Written by Desiderio D. Abeyta, RDN
Although I may not be alone with this, rewind to about week ago. There I am, mindlessly scrolling down Facebook, all through the whining, the political back and fourth, and the advertisements. Strangely, Facebook sends me advertisements based on nutritional content as well as all things Hip Hop, noting that these things are more of my flavor. As I stopped scrolling, I came across an advertisement for Soylent, the caffeinated meal replacement that notes, “Coffiest...a balanced breakfast and your morning coffee, all in one convenient bottle...contains 400 calories of complete plant-based nutrition and the same caffeine as a strong cup of coffee.” and this had me thinking. Thinking more about how much of a craze coffee has become, not just the coffee itself, but more so, what you should add to it, and what you shouldn’t add to it. Instead of “shoulding” all over yourself with how you should doctor your coffee, I thought as your own personal dietitian that you should, at the very least, be informed. So here we go with this week’s post. We are, as a unit, going to compare this product with other ways to doctor to your coffee to better benefit your body. Compare and contrast, style.
In an effort to provide more background on Coffiest, it’s necessary to say that at the very least, this product could be helpful for someone who is constantly on the go, doesn’t care much for the quality of coffee, as well as enjoying the caffeinated and energy producing qualities that this item produces. In one serving, Coffiest provides 400 calories and $3.09/serving ($37.05 monthly), contains soy protein (creates protein), algal oil (cell/brain health), coffee (energy), L-theanine (amino acid), and it also offers a balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and protein). All of which can absolutely provide a good source of nutrition as a supplement, to your diet. It’s pertinent to bring attention to the importance of italicizing “supplement”. Supplements in general, even meal replacements, are best if your proximity to food calls for it. In any case, it is recommended to get some of these nutrients from food itself. However, if you are for instance; on the run, wasn’t able to make breakfast, or simply using this as a post workout snack, I think that this type of supplement can be for you. However, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention that a product as this does contain some of the necessary processing components all of which can be found here. Now, let’s say that you are more inclined to make your own healthy choices and that you also would like to become more socially aware when it comes to creating the life that you want from the nutrients that you digest. Let’s say, you want to be the “chef” or the “curator” of your life, then maybe doing things differently is more for you. In a world where production with supply and demand rules, let’s seek alternative for a second. Here are some ideas to compare the use Coffiest verses some of the everyday modifications that you can do to doctor your coffee. Included will be some education to boot.
● Aim to avoid refined sugar and/or artificial sweetener; recommendation is to limit sugar to 25 grams per day, which approximates to almost 100 calories per day. Crazy thing about that is, that it only takes 500 calories per day, above your energy needs (typically 2000 calories/day) to gain 1 pound per week! So that means if you tend to consume a Coffiest beverage on top of your daily needs everyday, it could possibly cause some weight gain. Not to say that this product alone can do that, but if consumed in excess, like anything else, could cause some unwanted weight gain.
● Add Cinnamon and/or Nutmeg to your coffee: studies have shown that cinnamon acts as an antioxidant and controls your blood sugar. Which in turn, provides balance for most of every enzymatic reaction in the body. Nutmeg on the other hand, has been shown to relieve pain, strengthen brain function, as well as increasing immune function and seems to lie within the “must haves” in your diet according to Harvard Health.
● Food before coffee in the morning: used to starting your day with a cup of Joe? You might be doing the opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish. Without food, caffeine releases a hormone called insulin, which in turn lowers your blood sugar, thus producing a lowering of energy/becoming tired. I need of quick pick me up? Mix in a snack containing carbohydrates, protein, and fat, then have that cup of “Joe”. Find more about this here.
● Try cocoa with your coffee: coffee already contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, but cocoa (a simple teaspoon) can not only improve brain function but has also been found to increase executive function and memory, according to a online publishing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
● Try adding coconut oil or grass-fed butter: it’s no secret that adding coconut oil or butter to coffee have become popular. From putting coconut oil on everything to the acclaimed Bulletproof Diet. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides, healthy fats that have been shown to improve weight loss and gastric emptying, or as you know it, pooping. Grass-fed butter offers a blend of fatty acids, recommendation is to always get a good blend of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats in your daily diet.
● It's hot out, try Coconut Water Iced Coffee: A good iced coffee blend with some of your favorite ZICO coconut water (vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free) can provide a substantial amount of hydration benefits brought to you by potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus!
So let's take a look at the verdict. In one corner, we have product that can act as a meal replacement, a pre/post workout snack, or even possibly a beverage to drink just because. It offers some substantial nutrients; protein, fat, some carbohydrate, as well as some essential vitamins. Not to mention, it is not created in your kitchen. On the other end, we have some different alternatives that were not necessarily created in your kitchen but you get the opportunity to make and change your beverage to your liking. It’s almost empowering to have made something and to call it your own and there’s always an opportunity to make this influential beverage, healthy. Fact is, if you are drinking your coffee black, with sugar, with something that ends in “-cino”, or even if it is “Coffiest”; always question and determine why you choose your food choices. Your choices could be improving your health, or maybe even diminishing your health. My vote is for something that I have more control over. It's hot out, so I’ll go with the Coconut Water Iced Coffee, please! Stay informed! Thanks for reading.