|May 22, 2024

The 5 Worst Things to Put in Your Coffee

By Julie Hand
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy

The 5 Worst Things to Put in Your Coffee

Coffee is the morning ritual that fuels you. And what you put into your belly first thing each a.m. can make or break your entire day—we’re talking energy slumps, irritability and cravings. For those reasons, it’s important to choose your brew wisely. Sweeteners and unhealthy fats, for instance, can crank up inflammation levels and mess with your metabolism.

Here are the five worst things to add to your coffee.

1. Sugar

5 Worst Things to Put in Your Coffee_sugar

This common coffee addition can be problematic for everything from your blood sugar to your gut health. So why is it so hard to kick that coffee-sugar combo?

Coffee tastes bitter when it’s improperly roasted or contains pathogenic fungi—so make sure you are starting with clean coffee beans and a stable roasting routine. If you’re still craving a sweeter cup of joe, consider one of these Bulletproof-friendly sweeteners.

Pro tip: For a sensibly sweet coffee treat, try Bulletproof Cold Brew Latte. With zero added sugar*, each flavor will still satisfy your need for sweet, plus these cans pack added benefits: sustained energy from MCT oil and the building blocks for healthy hair, nails, skin, joints and bones, thanks to collagen protein!

*Not a low-calorie food

2. Milk or cream

5 Worst Things to Put in Your Coffee_milk and cream

This duo can be especially problematic if you have an intolerance or allergy to milk proteins (casein) or the sugar in milk (lactose).

“If someone suspects he/she has any food allergy, the best way to approach is to do an elimination diet; then do food challenges to add suspect foods back in and see how you react,” says registered dietitian Beth Sobel, who oversees a team of dietitians, diabetes educators, and wellness educators at Facey Medical Group.

Sobel adds that another problem with milk products is that they may not be antibiotic- or hormone-free, so be wary of any consumption when you don’t know the source. If you’re still jonesing for milk for that coffee, experiment with coconut milk, which is just as sweet and creamy as cow’s milk.

A note about butter: Even though butter is made from cream, it’s churned to separate the liquids from the fats. The fat, called butterfat, is what becomes butter. Butter is 80 percent fat with only trace amounts of carbs and proteins; the rest is water. This makes butter a great dietary staple for those who are intolerant or have lactose (milk sugar) allergies. If you’re seeking to go the clarified butter route, we’ve got you covered. Opt for Bulletproof Grass-Fed Ghee, instead.

3. Milk protein isolates

5 Worst Things to Put in Your Coffee_Milk protein isolates

Simply put, milk protein isolates are what’s left after milk undergoes a series of processes to remove the sugar lactose. What remains is protein in the form of casein and whey, and a little fat. If you have an allergy or intolerance to casein or whey, milk protein isolates are not for you.

Also, milk protein isolates are common in the land of bodybuilders, who often consume huge quantities of protein, which can also cause constipation.

Instead, if you want a protein boost, add Bulletproof Energy Collagen Protein to your cup. Not only does this innovative formula contain all 9 essential amino acids and a Custom Energy Blend for sustained fuel, but it will add a velvety texture to your java, too!

4. Artificial creamers

5 Worst Things to Put in Your Coffee_Artificial Creamers

Even though these creamers are touted as ‘non-dairy,’ they often have casein in them—a milk protein that numerous people have an intolerance to. You may wonder what exactly gives these creamers their feel and flavor if they don’t have dairy.

Oftentimes, it’s vegetable oils that use harmful solvents in their production, sugar, corn syrup and food colorings that can be inflammatory to your system. If you still want a cream-like substance for your coffee, try Bulletproof Original Creamer, which uses high-quality C8 MCT oil and grass-fed butter to create a creamy cup of fat-fueled coffee.

5. Chemical sweeteners

5 Worst Things to Put in Your Coffee_Chemical Sweeteners

Saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), sucralose, neotame and advantame… Often disguised as vanilla, caramel or hazelnut, these sweeteners may add unique flavoring to your beverage of choice, but they can come with serious health challenges. Sobel explains there’s research that speaks to an increased insulin response due to chemical sweeteners, as they actually mimic the effect of having sugar.

“Most people are using these to try to reduce calories, but if you’re still getting an insulin release, it contradicts the intention. This is especially problematic if you have a genetic predisposition for diabetes,” says Sobel. “While regulatory agencies say they’re safe for consumption at certain levels, we don’t know the long-term side effects of these things.”

Finally, Sobel adds there’s research suggesting that chemical sweeteners disrupt the balance of the microbiome, which is your first line of immunity defense.

The bottom line: Do your homework! From clean coffee beans to everything you mix into your morning mug, ingredients matter.

Want to learn more about coffee creamers? This guide to the best keto creamer will teach you everything you need to know.

Join the Bulletproof Revolution

Sign up for early access to sales, product launches, the latest Bulletproof news and more!