Beverages – Part 2 (Coffee)

So Friday I wrote about alcohol as we headed into the weekend. Now we are at Monday and a typical beverage for many: coffee.

Coffee, for some, is a critical jump start to the day or an expensive habit that keeps them going throughout a busy day.

A late night or a restless sleep may require that strong cup of java to get things going.

Making a strong cup of black coffee at home is one thing. Stopping by the local coffee shop is another.

Cream, sugar or any other toppings that give the simple black coffee an added boost can add up both in calories and cost.

Adding these items to a coffee can add 300-500 calories with a tons of sugar and saturated fat.

As I mentioned last week about alcohol, these drinks need to be addressed in your nutrition program if you want to make sure you are working toward your goals.

Here are some home alternatives to get your daily coffee intake without sabotaging your nutrition program. These options help save on calories and on your wallet!

Use High Quality Coffee

If you are committed to making the switch to home brewing, invest in high quality coffee that can stand alone as a basis for your daily caffeine. That way you don’t HAVE to add cream and sugar to enjoy it.

You can add minimal ingredients to find that right combination for a great cup of coffee.

Mix In Protein Powder

Getting in enough protein is a challenge for some of you. Adding this alternative to your coffee will not only provide the creaminess you like, but it will also give you the added boost of protein. The protein contains the amino acids that your body needs to make a fast recovery from your hard workout sessions.

You can experiment with different flavored protein powder based on what you like in your coffee.  A chocolate powder may give you more of a mocha twist while vanilla powder will be more of a whip cream replacement.

Or get crazy with a strawberry option!

Use Sugar Free Syrups

Another great option for more flavor are sugar free syrups.  This is one of the primary reasons that your gourmet coffee has such great flavor – they add sugar-filled syrups while preparing your coffee.

If you switch to sugar free, you can reduce your coffee by at least 80 calories per serving. You can purchase these from your local specialty foods store or some coffee houses will even sell them by the bottle.

Add Sweeteners

To help make sure that you’re keeping the sugar content of that beverage down as best as possible, make sure that you aren’t adding excess sugar.

Instead, turn to sweeteners that contains no calories.  The last thing you want is a rush of caffeine and sugar in your system, as when the crash hits, it’ll hit you hard.

Use Spices For Added Flavor

Finally, the last thing to consider is adding some spice to the mix.  Cinnamon or nutmeg are great alternatives for boosting the flavor, but not adding any calories.

In addition, cinnamon can help to control your blood glucose levels so it is perfect for those who do suffer from blood sugar insensitivities.

So when you wake up craving that favorite gourmet coffee, reconsider.  Instead, think about preparing your own using some of these tips.

It will be a much healthier choice and you will save yourself some calories and some money in the process.

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