6 Cardiologist-Approved Heart-Healthy Morning Drinks To Start the Day Strong

There are innumerable things to do in the morning that may help you start your day off "right." Depending on what makes you feel good, your morning routine might include things like making your bed, writing down your to-dos, and eating a nutrient-rich breakfast. Energetically, though, a heart-healthy habit is likely something that might everyone. And doing that can be as easy as making healthy morning drinks.

For the coffee lovers who are holding their breath: Don't worry. Coffee can indeed be one your heart-conscious morning choices, according to Mariell Jessup, MD, cardiologist and American Heart Association chief medical officer. (More below on the specifics about what makes coffee a healthy morning drink.)

Experts In This Article

So, if you're looking for a few liquids that can help make your body happy first thing, the following heart-healthy morning beverages are fantastic to know about. Your heart health and overall well-being will thank you.

6 doctor-approved morning drinks for heart wellness

1. Water

Hydration is essential for your heart. According to Dr. Jessup, your blood benefits from proper hydration, which then benefits heart function. Adequate hydration helps ensure your body is efficiently transporting oxygen via your arteries, and also supports your body's ability to flush waste. Water also helps you maintain your body temperature and is essential for digestion and nutrient absorption.

In short, starting your day with a few ounces of water is a solid idea.

2. Coffee

One to two cups of coffee can be part of a healthy diet, says Dr. Jessup. In fact, coffee consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of heart failure. Up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day (about four or five eight-ounce cups of coffee) is considered safe for most adults.

As for drinking coffee on an empty stomach? While coffee first thing in the morning isn't necessarily ill-advised, you might consider drinking a little water while waiting for it to brew. Coffee has diuretic properties, which means it encourages your kidneys to expel water at a quicker rate than average foods ma. So having a glass of water can replenish the fluids you're losing when you consume foods and drinks with diuretic properties.

"Coffee, when consumed in moderation with limited additions like creamers and sugars, can be a healthy beverage option to start the day." —Satya Jonnalagadda, PhD, RDN

"Coffee, when consumed in moderation with limited additions like creamers and sugars, can be a healthy beverage option to start the day for individuals who can tolerate caffeine," says Satya Jonnalagadda, PhD, RDN. Coffee may help people focus and stay alert thanks to the caffeine, but also "provides beneficial components such as polyphenols, magnesium, and vitamin B2," she adds.

3. Select fruit juices

Fresh juice from heart-friendly fruits and veggies, like raspberries, blueberries, kale, carrots, and blackberries, are a great addition to your morning routine. Juice from antioxidant-rich berries, grapes, cranberries, cherries, carrots, celery, and oranges can support your cardiovascular health, given evidence that flavonoids they contains may reduce inflammation, stroke, and cardiovascular disease risk.

While some juices offer major heart-health benefits, high-sugar content in juice can disrupt your blood glucose levels in a way that isn't necessarily supportive of your long-term cardiovascular health, says Sunny Vikrum Malhotra, MD, a quadruple-board-certified cardiologist based in New York. With this in mind, he recommends pairing juice with a balanced high-protein, high-fiber meal to help manage and balance your blood sugar levels.

4. Heart-healthy smoothies

Smoothies that include antioxidants, protein, omega 3s, and fiber are great healthy morning drinks, Dr. Jessup says. Omega 3 fatty acids, which are present in many nuts and seeds, are linked to lower blood pressure; and antioxidants-rich berries may include anti-cancer properties. Fiber, like that in oats or whole grains, can support a slow increase in blood sugar (instead of fast spikes and crashes). (We have a delicious blueberry smoothie you might enjoy.)

A protein shake for breakfast is also a great way to start the day: "Protein powders can be a quick, easy way to get protein in your first meal of the day," says Dr. Jonnalagadda.

5. Green Tea

Green tea is an excellent morning drink option for your brain and heart if you're looking for a caffeine fix but are not interested in coffee, as discussed above.

6. Golden milk or turmeric latte

Turmeric offers anti-inflammatory properties in addition to being a cardiovascular superstar. To get turmeric benefits in the morning, you can use your favorite kind of milk, turmeric, ginger (for added flavor), and a spritz of black pepper. Black pepper is important because it contains an ingredient called piperine, making it up to 2000 percent easier for your body to absorb turmeric's benefits. (We have a few good recipes for you to try.)

If you don't want to make a drink from scratch, I personally love Clevr's Golden SuperLatte (the brand is also loved by Meghan Markle and Oprah, NBD), a spicy turmeric latte that also contains ashwagandha and probiotics.

Frequently asked questions about healthy morning drinks

What is the healthiest drink to have in the morning?

This one should be a no-brainer by now: water. "Starting the morning off right can ensure adequate nutrition and hydration are achieved throughout the day," says Dr. Jonnalagadda. "Taking a sip of water once your alarm clock goes off is a healthy habit to integrate into your lifestyle, since water is ideal for hydration."

In addition to water, consuming hydrating foods is also important: "Incorporating a smoothie, protein powder and/or supplement, like essential amino acids, into breakfast is a convenient way to get nutritional benefits, in addition to staying hydrated," adds Dr. Jonnalagadda.

What is the best morning drink on empty stomach?

"Water," says Dr. Ernst von Schwarz, MD, PhD, a triple board-certified internist, cardiologist, and heart transplant cardiologist based in California. It's as simple as that. "You need to adequately hydrate after eight hours of non-drinking," he adds.

What morning drinks are beneficial for people who have a sensitive stomach?

Once again, staying hydrated will help your gut and stomach feel and function as best as it can. "It’s key to replace the fluids and electrolytes that are lost due to gastrointestinal distress, while also providing calories," says Dr. Jonnalagadda.

She recommends clear fruit juices like apple, clear soups or broths, and non-caffeinated sodas like ginger ale or Sprite. Both Dr. Jonnalagadda and Dr. Von Schwarz recommend chamomile tea, as well.

What drinks are good for a hangover?

If you're feeling adverse effects of alcohol consumption, you're likely in desperate need of—you guessed it—water. "Dehydration is one of the factors associated with hangovers," says Dr. Jonnalagadda. There is no outright "cure" for a hangover, and different remedies may work for different people. But Dr. Jonnalagadda recommends the following the following four-step checklist to address a hangover:

  1.  Electrolyte replacement beverages, like sport beverages
  2. Clear broths and soups
  3. Non-caffeinated teas, such as chamomile and peppermint
  4. Non-caffeinated, non-sugar sweetened beverages and sodas.

What should I not drink first thing in the morning?

"Alcohol," says Dr. Von Schwarz. Fruit juices unaccompanied by protein-rich foods or too-sweet smoothies may also spike your glucose levels, which isn't the optimum way to start your day. For the best bet, it's back to basics. "Water, water, water," he adds.

Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.
  1. Kolb, Hubert et al. “Health Effects of Coffee: Mechanism Unraveled?.” Nutrients vol. 12,6 1842. 20 Jun. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12061842
  2. Panche, A N et al. “Flavonoids: an overview.” Journal of nutritional science vol. 5 e47. 29 Dec. 2016, doi:10.1017/jns.2016.41
  3. Zhang, Xin et al. “Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Intake and Blood Pressure: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Journal of the American Heart Association vol. 11,11 (2022): e025071. doi:10.1161/JAHA.121.025071
  4. Baby, Bincy et al. “Antioxidant and anticancer properties of berries.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition vol. 58,15 (2018): 2491-2507. doi:10.1080/10408398.2017.1329198
  5. Abe, Sarah Krull, and Manami Inoue. “Green tea and cancer and cardiometabolic diseases: a review of the current epidemiological evidence.” European journal of clinical nutrition vol. 75,6 (2021): 865-876. doi:10.1038/s41430-020-00710-7
  6. Hewlings, Susan J, and Douglas S Kalman. “Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health.” Foods (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 6,10 92. 22 Oct. 2017, doi:10.3390/foods6100092

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