Sparkling Coffee Is the Gut-Friendly Drink You Need To Try
Typically made with carbonated water and infused with citrus in place of the usual cream and sugar, sparkling coffee is a refreshingly effervescent alternative to your daily caffeine boost. There is no single or correct way to prepare it, but in a recent TikTok video, Dan McLaughlin, owner of the small batch coffee roaster Golden Triangle Coffee in Cleveland, shared his preferred version of the drink. He aptly refers to the concoction as a sparkling Americano, because it calls for mineral water, an orange segment, basil for flavor, and of course, espresso.
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“A lot of people don’t know, but citrus fruit really, really compliments the flavors of coffee,” McLaughlin says when describing his favorite form of coffee. “Together, they just bring out such a beautiful, natural sweetness that I just can’t get over.”
To his point, this trendy drink (which is now available commercially from brands like Vivic) may appeal to people who find coffee a bit too bitter, says Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, a New York City-based dietitian and the author of the cookbook Unapologetic Eating. “Adding some bubbles which can help break up that bitterness a little bit,” she says.
Sparkling coffee is good for your gut.
Sparkling coffee could also have more health benefits than your typical cup of java. The most immediate of those benefits is the most obvious: Adding carbonated water to your coffee is one way to increase your daily water intake.
“Depending on how much coffee you drink or how often you drink it, coffee can be slightly dehydrating,” says Rumsey. “If you’re adding [water] to coffee, you’re going to get more hydration.” Caffeine is a diuretic, after all.
And while any kind of water is a boon to digestion—“Hydration in general is important for a healthy gut,” says Rumsey—making your sparkling coffee with carbonated mineral water might be the best option if you want a digestive pick-me-up. That’s because mineral water sourced naturally from springs may contain minerals like magnesium, calcium, sodium, and zinc (the specific mineral content varies by brand and source) which may support gut health. For instance, one study involving 70 people suggested that mineral water rich in magnesium and sodium may help to improve constipation. (FYI, McLaughlin uses the much-loved brand Topo Chico in his recipe.)
Sparkling coffee also offers heart-health benefits.
There may also be some heart benefits to making sparkling coffee with mineral water, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure in people who may be deficient in calcium or magnesium.
The other notable ingredient in McLaughlin’s recipe is an orange segment, zest and all. Oranges are not only rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant associated with immune support, but they are also great sources of potassium and soluble fiber, which according to various studies, may also be beneficial to heart health.
“Oranges and other citrus fruits have soluble fiber in them, which can help to raise the HDL, or good cholesterol, and lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and triglycerides,” says Rumsey. “They also have a good amount of potassium in them, which can help from a blood pressure perspective.”
What’s more, orange peels have been shown to be one of the sole food sources of the antioxidant hesperidin, which is linked to optimal cardiovascular health.
In his recipe, McLaughlin soaks the orange in the mineral water for a few minutes before pouring in the espresso. While Rumsey says that you will extract some nutrients from the orange using this method, if you want even more of the benefits, she recommends adding a splash of orange juice to the drink. You can also experiment with other types of citrus, she notes. “I would say that would be another way to increase the amount of nutrients that you’re getting,” she says.
Another healthy option is to try baking your orange peels, which holistic health practitioner, herbalist, and Supernatural founder Rachelle Robinett says can help boost digestion by getting your digestive enzymes flowing before you eat breakfast. “It’s super simple [to make],” she told us. “Just chop up a fresh orange and peel off the peel. Pop it in your oven on the lowest temperature for however long it takes to turn it into chips.” Then, simply drop the crunchy peel right into your sparkling coffee or use it as a garnish on the side of your bevvie. And as an added benefit, you’ll also be cutting down on food waste. Talk about a win-win, right?
Watch Robinette make her deliciously gut-friendly orange peels in this video:
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