A Little Cup of Sunshine: How I Optimize My Coffee Each Morning
I love the ritual of sipping coffee each morning. It’s a comforting way to start the day. However, I also like to optimize my coffee so that I can get extra health benefits from it! This is next-level coffee. My optimized coffee gets me through 5:30 am CrossFit and gives us the brainpower to work on some powerful writing. It also gives me the energy to deal with two very busy boys and a super energetic dog! My coffee has ingredients for healthy hormones, energy, brainpower, stamina, and gives me an overall great start every morning.
This is not your ordinary cup o joe!
What Goes in My “Optimized” Coffee?
First, I start with the healthiest coffee. Because coffee does have a dark side (pun intended).
Most commercial coffee contains:
- Mycotoxins (aka fungus): In one study (cited in references), coffee beans from the post-harvest temperate group were found to have the highest percentage mycotoxigenic contamination of 98.4%, suggesting that the risk for fungal contamination is high after drying.
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed during roasting and brewing, typically when high temperature roasted for darker roasts. PAHs are suspected to be carcinogenic and mutagenic.
- Pesticides (also known as carcinogens): During cultivation, many coffees are heavily treated with pesticides. These chemicals (especially in coffee beans that have been heavily treated) can permeate into the bean.
So what coffee can you trust? My favorite brand of coffee is Purity Coffee(affiliate link).
Purity coffee is small-batch, lab-tested, high altitude grown, organic, no mold, no pesticides, sustainable, and a very smooth taste. So I know I’m getting the health benefits of coffee, without the dark side—and I love the flavor!
Next, I add the following:
Next, I add some exogenous ketones, which help your body to reach for an alternative fuel source to glucose, aka putting you in a fat-burning state for a few hours. Ketones are helpful for anyone who doesn’t want to go all-out keto but is looking for some ketogenic benefits. Some of the benefits I notice when I add ketones to my coffee are increased energy, brainpower, killing my workouts, and I sleep better at night. My favorite perk to exogenous ketones is that they help to energize me for CrossFit and get me through the workout in a fasted state, without getting all ‘low blood sugary’ feeling.
I always add collagen peptides to my coffee. Collagen peptides are short-chain amino acids naturally derived from pasture-raised collagen protein. Unlike gelatin, these peptides are soluble in cold liquids as well as hot. Collagen peptides contain the same amino acids as gelatin, which are identical to the protein found in skin, nails, hair, bones, cartilage, and joints. They dissolve quickly and are flavorless. I love the extra support on my joints, especially as an athlete.
Mushroom Powder Extracts (Lions Mane and Chaga)
- Lion’s mane: Research suggests that lions mane has neuroprotective effects. It can help with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and improves spatial memory. It also helps with concentration, focus, anxiety, and depression. An overall great extract to help with brain health. As a writer, this is very helpful for me!
- Chaga: Chaga pairs great with coffee (it’s rich in flavor, adding an earthy taste to coffee), and with winter upon us, Chaga is a beautiful mushroom for immune health. This mushroom protects against oxidative stress and scavenges free-radicals. Chaga helps with balancing out gut bacteria towards a more healthy profile.
My favorite brand of mushrooms is called Four Sigmatic, and if you use code PRIMALMUSINGS you get 15% off your order!
Organic MacaRoot Powder:
This powder is fantastic for our hormonal health! It’s widely used as a sexual enhancing supplement in Peru and is known for the ability to help with hormone balancing (excellent for perimenopausal years). The plant sterols in maca “help of the pituitary to improve adrenal function, ovarian and testicular function, as well as the functioning of the thyroid, the pancreas, and the pineal gland. Multi-functional effect of Maca on endocrine relationships may also explain reported in the literature, its positive influence on stimulation of endocrine glands in regulation of hormonal balances in the body, and particularly in women entering a perimenopausal state of life.”(source)
Sometimes I put cinnamon in my coffee too! Cinnamon has a comforting taste, but it also helps to stabilize blood sugar, which is excellent for working out in a fasted state! I hope you give our recipe a try! How do you optimize your coffee? Have you tried adding any mushrooms or other nootropics? Let me know!
I try to avoid dairy yet still love to enjoy a creamier coffee occasionally. Nutpods creamer is made from real coconut cream and almonds with natural flavors from plant extracts. Nutpods is dairy-free and unsweetened with zero grams of sugar per serving. Fits into a keto, paleo-friendly, or vegan diet, and is soy- and gluten-free. It comes in different fun flavors like french vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut. I love them all!
A Little Cup of Sunshine
…and there you have it! The most optimized cup of coffee each morning to get through the day with brainpower, muscle power, energy, and health benefits to boot! How do you take your coffee each morning?
(2015) Fungal and mycotoxin contamination of coffee beans in Benguet province, Philippines, Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, 32:2, 250-260,
Bui-Klimke, Travis R, and Felicia Wu. “Ochratoxin A and human health risk: a review of the evidence.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition vol. 55,13 (2015): 1860-9. doi:10.1080/10408398.2012.724480
Jimenez, Angelica et al. “Determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in roasted coffee.” Journal of environmental science and health. Part. B, Pesticides, food contaminants, and agricultural wastes vol. 49,11 (2014): 828-35. doi:10.1080/03601234.2014.938552
Bárbara Reichert, Andréde Kok et al. “Simultaneous determination of 117 pesticides and 30 mycotoxins in raw coffee, without clean-up, by LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis.”
Rossi P, Cesaroni V et al. “Dietary Supplementation of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium Erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), and Spatial Memory in Wild-Type Mice.”Int J Med Mushrooms. 2018;20(5):485-494. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2018026241.
Jayachandran, Muthukumaran et al. “A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 18,9 1934. 8 Sep. 2017, doi:10.3390/ijms18091934
Meissner, H O et al. “hormone-balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (I) Biochemical and Pharmacodynamic Study on Maca using Clinical Laboratory Model on Ovariectomized Rats.” International Journal of biomedical science: IJBS vol. 2,3 (2006): 260-72.