Check Out These 5 Energizing Coffee Substitutes
Can’t start your morning without coffee? Need a few cups to sustain you throughout the day? Join the club. That’s a good chunk of the world’s population. The problem is, most of those people also experience the same negative effects you’ve probably noticed, too. That’s why we’ve come up with 5 energy-boosting coffee substitutes that could probably replace your old habit. Sounds promising? Read on.
What’s the Real Deal with Coffee?
First things first, if you listen to the pros, they’ll actually tell you to consume a maximum of 400mg of caffeine daily. That’s about 3-4 cups, but if you’ve got a real coffee addiction like many others, that’s a low number. What’s in store for you when you’re often going over that number is a wide range of ill-effects. What exactly?
- Weight Gain: Caffeine is known to increase the stress hormone cortisol, which has been connected to weight gain. And if you add cream and sugar to yours, then we don’t need to tell you much more. That’s a problem.
- Energy Loss: While caffeine can give your adrenal system that much needed boost, too much of it in one go can also result in a crash. Again, this isn’t new to you. Aren’t you tired of that afternoon slump? Drinking more coffee isn’t the answer!
- Mineral Deficiency: Too much caffeine weakens your body’s ability to absorb iron, and inhibits your body from properly storing calcium, zinc, magnesium and other essential minerals (4).
- Poor Sleep: Ever drink a cup of coffee after dinner? While you might get a relaxed feeling from it, you’re likely to be in store for a restless night, as caffeine stays in the human body for 4-6 hours (5). There are better options out there.
So now that we’ve got your attention, check out these 5 all-natural, delicious energizing alternatives to coffee:
- Matcha Green Tea
Matcha tea is what you get when you stone-grind the entire green tea leaf. This fine powder contains all the good stuff often lost in typical green tea, not to mention over a hundred times the antioxidant content.
Two grams of matcha a day can give you the same caffeine push as coffee does, but because of its amino acids, is delivered at a slower rate of over 6-8 hours. That you means you won’t get that jittery initial dose, and you definitely won’t fall into an afternoon slump.
More and more people all over the world are making the move to matcha for its numerous health benefits, which includes weight-loss, improvement in memory and focus, immunity-boosting properties, and even cancer-preventing antioxidants.
To enjoy a cup of matcha, just mix in two teaspoons of matcha powder in a cup of hot water.
- Yerba mate
Here’s another natural option that can give you an energy boost.
If you’re familiar with South American culture, you’ve probably at least heard of yerba mate. Locals swear by it, and you can even meet some of them who travel with the traditional wooden bowl and steel straw they drink it in.
“Mate” (pronounced mah-teh) is similar to green tea in how it is processed and also in taste.
It contains about 75% of coffee’s caffeine level, but just like matcha, is also a much healthier option as it’s also brimming with amino acids.
Just try not to drink this late at night as it’s known to give a natural high!
- Green Juices
Can’t manage to eat enough greens? Drink them instead!
It’s no secret that green vegetables can do wonders for our bodies. They don’t have all those harmful additives, and pack more vitamins and minerals if they’re organically grown. Spinach for instance is a fantastic source of iron which helps prevent anaemia. Kale is another superfood that’s topped up with potassium, making it good for maintaining blood pressure and keeping heart disease at bay.
A green juice a day can keep the doctor away. Research reveals that drinking 300ml of green juice daily for 6 weeks decreased LDL-Cholesterol by a whopping 9% (11).
Try blending a handful each of kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, a couple of slices of fresh ginger, and a few slices of green apple. Throw in some spirulina, barley greens, or matcha powder and you’ve got an even healthier drink.
- Protein-packed smoothie
If your body’s a well-oiled machine, protein is the fuel it runs on. Studies show that a balanced diet with sufficient protein improves alertness and focus, because protein stimulate the brain to produce the chemical called orexin.
This mental and also physical energy is sustained by the food and drink we consume, so why not take on a little bit extra if we know we need it?
There are numerous plant-based superfoods loaded with protein that you can use in a smoothie, such silken tofu, nut butter, and several types of mushrooms. Mushrooms are filled with protein and vitamin C complex. Also feel free to throw in hemp hearts, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and whole oats for a rich and creamy consistency.
Mix the following ingredients in a blender: 3/4 cup almond milk, 2 tablespoons almond butter, 1/4 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight in water), 1 banana (frozen chunks), 2 tablespoons whole oats, and a pinch of cinnamon.
The source of life. If you’re finding yourself tired all the time, guess what, it could be a very simple case of dehydration. Many people don’t know this, but fatigue is actually an initial symptom of being dehydrated. And so what happens is that most of us don’t drink water until we’re thirsty, when in fact thirst is already a late symptom of dehydration.
Upon onset of dehydration, our bodies weaken. Athletes even link their poor performance directly to lack of hydration. But even if we’re not pushing our bodies to the limit like them, it’s best that we hydrate as much as possible regardless of the day’s activities.
The scientifically recommended amount of water to drink daily is two liters. If that doesn’t sound attractive to you, try adding sliced herbs, spices, or low-sugar fruit (such as fresh mint, root ginger, and cucumber) to give your water some flavor.
Is it time to kick the coffee habit?
We’re not telling you to drop coffee all at once. If you really can’t live with it, by all means, keep drinking it and just try cutting it down by the cup.
But if you’re really serious about turning a new leaf when it comes to your health, making the switch to one of the coffee substitutes mentioned above is a good start.
By drinking healthier drinks, you’ll notice numerous positive effects on your body, sleep quality, energy, etc. You’ll essentially feel like a new you in no time!
If you’re worried about introducing new things to your diet, just remember that superfoods such as matcha green tea powder are all-natural and won’t harm your body. There might be a few side effects like improved energy, though!
Finally, don’t forget to drink plenty of water and consume lots of healthy protein.
About the Author
Erin Young is a health writer, tea expert and owner of two tea brands: Evergreen Matcha in the USA and Zen Green Tea Matcha in Australia. She partners with sustainable tea farms based in Kyoto (Japan) to ensure the best possible quality matcha green tea powder. Click here to get your free matcha recipe eBooks with more than 30 healthy recipes.