For many of us, coffee is a morning must-have, that first sip a boost to all our senses.
Although it has some health benefits, like enhancing brain function and boosting metabolism, coffee can be addictive, and high levels of caffeine can cause anxiety and disrupt your sleep. And that caffeine high comes with some less-than-desirable side effects, including headaches, digestive distress, and feelings of agitation and nervousness, leaving us wondering…what other options are out there?
If coffee just isn’t your thing, or if you’re looking for some energizing coffee alternatives to your morning cup of joe, find something new to sip with this list of 9 delicious options.
9 Energizing Coffee Alternatives to Fuel Your Morning
- Matcha tea – Matcha is Japanese green tea in a powdered form. To make a standard cup, stir one teaspoon of the powder into about 2 ounces of hot water. Unlike coffee’s roasted, nutty flavor, matcha’s flavor can be described as grassy or earthy. Like coffee, matcha has a bitter taste and minimal calories. They both contain caffeine, but matcha has much lower levels, about 40 percent less, and your energy levels are boosted at a slower pace, reducing your chances of an energy crash later. You’ll benefit from Vitamin C as well as chlorophyll, which gives matcha its signature green color. High levels of antioxidants help to combat oxidative stress in your body, which can lead to a variety of diseases, including cancer, while polyphenols reduce your risk of heart and liver disease.
- Chicory coffee – Made from the chicory root which is roasted, ground, and then brewed, chicory coffee has a similar taste to regular coffee, which makes it perfect for coffee lovers who don’t want to give up the flavor or aroma of their favorite beverage. But unlike coffee, it doesn’t contain caffeine. Chicory root contains a soluble fiber called inulin, which supports gut health and aids in digestion. Easy to prepare, you can make a cup of chicory coffee just like you would coffee grounds, in a coffee maker, espresso maker, or French press.
- Golden milk latte – A golden milk latte is a caffeine-free substitute for traditional coffee. It’s made by combining turmeric along with ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, and warm milk, or a non-dairy substitute. Vanilla or honey are sometimes added as a sweetener. The turmeric not only gives it its vibrant yellow flavor, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce pain levels, support your immune system, and increase antioxidant activity. The piperine in black pepper helps your body to absorb the curcumin that turmeric contains.
- Rooibos tea – A type of herbal tea, rooibos has been consumed for centuries in South Africa and across the world. Unlike black or green tea, it doesn’t contain caffeine. You’ll benefit from a substantial amount of antioxidants which can protect you from heart disease and reduce your risk of developing cancer or heart disease. Steeped in hot water for a longer period of time, it has a fruity, slightly sweet taste and is not bitter like coffee. Honey and lemon are the perfect way to add additional sweetness, or you can combine it with milk to make a delicious latte.
- Yerba mate – Yerba mate is traditional South African herbal tea, traditionally sipped through a metal straw to help remove the leaf fragments. You can make it at home using a tea ball or pre-made tea bags. Rich in antioxidants, it can improve your mental focus, boost energy, reduce muscle fatigue, and may protect against infections. It also contains iron, Vitamins C and E, phosphorus, and calcium. The caffeine content is similar to a cup of coffee, and it has a bitter, smokey flavor, which may be an acquired taste for some.
- Lemon water – Simple and delicious, a glass of lemon water is a great alternative to coffee. With zero caffeine and calories, you can enjoy it hot or cold. Lemon is a Vitamin C powerhouse, which boosts your immune system and the antioxidants it contains can protect your skin by defending it against the sun’s damaging effects and helping to create collagen. Just add the juice from half a lemon to a glass of water. You can boost the flavor by adding watermelon, cucumber, mint, or basil.
- Chai tea – Chai tea is spicy and sweet, with a fragrant aroma. It combines black tea along with ginger and other spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, fennel, or black pepper. With less caffeine than coffee, it can help wake you up without a caffeine rush. Traditionally made with both warm water and warm milk, it has a variety of health benefits. Chai tea can improve your heart health, reduce nausea, improve digestion, help you lose weight, and reduce blood sugar levels.
- Apple cider vinegar – You may not think about apple cider vinegar when you’re searching for a coffee alternative, but it’s a surprisingly beneficial option. To make it, crushed apples are fermented with yeast and bacteria, creating a compound called acetic acid, which can help to reduce blood sugar levels, keep your energy levels up, and reduce fatigue. Apple cider vinegar doesn’t contain caffeine and is best prepared by diluting it first by adding water and sweetening it with honey or another sugar alternative.
- Kombucha – A popular fermented tea drink, kombucha is made by fermenting black tea with yeast, bacteria, and sugar. Sour and fruity, it can help to give you an energy boost. It’s important to buy it pre-made, since fermenting it yourself can present a risk of contamination from harmful pathogens. Kombucha contains antioxidants, probiotics, and acetic acid which can benefit your health by improving your blood glucose and cholesterol levels and boosting your immune system.
No matter if you want to ditch your coffee habit or just want to try something new, we’ve made it easier to set that cup of coffee aside with this list of energizing coffee alternatives.
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