Updated: 4:07 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013 | Posted: 1:56 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012

Healthy and creative ways to get your caffeine fix

By Nicole McDermott


August 2012 —

Used with permission from Greatist.com

To many, that morning cup of coffee is a ritual — an obsession, even. A solid 80 to 185 mg of caffeine per cup can kick start a morning, and it’s got even more benefits beyond the jolt. Each day 100 million American adults drink the elixir that’s been linked to improved mood, a lower the risk of some cancers, and increased calorie burn[1][2][3]. Think coffee has no place past the mug? Here are some sneaky ways to get it into any diet.

1. Energy Smoothie
When iced coffee doesn’t do the trick, blend some Joe in a smoothie. Try a “ban-offee” version by blending ¾ cup of cooled coffee, a frozen banana, ¼ cup milk (of your choice), and a touch of maple syrup for a jolt with banana’s superfood powers. Extra perkThe potassium in bananas helps to replenish electrolytes lost from a night of boozing[4].

2. Coffee Muffins
Get ready for coffee cake’s younger and cuter (pre-portioned) cousin. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees, and spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. Mix 1 cup of strong, cold coffee, ½ cup sugar (or another sweetener), 2 eggs, and a cup of plain yogurt. Add 2 ½ cups of whole-wheat flour (or instant oats!), and two teaspoons of baking powder until just combined. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Mocha “Puddin’
Mix up a cup of plain yogurt with 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, and a tablespoon of instant coffee, and whip it up ‘til the coffee dissolves. Sweeten it to taste, and add some vanilla extract for an extra zing. Top the mock pudding with some nuts or berries!

4. Coffee Rub
The dark acidic tones of coffee pair well with dark meats like duck, beef, and lamb. Rub freshly ground coffee beans (the darker the roast, the more potent the coffee flavor), with a touch of coarse pepper on to a meat of choice. Pro Tip: Throw it all in a plastic bag and shake it around for a mess-free even coating.

5. Perky Marinade
Coffee’s not just for sweet stuff. Soak some steak in coffee for an hour or more before it hits the grill for tender, smoky meat without the not-so-glamorous nutrition stats other marinades have.

For all 15 tips, go to Greatist.com.

  1. Effects of breakfast and caffeine on performance and mood in the late morning and after lunch. Smith, A.P., Kendrick, A.M., Maben, A.L. Health Pyschology Research Unit, School of Psychology, University of Wales College of Cardiff, UK. Neuropsychobiology, 1993; 26(4):198-204. []
  2. Effect of coffee ingestion on physiological responses and ratings of perceived exertion during submaximal endurance exercise. Demura, S., Yamada, T., Terasawa, N. Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa University. Journal of Perceptual and Motor Skills, 2007 Dec; 105 (3 Pt 2):1109-16. []
  3. Coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk: further evidence for inverse relationship. Shaflque, K., McLoone, P., Qureshi, K., et al. Nutrition Journal, 2012 Jun 13; 11(1):42. []
  4. The major electrolytes: sodium, potassium, and chloride. Terry, J. Journal of Intravenous Nursing: The Official Publication of the Intravenous Nurses Society, 1994 Sep-Oct;17(5):240-7. []

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