By Ariel Knutson
No matter how hectic your morning—overslept, waited extra-long for the shower at the gym, kids dawdled over breakfast—there’s always time for coffee.
And here’s the thing: If you let your daily coffee habit work harder for you, you can actually make your mornings a little bit healthier. In partnership with youtheory®, we asked a few of our favorite wellness experts and influencers to tell us their best healthy boosters they add to their cup of coffee. Swap out that splash milk for collagen powder (you’ll still get a creamy texture), or add a pinch of cinnamon or maca to rev up your metabolism and energy levels. Be a morning superstar and add one or two of these five awesome picks in your next brew. It’s that easy.
1. Collagen Powder
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It’s responsible for aiding in skin hydration and elasticity, nail strength, and joint health among other things. But as we age, we lose some of that natural supply of collagen. Not cool! That’s why adding it back in as a supplement, starting with your morning coffee, is a great way to tap into the fountain of youth. “I started using collagen in my coffee starting fall of 2017,” explains Joanne Encarnacion of GoFitJo. “Collagen has really helped with my body’s ability to recover from hard workouts. Plus, I can often struggle with getting all my protein in for the day, so this definitely helps.”
Dr. Bitz, the Chief Scientific Officer at youtheory® agrees: “I recommend consuming 5 to 10 grams of protein at breakfast time to help stabilize blood sugar and improve energy levels throughout the day,” he explains. “Collagen is a versatile ingredient that dissolves instantly in hot or iced coffee. While it confers a number of proven beauty benefits, it also provides a healthy dose of easy-to-digest protein.”
2. Coconut Oil
Is there anything coconut oil can’t do? It’s great for your hair, your skin, and of course all things cooking—and yes, you should be adding it to your coffee. Coconut oil is rich in MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), a type of fatty acid that aids in promoting satiety—so your coffee is keeps you full as well as energizes you. And then there’s the creamy texture it creates. Here’s a pro tip: Combine the coconut oil and coffee in your blender. Stirring alone will leave you with a greasy mess, but the blender emulsifies the mixture into a creamy coconut latte.
This root is cultivated in the Andes mountains of Peru. It’s been used for thousands of years for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Maca is usually available in powder form and has been shown to help balance hormones and sharpen brain function. It has a nutty, sometimes caramel-y flavor, and is delicious when added in small amounts to coffee. Renee Byrd of Will Frolic for Food has been adding maca to her coffee, among other healthy boosters like collagen and raw honey, for about five years. “It’s an easy way to link a habit I already have (my daily dose of caffeine) with my herbal supplement habit,” she explains. “Maca helps me to have improved, stable energy and it definitely helps with boosting my sex drive.”
“Like all adaptogens, maca is ideally consumed first thing in the morning,” explains Dr. Bitz. “I find that maca provides a noticeable energy boost and helps to awaken the body and mind. It also provides an array of vitamins, minerals and amino acids – so it helps to nourish the body while it stimulates.” Bitz notes that it’s important to seek maca that has been gelatinized to ensure it is properly absorbed.
Chances are good you probably already have this warming spice in your kitchen. Cinnamon is an antioxidant that can help support the immune system, aid in digestion, and stabilize blood sugar. It also tastes great, so adding a pinch to your morning brew is a no-brainer.
This adaptogen is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine, and it’s having a serious moment in the wellness space. Ashwagandha has been shown to help ease anxiety, increase energy, and boost immunity. You can find it in tincture and powder form, but it’s incredibly bitter. It’s best to add it to something with a strong flavor to balance it out. Jessica Hoffman of Choosing Chia adds this adaptogen to her morning smoothie. “I’ve been taking it for about a year now and started taking it to help with stress and anxiety,” she explains. Hoffman says that adding it first thing in the morning helps her set the tone for the rest of the day. “It’s ultimately helped me stay more relaxed and less stressed over all.” Blend some into your coffee with a scoop of youtheory’s Vanilla Collagen and get ready to feel amazing.
Make it Easier
We know you’ve got a long list of to-do’s, and we want to help make things a little easier and breezier. Because, let’s face it, most of the time, it’s the small stuff—like packing a lunch, getting in a quick walk, or even figuring out what’s for dinner—that stresses us out. We’re here to help with advice and insights from influencers and experts. Stay tuned for tips, tools, and strategies designed to make your life simpler, healthier and more delicious.