For some of us, knowing that a freshly brewed cup of coffee awaits is enough motivation to get out of bed in the morning. Other people: Not so much. The caffeine in coffee may give them jitters, a headache, or stomach discomfort. And there are those who just aren’t into it or want to try something different.
So, let’s switch things up: Try one or more of these caffeine alternatives that will give you energy and support your health.
If you’re one of the people who drinks coffee for the taste, this option may quell that craving. Chicory root coffee imitates coffee flavor, and it’s high in inulin, a soluble fiber, that can aid in digestion. Keep in mind that consuming fiber-dense ingredients can also lead to bloating and gas, so if you’re already experiencing those symptoms, you may want to forgo this one.
Maca, sometimes known as Peruvian ginseng, is in the broccoli family, and in Peruvian culture, has a long history of culinary and medicinal use. Maca root can be found as a dried powder, and it has an earthy flavor that some people love. It’s packed with nutrients to support overall health, athletic performance, libido, and enhancing your mood. In addition to drinking it straight up, you can also add it to a morning smoothie, herbal tea, or even a bowl of oatmeal.
Ever-popular on Instagram, matcha tea is a healthy caffeine alternative with all the comfort and energy boosting benefits you want in a morning drink. Matcha falls within the green tea category, which means it’s packed with antioxidants and stress-relieving, productivity-inducing compounds. Its two main compounds, L-theanine, a stress-reducing amino acid, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), help improve digestion, cholesterol levels, and more.
Kombucha, a fermented black tea, is becoming more and more popular, thanks to its good bacteria that’s known to support gut health. It’s also a great source of vitamin B and antioxidants that combat inflammation in the body. With the growing number of Kombucha brands, you should be able to find one you like. However, drink it in moderation; too much may lead to headaches, nausea, or a sour stomach. Also, experts recommend skipping kombucha if you are pregnant, suffer from liver or kidney disease, are HIV positive, and/or immunocompromised.
Have a little extra time in the morning? Reach for a bag of this fruity, antioxidant-rich herbal tea. Though it takes a bit longer to steep than other teas in your cabinet, the sweet, warming comfort that comes afterward may be worth the wait. Some say that rooibos is sweet enough to enjoy without sugar. If you do sweeten it, be mindful of how much sugar you use or try one of these alternative sweeteners that’s keto-friendly.
In addition to giving you an extra oomph, chai tea may help aid digestion, heart health, and improve blood sugar. What people love about chai is it’s versatility—you can steep it like a traditional tea, use a concentrate and add it to steamed milk to make a roasty, spicy latte, and of course, probably find one at your local coffee shop.
What if we told you this caffeine alternative is also a substitute for chocolate? The healthy version of chocolate without added sugars. Well, it’s true! Carob has been used for thousands of years as a nutrient-dense energy-booster, thanks to its high pinitol content. It can also aid in digestion. So where does the chocolate part come into play? While it doesn’t taste exactly like chocolate, it does have a sweet, nutty flavour. It comes in powder form, so you can add it to a morning smoothie, sprinkle it into your chai tea (try it!), or add it to hot water with a little milk.
Perhaps the prettiest caffeine alternative (next to the matcha latte, of course), golden milk uses warmed milk as its base and adds in nutritious spices, like turmeric (that gives it the golden hue), black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger. This potent mix of spices can aid in nutrient absorption and help reduce inflammation. Oh, and it’s downright delicious (speaking from experience).
Feeling adventurous…and thirsty? Try any of these caffeine alternatives, and let us know which ones you like best!