Many start their day with a strong cup of java to get pumped for the day ahead, and heaven help the person who gets between you and that first cup.

Problems arise when you must endure a bitter cup of coffee or add too much sugar leading to a blood sugar spike. With seasonal changes, your coffee gets diluted by quickly melting ice under the hot sun. All these challenges affect how you start your day and interact with others. Try these five morning coffee hacks to upgrade your morning, mood and energy levels.

1. Add Salt to Nix Bitterness

Is every cup of Joe you taste bitter lately? Some days, you need to encircle your hands around a warm mug filled to the brim with soothing coffee, but the bitter taste turns you off.

Counteract bitterness with a small sprinkle of salt. It makes you look like a mad scientist, but trust in the alchemy — the salt cuts the bitter taste and allows continued indulgence in your morning guilty pleasure.

2. Beat the Heat Without Watered Down Coffee

No season shall come between you and your coffee. Are the nineties coming back in more than a mom jeans way? Iced coffee is a summer savior that lets you get your coffee fix in, but after five minutes under the sun, it’s like your drink is 70 percent water and 30 coffee.

Beat the heat without watering down your coffee. Turn to earlier roasts. Don’t waste your precious leftover coffee — freeze it instead to create coffee ice cubes. Start with a small batch to see how you like the taste and experiment with the ratios of sugar and cream. You can also make milk ice cubes and water ice cubes to play with flavor and consistency.

3. Skip the Sugar to Maintain Blood Sugar

How and what you eat in the morning impacts your body and its energy for the day. You don’t want to consume a bunch of coffee and sugar only to crash later — skip the sugar to avoid blood sugar spikes. When you take your coffee is just as important as when you eat your first meal of the day, so try to keep it between 6 am and 10 am since your metabolism peaks after that time.

Focus on a period of every four hours and give your system time to process the coffee and food before you move on to the next. A balance of whole grains, protein and natural fruit also help maintain your blood sugar. If you need energy, try a brisk ten-minute walk as a healthy alternative.

4. Warm Up Your Mug

Ever wonder why your freshly brewed hot java cools too quickly in your mug? There’s a big temperature difference between the hot coffee in the pot and the mug lingering in your cold dark pantry.

Cut the temperature difference by rinsing the mug with warmer water and then pouring your coffee. Nuking the mug, minus the coffee, in the microwave for a few seconds also works.

Why does it matter? The temperature of the mug influences mood — one study had participants hold a warm cup of coffee vs. iced coffee in the elevator and rate others. Those who held the warm cup judged others as more generous.

5. Put the Right Weird Stuff in Your Coffee

With bulletproof coffee trending across the globe, more coffee enthusiasts are putting weird stuff in their coffee, and health experts say that including the right weird stuff in your java can boost your health.

Many people include ghee, butter and coconut oil. That’s grass-fed, freshly churned butter, not the strangely golden additive-filled “butter.” The oils also make for a smoother cup of coffee when it comes to the texture and taste. Adding healthy fats provides you with essential nutrients that boost your energy levels, curb hunger pangs and jumpstart your metabolism.

Who knew that holding a warm mug affected your perception of others? With a few hacks, no matter the season, you’ll upgrade your java and day to enjoy each moment to its fullest potential.

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

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