It doesn’t have to be just a morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up – we can actually make our coffee work for us nutritionally, as well! In today’s Love it, Like it, Hate it, we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on her top Coffee Boosts, and which Coffee Busts to steer clear of!
PROTEIN COFFEE BOOSTERS
Protein powder | 100 calories, 17-20 grams protein, 0 sugar per scoop (varies by brand)
- Add a scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein powder to hot, iced or blended coffee.
- Stir into liquid (e.g. unsweetened almond milk) until dissolved, then add to coffee.
- Sun Warrior Classic Plus Organic Raw Plant-Based Protein Powder is one of Molly’s favorites
Ready-to-drink protein drink | 130 calories, 20 grams protein, 3 grams sugar per bottle (lactose-free)
- Essentially the same as protein powder, just one step easier to add into coffee
- ICONIC, developed in NOLA: protein-rich, low in sugar, no artificial sweeteners, lactose-free
Collagen | 35 calories, 10 grams collagen protein, 0 sugar per scoop (varies slightly by brand)
- Collagen has potential to benefit joints, skin, and GI system, and keeps us feeling fuller, longer.
- Add 10 grams collagen to coffee; most brands dissolve easily in hot or iced coffee.
- Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides – one of Molly’s favorites, available in plain, also Dark Chocolate Blackberry
KETO COFFEE BOOSTERS
Popular especially for keto diets & intermittent fasting. Curbs cravings, fuels without inflammatory sugars.
Coconut oil | 130 calories, 14 grams fat, 0 protein, 0 carb per tablespoon .
- For keto coffee, add a tablespoon or so of coconut oil per cup.
- Nutiva’s Organic Coconut Oil with Butter Flavor: One of Molly’s top picks. Organic, vegan and non-GMO, and a bargain ($7.98 for a 29-ounce jar), available at Walmart.
MCT Oil | 70 calories, 7 grams fat, 0 protein, 0 carb per tablespoon of tera’s MCT Coconut Splash
- MCT (medium chain triglyceride) fats are rapidly metabolized, more easily burned as energy and less likely to be stored as fat. May increase metabolism slightly, and help us feel full faster.
- Tera’s MCT Coconut Splash: like sweetened condensed milk with bourbon vanilla, available online.
These coffee add-ins are “fine” but they really don’t add anything significant to the nutritional benefits of our coffee
Half & Half + Unsweetened Coffee Creamers
- Available in regular dairy + vegan versions like So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer, Ripple Plant-Based Half & Half, Califia Farms “Better Half” and Califia Farms Almondmilk Creamer
- Look for ORIGINAL, UNSWEETENED versions with <1 gram sugar. If flavored or sweetened, keep it under 2 grams sugar per serving, at the most.
Anything sugary & syrupy. To be clear, we’re not talking about just a tiny sprinkle of real sugar – while that’s not idea, it’s not a nutritional disaster.
Flavored Creamers | 30 calories, 5 grams sugar in every tablespoon
Sugary Syrups & Sauces | as much as 140 calories and 22 grams sugar per two-tablespoon serving
Check labels closely | read the fine print
- Even wholesome brands like So Delicious have flavored versions with 4 grams sugar in every tablespoon
- “Sugar free” products like Nestle Sugar Free Nestle Coffee Mate are made with corn syrup or corn syrup solids, plus multiple artificial sweeteners like sucralose and acesulfame potassium
Want more from Molly? Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune! And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @MollyKimballRD