What gets you out of bed in the morning? Well, of course, there’s work to be done and perhaps a family to lead. But you might also be thinking about the cup of coffee you’re about to brew — in the morning, nothing is better.
To that end, a modest amount of coffee each day can help ward off certain diseases, such as liver cancer and Parkinson’s. The right amount of java can also reduce your risk of depression and boost your cognitive function, too. But drinking it all day long isn’t advisable — in fact, it can have adverse side effects that work against the good coffee can do. For example, too much coffee can heighten one’s risk of cardiovascular disease, and some types of coffee can increase a person’s cholesterol levels.
Fortunately, you can choose from plenty of alternatives to drinking coffee. Here are five natural options to sip on when you’ve already fulfilled your coffee quota for the day.
If you’re a regular in trendy coffee shops, you’ve probably heard of matcha. The buzzy green drink has garnered attention for a good reason — it has a big kick of caffeine, along with all the antioxidant benefits of tea.
Matcha comes from green tea leaves. Rather than steeping the leaves themselves, though, they’re ground up to create a powder that dissolves into the water. That way, matcha drinkers ingest more of the leaves’ healthy benefits, which range from free radical-fighting antioxidants to heart and liver protection. In fact, many of matcha’s benefits are similar to coffee’s — the switch should, therefore, be a seamless one to make.
Coffee is one of the worst drinks as far as your teeth are concerned. This beverage is one of the worst as far as stains go, which means your regular coffee habit will leave behind yellowed chompers — another reason to slow down on your daily dose of java.
So, swap out an afternoon mug of coffee for a clear alternative like coconut water. It has a dash of natural tropical flavor, so you won’t be too bored drinking it. On top of that, coconut water is incredibly hydrating, as it has naturally occurring electrolytes you can also find in sports drinks. By keeping your body hydrated, you’ll reap a slew of benefits — including boosted productivity, as you’ll feel refreshed and more awake because of it.
Chicory Root Coffee
This type of coffee is prepared in the same way as your traditional cup of joe. After roasting and grinding the chicory root, it can be brewed in a French press, coffee pot or whatever other contraption you use to make coffee. It tastes similar to coffee, too, but there’s one big difference — it doesn’t contain caffeine. So, if you’re craving the rich flavor of coffee without the jitters, you might consider swapping to this type of brew in the afternoon.
There’s another benefit to chicory root coffee, and it’s called inulin. This insoluble fiber remains intact through digestion, arriving in the colon to impart a bit of beneficial gut bacteria. Then, it aids in the body’s waste removal, a great benefit if you’re not used to regular bathroom trips. So, this hot beverage can improve your overall health and is an easy swap for your daily coffee — that sounds like a win-win to us.
Our previous suggestion tastes a lot like a cup of coffee — this one, not so much. But, drinking a glass of lemon-infused water each morning will wake you up, too.
Lemon contains vitamin C, which is a vital element in your body’s immune system. So, when you drink a morning cup of lemon water, you’re giving yourself the tools to ward off sickness. On top of that, vitamin C helps keep your skin safe by protecting it from sun damage and promoting the production of collagen, which allows your skin to retain elasticity.
If you get tired of having lemon water every morning, you can switch it up like you do with different coffee styles and creamers. Add flavors like mint, basil, cucumber, strawberries and more for a naturally sweet and delicious drink.
You can’t go wrong with choosing tea as a substitute for coffee. For starters, most contain antioxidants that benefit your body — in fact, some studies suggest they have more than 10 times the amount of antioxidants contained in fruits and vegetables.
As you search for your favorite type of coffee, make sure you sample chai. You can wrap your hands around a warm mug of chai tea and get the same cozy feeling you get from coffee. Once you sip, you’ll realize this blend has just as much flavor as a pumpkin spice, gingerbread or cinnamon concoction from your local barista. As such, the rich flavor and delightful scent of chai will help you make the transition from coffee to tea. You might also want to sample a chai tea latte, made even more delicious by the addition of milk of any variety.
Life without (as much) coffee doesn’t have to be a drag. Instead, you can incorporate new flavors into your life and new treats into each day. So, grab a fresh mug and start brewing your new drink-of-choice — your body may very well thank you!
About the author:
Kate Harveston is a leading women’s health journalist and the founder of So Well, So Woman.