6 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Coffee

  • 1) You Down A Cup At The Crack Of Dawn
    1 / 6 1) You Down A Cup At The Crack Of Dawn

    Pounding a coffee at 7 a.m. isn’t doing your energy levels any favors. 

    In the first couple hours after you wake up, your levels of the stress hormone cortisol are at their highest, which actually gives you a natural energy boost. 

    That’s why many experts agree that the best time to have your first cup is sometime between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., when cortisol levels start to dip. 

    That way, you’ll be taking advantage of your body’s natural high, and saving that hit of caffeine for when you really need it.

    Read more
  • 2) You Assume Dark Roast Has More Antioxidants
    2 / 6 2) You Assume Dark Roast Has More Antioxidants

    Here’s one rule anyone can stick to: Drink the roast that you think tastes best—not the one you assume you should drink because it contains more antioxidants. 

    “Research on the optimal type of coffee for health is still at an early stage and it’s unclear which roast is healthier,” says Rob van Dam, Ph.D., adjunct associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

    Per van Dam, both actually seem to be pretty good. Light roasts contain more of the phenolic compound chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar, possess antioxidant properties, and contribute to other health benefits. 

    Dark roasts contain higher concentrations of compounds called melanoids, which have been associated with antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hypertensive properties.

    Read more
  • 4) You Drink Way Too Much
    3 / 6 4) You Drink Way Too Much

    More isn’t always better; sometimes it’s just more.

    In general, the health benefits associated with coffee tend to cap off at five to six 8-ounce cups—which works out to about 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, says Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D.N., a nutritionist and author of Eating in Color

    Drinking more than that isn’t doing you any favors, and for some people—like those who have difficulty controlling conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)—the cons of excess coffee could certainly outweigh the pros.

    Read more
  • 3) You Drink Lighter Roasts To Consume Less Caffeine
    4 / 6 3) You Drink Lighter Roasts To Consume Less Caffeine

    Believe it or not, lighter roasts actually contain more caffeine than dark roasts. 

    The reason: The roasting process burns off caffeine, so the longer a coffee roasts, the less caffeine it will have. 

    If you happen to be more sensitive to caffeine, or you’re just looking for a less jitter-inducing brew, French roast can be a smart pick.

    Read more
  • 5) You Overload On Sugar
    5 / 6 5) You Overload On Sugar

    One of the coolest perks of coffee is that it’s been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, thanks in part to its antioxidants. But what about when you add sugar? 

    According to van Dam, a little sweetness is probably okay, but turning your coffee into dessert is not.

    “The evidence is mixed,” van Dam says. “Some studies suggest you can add a little sugar and still experience a reduced risk of diabetes, while others have only shown those benefits for unsweetened coffee drinkers. It’s likely a matter of quantity.”

    Read more
  • 6) You Let Your Cup Go Cold
    6 / 6 6) You Let Your Cup Go Cold

    Ever brew a cup of coffee, take a few sips, set it down, forget where you put it, find it 2 hours later, reheat it, take a few sips, set it down?

    That downtime between sips actually increases your coffee’s acidity. Not a huge health risk, but that extra acid may up your risk of heartburn and indigestion, and potentially contribute to greater erosion of tooth enamel. 

    Coffee that sits out too long may also pack less of an antioxidant punch due to air exposure. Some researchers suggest drinking coffee within 20 minutes of brewing for maximum antioxidant benefit.

    Read more