I do not say this lightly: You should be boosting your morning coffee. I realize that coffee and how you take it is a divisive thing. Starbucks has made an entire empire by customizing your caffeine to your precise liking. What if beyond the caffeine, a morning cup of joe could make you feel more focused and energized while nourishing your hair, skin, and nails? It’s possible, thanks to a dose of powerful superpowders like adaptogens and collagen.
It’s not necessarily new, but it is certainly gaining popularity with an ever-growing focus on wellness. Moon Juice has been chatting about adding powders to your coffee for years. Four Sigmatic, a wellness company out of L.A., has popular varieties of instant-like coffee boosted with immune-supporting mushrooms. Even Emily Schuman, the founder of Cupcakes and Cashmere, posted about adding a full scoop of unflavored collagen powder to her morning coffee in a recent Instagram Stories post.
“Though some people claim they can’t taste the addition of collagen peptides to their morning coffee, I can, but it’s not offensive enough to keep me away,” says Schuman. “It’s the tiniest bit salty, or perhaps sulfur-y, and something you grow accustomed to quickly.” Schuman admits she hadn’t noticed the benefits until she received compliments about her skin and hair. “I use the Vital Proteins collagen and add one scoop to my coffee with whole milk and started to see a difference after about two months.”
The benefits go beyond thicker hair and dewy skin, though. “Superfood powders can be a great way to pack in extra nutrition and antioxidants, which can help increase energy, mitigate stress, and fight free radicals,” says Lily Kunin, founder of Clean Food Dirty City. Convinced? Here are three types of collagen and adaptogen powders to supercharge your morning brew.
Medicinal mushrooms, and especially the regal-sounding Lion’s Mane, are fabulous in coffee. It’s one of the main ingredients in Four Sigmatic powders and it’s the first one Nitsa Citrine, creative director of Sun Potion, suggests for beginners. “Medicinal mushrooms—Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Chaga—are great in coffee,” says Citrine. They can help with mental clarity, memory, and mood—especially necessary boosts in the a.m.
Citrine suggests adding hot coffee, coconut oil, grass-fed ghee, coconut cream, and your preferred variety of powders into a high-speed blender and blend. This actually adds this nice, frothy, latte-esque texture to your morning coffee that makes it that much tastier.
Try… Sun Potion Lion’s Mane, $52.99
It comes from fungus in Northern America, Europe, and Asia and is hardly noticeable flavor-wise in coffee, but you’ll certainly feel the effect emotion-wise: It’s said to boost your brain and focus.
Flowering roots, like Rhodiola, Mucuna Pruriens, and He Shou Wu, can be wonderful in coffee. Rhodiola, specifically, has a bit of a stimulating nature to it, promoting mental clarity and creativity, and Citrine says she uses it every morning for “extra brain oxygenation, immunity, and energy.”
Mucuna Pruriens is Mother Nature’s chill pill, promoting overall well-being and a feeling of happiness. It comes from the eponymous plant, also known as the “dopamine bean.”
He Shou Wu has a fabulous name, right? The root has equally fabulous qualities when consumed, too, like adrenal and immune support and nourishing hair, skin, nails, and the kidney.
Try… Rhodiola, $57
While any of these plant-based adaptogens are wonderful, Rhodiola has especially beneficial ingredients for brain-fogged mornings. It’s even described as your “brain’s wake-up call,” which sounds like a great thing come 8 a.m.
Do as Schuman does and start the morning off with collagen and protein. Vital Proteins makes an unflavored version that could easily be added to coffee, not altering the flavor. But it also has specific powdered creamers, in flavors meant to be tasted, like coconut, vanilla, and mocha—all with the exact purpose of being put in your morning coffee. They add 10 grams of collagen protein and help promote healthy hair, skin, nails, bones, and joints.
This unflavored protein will practically go unnoticed in your coffee, and yet it’ll have big differences in your skin, gut, and hair. “Grass-fed collagen is a clean form of protein that promotes a healthy gut, healthy joints, and ligaments, as well as strong hair, skin, and nails,” says Kunin.