Coffee replacements that make you feel good
So you’re thinking about cutting down your coffee intake, huh? Whether you’re making this choice due to the negative side effects of caffeine, your dislike of coffee’s flavor, your desire to save money, or your realization that you’ve developed a slight addiction to those morning espresso shots, you’ll be pleased to discover there are tons of coffee replacements that can give you the energy you need to stay productive all day.
While you’ve undoubtedly heard about the many benefits of coffee, you might be disillusioned by your inability to fall asleep at night or that shakiness you get when you drink too much (or not enough) coffee.
If you’re accustomed to drinking more than a couple cups of coffee per day, you may have increased health risks, including increased risk of heart disease for those with hypertension as well as increased anxiety and depression.
Even if you’re not ready to give up coffee completely, you can consider substituting some of these alternatives for that late afternoon cup of coffee you feel like you can’t finish the workday without. Having a moderate intake of caffeine is much healthier than relying on multiple cups of coffee a day.
Many of these alternatives still contain caffeine, but none of them have as much as coffee. Several on this list are completely caffeine-free. Keep in mind that any beverages containing milk can be made with non-dairy substitutes.
1. Chicory coffee
This caffeine-free option is made from chicory root and tastes very similar to coffee. It could be the perfect alternative for you if you love the taste of coffee but hate the side effects of all that caffeine. Chicory contains inulin, which is a fiber that promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria, giving you the additional benefit of better digestion.
Rooibos is a delicious caffeine-free tea originally from South Africa. It’s full of healthy antioxidants and doesn’t contain potentially harmful tannin antioxidants like coffee and other teas do. If you don’t know what to do with your espresso machine now that you’ve stopped drinking coffee, you can actually use it to make red espresso, which comes from rooibos.
3. Golden milk
This warm and comforting beverage is completely caffeine-free. It’s perfect for cold mornings when you need something warm in your system. Golden milk is essentially heated milk combined with a variety of spices, including ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and black pepper. It’s easy to make at home, and it’s much more affordable than coffee.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of or even tasted kombucha, but did you know it can increase your energy? Because it contains L-theanine, it offers a more balanced burst of energy than coffee does. Kombucha is almost entirely free of caffeine. It also includes healthy probiotic bacteria that aid with digestion. You might be tempted to make your own kombucha, but health experts recommend buying it instead due to the contamination risks of home brewing.
5. Chai tea
This black tea has less caffeine than coffee, but still gives you a caffeine boost when you need it. Studies show that black tea can improve mental focus and alertness. Chai tea is full of flavor, and you can even add milk to make it a latte. If you’re giving up coffee but still want an option you can easily find when meeting up with friends at the local coffee shop, this could be a great choice for you.
6. Chocolate milk
You may feel like you’re returning to your childhood with this one, but chocolate milk is a healthy, delicious coffee alternative that offers a little caffeine to wake you up. It’s a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth if you’re used to drinking sugary coffee drinks. Plus, companies like Slate Milk make high-protein, low-sugar, lactose-free adult versions of this childhood favorite.
7. Dandelion root coffee
Although it might seem a little weird to make coffee out of dandelion roots, it’s actually quite nutritious and energizing. You might appreciate that it tastes like coffee without the bitterness or the caffeine. It’s also super quick to make, which is perfect for late sleepers and non-morning people. Don’t forget to make a wish before you blow on your dandelion root coffee!
8. Probiotic shots
Looking for something that will really wake you up? Try taking a probiotic shot–full of organic juices, superfoods, and, of course, probiotics. Trust me, it will look great on your Instagram story. Keep in mind that some probiotic shots may contain caffeine, depending on the ingredients. Check out So Good So You and Pressed Juices to find a probiotic shot you love.
9. Beet juice
Okay, I know beet juice sounds gross…but just hear me out. Beets are great caffeine-free stamina builders that also support heart health, inflammation reduction, and muscle recovery. And you don’t have to drink straight-up beet juice to get the benefits. You can try Blume’s Beetroot Blend for a delicious (and lovely) latte replacement.
10. Brewed cacao
One more for the chocolate lovers out there. Not to be confused with cocoa, brewed cacao is like hot chocolate for adults. It’s incredibly healthy, and it contains theobromine, a stimulant that boosts your energy and lasts much longer than caffeine. Full of antioxidants, brewed cacao is a delicious way to get the energy you need.
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