I love a rich cup of steaming coffee, especially on those cold winter days. The smell and the taste are so comforting for me, does this sound like something you can relate to?
Two-thirds of the European, and half of the Australian and American population drink coffee every day. That is a whole lot of coffee! Like everything, coffee is best enjoyed in moderation, however, there are some tips you can apply to your coffee drinking habits to make sure that you are being as healthy as possible, whilst still enjoying your delicious beverage!
What To Avoid - Coffee in itself is not a high calorie, or unhealthy beverage, in fact, there are numerous health benefits to drinking coffee in moderation. It is everything you add to your ‘cup-a-joe’ that makes it less healthy. Such as cream, caramel, hazelnut flavouring, sugar, honey or sprinkles. Then there is the number of coffees you are drinking. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a coffee with full-fat milk and maybe even a dash of sweetener, however, if you are drinking 3-4 lattes per day, then the calories all add up.
What To Add - Ideally, drinking your coffee black and without sweetener is the healthiest option. However, that just isn’t everyone’s...Cup of coffee? If you enjoy multiple cups of coffee a day then here are a few tips you can implement to make your coffee healthier:
- Use skim or light milk over full cream, whether you are drinking soy or cow’s milk.
- If you cannot drink your coffee without sweetener, then be mindful of how much you are using. A good way of getting that sweet taste, without having to add sweetener, is opting for almond milk or rice milk. Both of these add a slightly sweet and nutty flavour that tastes amazing with coffee!
- Remember that not all coffees are equal! Though an espresso (a single shot of coffee, no milk), or a long black, are probably the healthiest options, they are not to everyone’s taste. Cappuccinos are the next healthiest option, being mostly coffee, water and a touch of frothed milk. Though Lattes are delicious and very popular, they are made mostly with milk, so if you are drinking more than one a day it all adds up!
When To Drink - Now, you are probably expecting me to say that you should avoid coffee in the evening before bed, which is true, as it will interfere with your quality of sleep! However, I am actually going to suggest avoiding drinking your coffee too early in the day! Many people get themselves into a habit of drinking their coffee first thing so that the caffeine hit will help them wake up. However, your body has it’s own ways of stimulating alertness and waking you up, increased cortisol levels! Regularly drinking coffee first thing interferes with your cortisol levels and your natural way of waking up. So even though it might seem like you are waking up easier, you are actually making it harder for yourself because you become reliant on your caffeine hit. Try to wait an hour before you enjoy your morning coffee so that you have given your body the time it needs to naturally wake up!