Most of us wouldn’t dream of starting the day without coffee. Whether you brew it at home or grab it on the go, there’s nothing quite like a cup of joe to start the day off right. Aside from keeping you awake, coffee does have health benefits – when consumed in moderation. In excess, it can lead to all kinds of health problems, including an upset stomach, dehydration, headaches, and anxiety. If you’re suffering from these symptoms, or looking for a healthier pick-me-up, there’s plenty of great options waiting for you at your local supermarket. Below are six healthier alternatives to coffee that you can try today!
That boost of energy you get with coffee comes from caffeine, a natural stimulant that perks up the brain and central nervous system. But too much caffeine can cause headaches, raise your blood pressure, and increase your anxiety levels. To feel alert without these side-effects, try some green tea instead. Along with a lower caffeine content, green tea is packed with nutrients and antioxidants that can help improve your health. One of these antioxidants is catechin, which has been shown to prevent cell damage.
In spite of its health benefits, the taste of green tea can take some getting used to. For a more familiar alternative, opt for a piping hot cup of black tea. A major benefit to black tea is that you can add milk and sweetener, just like you would with coffee. Additionally, black tea has almost as much caffeine as coffee, which means you’ll have no problem staying awake. More so, black tea contains antioxidant-rich micronutrients known as polyphenols. These compounds have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved digestion and brain health.
If you’re looking to shake up your daily routine, start your mornings with a refreshing glass of pomegranate juice. While pomegranates are naturally sweet, the juice can be tart due to the bitter-tasting tannins in the fruit’s skin. An easy solution is to dilute the juice with water or ice, which has the added benefit of boosting your hydration levels.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone if you’re wondering how oatmeal can be an alternative to coffee. The answer is no, it doesn’t have any caffeine, but it is full of fiber and protein. These nutrients take longer for the body to break down, thereby providing you with a longer-lasting energy source. Eating oatmeal on a daily basis can also stabilize your blood sugar levels, which is critical to fighting fatigue.
It’s no coincidence that “chia” means “strength” in Mayan. These tiny black and gray seeds were prized among ancient warriors for their ability to provide long-term energy. Chia seeds used to be a premium ingredient used by professional athletes, but these days, you can easily order them online or pick them up from most grocery stores. While you can eat them raw, they’re a great addition to smoothies, juices, and yogurt.
When you’re fighting the afternoon slump at work, you probably find yourself heading to the coffee machine without even thinking about it. However, late afternoon caffeine consumption can have you tossing and turning all night long. Instead of coffee, try munching on some pistachio nuts. Like oatmeal, pistachios are full of protein and fiber. They’re also packed with antioxidants, such as phytosterols and xanthophyll carotenoids.
Remember, you don’t have to give up coffee altogether, but there’s no doubt that curbing the habit can have significant health benefits in the long run.