Any coffee lovers out there? Who are we kidding… any coffee ADDICTS out there? Whether you are a one cup a day kind of person or of the “I need a coffee IV” persuasion, there are a few things you should know before you continue you take the next sip. The myths of coffee’s evils have long been dispelled, but what you might not know is that there is actually a right and a wrong way to drink it. Keep reading to find out how to make the most of your morning (or all day) cup o’ joe.

Grind Daily

It’s so much easier to leave the grinding to the corporate folks, but the longer coffee grounds are exposed to air, the fewer health conscious benefits they can offer you. For the very best absorption of all the great nutrients and antioxidants, grind your daily coffee bean portion each morning. One of these nifty little grinders is just the ticket—and your nose will certainly thank you.

Mind Your Levels

When is your favorite time of day for a caffeine fix? Like most people, you probably prefer your morning cup…well… in the morning. Like immediately.

In fact, it probably goes something like this:

  1. Open Eyes
  2. Open Mouth
  3. Pour in Coffee

Right??

Well, research shows that this may not be the best idea for your hormone levels. When you introduce caffeine into your system right off the bat in the morning, your cortisol levels get really confused, and you’ll be exposed to more stress and circadian rhythm issues. According to this article, cortisol levels drop at about 10:30 AM and again around 2:00 PM. For best results, transfer your morning cup to a mid-morning cup and a mid-afternoon cup.

Live Long and Prosper

Are you guilty of transforming your simple cup of coffee into a double shot, extra whip, pumpkin flavored sugar-fest? In addition to being horrible for your health, the added calories contained in these coffee “enhancers” will cause a major sugar crash when you’re finished drinking. Try adding a little real cream, unsweetened almond milk, or even some Brain Octane Oil to cut through the bitterness. Cinnamon is also a great flavor enhancer and can actually help manage your insulin levels!

All in Moderation

How many cups do you drink every day, on average? Two? A couple pots? Studies show that while coffee has many amazing health benefits, you really should keep an eye on how much you consume. A great rule of thumb when moderating your coffee intake is to stay under 400mg of caffeine per day. This includes all caffeinated beverages—not just coffee. And for all of you dark chocolate connoisseurs, that’s included too. To give you a frame of reference, here’s a breakdown of caffeine levels in popular coffee drinks.

Drink Smart

For those of you who like to kill two birds with one stone, you’ll love these little tidbits:

  • Drink coffee after you learn something new, and you’ll experience a boost in your memory. How cool is that??
  • Coffee can alleviate depression, disease, and desk-job related pain.
  • If you drink coffee after eating a meal, your blood sugar levels will be more even.

There’s an App for That

If you want yet another way to track yourself during the day, try Up Coffee. This smart little app learns your “Caffeine Persona” by tracking how wired you are throughout the day after you down a coffee. It also gives you information about how your mid-day cup affects your sleep quality—even telling you how much longer it will take for you to be “sleep ready.”

Are you worried that cutting your coffee habit might start to affect your performance at work? Take a quick glance through our Top 6 Tools for Productivity to boost your office Mo-Jo!