "true cinnamon" and has a delicate yet mildly sweet flavor. This slight sweetness helps you reduce the amount of sugar or cream you add to the coffee, making for another added health benefit.
Boost the Benefits
Hanah’s powdered supplement increases the good stuff about your coffee (energy and focus) while helping to strip away the bad (spike and crash). It combines coconut milk powder with three nootropic herbs: ashwagandha, bacopa monnieri and mucuna pruriens. While you might be familiar with ashwagandha's stress-reducing reputation, the other two have been found to increase concentration and improve memory, while upgrading your overall cognition. The coconut milk improves the absorption and efficacy of the herbs, while the healthy fat helps slow the absorption of caffeine (which results in more even prolonged energy). And best of all? It doesn't alter the taste of your favorite third wave coffee brew.
Drink Water With It
Staying hydrated is always a good idea. And especially in the morning, when you’re dehydrated (after going without water for literally hours), nothing will quench your thirst as well as water. Sometimes I pound a refreshing glass of ice water while my coffee brews. I also found that drinking water alongside caffeine somehow keeps me from feeling thirsty later, but it should be noted that several studies have debunked the notion that coffee dehydrates you.
FYI: The average American drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day, according to the National Coffee Association.