Need some alternatives to coffee?
For some, coffee is perfectly fine (when consumed in moderation, of course). For others, it may not be the best choice.
Or maybe you’re just someone who is simply looking for something new to try in place of your morning cuppa.
So, Is coffee healthy or not?!
Honestly, it depends. An annoying answer, I know. But really, it’s true. It depends on each person’s health and health issues.
If you have been following me here on this blog, you’d know that I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). And in case you hadn’t figured it out yet, anxiety needs calm. Coffee is a stimulant. Coffee and anxiety don’t mix! Furthermore, coffee and anxiety disorder absolutely don’t mix!
I also am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) which in a nutshell means I have high sensitivity to sight, sounds, chaos (think kids running all over the place, or crowded, loud theme parks), emotional queues, and other stimuli. HSP’s get overstimulated very, very easily (husband having the tv “too loud,” or the sun being “too bright,” for example) and we need to step away, sometimes quite often, and have some “chill out” decompression time alone.
So here’s a formula for disaster:
GAD (in a constant state of worry and tension) + HSP (easily overstimulated) + coffee/caffeine (stimulant!) = a spazzed out, tense, overly anxious, and overstimulated mess of a mama! lol
For me, it simply doesn’t make sense to deliberately add a stimulant to my already overly stimulated, worried, anxious brain.
So I chose to ditch the coffee. But I still wanted something that was my go-to each morning to get me going. A coffee alternative that I could enjoy sipping while checking my emails or chasing around my kids (lol).
Here are some of the coffee substitutes I use and love!
Coffee Alternatives To Start Your Day
Coffee isn’t the only thing that can give you your morning comfort and kick start your day (what is it about a nice warm drink that just feels…right?!). Here are 9 things you can drink, eat, or do instead of coffee.
The Best Teas As A Coffee Alternative
And before you tune out and say something along the lines of, “Ew! I hate tea!,” hear me out for a minute…
First off… what brand of tea have you tried that made you declare you officially hate all tea? Was it fresh tea that came directly from farmers? Or was it the store-bought boxed teabags filled with practically powdered tea that you find in the grocery store (of which has probably been sitting in the said box for years…not even close to fresh.)?
Second, what kind of tea have you tried? Black tea tastes different than green tea, which tastes different than white tea, which tastes different than rooibos tea, which tastes different than oolong tea, which tastes different than…you see my point here. Just like anything else, you simply have to find which type of tea you like! (Kinda, like wine! Ha!)
Additionally, you don’t have to drink tea straight up. You can get tea blends with allllll different kinds of added “flavors” to it. (For example, I am not super fond of silver needle tea – a white tea – straight, so I get a blend that has silver needle with added jasmine to it! Love!) There really are tons of different teas out there and I’d be extremely surprised if there wasn’t at least one that your tastebuds can handle.
Green tea is full of antioxidants. And here’s the best part – it contains a particular amino acid, L-Theanine, that is known to reduce stress, decrease anxiety, and enhance mood. Yes, please!
Green tea also has less caffeine than your regular cup of coffee. According to the Mayo Clinic, one 8 oz cup of coffee (and you know you’re drinking way more than a measly 8 oz lol – most coffee mugs are 12 oz or more) is about 95 mg of caffeine. Versus one, 8 oz cup of green tea, which is about 25 mg of caffeine.
So you’re still getting your caffeine if you so please! 🙂
I drink one, 8 oz teacup in the morning of either my Citron Green Tea or my absolute favorite tea, Jasmine Silver Needle – a white tea…which I will talk about next. And to my surprise, even though I used to drink an entire coffee mug full of coffee each morning (a coffee mug is much more than 8 oz, so much more than 95 mg of caffeine) and as much as I thought I needed that cuppa joe and needed all that caffeine, I feel perfectly fine and awake with just my 8 oz cup of tea each morning. And much less jittery and spazzy. 🙂
Here’s a list of TONS of other green teas you can try out! (And this lovely online tea store lets you get a sample of each tea for super cheap – $2-3 bucks for a whole sample bag! Adagio.com is the only place I will purchase my teas.)
Going back to the topic of green tea, Matcha is a fine powder made by grinding green tea leaves. So, instead of steeping green tea leaves and then throwing away the leaves (which essentially you’re throwing away most of the antioxidants and other benefits right along with it), with matcha you are literally eating the whole leaf itself! It’s a great way to get all of the healthy, natural goodness green tea has to offer.
Because you’re eating the whole green tea leaf in powdered form, matcha does have a higher amount of caffeine than steeped green tea. I couldn’t find a reliable source that says exactly how many mg of caffeine matcha contains, but the consensus I did find says it’s higher than steeped green tea, a little less than black tea, and still much lower than coffee.
Keep in mind, you’re still getting that amino acid, L-Theanine, in your matcha, just this way you’re getting more of it!
Ways you can matcha green tea powder into your diet:
- Make a Matcha green tea latte
- Blend it into a smoothie
- Mix it in with your yogurt
- Mix it into your bottle of water, shake, and go! Here are some pre-measured matcha sticks (with all different matcha flavors to try!) that can be added to 16 oz of bottled water
- Bake it into your muffins! Here’s a recipe for Whole Grain Almond Matcha Muffins
I like to drink my matcha as my early afternoon pick-me-up. I put it in my reusable water bottle, shake, and drink. A bonus for me because I tend to have a hard time remembering to drink enough water each day so mixing my matcha in with my water gives me an incentive lol. My favorite matcha flavor is Jasmine (of course!), and I use these pre-measured Matcha Jasmine Sticks and take them with me when I’m on the go!
As an even healthier choice than green tea but often overlooked, white tea, the least processed of teas, contains the same types of antioxidants than green tea, but in greater quantity. It is the most subtle of all tea types and has a delicate flavor (no bold or bitter taste!). White tea contains less caffeine than green tea at about 15 mg per 8 oz cup.
When I first introduced myself with white teas, I bought samples of about 5 or 6 of the different white teas. If I remember correctly, I tried the White Darjeeling, White Symphony, Snowbud, Silver Needle, and the Jasmine Silver Needle. Jasmine Silver Needle was the winner! I’ve now been drinking it for years. It is my 1st choice of morning warm drink. (I love it so much that I named this blog after it, lol!)
Black tea is a bit stronger in flavor than the other teas I have mentioned, and it has higher levels of caffeine (the highest of all teas), but still less than coffee. (It’s about half the amount of caffeine in coffee.) It comes in different varieties such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Ceylon. If you like the strong taste of dark coffee, you may enjoy the bold taste of black tea.
Black tea has the antioxidants as does green and white teas I mentioned above, and it also has the among acid, L-Theanine.
Check out this Black Tea Sampler to try out a variety of black teas from China.
Never heard of it? I hadn’t either.
Pronounced poo-err, this tea, unlike the other types of teas, is aged. The aging and fermentation process gives the pu-erh tea an earthy, woodsy flavor. Like black tea, it contains higher levels of caffeine (still much lower than coffee, though).
I personally have not tried this tea myself, but I urge you to try it! Especially if you like the strong taste of coffee. (I’m one of those people who poured enough creamer in my coffee to turn the coffee light caramel tan color, masking out the taste of the coffee itself! Because I personally didn’t like the actual taste of coffee, I stick to my light tasting teas, such as white and green tea. I know my limits and what I can handle lol. But if you like your coffee straight-up black, then I’d bet you’d enjoy the taste of the stronger bodied teas!)
You can try out the Pu-erh Hazleberry in this Coffee Addicts Teas Sampler HERE.
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Non-Tea Coffee Alternatives
Okey dokey…enough about teas!
Maca is a root vegetable that comes from the Peruvian Andes. It is a nutritionally dense superfood that has been used for 1000s of years to boost energy, increase fertility, improve stamina and more.
Some of the benefits of maca are:
- Increased energy
- Increased stamina and endurance
- Reducing chronic fatigue syndrome
- Increased libido (it’s regarded as a potent aphrodisiac among the native Peruvian population)
- Increased fertility
- Regulating hormone imbalance
- Reduction of menopausal symptoms
- Productive treatment for acne
- Improved skin tone
- Reducing depression
- Reducing anxiety and stress
- Mental clarity and focus
- Improved blood circulation
- Enhanced memory and learning
- And more!
You can read all about maca and its benefits HERE.
I received TWO one-pound bags of maca as one of my bonuses when I purchased my Ultimate Productivity Bundle and again when I purchased my Herbs and Essential Oils Bundle from UltimateBundles.com. I chose to get the caffeine-free Maca Morning Motivator Blend (perfect for when you want that warm cuppa without the stress on your adrenals) and the Organic Gelatinized Sundried 3-Color Maca Powder.
I put 1 tsp of the Morning Motivator in my morning yogurt mixed with a couple of pinchfulls of raw oats. I put another 1 tsp on the Organic Gelatinized powder over my afternoon lunch salad.
You can also mix maca powder into your drinks and smoothies! Or even in your (decaf) coffee!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Researchers have taken a hard look at apple cider vinegar and they have found that it can lower blood sugar levels and improve symptoms of diabetes, assist with weight loss, and possibly protect against cancer.
I use apple cider vinegar as my daily salad dressing, along with about a tablespoon or less of olive oil.
Others drink it as a beverage, highly diluted in water.
Try out this quick and simple apple cider vinegar recipe during your morning routine:
- 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp of honey (for sweetener)
- Large glass of water
Mix and drink.
Bone broth is believed to have many health benefits.
Packed full of nutrients such as iron, zinc, manganese, and Vitamin A & K, it is said to help protect our joints and reduce inflammation. Bone broth is high in protein and is also said to aid in digestive health. The amino acids in bone broth can also help those with leaky gut.
Most people drink either beef or chicken bone broth, but other forms include vegetables or fish.
When I first started drinking bone broth it was when I was on the Keto diet. I made sure to only buy bone broth that did NOT have added sugar in it (which most broth does – especially the ones bought at big box stores like Walmart and Target – so be sure to check the labels!). I found that I really liked broth by a brand called LonoLife. My favorite was the LonoLife Keto Chicken Bone Broth.
But store-bought got a little expensive for me so I experimented with making my own bone broth at home.
Now I make my own chicken bone broth using a whole chicken right in my Instant Pot! And it only takes about 2 hours. I typed up my recipe and you can click HERE to print it out for yourself. (Only 4 ingredients!)
Start your day with some exercise to kick start your body’s natural endorphins!
Ever heard of the phrase “runners high?” It’s a sort of euphoric “high” that runners get when they’ve been running for long periods of time, usually after 2 or so miles. An endorphin boost.
The name endorphin comes from the words “endogenous,” which means “from the body,” and “morphine,” which is an opioid pain reliever. – Medical News Today
I’m not a runner, though. Even 6 years in the army didn’t change that for me! I mean, I can run if, like, a spider or something is chasing me. But otherwise, nah. This body ain’t built for cross country running lol.
The good thing is you can reach this endorphin-induced euphoria by other vigorous exercises. Think cycling, elliptical, walk a treadmill or outside for a good amount of time, etc. Do note, though, everyone’s body is different so there is no way I am able to tell you just how much cycling, or running, etc you’d need to do in order to bring on the endorphin high. You will have to exercise at your own pace and level to find your “happy place.” 🙂
Also note, any exercise you can manage is a benefit. So even if you arent able to get your body to spew out endorphins, that’s ok! You can still feel amazing about yourself for getting up and getting some exercise.
Alternatives To Coffee: Conclusion
Coffee doesn’t have to be the only way for us to get ourselves up and moving each morning (or afternoon lol). And sometimes our bodies simply just need a break or a change from coffee. So there you have it. Now you have 9 coffee alternatives you can try to kick start your mornings. 🙂
Does coffee affect your anxiety, too? What is your favorite thing to drink or do in the morning to start your day? Comment below!
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