5 hot beverage health hacks


The cold weather has set in and you’re probably looking for something warm to drink while you’re curled up comfy at home. Nothing beats having a delicious concoction and relaxing around your home base during the fall and winter months, either. Some hot drinks even offer an added boon to your health, too.

If you’re looking to improve your cognitive functioning and attention span without the use of synthetic supplements, adding a healthy beverage containing natural nootropics to your diet each day can prove beneficial. If you aren’t familiar with the term, nootropics are substances that have been found to improve memory and cognitive functioning.[1] They can also be found naturally-occurring in many of the food and beverages we consume.

The following five recipes add flavor and boost your antioxidant and dopamine levels with their naturally occurring nootropic properties:

Cocoa Recipes

Cocoa is a common component of many recipes, and it can have some health benefits for you, as long as you make the right selection. According to health professional Dr. Weil, the standard cocoa that is sold in U.S. stores has most of the heart-healthy flavanols removed.[2] Fortunately, there are some options that will allow you to make these recipes without sacrificing the benefits of pure cocoa.

In fact, there is a product named CocoaPro available that will provide you with healthy flavanols and the great taste of cocoa at the same time. Due to this, CocoaPro is used in the place of cocoa in all of the recipes below. Alternatively, you can use unsweetened dark chocolate instead of cocoa. This substitution has a variety of health benefits that include memory boosting properties and lowering a person’s risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer.[3]

#1 Chai Hot Cocoa

Coffee, cocoa and caffeine are a much talked about topic in the holistic community. While there is some controversy surrounding caffeine, it has a host of ideal benefits that have been found to improve both long-term and short-term memory.[4] Due to this, utilizing a moderate amount of caffeine will enable you to take advantage of this natural nootropic.

  • 6 cups low-fat milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces unsweetened CocoaPro
  • Dash of salt
  • Chai tea bag
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon sticks

In a saucepan, mix together the CocoaPro, sugar, salt and milk. Stir constantly until mixed thoroughly and hot. Add the chai tea bag and let it steep for approximately 5 to 7 minutes. In a bowl, beat together two eggs. Slowly incorporate the hot tea and milk mixture with the eggs, one cup at a time. Return the entire contents back to the saucepan to cook an additional three minutes over a low heat. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Beat until it’s a frothy consistency. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.

# 2 Mint Hot Cocoa

If you are still looking to get your health on while snacking on something refreshing and delicious, this mint hot cocoa beverage made with CocoaPro is a great way to get your flavanols. Keep in mind that flavanols are not found in most other U.S. cocoa products, and they are important because they will help boost your cognitive performance and can even reverse memory decline for older individuals.[5]

  • 1 mint flavored tea bag
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon CocoaPro
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Add milk to a saucepan and place over medium heat. When the milk has come up to a slight simmer, remove from heat and add the tea bag. Allow the tea bag to steep for five to seven minutes. Remove the tea bag and add the CocoaPro and sugar. Whisk together and garnish with whipped cream and mint chocolate shavings.

# 3 Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa

Hot chocolate is the perfect fall and winter beverage. In addition to tasting great, this drink utilizes dark chocolate and CocoaPro to make it an even more nutritious treat. You also have the option of swapping out a dark chocolate and caramel bar for a squeeze of liquid caramel along with a plain dark chocolate bar. No matter which choice you make, this salted caramel hot cocoa recipe is sure to please.

  • 16 ounces of milk
  • 4 ounces of CocoaPro
  • 4 ounces chopped dark chocolate and caramel bar
  • Pinch of sea salt

In a saucepan, heat together the milk, salt and CocoaPro until mixed thoroughly. Whisk together slowly until heated throughout. Pour into a mug and top with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel and chocolate toppings. Sprinkle the top of the concoction with a small sprinkling of sea salt.

Miscellaneous Recipes

# 4 Citrus Toddy

L-theanine is a natural nootropic that has been proven to improve the user’s alertness levels and ability to pay attention.[6] Therefore, if you’ve had your fill of vitamins and supplements, eating a healthy diet that includes L-theanine can lift your brain power naturally. The following hot beverage is enough to take the chill away of a cold and blustery day, and you will also benefit from a boost of mental energy.

  • 4 ounces boiling water
  • 1 citrus flavored tea bag
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • Orange slices
  • 5 to 10 whole cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks

Steep the citrus tea bag in boiling water for five to seven minutes. Cover to preserve its warmth. Place the cloves in the rind of the citrus slices and put at the bottom of the glass. Pour in the hot tea, agave nectar and stir with the cinnamon stick.

# 5 Spiced Mulled Red Wine

The holidays are the ideal time of year to get your nootropics in naturally. Resveratrol is another natural nootropic that can be found in red grapes and wine. This nootropic offers several benefits, including enhancing cognitive performance, reducing your risk of developing cancer and improving your heart health.[7] If you’re looking to keep your memory sharp and your body healthy, this spiced mulled red wine recipe adds flavor while also providing a great option for your next holiday party.

  • 2 spiced tea bags (cinnamon, holiday spice or cloves are great options)
  • 2 cups of red wine
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • Sliced oranges and cinnamon sticks to garnish

Bring the 2 cups of red wine to a simmer in a saucepan. Add the spiced tea bags to the wine mixture and let them steep slowly over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the tea bags and incorporate the brown sugar and orange zest. Once the sugar has dissolved, cook another 10 minutes or until the mulled wine is heated and warmed thoroughly. Garnish with a sliced orange and cinnamon stick.


[1] http://peaknootropics.com/

[2] http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400995/Is-Cocoa-as-Healthy-as-Dark-Chocolate.html

[3] http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/health-by-chocolate?page=2

[4] http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/14706/1/Natural-Brain-Food–What-Food-Is-Good-for-the-Brain.html

[5] http://newsroom.cumc.columbia.edu/blog/2014/10/26/flavanols-memory-decline/

[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328

[7] http://jp.physoc.org/content/590/11/2783

Jade Rich