The Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee isn’t what it used to be. As health and wellness knowledge has grown, it has become abundantly clear that what was once thought of as the world’s most acceptable addiction is actually really good for you — and there’s research to prove it. Not only that, the health factor of your coffee can be boosted even further if you include healthy protein-rich ingredients, such as collagen, in your morning brew.
One study found that drinking four cups or more of coffee per day can increase longevity, and coffee’s health benefits don’t end there. Coffee is rich in antioxidants, and specifically in polyphenols, which help protect against numerous health issues by transferring electrons to free radicals in the body, neutralizing the effects of oxidation. Some studies also show that regular coffee consumption can promote healthy blood sugar levels, support liver health, and encourage good cardiovascular health.
With all the health benefits of coffee, you might even consider it a bonafide superfood. But did you know that there’s an entire movement dedicated to making your coffee even more healthful? It’s called biohacking, and it’s all about adding the right ingredients into your coffee to support your health, boost your energy, improve your focus and generally help you succeed.
Biohacking with Coffee
First, let’s talk about your traditional coffee options. There’s drip coffee — the standard black coffee that’s popular in the United States — and there’s espresso, which is made from extra-strong espresso beans. Unlike drip coffee, espresso is extremely concentrated. You can sip it as a shot or combine it with milk, cream, water or other ingredients to form popular espresso drinks such as lattes, cappuccino and flat whites.
Ingredients to Make Your Coffee Healthy
Once you’ve decided on your favorite brew, it’s time to take it to the next level. Enter butter coffee, MCT oil coffee and, our personal favorite, collagen coffee.
BUTTER: Butter coffee involves mixing your coffee with butter to boost its fat content. When consuming this drink in an otherwise fasted state, the saturated fat from the butter will help to keep you full without requiring an insulinogenic response (the release of insulin into the bloodstream, which occurs when you consume carbohydrates and some proteins). As a result, you can get full while remaining fasted, which has numerous benefits for health and longevity. Intermittent fasting has been correlated with weight loss, mental clarity, longevity and blood sugar regularity.
MCT Oil: Another option is to combine your coffee with MCT oil or coconut oil. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a type of fat that is found naturally in coconut oil. MCTs convert to energy quickly and efficiently, helping to give you a major boost if you’re in a fasted state. MCTs have also been correlated with helping to promote a healthy weight.
Collagen: Collagen can be added to your coffee either on its own or alongside butter or MCTs. Unlike butter or MCT oils, collagen isn’t a fat — it’s a protein. Specifically, it’s a protein that makes up the majority of your body’s connective tissues, including the hair, skin, nails, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons. As we age, our natural collagen production begins to slow, which is one of the reasons why aging is correlated with a loss of elasticity in the skin and bones. Adding this nourishing protein to your coffee can help to keep you full and boost your protein intake while supporting your connective tissues and overall health.
Last but not least, when you’re trying to build the ultimate healthy coffee drink, it’s important to consider flavor! An all-natural creamer can be a delicious mix-in, but be careful: Many conventional creamers are loaded with unhealthy ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and trans fats. Instead, look for a natural creamer like Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer, which comes in three delicious flavors and is made with only natural spices and real-food ingredients.
You can also consider adding organic spices for extra flavor. Cinnamon, vanilla bean, nutmeg and ginger are a few delicious add-ins that can give flavor to your coffee without the artificial ingredients.
Whatever you do, if you want your coffee to be healthy, steer clear of sugar. Nothing will throw your health goals out of whack like sugar. Just a four teaspoons of sugar is equal to 16 grams, which nearly maxes out the World Health Organization’s daily recommended limit of 25 grams.
Let’s go back to collagen for a second. This nourishing protein was once a major component of our ancestors’ diets. Because it is such a major component of the bones, connective tissues and ligaments, collagen was plentiful in our ancestors’ diets thanks to bone marrow, organ meats and nourishing broths. These ingredients have fallen out of favor, and what collagen remains is often removed through modern food processing.
Here are just a few ways that collagen can positively impact your health.
- Hair, skin and nail health: Often known as a beauty supplement, collagen is an important component of strong nails, healthy hair and youthful-looking skin.
- Digestive support: Collagen helps support a healthy digestive system. The gut lining, after all, is a connective tissue.
-Musculoskeletal health: Collagen can also help support the bones, joints, ligaments and tendons. One study even found that athletes who supplemented with collagen noticed a decrease in their likelihood of injury.
The Best Collagen for Coffee
When it comes to selecting the right collagen for your coffee, here are a few ideas.
- Collagen Peptides: Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides are a great choice for coffee. These Collagen Peptides are easily digested and absorbed by the body, and they are completely odorless, flavorless and soluble in both cold and hold liquids (so they’ll go great in your cold brew, too!). Made from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hide, Collagen Peptides are a very versatile form of collagen, and they won’t impact the taste of your coffee.
- Marine Collagen: Much like Collagen Peptides, Marine Collagen is odorless, flavorless and soluble in both cold and hot liquids. However, Marine Collagen is made from non-GMO Project Verified, wild-caught red snapper scales, making it a good choice for pescatarians.
- Vital Proteins Collagen Creamers: Hoping to add some flavor to your brew? Vital Proteins Collagen Creamers come in three flavors (Coconut, Vanilla and Gingerbread), and combine Collagen Peptides with healthy MCTs from coconut milk. The coconut milk powder in these creamers will lend a smooth taste to your coffee as well.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to take a look at our options! Remember: The keys to a health-boosting coffee drink are choosing your favorite coffee, adding in healthy fats and proteins, and steering clear of sugars and artificial ingredients.
Step 1: Coffee
Drip Coffee with full-fat cream
Long Black (espresso with hot water)
Flat White (espresso with warm full-fat milk)
Latte (espresso with steamed full-fat milk)
Cappuccino (espresso with steamed full-fat milk, topped with lots of milk froth)
Cold brew coffee
Step 2: Healthy Fats and Proteins
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Vital Proteins Marine Collagen
Vital Proteins Collagen Creamers
Step 3: Additional Flavors
Natural low-calorie sweetener, like stevia or honey (used extremely modestly)
Why Vital Proteins?
Vital Proteins’ collagen products are sourced from either grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine from Brazil or New Zealand, or wild-caught, non-GMO verified red snapper from Hawaii. The quality of these collagen products is important — Vital Proteins routinely batch tests to ensure quality, and never includes added sugars, GMOs, or artificial ingredients of any kind.