If you’re reading this blog post, I assume you and I have at least one thing in common: You effectively can’t function without a cup of coffee in the morning.
In my particular case, I can’t live without a cup of iced coffee in the morning. On most days, I can make it from the comfort of my own kitchen exactly how I like it. But on other days -- those days where my alarm never seems to go off on time on the exact days when I have an early morning meeting -- I have to pick up my iced coffee to-go.
You can’t beat the convenience of grabbing coffee at Dunkin’ or Starbucks or Peet’s, but what I don’t love about ordering my iced coffee is how I can’t control what goes into it. Whether I’m trying to eat less sugar, less dairy, or lower-calorie in general, you have less control over what goes into your body if you’re ordering out.
So in this post, I’m going to share my top suggestions, requests, and swaps for ordering a healthier iced coffee the next time you want someone else to make it for you.
7 Ways to Order a Healthy Iced Coffee
1. Opt for sugar-free.
An effective way to make your iced coffee more health-conscious is to order it unsweetened, or sugar-free. Even if you end up adding a bit of sugar at the condiment station, you’ll almost certainly add less sugar than the baristas, and you can choose a calorie-free plant-based sugar alternative if you’d like.
2. Choose a plant-based milk.
Another way to make your iced coffee healthier is to opt for almond milk or soy milk, which are lower in calories and fat and higher in protein than regular dairy. Particularly if you’re ordering a latte drink with lots of milk, this swap could make a big difference. This swap usually only costs $0.25-$0.75 more if you remember to ask for it.
3. Use a straw.
Coffee is highly acidic and can have an impact on your oral health. It can wear down the enamel of your teeth -- and eventually start to stain them. If you use a straw when you drink iced coffee, you can ensure that all of those acids bypass your pearly whites. Just make sure you buy a couple of reusable straws to bring in your car, your backpack, or purse so your commitment to oral hygiene doesn’t end up polluting the oceans.
4. Swap out espresso drinks.
As delicious as lattes are, they require a lot of milk to balance out the intense espresso beans. So if you’re looking to cut back on your coffee’s caloric intake, try a simple iced black coffee that you can just add a little milk to yourself.
6. Bring your own mug.
Okay, this is technically healthier for the planet -- not you. But, some coffee shops offer a discount if you bring in your own mug or thermos, so it’s healthier for your wallet, too. If you know you’re running late and have to buy your coffee instead of make it, throw your thermos into your backpack so you don’t have to get any single-use plastic with your coffee.
7. Switch out coffee for tea.
If you drink your morning iced coffee for the caffeine boost it brings, try swapping out your iced coffee for iced black or green tea. These teas are caffeinated but don’t require sugar, milk, or cream in order to be delicious -- which can add a lot of calories, sugar, and fat to your morning joe. Try swapping out tea for coffee a couple of times a week to see if it makes an impact on your energy levels.
Try these little changes to make your iced coffee a lot healthier. And no matter where you get your iced coffee, make sure you use a JavaSok iced coffee sleeve to keep your hands dry and warm.