Alternatives to Caffeine
How do you start your mornings? How do you spend those tedious first waking moments after you reluctantly stop snoozing your alarm clock? If you are anything like me, you reach for the glorious caffeine—that quick shot of java, instantly giving you much-needed energy. It is a necessity for me early in the morning and throughout the day and I am sure I can’t be the only one. I, somewhat proudly, attest to my coffee-drinking stamina. In fact, according to the study conducted for the Coffee Association of Canada, adult coffee drinkers consume 2.7 cups a day, on average. Do not be alarmed, however: The Huffington Post cites some possible health benefits of coffee, like lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, preventing colon and skin cancer, and even strengthening your muscles! Of course, this does not mean that you should start drinking an entire brewed pot.
While coffee may not be detrimental to our health, there are other healthy alternatives with equal energy-boosting powers and lower caffeine content. Shape Magazine cites several of them: green tea, smoothies with nuts, green juices, licorice tea, peppermint tea, ginger tea, chai, and lemon water—some notable caffeine alternatives.
Green tea is a refreshing drink, packed with antioxidants. A cup of green tea has less caffeine than a cup of coffee (the content is still a little high, but the benefits outweigh it) and it can also boost your metabolism, which aids in weight loss. According to Lola Berry, nutritionist in Australia, green tea contains a special ingredient EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is linked to speeding up metabolism and stimulating the liver. “That makes green tea a great weight loss supplement”, Berry concludes.
Licorice tea is a sweet, spicy, and caffeine-free tea. It has a pleasant candy-like taste and it supports adrenal glands, which are responsive to stress triggers. It restores unhealthy adrenals after they have been overly exposed to coffee and stress. Licorice tea can calm jittering nerves and give you much needed relaxation and energy.
Peppermint tea not only aids in digestion, it also helps relieve bloating. This minty drink activates the same nerve as when you revive someone with smelling salts! Peppermint tea has subtle invigorating energy. If you are feeling weak, then drink up!
Ginger tea is derived from the root of ginseng, which has a slightly bitter taste. If you are not used to it, honey can help sweeten the taste. This super-tea instantly fights fatigue and improves your concentration. According to the National Library of Medicine, ginger is used throughout the world to relieve various ailments, like nausea, stomach upset, loss of appetite, and colic. It is much more than a simple pick-me-up.
Native to India, this zesty beverage is commonly made with black tea, milk, and spices like cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom. A cup of chai has a much lower caffeine content and its warm creamy texture can actually trick your mind into thinking it’s coffee. The tea also helps strengthen the immune system, making it a valid choice for changing seasons. Similar to green tea, chai tea is an antioxidant. It has great cleansing powers.
Nuts do not have to be just a snack; they can be added for some extra protein in smoothies. Smoothies made with almond or cashew milk can provide extra energy and nutrition. They are packed with healthy protein and fat.
This magic drink flushes out toxins from your body and contributes to clear skin. It can also wake you up in the morning by stimulating your senses. Add half a lemon in a glass of hot water or cold water for a quick energy fix. Lemon water also keeps you hydrated, battles bad breath, and assists in weight loss, according to Huffington Post.
If you are not a lover of veggies, you can drink them and reap energy-boosting benefits. Add some fruit like banana or apple for a sweeter taste and added natural sugar. Green juices are completely natural and highly nutritious. They are fresh, hydrating, and cleansing.
All in all, if you are trying to cut back on caffeine, there are plenty of options!