7 Delicious (and Healthy!) Ways to Upgrade Your Next Cup of Coffee

Does your morning brew need a boost?

Waking up to a cup of coffee or three is non-negotiable for many of us. Caffeine is crucial, but the process of making and enjoying coffee can help you ease into the headspace to conquer whatever is ensue on any given day, too.

One way to derail all potentially relaxing elements of this routine? Drowning your otherwise perfect pour-over or espresso in sugar, syrupy stuff, and other chemical-ridden creamers. More likely than not, your should-be energy-boosting beverage will leave you feeling sleepy, sluggish, and overcome with brain fog. If you're tired of the same old cup of coffee, skip the sweetener and try one of these delicious upgrades from much-loved nutrition expert Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, CDN.

01 of 07

Make DIY vanilla creamer

Love coffee creamer? Make your own two-ingredient recipe with no added sugar by whipping up a naturally sweet DIY vanilla version. Simply mix one quarter cup of milk (or oat, almond, or soy milk) with a few drops of vanilla extract, then heat in the microwave for 20 seconds.

RELATED: 5 Clever Ways to Use Vanilla Extract That Don't Require Baking

02 of 07

Go for cocoa

Sprinkle some cocoa powder right into your cup. You'll get a delicious chocolate-flavored coffee and score some of the perks of cocoa flavanols—specifically, the heart-health benefits of improved blood flow.

03 of 07

Add some fizz

If you feel like your coffee is a little flat, try a fizzy spin. Sparkling water will add a subtle effervescence to your iced coffee or cold brew without adding sugar, calories, or artificial sweeteners. It's also caffeine-free, so if you're looking for a little lift without a full jolt, watering down your drink is a smart way to lower its caffeine content.

04 of 07

Spice up your cup

Add a sprinkle of cinnamon into your coffee: It'll add plenty of delicious flavor and zero grams of sugar. You can also combine cocoa powder and a dash of cinnamon for a mocha blend, or try a sprinkle of nutmeg instead.

Another option: Add a dash of cayenne to your coffee grounds before brewing. Warning: Start sparingly.

05 of 07

Mix in powdered peanut butter

Power up your coffee with peanutty protein. Mix in 2 tablespoons of powdered peanut butter (ground peanuts that have been dehydrated) to your hot mug of coffee—it's sugar-free and delivers 5 grams of satiating protein with some fiber, too.

RELATED: If Cold Brew Coffee Is Your Caffeinated Drink of Choice, Here's What You Should Know

06 of 07

Freeze it

Keep your leftover coffee in your freezer for future iced beverages. Instead of tossing your old coffee, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Add a few "coffee cubes" to your next cup of java to create iced coffee that's not watered down. You can even add spices or flavorings like cinnamon or cocoa powder before freezing for extra zing.

07 of 07

Pick flavored pods over syrup

Try no-sugar-added flavored coffee beans or single-serving pods, like vanilla, mocha, and hazelnut. There are tons of great brands that offer delicious flavors without any added sugar (real or fake). You can't beat them for convenience, either.

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Sources
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  1. Baynham R, Veldhuijzen van Zanten JJCS, Johns PW, Pham QS, Rendeiro C. Cocoa flavanols improve vascular responses to acute mental stress in young healthy adults. Nutrients. 2021: 27;13(4):1103. doi:10.3390/nu13041103

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