Coffee is THE hot beverage of our society. Some people even go as far as calling it happiness in a cup. If you drink coffee there is a high likelihood it is part of your morning routine.
According to the International Coffee Organization (ICO), the world population consumed about 165,000 60kg bags in the twelve months ending Sept’19 with Europe leading the way. The Brits consume about 95 million cups per day.
Coffee used to get a bad reputation. In the past decades, scientists discovered actual benefits coming from coffee though. That is, provided you consume a moderate amount of 3 – 5 cups a day.
But have you ever tried taking that cup of goodness and making it even healthier? As it is part of your morning routine it would be quite easy to add a few extra health benefits and boost your coffee.
Health benefits of coffee in its pure form
Coffee in its pure form has several health benefits. Thanks to its caffeine content coffee increases alertness and performance during day and night.
As soon as you drink coffee it enters your bloodstream through the membranes in your mouth. The coffee’s caffeine is metabolised in the liver where it is further broken down and its parts distributed throughout the body.
According to a study of half a million people coffee also makes you live longer. If that’s not a reason to start drinking coffee or feeling good about your morning habit I don’t know what is.
Maybe part of the reason why the world population is living longer is also our increasing consumption of coffee? Who knows.
Caffeine is the most consumed psychoactive substance in the world thanks to our thirst for coffee and energy drinks. There have been many studies looking at the benefits of caffeine.
Cognitive performance changes include improvements of reaction time, memory and increased vigilance. Physical performance changes include increased endurance, speed, power and better anaerobic capability.
This effect combined with an increase in performance is the reason why caffeine is a key ingredient in most pre-workout supplements.
Naturally occurring caffeine content usually varies depending on the beverage. Green tea contains the least amount of caffeine at 25mg per cup. Thereafter is black tea with 42mg per cup. The highest caffeine content has coffee with a whopping 163mg per cup.
I’ve left out energy drinks on purpose as they are man-made and caffeine content is brand specific. Energy drinks also come with all sorts of other ingredients which are not always good for you when consumed in higher doses.
Why boost your coffee?
Even though coffee already comes with a pile of benefits on its own, there are several reasons why you should boost those benefits even further. The usual coffee drinker says he or she doesn’t function in the morning without coffee. Which makes it the perfect opportunity for mixing habit with health.
There are countless healthy ingredients to choose from and it doesn’t matter which ones you select to boost your coffee. Some of the booster ingredients like MCT oil, CBD oil or collagen are near taste-less so provide a perfect opportunity to mix into the coffee. Other ingredients, like cinnamon, are added to enhance the coffee’s taste.
Those added ingredients provide you with so much more to start your day rather than just a quick caffeine boost.
Coffee is not always consumed in its pure form, like an Espresso or Americano. Put your hand up if you are adding some kind of sweetener, creamer, or even worse, sugar to your coffee. Wow, way too many hands, I lost count.
Extra flavours with a health boost make an excellent replacement for sweeteners and creamers. Good examples are cinnamon and turmeric. This will provide you with double the benefit. Not only will you skip the extra calories but adding ingredients with further health benefits. Your waistline will be thankful for that.
CBD infused coffee VS. CBD oil in coffee
There is a new trend making its rounds in the wellness world which is CBD infused coffee. This provides for two ways to make your CBD coffee.
Either you use CBD infused coffee beans. This means you get the CBD straight in the coffee without the need to put separate oil into the coffee later. Or you make your normal cup of coffee but add CBD oil or tincture once the coffee is ready.
There are pros and cons of using either. If you opt for the CBD infused coffee in either bean or ground form you need to have a coffee machine or espresso maker which you can use for that.
If you have an espresso maker which uses capsules you will have to opt for the traditional method of making your CBD coffee. There are a few brands out there offering CBD coffee capsules. But you would have to research the quality and CBD content for those.
If you are boosting your coffee with CBD only, the argument against CBD oil is it sticks to the sidewalls of your cup and you are losing some of the substance. One way around that could be using water-soluble CBD. Again, you would have to research finding a reliable brand as it is quite niche compared to CBD oil.
If you are making a bulletproof coffee you will only lose a tiny fraction of the CBD as you are blending it with other fats into the coffee.
Shouldn’t caffeine and CBD work against each other?
If you think about it, it doesn’t make much sense to combine two substances with opposing effects, or does it? CBD has calming and soothing effects whilst coffee increases your alertness with a boost of energy.
Science doesn’t have an answer yet. At this point, researchers and doctors don’t know how CBD interacts with coffee. What we do know is that CBD is dose-dependent. Lower amounts of CBD might stimulate whereas higher amounts might calm you down.
The amount of CBD you take depends on why you are taking it. Thus, it’s not as simple as saying coffee negates the effects of CBD.
Another reason why coffee and CBD might work together is the coffee’s effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system.
A study in Finland discovered that coffee has a negative effect on the endocannabinoid system. It decreases the system’s neurotransmitters. Cannabinoids, like CBD, function as neurotransmitters. They have a positive effect on our endocannabinoid system.
But, researchers need to conduct more studies to provide further evidence. It is not quite clear if CBD fills the gaps caused by coffee.
Anecdotal evidence also provides some support. People reported CBD coffee to take away the potential anxiety that comes with coffee. CBD coffee drinkers spoke of a “less jittery, elevated burst of energy”.
Try freshly ground coffee
Another method of giving your coffee a boost, without even adding anything to it, is using fresh ground coffee. This requires a bit more dedication, time and equipment though. Hence this won’t suit everybody.
Still, the benefits speak for themselves. By using fresh ground coffee you will get an instant flavour kick. Pre-ground coffee has been exposed to oxygen for a longer period meaning its flavours already started to deteriorate. The grinding process increases the coffee’s surface area. The longer ground coffee is exposed to oxygen, the worse its flavour profile becomes.
On top of that, the antioxidants content of fresh ground coffee is higher than in pre-ground coffee. As with flavour, antioxidants disappear over time if the ground coffee is exposed to oxygen for a longer period. Research also found that there are more free radicals in pre-ground coffee.
The basic recipe for bulletproof coffee includes coffee, 1 – 2 tbsp high-quality butter and 1 – 2 tbsp MCT oil. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend the mixture until its smooth and frothy. Serve while it is hot and don’t let it stand for too long otherwise the oil will separate from the coffee.
There are countless variations of this recipe. Variations include CBD, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, collagen, pumpkin puree and even mushroom powder. I like the taste of cinnamon and it may even help with burning fat hence my favourite bulletproof coffee recipe below.
- 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee
- 1 Tbsp high-quality butter
- 1 Tbsp MCT oil
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Your preferred CBD oil
I am a coffee drinker myself and wouldn’t want to go without it. For some (or most) it is a daily ritual to grab a cup on the way to work or have a cup at your desk to get the day started.
Unless you are consuming it in litres and you are not drinking instant coffee there are quite a few benefits to it. Because coffee is a beverage that we consume almost every day it is easy to add some extra benefits to it. Or make it that bit healthier by skipping sweeteners and creamers.
If you like coffee don’t hesitate to enjoy the odd cup as you might extend your life by doing so. The next time you pour yourself a cup add some extra ingredients (apart from sweetener and creamer) so you feel even better afterwards.
Are you drinking coffee? Are you boosting it or drinking it on its own? Share your favourite recipe below and don’t forget to sign up to my blog.