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Making Your Coffee Habit Healthier

It seems like every day a news story goes viral about another insane health benefit of drinking coffee—from decreased risks of dementia to weight loss and even a longer life. These stories could make anyone want to line up at their favorite coffee shop and double their order, but coffeephiles beware: just because a drink has coffee in it, doesn't mean it is healthy. In fact, a lot of these drinks are loaded with fat and sugar and can actually have adverse health effects like weight gain and cavities. To maintain your waistline and pearly whites, while still getting the caffeinated pick-me-up, we have outlined different ways to still get your daily jolt and stay healthy.

Drink Water

There are some mornings where the only thing that can coax you out of bed is the idea of the warm embrace from a nice cup of joe, and let's not forget about that desperate need of a buzz during that post-lunch slump. While we all know this feeling and like to indulge in coffee in these times of need, it's important to remember to hydrate too. Sometimes that sluggish feeling in the afternoon is simply caused by not drinking enough water. To keep your body satisfied, balance each mug of caffeine with a cup of water.

Pass on the Chemicals

One of the biggest culprits for turning a healthy cup of joe into a health hazard is the amount of chemicals in a lot of the creamers and flavors that you might add to your coffee. Whether you made your coffee at home or stopped by your favorite coffee shop, you'd be better off getting your coffee black. If you find black coffee to be too acidic, there are other ways to soften the taste. To start, only use products that don't have artificial additives; a good place to start would be half and half or almond milk instead of a flavored creamer, and stevia or honey in place of an artificial sweetener.

Pace Yourself

The phrase "the more, the merrier" doesn't apply when it comes to your coffee intake. Although we often want to opt for the largest option at the coffee shop, it's better to optimize the timing of your intake and the amount you drink. Studies have shown that it's actually better to have more frequent, smaller doses of coffee rather than one venti-sized cup. In fact, doses as small as a ¼ cup every hour is the best strategy to keep your energy and momentum up throughout the day.