Coffee has long been the go-to beverage for millions of Americans as their morning pick-me-up, and with good reason. Not only does it provide a caffeine jolt, but it also offers various health benefits. According to a survey conducted by the National Coffee Association USA, the number of coffee consumers continues to rise, reflecting its sustained popularity. Research has shown that coffee can improve alertness and is packed with antioxidants, which may help lower the risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Given its accessibility and affordability, it’s no wonder that many turn to it for their daily energy boost.
If you’re a regular coffee drinker looking to maximize the benefits of your java, consider implementing these five coffee hacks that can elevate your morning routine and leave you feeling more awake and productive throughout the day.
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5 Enhancing Tips for Your Morning Fuel
1. Incorporate Protein Powder
Unless you add milk to your coffee, you likely aren’t getting any protein from your usual cup of joe. However, including this essential macronutrient in your breakfast can increase feelings of fullness and discourage snacking later in the day, as per research. Sports nutrition counselor Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD, suggests adding enough protein powder to achieve a target of 15 to 20 grams of protein per meal. Mix the powder with cold water first for a smoother sip, adjusting the amount to suit your taste and the rest of your meal.
2. Try a Coffee Nap
To take your energy boost to the next level, consider combining your coffee consumption with a short nap. Multiple studies have demonstrated that the combination of caffeine intake followed by a brief nap can lead to enhanced performance. Timing is key, with science suggesting that consuming a beverage containing 200mg to 250mg of caffeine before settling in for a 15- to 20-minute nap can result in optimal wakefulness.
3. Energize Your Workout
If you prefer using coffee to maximize your gym session, try consuming your brew approximately an hour before your workout. Much like how it perks you up at your desk, it can also provide an energy boost to power through a tough sweat session. Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that drinking coffee before exercise can make the workout more enjoyable and may help reduce calorie intake post-workout.
4. Time Your Afternoon Fix
If you find yourself needing an extra pick-me-up post-lunch, it’s important to time your last cup of coffee correctly to avoid potential sleep disturbances. Dr. Sujay Kansagra, MD, a sleep health consultant, suggests allowing for six hours between your final cup of coffee and bedtime, as your body eliminates about half of the caffeine in your system every four to seven hours. Consider consuming your last cup of coffee in the afternoon, around the time when cortisol levels begin to decrease, combating afternoon drowsiness.
5. Incorporate Coffee in Your Beauty Routine
Aside from consuming coffee, you can also utilize it to reduce the appearance of tired eyes. Dermatologist Dr. Lily Talakoub recommends using coffee grounds to de-puff the under-eye area and tighten the skin. After brewing your coffee, let the grounds cool before applying them under your eyes for approximately five minutes. Afterward, simply wipe them off to enjoy the refreshing effects of coffee for both feeling and looking better.
By incorporating these hacks into your coffee routine, you can elevate your morning fuel and harness the benefits of this beloved beverage in new and effective ways.