Can’t live without your coffee in the morning? You are not alone. Whether it’s the taste, smell, ritual, or energy, Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee daily, so clearly SOMETHING keeps them coming back for more. In this post I wanted to shed some light on some coffee, coffee additions and coffee alternatives from a research perspective. My goal for you is to gain some knowledge to keep that morning ritual while enhancing your energy and metabolism, while reducing negative symptoms.
Plain Brewed Coffee
Broad level themes I see is that moderate coffee consumption may help with prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. If these longevity reasons don’t necessarily appeal to you, coffee can have immediate physical performance and cognitive benefits as well. Organic coffee is a better source, which generally lacks pesticides and chemicals and keeps the beneficial antioxidants (which can help with disease prevention).
A big red flag for coffee (or any caffeine source for that matter) is if you are reliant on it as a “false” source of energy. Usually I see this when people have multiple cups a day without prioritizing food and hydration to support energy. There is also a genetic component for caffeine tolerance, so individualization is key in this area. Those suffering from anxiety or adrenal problems may benefit from taking a step back from coffee intake for the short or long term.
Four Sigmatic Coffee
This coffee is a unique blend of coffee and Chaga mushroom. The purpose of adding chaga is for it’s cognitive and immune enhancing properties. Chaga can also balance caffeine to reduce jitters and crash. A few of my clients rave about the effects of this product.
Matcha is a green tea uniquely grown in the shade, which increases chlorophyll and L. theanine. This also has a higher caffeine content than green tea. The combination of higher caffeine and l. Theanine (which promotes a calming effect), can support improved focus and concentration without the crash. In addition, matcha tea is an antioxidant powerhouse that can help tame inflammation (amongst many other benefits). Matcha is made up of ground up tea leaves, whereas green tea leaves are steeped in water.
Brain Octane Oil
This product produced by Bulletproof was originally marketed toward the “keto” community, however can truly have beneficial effects with a general healthy diet. This is a type of MCT oil to add to your morning coffee. MCT stands for “medium chain triglycerides”, which essentially are fats that you can absorb quickly and use for fuel. Research supports that this fuel can improve cognitive function. Adding MCT oil can raise plasma ketone levels, thus can switch the fuel source of the brain from glucose to ketones. Brain octane oil specifically has C8 MCT oil, which is one of the quickest types of MCT oil to be digested, absorbed, and metabolized in the liver to turn into ketones.
Although this is not for the purpose of energy and cognition as the other examples I’ve provided, I couldn’t have a coffee chat without collagen. Collagen powder pairs very well with coffee, and some substitute it for their creamer. Collagen has multiple benefits, but essentially helps build and maintain the collagen on your body. This can include the gut lining, skin, and joints. With coffee, one common myth I hear is that the temperature may denature the collagen and make it less effective. With this, research is still new, but the way most collagen is processed it is already denatured, therefore should not affect the chemical structure/ its effectiveness. I have also heard pushback with acidity of coffee and effectiveness of collagen, however collagen decreases effectiveness at a higher pH than the pH of coffee based on current research. With this, always increase vitamin C sources throughout your diet to aid in collagen synthesis.
My suggestion would be to experiment with these other options to support energy and cognition throughout your workday without the jitters or crash. Each of these have different benefits and can affect people differently, so giving each a shot consistently and tying it back to how you feel would be beneficial if you would like to switch up your morning drink.