You know what they say, a cup of coffee a day keeps the doctor away...right? Fine, that isn't necessarily how that popular saying goes, but with 54% of Americans drinking coffee daily it might as well be.
Unfortunately, the calories in your daily cup of Joe can quickly add up. While black coffee itself is only a handful of calories, adding milk, flavoring, and sugar can increase a coffee's calorie count pretty quickly.
Thankfully, there are simple hacks to making your daily coffee a little bit healthier.
Drink your coffee black.
Black coffee, including espresso, has less than 10 calories per 8-ounce cup. If you want to cut calories and keep your coffee as healthy as possible, consider ordering a regular brew without any added ingredients. Black coffee can be bitter, but over time your taste buds will adapt to the bold flavor. If you're new to black coffee, here's a helpful beginner's guide to get you through the initial introduction from Manual Coffee Brewing.
2. Stick to almond milk.
Assuming you aren't allergic to nuts, Dr. Oz notes that almond milk is the healthiest "milk" choice to mix with your cup of Joe. Unlike whole milk, which can make your cup of coffee 180 calories, almond milk will keep your coffee under 100 calories per serving.
3. Ditch artificial creamers.
Artificial creamers are filled with ingredients and packed with sugar, making them not the healthiest thing to put in your coffee, let alone your body. Rather than add these creamers to your coffee, opt for coconut milk with a dash of vanilla extract.
Alternatively, try mixing your milk of choice with a teaspoon of honey for a hearty, flavor-packed coffee additive. If you're feeling ambitious, make a homemade creamer.
4. Brew with organic beans.
When it comes down to the origin of your coffee bean, purchasing certified organic coffee is a healthier option for consumers. Free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals, certified organic coffee beans will ensure no additional chemicals are entering your body via your morning brew.
5. Embrace cinnamon.
Have you ever noticed a bottle of cinnamon sitting on your local café's countertop? Well, it turns out it's not just there for decoration. Adding cinnamon to your coffee can actually have several health benefits. Healthline reports that cinnamon may help reduce inflammation throughout your body, and has been linked to heart health, though more research is needed. Portion control expert Dr. Lisa Young also notes that cinnamon can help stabilize blood sugar.
6. Get chocolatey.
Unsweetened cocoa and dark chocolate are both great additions to any coffee drink, in moderation, of course. Studies have claimed numerous health benefits, like balancing cholesterol and potential cancer-preventing properties, these indulgent add-ins are perfect for mocha lovers everywhere.
7. Butter is your friend.
No, seriously. Apparently adding unsalted, grass-fed butter to coffee can give you a welcomed boost of energy without the added sugar or cream. Known as Bulletproof coffee, you can add a small glob of this certain type of butter to your coffee and use an immersion blender to create a frothy, homemade latte.
8. Swap your mug out.
A 2014 study for Flavour found that the color of your coffee mug can influence how sweet or bitter you perceive a cup of coffee to be. Although not definitive, the study found when drinking from a white mug, subjects perceived coffee to be more intense than when drinking from a transparent mug. Of course, more research is needed, so take this study with a grain of salt, but it may be worth swapping out your white mug for a transparent one to make your coffee "taste" less bitter (and thus reduce the amount of sugar you add to it).
9. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach.
Drinking coffee on an empty stomach is an unhealthy habit that can lead to various health risks, like a damaged stomach lining and increased anxiety. Luckily, you can prevent these potential risks by making sure to eat breakfast before enjoying your morning cuppa. That being said, it's important not to drink coffee excessively throughout the day, and avoid drinking it past 3 p.m. so that you don't interrupt your sleeping schedule.
10. Try golden lattes.
Golden lattes might be Instagram's favorite colored coffee, but this bright yellow drink isn't just Insta-worthy, it actually packs a ton of healthful benefits. Dr. Young said adding turmeric to your coffee you can have anti-inflammatory benefits, and studies cited in Prevention claim that it can also help your memory.