For years, the health and wellness industry has gone back and forth on whether coffee benefits health. We now know that coffee is not harmful to health in many cases but may be beneficial in the right amounts. Whether you start your day with a caffeine buzz or prefer an afternoon coffee pick-me-up, coffee can be a healthy part of your daily routine.
The energy jolt we typically feel from drinking a cup of coffee comes from caffeine — a naturally occurring stimulant commonly found in coffee beans. While too much caffeine can cause issues with our health — like dehydration, high blood pressure or anxiety — coffee does contain antioxidants that may affect insulin sensitivity, inflammation and metabolism.
While your daily cup of Joe may give you warm fuzzies, watching how many cups you have daily is essential for the best health. Health benefits from drinking coffee are most closely associated with less than four 8-ounce cups per day. Caffeine consumption should also be limited to less than 200 milligrams per day during pregnancy.
Caffeine isn't the only thing that could put a damper on your health when it comes to drinking coffee. Here are some tips to help make sure your coffee is helping, versus hindering, your health:
- Start your day with water first, then follow with coffee. Coffee is well-known to boost energy levels and is the preferred beverage in the mornings. However, water can have the same benefits. Start the day with at least 8 to 16 ounces of water to help hydrate your body, kickstart your digestion and boost your energy before pouring a cup of coffee.
- Coffee is NOT breakfast. Coffee and water are not the only things that give us energy — food does, too! Starting your day with a high-protein breakfast with coffee helps regulate blood sugar levels and metabolism while decreasing cravings later in the day and evening.
Examples of a well-balanced breakfast with your cup of coffee include:
- RX Bar + Hard Boiled Egg(s) + Piece of Fruit
- Catalina Crunch Cereal + Sliced Banana + Fairlife Milk
- Yogurt + Catalina Crunch Cereal + Sliced Nuts + Blueberries
- Be cautious of added sugar. One of the quickest ways coffee becomes unhealthy is by flavoring it with syrups, creamers and sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 24 grams of added sugar daily, and many coffee beverages and creamers can have anywhere from 14-20 grams of added sugar per serving. Switch to a zero-calorie sweetener, like RxSugar, for a sweet taste without added sugars or calories.
Connect with your local Hy-Vee dietitian on our virtual nutrition services platform and schedule a complimentary Discovery Session to learn more. Hy-Vee dietitians offer various services to help you meet your weight loss and nutrition goals, including one-on-one consultation packages, personalized menu plan programs, virtual nutrition store tours and more.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.