Food EducationHealth

10 Things to Reach For Instead of Coffee

Are you addicted to caffeine? Have you become so accustomed to the jitters, headaches and stomach cramps that you don’t even fight them anymore? There’s a better way to live, and it involves trading your morning cup of coffee for something a little bit healthier. If you’re ready to kick caffeine to the curb, here are just 10 alternatives to Starbucks.

Smoothies

Smoothies can be made with anything and everything in the fridge, so they’re very flexible when it comes to beverage options. If you’re trying to be healthy, reach for fruits, veggies and protein powders; if you’re indulging your sweet tooth, go for things like chocolate, banana, and peanut butter.

Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice is well-known to the female population because of its efficiency against urinary tract infections (UTIs), but both genders can take something away from this amazing drink. Studies have shown that it can fight against everything from kidney stones to respiratory disorders, so consider it a liquid investment towards better health.

Hot Chocolate

Perfect for cold winter mornings, hot chocolate will give you a nice kick in the pants without encouraging any dependence on caffeine. For best results, use dark chocolate that will lower your blood pressure, boost your brainpower and improve your overall cardiovascular health. Think hot water, maple syrup, cacao and whatever other superfood powders you’d like to add.

Red Espresso

If you’ve never seen a “red espresso” listed at your local Starbucks, that’s because it isn’t actually a coffee beverage. It’s a tea made from Rooibos roots. They’re ground up in regular coffee makers just like coffee beans, so not only are they a healthier alternative to java, but they’re also a great way to keep your coffee machine from gathering dust even as you try to kick your caffeine habit.

Wheatgrass Juice

What if you don’t want a red espresso or a beige smoothie? Try going green instead. Wheatgrass juice is famous for its vivid emerald colour, but its value extends far beyond its aesthetic. It’s also jam-packed with things like fibre, protein, and potassium, and what’s more, it can help you reach your daily recommended servings of vitamins A, C, E and K.

Licourice Tea

While it lacks the caffeine that you may require on a sluggish morning, licourice has many health benefits that make its tea a nice pick-me-up for every other time of day. For example, since it’s an anti-inflammatory, it can be prepared during your lunch break to help you fight off the afternoon’s influx of pollen.

Almond Milk

Unlike regular milk, almond milk contains no lactose or cholesterol, so it’s a favourite among vegans, the lactose intolerant and anyone else who closely reads labels. You can also find multiple varieties at your local health food store, so whether you prefer it sweetened, unsweetened or blended with chocolate and vanilla flavours, there should be something on the shelf that suits you.

Lemon Ice Water

Who says that you have to reach for expensive or complicated drinks just to get a boost? Lemon ice water is prepared with a grand total of two ingredients, but it’ll help you perk up and find your energy again through a combination of its tart flavour and natural hydration properties.

Green Tea

Green tea is famous for its long-reaching health benefits like improving your immune system and lowering your risk of cancer, but were you aware that it’s delicious, too? People get so caught up in its nutritional value that they forget about its great taste. It’s good to get more antioxidants in your diet, but let’s not forget about flavour.

Horchata

Popular in Latin America, this creamy drink is hard to find in grocery stores but easy to prepare at home. The typical ingredients are milk, almonds, rice, sesame seeds and tiger nuts, but your final list will depend on the recipe that you’re using. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find a blend that works for your taste buds.

These are just a few alternatives to a morning cup of joe. There are many more, of course, but if you’re slowly weaning yourself off your beloved coffee, you might want to take it slow. Prepare a smoothie. Drink a new juice. Let your body know that it doesn’t need caffeine to function at peak performance.

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