Functional beverages - have you seen these around? These are beverages marketed to do more than just quench your thirst. They are designed to give you energy, decrease your stress, enhance your beauty, strengthen your hair, improve your gut, turn you into a perfect parent and bring about world peace. Well, almost. While millennials have already been hopping on this bandwagon, it’s us 30- and 40-something moms that should really be taking advantage of all these functional beverage benefits! Luckily it's easy to to make your favorite morning beverage more functional with a few simple add-ins. Today I’m sharing three functional add-ins you can stir, mix or blend into your morning coffee, tea, or smoothie to increase your energy, plump up your skin, and get rid of that brain fog. I'm sure that world peace is just around the corner.....
Like many of you, I love my morning cup of coffee. I love the smell. I love the taste. I love how it makes me want to be nice to people that try to talk to me. But ladies, our morning cup of joe can do SO much more. By finding functional add ins that work for your body and meet your needs, that morning cup of coffee can become a magical elixir that not only gives us life but makes us better.
** As with anything you put in your body, check with your doctor and do your research before loading up your morning coffee with a dozen potions and powders. **
Let’s start with the most user-friendly of the three - collagen. Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our bodies which helps give structure, strength and vitality to our hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments and tendons. Like many things, our body's collagen production decreases as we age.
Although many topical beauty products tout the benefits of collagen, the molecule is too large to be absorbed from the outside in. Studies published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health however, have found that ingesting collagen can improve skin elasticity and skin moisture.
I’ve been taking collagen for over year now - initially to see if it would help strengthen my weak nails. Sadly, it did nothing to help my nails strength, but it has made my hair grow like crazy and become much thicker! I also like to think that perhaps it is helped keep my skin smooth and supple. My go-to collagen powder has been this one from Great Lakes. It is unflavored and blends easily into hot or cold beverages. Start with a 1/2 teaspoon and work your way up to a full dose.
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Brain Octane Oil
Next up - Brain Octane Oil from Bulletproof. Do you remember the coconut oil craze from a few years back? Bulletproof took the best part of coconut oil and put it in a bottle. Their Brain Octane Oil is distilled from 100% pure coconut oil, flavorless, and metabolizes more efficiently in the body giving you more energy and less brain fog. I tried it because it promised to “amplify energy and mental performance“ and if you're a mom who doesn't need that please tell me your secret!
I’ve been using it for the last two weeks now and I definitely have noticed that I’m less hungry mid-morning (healthy fats = satiated longer). If you struggle with caffeine making you jittery, the addition of Brain Octane Oil can also help mitigate the negative effects of caffeine. As for its claim to amplify my energy and improve my mental performance? I have had a pretty productive last two weeks. Hard to pin that all on a teaspoon of oil in my coffee, but I'll gladly take anything to help me boost my mental game. Ha!
I’ve also been trying out Bulletproof’s flavored collagen protein powders. These powders combine collagen and their Brain Octane oil in either chocolate or vanilla. Plus a serving has 23g of protein per serving and just a single gram of sugar or less! You can dump a scoop of these powders into your morning coffee or into a post workout smoothie for added protein, mental clarity and that collagen boost.
In herbal medicine, adaptogens are natural substances considered to help the body adapt to stress and help normalizing your bodily processes. Stress, sickness, hormone-imbalances, lack of sleep, environmental factors...these can all throw your body out of whack. Adaptogens are designed to help re-balance, restore, and protect your body. They may help decrease stress, boost your immunity, improve your sex drive, or decrease brain fog among other benefits. But adaptogens can be a bit of a rabbit hole - with dozens to choose from with different functions, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by what you might need (if any).
In the past, I've liked ashwagandha for it's stress-decreasing benefits and maca for it's immunity and energy boost. Lately, I've been trying out some adaptogenic blends from Moondeli. Their Mushroom Adaptogen includes Cacao for mood, Chaga for immunity, Cordyceps for energy, and blends easily into my morning coffee. Blue Green Protein blend in my smoothie gives me a dose of superfood spirulina and tocotrienols, an antioxidant that is rich in vitamin E.
Now to go reheat my supped up cup of joe...again.