What You Should Know Before Adding Milk To Your Coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages we drink in the United States. Reuters reported that in 2018, 64 percent of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee. We like it black, with cream, with sugar, with cream and sugar, with foamy milk, and syrups. In other words, we like coffee. 

In fact, per Vending Market Watch, a 2017 National Coffee Association's National Coffee Drinking Trends report suggests that 68 percent of coffee drinkers lighten up their dark brew with a creamer, half and half, milk, or a non-dairy milk alternative. And, it makes sense. According to Driftaway Coffee, we add milk to our coffee to alter its texture and flavor as milk proteins can help turn a bitter dark cup of coffee into a mild, creamy beverage. 

It certainly isn't a surprise for those of us who need a little bit of cream with our caffeine, but it does beg the question: is it healthy for you? We've all read the news reports that suggest drinking coffee can be beneficial to our health, but if we add milk, does that change those benefits (via NBC News)? Before you pour your next cup of joe and drizzle in your milk, there are a couple of things you should know about taking your coffee with this accompaniment.

Milk in your coffee may block some antioxidants

Not to rain on anyone's morning, especially if you are in the middle of drinking your favorite cup of coffee with milk, but apparently, there have been a few studies that suggest adding milk to your coffee can alter some benefits associated with drinking the brew. 

According to Healthline, milk may get in the way of all of those wonderful antioxidants found in coffee. It has something to do with a protein called casein blocking them. The site noted that one study found that by adding milk to your coffee, the capacity of certain antioxidants in the beverage decreased, and that capacity decreased in proportion to how much milk was added. 

Still, Healthline was also quick to note this probably doesn't make all of the health benefits of coffee null and void, nor does milk block all antioxidants. More research is needed and there is no need to change your milk and coffee habits just yet if you drink it for its antioxidants. 

Still, you do want to be careful when it comes to the amount of milk or cream you add to your cup of giddy-up. As with all things, moderation is always the rule to follow, and according to Eat this! Not That!, adding copious amounts of whole milk or cream to your coffee can add up when you go to button your jeans. Instead, stick to 2 percent milk or a fat-free half and half creamer.