What Should You Not Mix With Coffee [Essential Reads]

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coffee and maple syrup

Did you know that 66% of Americans drink coffee daily?

Just this morning, as I reached for my favorite maple syrup to sweeten my brew, I paused and pondered: what should you not mix with coffee? We all have our go-to add-ins and habits, but are they all good for us?

As a freelance writer and an avid coffee drinker, I’ve delved deep into the world of coffee concoctions, and you might be surprised by some of the findings.

Join me on this enlightening journey to ensure our beloved beverage remains both delicious and safe.

The Dangers Behind Non-Dairy Creamers

While many of us enjoy the creamy texture that non-dairy creamers add to our coffee, it’s essential to understand the ingredients lurking within. Non-dairy doesn’t necessarily mean healthier:

  • Corn syrup solids: A frequent ingredient, these can contribute to weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease when consumed in high amounts.
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oils: These contain trans fats, which, even in small amounts, can raise bad cholesterol and lower the good.

For those looking to enhance flavor, consider alternatives that prioritize health without compromising taste.

Coffee Interactions with Medications

coffee and pills

Coffee is more than just a morning ritual; it’s a potent drink that interacts with many drugs and substances in our bodies. While most of us simply think about the caffeine kick, it’s essential to be aware of its potential interactions, especially if you’re on medication.

Coffee and the Blood-Brain Barrier

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) acts as a gatekeeper, regulating what enters our brain. Coffee can:

  • Alter the BBB’s permeability, potentially allowing harmful substances in.
  • Enhance the stimulant effects of many drugs.

Particularly for those on antipsychotic medications, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider about your daily intake of coffee. Combined drugs and coffee might cause unforeseen changes in how your body breaks them down.

The Struggle with Thyroid Medicine

For thyroid patients:

  • Coffee can hinder the absorption of thyroid medicine.
  • It’s advised to wait at least an hour after taking your medication before you drink coffee.

The Sneaky Interference with Allergy Medications

Allergy season can be challenging, but did you know that your brew could make it harder for relief to come?

  • Coffee can affect the efficacy of certain antihistamines, especially fexofenadine.
  • The next time you reach for an allergy pill, consider opting for black coffee or waiting a bit before your next cup.

Navigating Diabetes Medications and Coffee

Managing diabetes is a careful balance, and coffee might tip the scales:

  • Coffee, especially in large amounts, can alter blood sugar levels.
  • It may affect how diabetes medications work, posing potential health problems.

Alzheimer’s Medicine: A Delicate Balance

For those on Alzheimer’s medication:

  • Coffee could interact negatively, potentially reducing the drug’s effectiveness.
  • Discussing your coffee habits with a healthcare provider is always best to ensure the best care and treatment plan.

By understanding these interactions, we can make informed decisions, ensuring our beloved beverage doesn’t unintentionally harm us. Drink responsibly and stay informed.

The Daily Brew: What to Avoid

artificial sweeteners

The allure of a creamy, sweet coffee can be irresistible. After all, for many, it’s not just about the caffeine jolt but the entire sensory experience.

However, while indulging occasionally is okay, we must be mindful of what we mix into our daily brew. Some popular add-ins seem harmless but can have long-term consequences on our health.

The Lurking Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

While zero-calorie artificial sweeteners might seem like a guilt-free way to sweeten your cup, they come with their own set of concerns:

  • Regular intake can negatively impact gut health.
  • Some studies suggest an association with metabolic disorders. Opt for natural sweeteners in moderation, or better yet, learn to enjoy your coffee’s natural flavors.

Why You Might Want to Skip That Condensed Milk

Condensed milk can transform a simple cup of coffee into a sweet indulgence. But be cautious:

  • It’s loaded with sugar, contributing to your daily intake far more than you might think.
  • The saturated fat content is high, posing risks when consumed regularly.

The Calorie-Loaded Add-ins

A dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate syrup, some cream, and a spoonful of sugar – sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

But these add-ins can rapidly up the calorie count:

  • Regular additions can lead to weight gain over time.
  • It’s easy to underestimate the impact of these small indulgences on our health. When you drink coffee, remember: moderation is key. Find the balance between flavor and health.

Spice Up Your Coffee the Right Way

If you’re looking for a healthy twist to your daily brew:

  • Cinnamon: Not only enhances flavor but has potential health benefits.
  • Nutmeg: A pinch can add a warm, nutty flavor without additional calories.

By making mindful choices, we can ensure our daily coffee ritual is both a pleasure and beneficial to our health. After all, it’s the small daily habits that pave the way for long-term well-being.

Coffee and Asthma Medications: Breathe Easy

asthma drugs

People with Asthma know the importance of staying on top of their medications. 

But did you know that your daily brew might affect their effectiveness?

Coffee, with its myriad compounds:

  • Can interfere with the way your body breaks down asthma medications.
  • Might amplify or diminish the drugs’ effects, leading to potential health issues.

Keeping your healthcare provider in the loop about your coffee habits is essential, ensuring you can breathe easy and enjoy your cup without worry.


As we’ve explored, the road to the perfect cup of coffee isn’t just about the beans — it’s also about knowing what you should not mix with coffee. There’s much to consider, from safeguarding our health by avoiding certain mix-ins to understanding how coffee interacts with various medications.

Let’s craft that perfect cup with knowledge and awareness, sidestepping potential pitfalls. Remember, enjoying coffee safely means being mindful of what goes into our brew, ensuring that every sip is both delightful and safe.


Can I use non-dairy creamers in my coffee?

While many people opt for non-dairy creamers, checking the ingredients is crucial. They often contain corn syrup solids and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which aren’t the healthiest options.

Why shouldn’t I mix antipsychotic medications with coffee?

Coffee impacts the blood-brain barrier, which can alter the effectiveness of antipsychotic medications. Always consult a healthcare provider if you’re on these medications and are a regular coffee drinker.

Is it safe to have coffee with cold or allergy medications?

Certain allergy medications, like fexofenadine, shouldn’t be taken with coffee. The combination can decrease the medication’s effectiveness.

Can diabetics safely drink coffee?

While coffee in moderation might be okay, it can affect diabetes medications. If you have diabetes, discussing your coffee habits with your doctor is always best.

What’s the concern about artificial sweeteners in coffee?

Artificial sweeteners, although calorie-free, can impact gut health. It’s better to use them sparingly or opt for natural alternatives.

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Lorena is a writer and coffee lover who has been researching and writing about coffee for over five years. She has a passion for learning about all aspects of coffee, from how it is grown and harvested to the different brewing methods used around the world. Lorena’s goal is to share her knowledge with as many people as possible, and she does this through her writing on the Brew Coffee Daily. In addition to articles, Lorena also writes coffee reviews, offering readers an unbiased look at different brands and roasts. Whether you’re a coffee novice or a seasoned pro, Lorena’s writing will give you a new perspective on this beloved beverage.