By: Spencer Driedger
Although making and drinking coffee might be something you have been doing for decades and can do while still half asleep, there are a few small modifications you can make to your routine that will aid in better digestion, increase energy levels, balance blood sugars and potentially even help you shed a few pounds!
6 steps for better coffee consumption and health :
- Hydrate. Drink 2 large glasses of lemon water first thing in the morning. Warm lemon water on an empty stomach will kick-start digestion and aid in rehydrating the body after a nights sleep. During sleep, the body becomes slightly dehydrated through breath so this is an especially important part of a morning routine. Caffeine is a diuretic (meaning causes increased water loss through urine) which dehydrates the body so hydration is crucial prior to caffeinating.
- Wait at least 15-30 minutes after hydrating before drinking coffee. This will give your body a better chance to absorb the water you just consumed. You might also notice that this will encourage your first bowel movement of the day.
- Use high-quality ingredients. Coffee beans often grow small mycotoxins, microscopic fungi that can grow when conditions permit (high humidity, contaminated packaging, and improper storage). Although these small toxins are not visible to the human eye (hint: they don’t appear like mold growing on bread) they still enter your body and are capable of causing illness. Companies like Kicking Horse Coffee ensure that their beans are handpicked and go through rigorous testing for quality control from start to finish. Avoid beans that are non-organic or a blend of beans from different areas as these can contain more mycotoxins.
- Drink coffee away from meals. For proper and healthy digestion coffee should be consumed at least 30 minutes or longer before eating a meal or at least two hours after a meal. Avoid drinking coffee with or immediately after a meal as caffeine causes the food content in the stomach to be released into the small intestine prematurely, preventing proper digestion and absorption of nutrients in the small intestine.
- Blend coffee with a high-fat milk alternative. The fat content will slow the release of caffeine into your system and will prevent jitters and the energy crash that can happen when drinking coffee otherwise. Instead, you will have a longer more balanced caffeine release. I recommend 1-2 tbsp of full fat coconut milk (from canned coconut milk) combined with 2 tsp MCT oil (start with 1/4 tsp MCT oil and slowly work your way up to 2 tsp over the course of a month, slowly down if digestion upset) which will help your body burn fat as an energy source. The end result will be a creamy frothy satisfying cup of coffee (no creamer necessary.)
- Give your coffee a medicinal boost! There is a huge range of herbs you can add into your coffee to support your body. Adding medicinal mushrooms like Lions Mane for memory support, or a mushroom blend can support immune functioning and memory, try adding ¼ tsp of dual extracted mushrooms from Harmonic Arts. Maca powder will help balance hormones and stress levels, use ½ tsp of maca powder when blending coffee.
Spencer Driedger (BSN, RN) grew up near Kananaskis, Alberta and attended UofC in Nursing with the idea she would eventually work with new moms and babies. She trained as a Neonatal ICU nurse where she discovered that a mothers nutrition has a direct impact on her ability to produce breastmilk and heal from childbirth. This led her to enroll in the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Vancouver. She currently works in the NICU at Lions Gate Hospital and uses her spare time developing an Ecourse based on Nutrition for fertility, pregnancy, postpartum and toddlers. Check her out on Instagram: @earthtomamma