Better Ways to Enjoy Coffee
Coffee, after water, is the most popular beverage in the world. Being that it's a ritualistic experience there are many ways to enjoy it — black, espresso, latte, cappuccino, macchiato, iced, mocha, Irish, Turkish, Cuban, with honey, agave, milk, cream, sugar... I could go on and on.
As a nutritional therapy practitioner, I know just how hard it is for someone to part from their mug. It's a definite nonnegotiable when discussing what to cut out of the diet. As coffee trends gain in popularity, brewing has become an art form. One of the most rapidly spreading trends in coffee is adding fat to your cup o joe. Yes, fat! You can blame Dave Asprey and his "Bulletproof" coffee for that.
Tibetan monks still add yak butter and salt to their tea. They are onto something with this concoction as the fats allow caffeine to be metabolized slower which makes for a smoother longer-lasting experience rather than spikes and jitters. Fats also provide energy and satisfy hunger (1).
I have to admit — I've never truly needed coffee as a morning crutch to get me up and moving, and I didn't even drink it until about 5 or 6 years ago. But I do absolutely love to indulge in the ritualistic and emotional enjoyment that it provides.
I love the part of my morning ritual that involves holding a warm mug of buttery brew while sipping it slowly as the sun rises. The fats satiating me for the next few hours while I rehydrate and get a good workout in. It's one of my favorite parts of the day and I would never discourage you from enjoying your coffee.
What I am going to do is provide you with tips to make drinking it more enjoyable and less stressful on your body.
You can start by listening to your body. Pay attention to how you feel after having a cup of coffee. Do you feel slightly more focused and energized? Do you feel jittery and dehydrated? Do you feel like that cup wasn't enough and you're ready for a double?
These are things to clue into. You shouldn't feel much of a difference after drinking it. If you know that you rely on it to get you moving in the morning, but it's typically not enough, and then reach for another cup sometime after lunch, then you probably have a caffeine addiction and should work on cutting back. You don't want to send your adrenals into a tailspin. Not to mention, caffeine can also put stress on the liver, kidneys, and stomach while taking vital nutrients with it as we dispel it from our bodies. So be sure to drink enough water and electrolytes to counterbalance that. Below are some tips on how to get the most from your daily cup of joe.
#1: GO ORGANIC
Conventional coffee is one of the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world. It's sprayed with many pesticides to ward off predators and synthetic fertilizers to feed the plants. Herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides are also used. It's important to go organic when it comes to your beans.
#2: CUT THE SUGAR & CREAMER CONCOCTIONS
Creamer concoctions are usually made with hydrogenated oils and full of high fructose corn syrup and other chemicals to extend their shelf-life. I know this is a tough one, but I've worked with people who realized that it wasn't the coffee they were craving throughout the day, but the sugar they added to it. You may be getting a spike in energy from the sugar alone. Cut back and see how you feel.
#3: ONE CUP PER DAY, After a tall glass of water
The first thing you should drink when you rise is a tall glass of water. Perhaps you can even add some lemon as to alkalize the body before acidifying it. Every time you drink a cup of coffee, you should follow it up with two cups of water to keep you hydrated.
You should also stick to just one cup of coffee a day, in the morning. This way you're sure it won't affect your sleep cycle.
#4: BUY WHOLE BEANS
Just like most things, coffee beans start breaking down and become rancid when the innards are exposed to oxygen and moisture. It's best if you by whole beans and grind them just before use.
#5: ADD FAT
As mentioned above, fats allow caffeine to be metabolized slower which makes for a smoother longer-lasting experience instead of spikes and jitters. They also provide energy and satisfy hunger. Make sure to use the right fats as conventional, vs. grass-fed butter, has a significantly different nutritional profile and is more likely to contain toxins. Any grass-fed butter or coconut oil will do. Grass-fed ghee (clarified butter) is also an option if you need to avoid the milk proteins and sugars found in butter. These provide an excellent natural source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) which are immediately converted by the liver into energy rather than being stored as fat. The new trend is concentrated MCT oil which you can add to your cup. I prefer to go the natural route here as coconut oil has many other benefits as well.
#6: Collagen/Gelatin Boost
The collagen boost is a great way to get proteins into your diet in the morning especially when you're like me and don't eat a substantial breakfast until after you work out. Collagen is the protein responsible for the formation of connective fibers in tissues such as skin, ligaments, and bones. It's also good for the heart, kidneys, liver, blood vessels, etc. My favorite collagen supplement is from Great Lakes Gelatin.
#7: Pinch of salt
I honestly don't know anyone who does this, but I feel like it takes some of the bitterness away from the coffee. I mostly do it with the intention of adding some electrolytes back in. We all know coffee is a diarrhetic meaning that it causes us to flush our systems through the expulsion of liquid. So to keep hydrated, I drink 2 cups of water for every cup of coffee. The added mineral salt includes electrolytes to assist in hydration.
Here is my recipe for my amazing buttery brew. Enjoy your coffee!