There are a lot of reasons why you might not want coffee to be a part of your diet, but going coffee-free doesn’t have to mean giving up on that extra shot of energy you need. There’s a rich variety of alternative coffee options that range from natural teas to specially formulated recipes. Any one of these can serve as a sensible substitute for coffee in your diet.
Chicory coffee may have “coffee” right there in the name, and it may both look like and be brewed in the same manner as coffee, but it’s a unique drink in its own right. Even the taste is similar, but chicory coffee distinguishes itself by its lack of caffeine. That makes it one of the best caffeine-free alternatives to coffee, but the high levels of inulin also allow chicory to help with gut health and digestion. That said, some people will feel the effects of an upset stomach with chicory coffee, and research is still uncertain about the effects of chicory coffee on pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Golden milk has long been a staple of Indian cuisine, but it’s recently starting gaining traction in the west as well. The potent herbs like turmeric and ginger that create golden milk’s unique flavor are also known for their high level of antioxidants. And while golden milk is most often drunk at night, its boost to overall mental health and memory more specifically makes it a potent alternative to coffee that doesn’t bring the jitters with it. The anti-inflammatory properties make it an especially appealing coffee alternative for people with arthritis or other conditions that involve recurring pain.
While many coffee alternatives can be found out in the wild, others have been carefully synthesized by people for a more effective – and less twitchy – sense of energy. MUD\WATER may not have the most immediately appealing name, but it does draw on generations of research to create a lean and delicious alternative to coffee. MUD\WATER includes many of the ingredients in golden milk and a seventh of the caffeine you’d find in coffee. As a middle ground that offers natural herbs without ditching caffeine entirely, MUD\WATER is a very effective choice to add to your morning routine.
There are a lot of different green teas on the market today, but none offer the overwhelming health benefits of matcha tea. Since you consume the whole leaf with matcha tea, you’re getting a much higher dose of antioxidants than you’d get with other forms of green tea. Matcha tea contains caffeine – and sometimes at higher levels than a cup of coffee – but that’s not the only source of energy-boosting properties in matcha tea. The outsized presence of L-theanine and flavonoids can improve your brain’s functionality and also have a calming effect that can help you focus throughout the course of your day.
If you like the boost you get from coffee but you don’t like the flavor or other qualities, yerba mate can be a sensible alternative. This tea has comparable caffeine levels to coffee and it also includes a naturally occurring stimulant known as theobromine. The results are a smooth energy boost that doesn’t come with the jitteriness that coffee tends to excite. A big advantage of yerba mate is that it raises your dopamine and serotonin levels, helping you relax without becoming drowsy.
If you’re ready to ditch coffee, there are a number of alternatives to seek out. But the one that’s right for you is really going to come down to what you’re looking for. Whether you’re concerned about the negative health effects of coffee, looking to cut down on the jitters, or simply want to pack in more beneficial health boosts per cup, there’s no lack of options out there for you.