8 Healthy Alternatives to Caffeine: Natural Energy Boosters
How uplifting is the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning?
Let's face it, that first cup is part of most of our daily AM rituals. To some, it brings joy; for others, it delivers energy at the times we need it most.
This blog isn't going to tell you not to drink coffee, but the beverage may not be the best choice for everyone. If you're looking for alternatives to drink less coffee throughout the day, here are some natural, healthy options to bring back that spark!
1. Chicory root
Some of us just love the taste of coffee. Often, it can be a habit to reach for another cup when you don't actually need to consume the caffeine itself.
Chicory root has a very similar taste and gives off the same aroma too. While it doesn't specifically give you an energy boost, it definitely delivers the placebo effect.
Believe it or not, water can help you feel more alert. How? Dehydration causes fatigue, and you may not always realize that you could be dehydrated. Start your day with a big glass of water to rehydrate after a whole night's sleep and use it as a go-to for your next pick-me-up during the day.
Make it more exciting by adding fruits such as berries or lemons or even cucumber for a more refreshing, flavorful experience.
Characterized by its earthy flavor, matcha is a type of green tea where the whole leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant are steamed, dried, and ground into a fine powder. This process delivers a highly concentrated source of antioxidants called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which can potentially reduce high blood pressure, lower risks of type 2 diabetes, and boost metabolism.
Now widely available in many cafes, it is worth noting that many matcha powders are manufactured with milk powder and a lot of refined sugar, so be sure to ask if you have any dietary preferences!
4. Golden milk
Known as a rich, caffeine-free substitute for coffee, this warm beverage is spiced up (literally) with cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and black pepper. The incorporated ingredients fuel your body with powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and the cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar levels. An alternative for a dessert, too, this could be the perfect option for a late afternoon treat.
5. Peppermint tea
A refreshing choice that is suggested to help support brain oxygen concentration and exercise performance. Fresh or dried leaves can be steeped in hot water for a quick tea, or you can use peppermint essential oils to boost your mood and motivation.
Who doesn't love a smoothie? They're the quickest way to feed your body with all the goodness you need and keep you satisfied until lunch.
Toss and blend various energy-boosting foods such as nut butters, bananas, berries, avocado, seeds, rice bran, oats. Remember, carbs are not the enemy! Pick more wholesome, slow-releasing options to promote steady energy levels throughout the day.
7. B vitamins
More of a holistic solution, it is vital that you have a sufficient intake of B vitamins. In this instance, a deficiency in vitamin B12 can cause symptoms including weakness, fatigue, poor concentration, or memory loss1. Other more severe symptoms can gradually appear and intensify over time.
Only animal-based products contain B vitamins, such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. Vegans and strict vegetarians are at high risk for developing B12 deficiency unless they eat grains fortified with B vitamins or take a vitamin supplement.
Fatigue hits when you're less active. When you spend all day sat at your desk, feeling sluggish is inevitable.
Exercising is, therefore, a crucial element to battle overall fatigue. Yes, it can drain your energy if you do a long, intense session, but regular exercise, in general, will produce more spring to your step.
How? When you work out, your body releases endorphins. These chemicals in the brain are natural painkillers and mood elevators2, thus, perking you up. Even a 20-minute walk can help you press that reset button, ready to get on with the rest of your day.
There are plenty of alternatives to coffee that can boost your overall physical and mental health – the listed options above are definitely worth trying!
Author: Courtney Black
1 "Vitamin B12 deficiency can be sneaky, harmful," Harvard Health Publishing, health.harvard.edu/blog/vitamin-b12-deficiency-can-be-sneaky-harmful-201301105780
2 "Exercising to relax," Harvard Health Publishing, health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax
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