It seems so natural to wake up and go for the coffee pot. Most of us grew up around it. We watched our parents drinking coffee in the morning. We saw it in movies and on sitcoms, people barely functioning before the first cup. Many of us spent hours of our teenage years in coffee shops with frou-frou froths and sticky syrups. In the U.S., it’s almost as if coffee is a birthright.

But, in the midst of growing up and taking responsibility for our actions, the negative effects of coffee quickly become apparent. In excess, the caffeine can really twist up our cardiovascular system, causing increased irregular heartbeats, anxiety and various other unwanted ailments. As consumers, it takes a very careful eye and easy-flowing source of money to buy coffee responsibly, both from an environmental and human rights standpoint.

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But, we love it, and that’s that. And, it’s not all bad. Coffee actually does have significant health benefits, too. Even so, in an ideal world, our general attitude and ability to wake up shouldn’t rely entirely on one beverage. So, what if there weren’t coffee at the ready? How, then, could we wake up?

1. Hot Chocolate

Well, in all honesty, a mug of hot chocolate is probably even better than a cup of coffee, but we’ve come to view it more as a treat than an everyday occurrence. However, with the right mindset and raw cacao powder, hot chocolate can actually be a superfood drink with interesting mixes of herbs and spices, heaps of antioxidants and the ability to kick-start the day.

2. Chai

Source: Creamy Chai Latte

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Chai is an exciting drink, both for its ability to jolt our senses awake and the fact that it tastes really, really good. Cinnamon heightens our awareness, and ginger ignites the digestive system, in turn revving up our metabolic forces. What that spells is one alert chai drinker.

3. Dandelion Root Tea

Oddly enough, the root of dandelions, usually scoffed at as a weed, tastes really similar to coffee, which makes it perfect for those who really go in for the flavor of coffee. Either dig some up in the yard and use the fresh roots (Why not?), or official bags of dandelion root tea are available at health food shops. Then, check out this dandelion latte.

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4. Kombucha

Source: Fizzy Coconut Lime and Mint Kombucha

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Moving away from hot drinks for a second, most of us have heard of kombucha by now, and in addition to offering all those great probiotic benefits fermentation provides, kombucha is also great for waking up. It’s often made with black tea, for some caffeine, and as we know, it aids us with digestion, something that gets our motors running in the morning.

5. Mint Tea

The scent of mint is enlivening and works wonders for activating our brains. It’s known to prevent fatigue and memory loss, amongst many other medicinal qualities. What’s more is that we can easily grow a load of our own mint right at home, so that morning pick-me-up will also brighten up the garden. And, yet again, mint helps out the stomach, so it’s for more than just fresh breath.

6. Yerba Mate

Yerba mate is a very popular choice in South American circles, often much more beloved than coffee. It’s rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and it also contains a caffeine kick but not so much that it will cause jitteriness. Plus, it helps with insulin spikes. Traditionally, it’s consumed from a hollowed out gourd—how cool is that.

7. Black Tea

Black tea shouldn’t be dismissed as viable wake-up juice, either. It’s has an assortment of help benefits — antioxidant, vitamins, and all that jazz again — but also provides a hit of caffeine. Tea also has four other stimulants that help get the brain active and alive, but it has been linked to stress relief as opposed to coffee’s causing anxiety.

8. Green Tea With Citrus

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Green tea is just something we should all be drinking. It can help with our teeth, lungs, organs, and immune system. It prevents several types of cancer and cognitive diseases. It also has a little caffeine. With a squeeze of citrus, or vitamin C, some of its antioxidants are seriously strengthened, and the smell of citrus fruit inspires uplifting moods.

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Of course, there are more. And, of course, this is no condemnation of coffee, but merely recognizing the many alternatives out there to try. Now, the trick will be stepping away from the coffee pot every now and again to give them a shot.

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

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11 Healthy Alternatives To Coffee

Addicted to your morning cup of joe? Try one of these alternatives to coffee to slowly wean yourself off it!

Although most of us love the caffeine-soaked buzz of coffee, we also recognize that it may not be the healthiest of beverages. Too much coffee can make us anxious, unable to sleep, and may keep our stress hormones burning all day long.

Whatever your motivation, there are lots of good reasons to give up coffee. Here are 11 alternatives to coffee that can help you get off of the “hard stuff”.

(Related: Coffee – What You Need to Know)

1. Teeccino

This is typically what I have most clients go with if they are coming off of a strong coffee addiction, or simply really enjoy the mouthfeel of coffee. There are many different flavors, and it is always happily reported back to me that “this stuff tastes nearly identical to coffee!””

One of the other benefits of Teeccino is that it is loaded with a prebiotic known as inulin. This natural soluble fiber is a component of chicory root, and helps to support a good population of gut flora. Inulin passes through your large intestine and is then eaten by your “good” bacteria (like bifidus and lactobacillus).

This is just one of the many ways to get your gut working well for you! Coffee on the other hand, can have a poor effect on your digestion and stomach (though this depends largely on individual differences and dietary choices).

2. Chamomile Tea

My personal favorite way to unwind, though not at all “sexy”, chamomile tea is caffeine-free, and helps people to unwind, de-stress and may even help improve sleep. It’s probably not your go-to beverage for an early morning — I like to consume chamomile tea around bedtime.

Many experts in a variety of health and wellness circles have long suggested that chamomile tea is an excellent want to relieve stress, anxiety and nerves. The science actually backs up this anecdotal evidence, as well.

The warming aroma of chamomile makes it ideal for late night drinking, and it can be included on a regular basis for the rest of your life, if so desired. Drink up!

3. Ginger Tea

This tea may help improve your digestion, which is something many people struggle with on a daily basis. Unlike the chamomile tea, ginger tea can actually give you a nice, swift, kick-in-the-pants in the morning. Ginger tea may be the first beverage you’ll want to turn to if you absolutely have to have a warm drink in the morning.

Ginger tea also helps with inflammation and can help those who suffer from joint problems. You can even rub it on the skin directly! As mentioned above, ginger tea is also a great digestive aid, and possibly will help you to eat fewer calories (something coffee is routinely praised for).

Some also tout ginger tea as good for helping with nausea and motion sickness. While I haven’t personally tested this one (luckily I do not suffer from motion sickness) it is worth a try if you have to deal with this problem. Ginger tea would be my second recommendation if you are looking for a nice kick that is close to coffee!

This one is more for the diet soda aficionados than the coffee connoisseurs, but kombucha has a variety of flavors, and you can even make your own. GT’s Gingerade flavor is the best substitute I’ve found for clients to consume in order to wean themselves off of soda. The combination of slight carbonation and sweet taste will help quench your thirst on a hot summer day.

Many clients ask me how kombucha is actually made, and the answer is scientifically interesting. This tea is fermented with a SCOBY (that stands for a “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”). If making your own, this process can take up to 2 weeks.

Though initially containing a decent amount sugar, most of that is dissolved away during the fermentation process, leaving you with a semi-sweet, but very low-calorie beverage!

5. Yerba Mate

This drink will give you some of the buzz of coffee, but with some added nutrients and an interesting interaction with theobromine. Theobromine is a vasodilator, not a vasoconstrictor, so this causes greater relaxation and better blood flow. Yerba mate may also help with insulin sensitivity issues, though the jury is still out on that one.

Yerba mate is sometimes preferred over coffee because it has amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals. It even contains more antioxidants than the much-publicized “super-drink” green tea!

If you’re looking for a similar buzz to coffee, but with more focus, fewer jitters and a less intense crash, yerba mate is probably what you will want to try first. It can even be combined with other teas to make a potent neuronal cocktail, if so desired!

6. Peppermint Tea

This is a personal favorite of mine, and I’ve found the delicious taste makes me forget about making any unhealthy choices. Peppermint tea has a strong, pleasant flavor, and also has no caffeine. This goes well with cold winter nights and a good book.

The sweating you may experience from drinking peppermint tea (very mild) is a result of the menthol content. The menthol will conversely cool your body down internally, leaving you feeling very relaxed.

Some claim that peppermint tea can be used this way in order to deal with fevers, and though I haven’t personally tried it, the idea is certainly interesting. This tea feels like a treat, and I often drink it when I’m feeling a craving for something less healthy.

7. Licorice Tea

Licorice tea has a wide variety of uses, such as treating sore throats and as a possible way to reduce body fat. Because this tea has stronger effects, constant daily consumption is not recommended. It may also interfere with some medications, so check with your doctor if you may be concerned about drinking it regularly.

If you are a recovering sugar junkie, licorice tea may help ease your cravings, as it has a fairly sweet taste. I have recommended this many times to clients who can’t stop eating their 3 p.m. candy bar, and it seems to do the trick!

The sweetener found in licorice tea (a natural sweetener) is called glycyrrhizin. This is more than 40 times sweeter than table sugar, and helps to explain why people can’t seem to get enough of this warm treat!

8. Coconut Water

Coconut water is definitely one of the more popular beverages in the Paleo world, and with good reason. Boasting more potassium than a banana, and less sugar than other fruit juices (I’m looking at you, apple juice) coconut water is a safe way to drink some liquid calories.

Preferred after workouts or at lunchtime, coconut water is not usually a morning beverage – but that’s not to say that some creative folks can’t try and make it one! If you have a crazy night out and consume a few too many alcoholic beverages, coconut water can also be a great way to ease your stomach the next morning.

If you are looking to replace electrolytes, consuming some coconut water may be able to help, as well. Some people even recommend applying coconut water onto your skin, and it is included in a wide variety of shampoos, conditioners and skin creams.

9. Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea is another caffeine-free choice on this list, and it is also low in tannins. People who drink it say that it can help with headaches and even with insomnia. Rooibos has an inviting taste, and is sometimes included as the main ingredient in many tea blends as a result.

Scientifically, rooibos is also interesting, because it has a wide variety of antioxidants, like nothofagin and aspalathin. Since our world is full of cell-damaging free radicals, it is important to consume a regular diet rich in antioxidants.

Some even claim that rooibos is so rich with flavonols, flavones and flavanones that it is a great way to fight back against cancer. While the jury is still out on that claim, there is no doubting the many health benefits of rooibos!

10. Turmeric Tea

Turmeric tea has an active ingredient called curcumin, which has been positively associated with lower rates of memory loss and Alzheimer’s. This is the tea for you if you are looking to boost your brainpower!

Besides the positive cerebral effects of turmeric tea, it seems to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer potential, as well. Many cultures with long life spans regularly consume turmeric in some form, and including it in one’s diet on a regular basis may be one way to potentially live longer.

Curcumin (the important active ingredient in turmeric) can sometimes be found on its own as well, and helps to block beta-amyloid plaque buildup. This is the reason why turmeric may have such profound effects on Alzheimer’s, as beta-amyloid plaque build up is one of the main associations with the memory-degrading disease.

11. Green Tea

Perhaps the most famous of all coffee alternatives, green tea is loaded with bioactive compounds. The diverse array of polyphenols found in this warm beverage includes catechins and flavonoids. These are the main antioxidants that go to work for your body, helping to stop cell degradation.

Of the many beneficial compounds, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is by far the most famous. Many diseases have been aided by drinking green tea, and most researchers point to EGCG as the main reason behind these scientific benefits.

Green tea contains a small amount of caffeine, but also has L-theanine, a beneficial amino acid that will help you focus. This is what makes green tea such a great beverage for studying, waking up or even winding down!

Bottom Line

There you have it – 11 healthy alternatives to your morning cup of joe! Though the black liquid may be good on some stress-filled, busy days, it is important to include some variety in your life. And who knows – you may love one of these beverages and never go back to the “hard stuff”! Drink to your health!

(Read This Next: 9 Easy Ways to Make Your Coffee Healthier)

Best Healthy Alternatives to Green Tea

Health benefit of Green Tea is known to us all. We cannot ignore the fact that this is an excellent source of various nutrients as well as anti-oxidants. Green tea works like magic in losing weight. And tea is also necessary for our health. Regular drinking of Tea leads to fewer chances of growing stroke, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis etc. In spite of various nutrients, the taste is not so pleasant. People are always searching for some healthy alternatives to Green Tea which will provide our body with the same amount of nutrients as well as won’t disappoint our taste buds.

Here are few healthy alternatives to Green Tea in the below list

1. White Tea


People are not much aware of White tea, not even ad producers invest into this tea. But with the same amount of health benefits White tea is at the top of the list. This mild drink is almost white in color which leads to its name. The subtlety of their taste leads to the fame. This delicate drink helps to block the formation of tumors.

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2. Black Tea

Black tea is quite popular as well as beneficial too. Still, there is less awareness about its health benefits. The drink is not pitch black. The hue is more like dark brownish. The leaves are the reason for its name. Studies have shown that Black Tea helps to reduce heart disease, colon cancer, and cavities. The amount of caffeine is higher than other types of teas.

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3. Herbal Tea


We can assume from the name that various herbs are included in the making of this kind of tea. Generally ginger, dandelion, lemongrass, peppermint etc. are used in this tea. These various ingredients improve the benefits of the tea.

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4. Ginger Tea


This tea can be made at home like the way any usual tea is prepared. Just you have to add a few slices of ginger. Ginger enhances the taste and smell. In common cold, this tea works well and gives relief from the congestion. There are also some ginger tea brands available online that comes with additional properties including ginger combined with Black Pepper and Peppermint for a naturally warming blend. This Tea boost healthy digestion and cures cold and flu. Ginger tea is also known as a rejuvenating, soothing and invigorating quality. In Ayurvedic its known to be used for activating the body’s internal energy to promote balance and harmony.

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5. Rose Tea


From the name, you can guess how beautiful this tea looks. Rose petals decorate the tea as well as magnify the medicinal benefits of the tea. The tea is a storehouse of malic acid, pectin, Vitamin C and citric acid. This tea aids the weight loss process. Rose Tea comes with so many health benefits including regulating hormones and easing uterine congestion thus helpful in menstruation pain, eliminates mood swings, makes immune stronger, cures a sore throat, works as a natural stress buster
and promotes weight loss as its a natural zero calorie drink that works to calm down your hunger pangs,

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6. Oolong Tea


This is maybe the least known tea on the list. People collate the taste and smell of Oolong tea with fresh fruits or flowers. The taste of the tea is quite unusual. Oolong Tea was first known as traditional Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) produced through a unique process including withering the plant under the strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting. It has a perfect balance between the earthy green and mature black teas. Its various benefits make it a popular among the most healthy tea as its rich in antioxidants, contains vital vitamins and minerals,rich in anti-cancer properties. It additives and has combined qualities of green tea and black tea.

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7. Yellow Tea (aka Chinese huángchá or Korean hwangcha)


This is another rare kind of tea. The appearance seems closer to green tea except for the grassiness. This diet tea improves mental health, helps to control the sugar level, releases toxins from your body. A sip of health Yellow tea gives so many antioxidants and nutrients that promote a healthy and young looking skin. It also helps to lower bad cholesterol thus reducing heart problems.

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8. Orange Peel Tea:


If one follows the tips from Traditional Chinese Medicine book then s/he is may be familiar with this tea. Oranges are eaten without the peels. These peels sometimes are used to produce face masks. But one can drink them too with tea and can take the benefits of them. This Orange Peel Tea reduces blood pressure, aids cholesterol, builds up immunity. This tea is an excellent source of Vitamin C. The anti-inflammatory agents heal our body.

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9. Pu-Erh Tea

Supreme numbers of healthy teas are originally from China. The same goes for Fermented Tea too. This is actually known as Pu-erh. Through the microbial fermentation process, the tea is being produced which leads to a darker color. But don’t get confused with the black tea.

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10. Kombucha Tea

This tea is also of orange color. Kombucha tea is another kind of fermented tea. The tea gets fermented with ‘scoby’. ‘Scoby’ stands for a Symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, similar to vinegar. The bacteria present in scoby sucks in the sugar which modifies the drink into a less sugary, fizzy refreshing drink which is filled with health benefits.

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11. Jun Tea

Jun and Kombucha are quite similar still different. The color and taste come close but the little distinctive features make them stand apart. The light, soft tea is made in a fermenting process by Green tea and honey. Yes, Green tea is there. But the grassy smell is nowhere to find in Jun tea. The honey lends a sweet taste and smell. This tea is covered with mysticism. Tibetan cookbooks maybe the place where you can find the name of this mysterious tea.

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12. Red Tea ( aka Rooibos tea )

Red tea or Rooibos tea is prepared by a red bush which is originally from South Africa. The delicious tea has varieties of flavors. One can drink it either hot or cold.

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14. Argentina’s Mate Tea

This tea is full of flavors. The coffee like taste makes it one of the most favorite choices of the coffee lovers. A kind of wild shrub is found in Argentina which is known as Mate. This tea is no less than Green tea when it is about health benefits.

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14. Blooming Tea

This tea is a great choice as a present. Thanks to the artistry of the tea artists who hand tie the tea as well as incorporate some flavors or scents to give it a distinct feature. The tea is also known as flowering teas because these teas bloom with steeping. Each seal of blooming tea comes with freshness inside in an airtight foil wrapper to ensure your delicious tea with all its healthy antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols.

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A blog we love on “types of tea”

So here is a simple but very beautiful image of different types of Tea on a site we landed while researching more on the subject and we thought why not share this and also give credit to the as well.

Now after going through our long blog, try and guess the names of each of the “types of Tea” given in the image above to test out what you have learnt until now. Best of Luck !!!

Best Alternative to Green Tea – Final Conclusion

Henceforth, we are seeing the various kinds of teas and the health benefits of them. Yes, Green tea may not be your first choice but you have multiple choices to choose from these varied healthy options I have mentioned above. These sweet, savory, healthy teas are no less than Green Tea. Even they are more acceptable as they taste good as well as provide numerous health benefits. One just needs to know the names and s/he will have numerous options to start their day with a healthy drink to boost up the mood, body, and mind.

Do you enjoy a cup of green tea? Or do you think it tastes like drinking grass? Many people do not enjoy the taste of green tea. However, even if you don’t like the most delicate jasmine green tea, you still have many healthy tea options to choose from. The following healthy beverages share some of the same health benefits as green tea, but with different flavor profiles.

Why drink tea?

According to research from Harvard Health, tea has numerous health benefits. Studies show that individuals who drink tea regularly are at reduced risk for cancer, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and even the common cold. Green tea may provide even more health benefits and help keep excess pounds from sticking to your waistline. All tea contains powerful antioxidants that can be difficult to get elsewhere.

Alternatives to green tea

Green tea may be the poster tea for health, but if you drink these other teas, you will still enjoy many health benefits.

Oolong

Oolong tea is a fruity, fresh tea that is not as bitter as black tea but not as grassy as green tea. Oolong tea has been linked with improvements in antioxidant levels and a reduction in skin rashes and other skin problems.

White

White tea is a subtle, gentle tea. It is just slightly darker than water with a flavor that is barely detectable. White tea is high in antioxidants and is the perfect replacement if you do not enjoy green tea. Studies on white tea have found that in test tubes, white tea blocks DNA mutations that can cause tumors to form. Animal studies have found that white tea reduces the spread and growth of colon tumors.

Black

Black tea does not produce a black beverage, its name comes from the colour of the tea leaves. Common flavors of black tea include Earl Grey and Darjeeling. Drinking black tea regularly has been linked with a reduction in colon cancer, heart disease and cavities.

Pu-erh

Pu-erh is a dark, earthy tea that has a flavor profile similar to tobacco. Pu-erh tea is fermented, giving it probiotic properties not seen in other types of tea. Pu-erh tea is usually aged for several years before it is considered ready for drinking, and because of the complex manufacturing process, it can be expensive. Studies on pu-erh tea show that it can help reduce high cholesterol.

Herbal tea

Teas made with herbs such as ginger and peppermint are not technically true tea, but they do provide a variety of health benefits. The health benefits of herbal tea will differ depending on the herb used to brew the tea. Dandelion tea, for example, is linked with improvements in digestion and helps with detoxification.

How to brew the perfect cup of tea

  1. Heat water until it is just barely boiling. Place the dry leaves into a tea infuser, and place the infuser into a cup or mug. Alternatively, place the dry leaves into a teapot. Pour the water over the tea leaves.
  2. For light tea, let the tea steep for about two minutes but no longer. For darker tea, allow the tea to steep for three to five minutes.
  3. Once the desired strength is achieved, either remove the infuser from your cup, or pour the tea from the teapot through a strainer and into a cup.

Enjoy!

—The Alternative Daily

What’s A Good Matcha Powder Substitute?

Matcha powder is such a unique and special product that there is not an ideal substitute for it. That said, matcha is available at different quality levels and it is easier to replace the lower grades. The replacement is easier because lower grade matcha often gets used in dishes with other ingredients. Even though nothing else has the same qualities, it is possible to find workable alternatives in an emergency. Here are our picks for best matcha powder substitutes.

Your best bet: DIY matcha powder

Matcha powder consists of ground up green tea leaves, which means that you can make a passable version of it by grinding them up yourself. Just place the leaves in a coffee or spice grinder. If you have neither of those, a blender may work. You can use a fine strainer to sift out the finest particles and use those. Try grinding the larger pieces again. Another way to get ultra fine matcha powder is to use the traditional method of grinding the tea with a stone mortar and pestle.

Note that real matcha powder requires specialized equipment and skills to make. Also, the stems and veins get removed from the tea leaves before grinding. What that means is this method may not provide you with the perfect replica; however, it will get you close enough to the right flavor and color.

A decent second choice: Green tea

Matcha powder and green tea are both made from the same plant, but matcha has been specially prepared and ground to a powder; green tea is not finely ground. Because they are just different forms of the same plant, they have quite a few similarities. Both are usually used to make beverages that share some of the same flavor notes. Green tea has the benefit of being more readily available than matcha as well as less expensive.

When you use green tea in place of matcha, it is a good idea to be mindful of a few differences. For starters, green tea has less caffeine than tea made with matcha powder. If you are using it to provide an energy boost or to help you stay awake, take this into account. You will need to drink twice as much green tea to get the same effects.

Caffeine is not the only thing that green tea is lacking in comparison to matcha powder — you will get only about a quarter of the nutrients as you would from an equivalent amount of matcha. You will have to drink four times as much to get the same health benefits.

Another important difference is flavor since green tea is more bitter and astringent when compared to the sweeter matcha powder. Note also that green tea is not a good matcha substitute when it comes to baking or confectionery applications.

In a pinch: Instant matcha powder

Instant matcha is a powder that looks like matcha powder, but it has a dramatically different makeup. Instant matcha is made from concentrated matcha tea that has been dried and powdered. Unlike the other alternatives, it has the benefit of being made from actual matcha tea. Other positives include the fact that instant matcha powder dissolves instantly when mixed with water, unlike real matcha powder. Matcha powder does not dissolve.

Other alternatives

Cacao is from a completely different plant but one that has many of the same antioxidant properties as the tea plant. In addition, you can use it to make a hot beverage that will provide many of the same energy-boosting benefits as tea made with matcha powder.

How to Replace Coffee with Healthier Alternatives

Legal or not, coffee is an addictive drug that affects both your body and brain chemistry. Anyone who drinks coffee regularly and cannot go more than a couple of days without ‘really feeling like’ (needing) a cup is very likely addicted to it.

I was. I drank a cup or two a day most days of the week for many years. In researching all different effects drinking coffee can have on your health, I simply came up with too many reasons to find an alternative to coffee to continue drinking it.

There were two things that particularly surprised me with coffee replacement.

The first was how much calmer I felt, even only a couple of days after my last cup. The tension I’d often felt in my shoulders in the past, and would usually take breaks from writing for, quickly diminished.

The second was how easy it was. I don’t mean to lessen how difficult it can be for some people, particularly heavier users of coffee, to give up coffee.

Medical literature has a long list of reported caffeine withdrawal symptoms. These include fatigue and low energy, irritability, difficulty concentrating, decreased alertness, tension and muscle stiffness, caffeine withdrawal headaches, and I’m sure there’s many more ways of saying: “I don’t feel that good without my caffeine hit”.

This page and the following posts it links to are about how to diminish and even avoid as many of the symptoms of coffee withdrawal as possible with a specific plan.

If you’re ready to find your own alternative to coffee, I’d suggest there are 3 things that can help to make it happen with a minimum of stress or withdrawal symptoms.

3 Steps to Coffee Replacement

Step 1 — Understanding Caffeine Addiction

Start by admitting that you are addicted to a drug called caffeine. That this drug is legal and socially acceptable in our society isn’t really relevant if it’s so addictive you can’t stop using it if you choose to.

Heroin hydrochloride was once legal and sold as cough medicine and the very destructive drug nicotine is still legal and making people cough.

I’m not suggesting of course that caffeine is as bad as heroin or nicotine, just that its addictive nature makes it, by definition, a drug. And a drug that may be having more serious consequences for many people than they currently realize.

If a person chooses not to use a substance like caffeine and yet they feel compelled to use it again in a short time regardless, then they are, by definition, addicted to it. I don’t know about you but I don’t like any substance having that much control over me.

If you don’t believe you’re addicted to coffee and the caffeine in it then why not try the upcoming 10 Steps to Giving Up Coffee for a week or two and see if it improves your ability to relax and sense of wellbeing. If you choose you can always go back. At least you will have proven to yourself that you actually have a choice in the matter.

As for being a legal and socially acceptable drug, this really doesn’t change the nature of the drug and the effects it may be having on you, particularly on your digestive system.

We are fortunate that more and more people are demanding healthy coffee substitutes to drink and the caffeine-free options at restaurants and cafes are extensive. Additionally, most of the coffee alternatives I’ll suggest ahead are easy to take to work and when traveling.

Step 2 — Momentum and Motivation

Get some momentum on yourself and motivation as to why you want to replace coffee. This was key for me. Having a strong enough reason why.

At some level I probably knew that coffee wasn’t that good for me. But when I really looked deeply into just how damaging it can be, I found I just didn’t want to drink it anymore.

If you haven’t read the previous post on the 8 Digestive Problems with Coffee it’s worth taking a few minutes now for some extra motivation.

Coffee also negatively affects your health by elevating the stress hormone cortisol, depleting minerals in your body, decreasing insulin sensitivity and raising triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and homocysteine, all markers for an increased risk of heart disease.

Step 3 — Set a Start Time and Follow a Plan to Give Up Coffee

Plan a time to start and have your coffee replacements and the upcoming caffeine withdrawal remedies ready.

The physiological effects of the caffeine in coffee are well-documented, but in any addiction it’s also worth remembering the psychological power of habit and ritual. If you know that you drink coffee at a certain time and in certain situations it’s very important to have your replacements ready.

Starting on a weekend or other time away from work is a good idea too, as many of us are on autopilot at the start of the working day. Given this, you may find a cup of coffee in your hand at the same time as usual without even realizing what you’ve done.

On the other hand, if you start on a Saturday when most people are usually more aware of their day, you have two days of retraining the habit and for most people any withdrawal symptoms will be greatly diminished by Monday.

The 10 steps plan I used to give up coffee easily is detailed here. It uses the healthy coffee alternatives below and these two caffeine withdrawal remedies to make replacing coffee as simple as possible.

Teeccino — A Healthier Coffee Alternatives

For people who want a healthy alternative to coffee but really enjoy drinking it, this rich tasting Teeccino has been a godsend. There have been substitutes for coffee in the past but it seems that the flavor has never really been up to scratch.

Teeccino is a rare thing, being a direct, tastes like coffee substitute, where most people who try it seem to really like the taste of it.

Even better, it’s ingredients include organic carob, barley and chicory root with inulin that are actually good for your digestive health. Additionally, drinking Teeccino can have an alkalizing effect on the body. That’s very different to the acidity of coffee.

My favorite flavor is Organic Java but there are around a dozen flavors in the Teeccino range at Amazon and some sound really good. The best value is in the 3 packs. You keep the bags in the fridge and make them up as you would regular coffee grounds in a coffee machine, filter or french press.

The 4 Best Teas to Replace Coffee

1. Peppermint Tea

One of my personal favorite coffee replacements is a good peppermint tea. It has no caffeine but peppermint tea has a refreshing and invigorating energy to it that is perhaps more subtle, but definitely more easy to work with, than the jittery jolt of the strong caffeine in coffee.

A warm cup of peppermint tea can be a great coffee alternative for people who need something to get them going in the morning. There is much more on the powerful digestive benefits of peppermint tea, especially for bloating and stomach gas, here.

My favorite peppermint tea is Heather’s tummy tea in extra strong organic peppermint teabags. It’s very hard to go back to weaker teas after trying these.

2. Ginger Tea

Like peppermint tea, ginger tea is both energizing and great for improving digestion. It makes an excellent coffee alternative as a strong ginger tea can really wake you up if you’re tired and improve your mood if the day isn’t going that well.

My favorite brand with a real zing to it is Triple Leaf ginger tea. Ginger tea has traditionally been used to settle an upset stomach and can also help reduce bloating, IBS and flatulence.

3. Organic Green Tea

Green tea does have some caffeine in it, but it is much less than in coffee and various compounds in green tea can be very beneficial to our health. For some people, reducing their caffeine intake down by switching to organic green tea and its lower caffeine content can be a real help in replacing coffee.

Once you’ve made the switch to green tea and have got through the initial caffeine withdrawal symptoms, there are healthy decaffeinated green tea options. These don’t appear to have same issues normally associated with decaffeinated coffee as the decaffeination process is done in a different way.

Unfortunately, decaffeinated coffee can’t be recommended as the caffeine is only part of the problem. For some reason decaf coffee seems to provoke acidity in the stomach even more than regular coffee. More on this in a previous post on coffee and digestion.

4. Chamomile Tea

For anyone feeling a little tense as coffee lets go of its grip on them, chamomile tea can be a relaxing and soothing drink. Caffeine-free like ginger and peppermint tea, chamomile tea has been shown to help relaxation, reduce tension and improve sleep.

This tea is perhaps not the best for getting going first thing in the morning, but should you find yourself a bit stressed out later in the day, organic chamomile is a good tea to go for. Though there is no research I know of on this, it also seems to be good for caffeine withdrawal headaches.

Making the Switch

Finding a replacement for coffee that you like is much more effective than trying to stop cold turkey. These are my favorite healthy coffee alternatives and I believe switching to one of them or something similar is an important part of coffee replacement.

To make the whole process much easier though, combine them with the natural caffeine withdrawal remedies next and follow the 10 simple steps to giving up coffee here.

This article may contain affiliate links to products I recommend. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Photo 1 credit: nate steiner

Last Updated on March 14th, 2019

I never thought coffee was something I’d give up. Not for a month, certainly not for life.

But when I did my first Vice Detox of 2015, it was the prong of my trio (which also including alcohol and sugar) that I missed the least. The withdrawal was short and fairly straight forward—two days of mild headaches—whereas my body’s response to detoxing sugar was longer, more violent and varied.

Because of what the experience taught me about my cravings, I’ve mostly kept caffeine out of my life. I drink green tea most days, but not all. And sometimes on weekends or over vacation when I really want to indulge my taste buds, I’ll have an espresso or almond milk latte.

When I started the 4 Weeks to Wellness Program, which kicks off with a week-long mini vice detox, I was surprised by how many people were most dreading giving up coffee. When it was over, I was also shocked by how many people surprised themselves by deciding, like me, to stick with it.

Coffee is a polarizing ingredient in the wellness world, seen as a drug by some and a superfood by others. As I write about in The Wellness Project book, your tolerance really comes down to how well you metabolize it, which varies from person to person and can be affected by a number of variables (hormonal birth control being a biggie).

So I’m always surprised that so many elimination, detox and “cleanse” protocols don’t include coffee on the list (I’m looking at you Whole30).

Even if it wasn’t necessarily on your resolution list this year, I think everyone can benefit from going caffeine-free for a short period of time. If you suffer from hormonal imbalances (PCOS, endometriosis, thyroid issues) or symptoms of such (bad skin, unpredictable digestion), coffee might be a below-the-radar culprit or contributor.

Should You Give Up Coffee?

What many don’t acknowledge about coffee in particular (not caffeine in general) is that it’s a mild endocrine disruptor.

Coffee competes for precious enzyme resources in the liver that are also needed to process estrogen during the detoxification process. This is one reason why women taking hormone replacement drugs (like birth control pills) metabolize caffeine more slowly and can feel its effects longer.

This doesn’t do our skin any favors, but it also affects other aspects of our delicate endocrine system.

When estrogen levels are elevated, as can happen when your liver isn’t efficiently sorting the excess and eliminating properly, it creates a chain reaction through other parts of the body, especially the thyroid.

“Estrogen dominance” can cause hypothyroidism. It’s also associated with painful periods, scary PMS, ovarian cysts, and balloon-in-the-belly level bloating.

Ladies. Please consider giving your coffee break a break?


How do you Go About Quitting Caffeine?

To avoid head-pounding withdrawal symptoms, I don’t recommend going cold turkey.

Instead, replace your morning java infusion with a single cup of green tea, a low-caffeine, high antioxidant option for a few days. If you’re highly dependent on coffee (like 3+ cups per day), try taking a full week to downgrade. Start with two days of just 1 cup in the morning, followed by 2 days of only black tea, followed by 2 days of only green tea. Then, boom. Eliminate caffeine completely with one of the below options.

Emotionally, there’s a lot to be said for what a warm cup of something can do for the routine of starting your day. But I also want to talk about the benefit that warming up your insides has on the digestive system.

If you’ve become reliant on coffee to go to the bathroom in the morning, don’t stress.

Especially if you’re drinking smoothies or eating overnight oats straight from the fridge, it helps to first try sipping on something warm.

Cold foods slow down the digestive process, while warm foods tend to be easier on your GI tract.

Read on for some of my go-to warm caffeine-free beverages that can help you kick your coffee habit and still enjoy a treat in the morning.

With health and hedonism,

Phoebe

THE BEST CAFFEINE FREE COFFEE SUBSTITUTES AND ALTERNATIVES

Mushroom Elixir: For those who miss the taste of coffee, Four Stigmatic’s various mushroom powders are an interesting alternative. It’s not a dead ringer for the flavor, but it has a lovely earthy quality and looks just like coffee. It also is a superfood that touts lots of other nutrients. Just dump in a cup and add water. Easy. The Lion’s Mane variety is caffeine-free and great for focus. Beware that the mushroom coffee actually contains coffee!

Teeccino: Another option that imitates coffee, but comes in an easy-to-use tea bag is this tea brand. If you’re sensitive to gluten, make sure you buy a flavor that isn’t made from barley like the Dandelion Dark Roast.

Caffeine-Free Chai Tea Lattes. If you’re more of a tea guy or gal anyway, you will love these chai tea lattes, which have all the spices in the usual Starbucks order but none of the actual, um, tea. They are a little more involved, so you can also see the option below.

Bombay Fog. The London Fog is a classic tea latte that uses Earl Grey and steamed milk. It’s incredibly easy and can be replicated with caffeine-free English Breakfast tea, or for a fun spin, Caffeine-Free Rooibos Chai tea bags and Warm Almond Milk!

Golden Milk Lattes: These take a little more time in the morning, but can be quickly whipped up on the stove from a premade mixture of spices. The turmeric acts as an antinflammatory for your system, while ginger is a well-known salve for any digestive issues that ail you. An easy hack is this ginger tea plus a splash of unsweetened almond or coconut milk. You can also follow the recipe for golden milk chia pudding in The Wellness Project and skip the chia seeds for a simple latte!

Bone Broth: not only is it incredibly warming, but the collagen and glutamine also help heal your gut lining. There’s a fabulous recipe for Slow Cooker Ginger Chicken Broth in The Wellness Project Book. For instructions in an instapot, . For a beef version, see here. If you want to buy bone broth, Kettle and Fire makes a good (if expensive) one and I think it still pales in comparison to homemade. If you live in NYC, visit Brodo!

Warm Water with Fresh Lemon Juice: Just add 1/2 lemon to 8 ounces of hot water. Lemon juice acts as a solvent for toxins, helping your liver flush all the junk it accumulated overnight and usher it out of your body. This is especially good for if you’re just starting your caffeine or full vice detox and want some extra help getting through the withdrawal symptoms!

Have you ever tried giving up coffee? Do you feel better without it? What warm concoction is in your cup in the morning? Tell me in the comments!

For a helping hand kicking caffeine, the 4 Weeks to Wellness Program will be back for a new session next month and Early Bird Pricing is still available!

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There are many reasons why you might want to take a break from coffee, or even give it up all together.

Maybe you’re finding your 3pm coffee kick disruptive to your sleeping schedule, or perhaps you’re just overly sensitive to caffeine, and find the buzz not conducive to productive work.

Or maybe you’ve come to realise that you’re just a bit too addicted to your coffee hit and find yourself with a pounding headache if you go without for more than a few hours.

Either way, well done – the first step is acknowledging the problem.

If you’re in that tricky in-between period where you’re trying to quit, but haven’t quite managed to, perhaps try one of these coffee-alternatives, with some lighter, more gently-caffeinated options thrown in as well.

A less rattly, frantic mind awaits you.

Now that you’ve actively decided to give up drinking coffee we have great news, you can now put it up your bum a la Gwyneth Paltrow. The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss. Post continues after audio.

1. A protein shake.

Whether you need something extra to get you through between meals, or want a nutrient boost before or after a workout, a protein shake is perfect for those times when you need a bit more sustenance.

While they’re more filling to drink, protein is essential in helping with stabilising your blood sugar levels, increasing concentration, maintaining energy levels and supporting your body with absorbing the nutrients you eat from other foods.

With so many flavours and formulations found in the supplement section of your supermarket or chemist, you can sample away to your heart’s content until you find an option you’ll gladly guzzle.

Image: Getty.

5 Healthy Alternatives To Your Morning Cup Of Coffee

I love coffee. I don’t leave the house without brewing a french press no matter how early I need to be out the door. For the most part, I don’t see a problem with this; for most people, there is nothing wrong with caffeine. Some studies even suggest that consuming coffee is associated with a longer lifespan!

But lately, I’ve been thinking about my reliance on coffee after it was pointed out to me that I turn into a dragon if required to go without (trust me, you don’t want to be the person on that camping trip who left the beans behind) and thought it might be good to cut down for a bit. The problem was that I still wanted something warm and comforting as I went about my morning. I’m not a huge tea drinker, and I tend to like a drink that is frothy, or one to which I can at least add some milk. I’ve been experimenting with some coffee alternatives that not only taste great, but provide some pretty awesome health benefits to boot. Here are my top five.

RELATED: Exactly How Much Coffee You Should Be Drinking Each Day, According to a Recent Study

Matcha Latte

I got nervous about going cold turkey on caffeine after hearing horror stories of withdrawal headaches, so I decided to give matcha a try. Many of us have heard of the health benefits of green tea, such as high levels of antioxidants and a caffeine boost without a crash. Matcha takes those benefits to the max due to the way its grown and brewed. By grinding the leaf rather than just steeping, you’re squeezing every last bit of goodness from the precious plant.

In its most basic form, matcha can be somewhat bitter and grassy. Some people love that taste, but I prefer a creamy, more subdued beverage in the mornings. Matcha brewing instructions called for whisking 1 to 2 teaspoons of matcha into hot water, but I skipped that step since I was going to be throwing all my ingredients into a blender. I followed the recipe for health coach Robyn Youkilis’ Magical Morning Matcha, which is her favorite method to make the green goods palatable. The result? A gloriously creamy, indulgent dose of caffeine that provided me with steady energy throughout the morning.

Chaga Latte

After a few mornings of matcha, I was feeling more confident in going caffeine-free. Next up was a chaga latte. I’ve been hearing a lot about the benefits of medicinal mushrooms. No, these aren’t the psychedelic kind – we’re talking mushrooms like chaga, lion’s mane, and cordyceps, which boast health benefits ranging from increased brain function to help with endurance workouts. I decided to start with chaga, since I was feeling a little run down and it purportedly boosts the immune system. I was admittedly a little nervous to drink earthy mushrooms first thing in the morning, so I turned to the mushroom experts at Four Sigmatics for their ideal chaga latte recipe. They blend up chaga with soaked cashews, dates, almond milk and spices. I personally left out the cacao and carob, but keep it in for a twist on a mocha. I don’t know if it was the mushrooms, the caffeine-free lifestyle, or something else, but I did manage to stave off any illness, and the latte was pretty delicious with no hint of fungus on the palate.

Dandelion Coffee

After a series of mornings with my fancy latte options, I was craving the simplicity of my morning cup of Joe. Dandelion herbal blend, made from roasted dandelion root and usually combined with chicory root and other herbs, is known to have a similar texture and full-bodied taste to the real-deal coffee. It also is caffeine-free, chock full of antioxidants and include gut-friendly probiotics. It’s also extremely easy to mix up, instantly ready once combined with hot water. My verdict? It wasn’t exactly the same as regular coffee, but definitely scratched my itch. It has a slightly sweet, naturally creamy texture, and was the perfect vehicle for my homemade spiced almond milk. Warm, cozy, morning beverage? Check!

Bone Broth

This was a little out there, even for me, but trust me—drinking a hot cup of bone broth is a great way to start your morning. Bone broth, which is essentially just stock made by boiling animal bones for hours, is super nutrient-rich and is a good source of protein, which will help you feel full and satisfied throughout your morning. As someone who has always struggled with digestive woes, I was also happy to learn that having bone broth first thing in the morning helps the digestive system all day long. What finally pushed me over the edge into a bone broth devotee, though, is that it is a good source of natural collagen, meaning this comforting concoction is also a beauty beverage. Make your own or buy form one of the organic brands out there like Kettle and Fire.

Moringa Leaf

You might not have heard much about moringa, but this plant has been praised for its multiple health benefits for thousands of years. Its high level of antioxidants can help mitigate inflammation in the body, it may help stabilize and even lower blood sugar levels, and gives an incredible, caffeine-free burst of energy. Moringa comes in powdered form and can be prepared the same way as matcha, by whisking into hot water for tea or a latte. If I am making a morning smoothie, I will often add a half of a teaspoon of the so-called miracle plant for unparalleled energy, without the crash. Start with small amounts, as this plant packs serious power!

RELATED: The Science Behind Why Tea is Healthy

8 healthier alternatives to coffee everyone should try once

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Pictured: spiced chia seeds. flickr

Coffee, despite all its shortcomings, is pretty dang great if you need a wake-me-up.

Like red wine or dark chocolate, though, it seems to fall into the category of things that can have health benefits if consumed in moderation, but not really in excess.

In big quantities, it can upset your stomach, sap hydration, and cause headaches and anxiety, among other things. If you’re up to more than a few cups of coffee a day, you might actually experience a withdrawal when you try to quit. And on a superficial note, it’s not exactly helping you keep your teeth white.

But, again — very, very good at keeping you awake.

If you want to kick the habit of drinking coffee for something substantially healthier and more guilt-free and sustainable, there are great alternatives (that are great for you) that you can swap in. You’re not likely to get the same jolt of instant energy, but the health benefits that many of the following foods have (and coffee lacks) mean that you can have a higher quantity of them without the concern. In fact, since they’re so good for you, you’re actually getting more benefits the more you have, which is a lot more like a win-win relationship than the one you had with coffee. It could take three cups of green tea to equal one instant coffee, but it’s also known to be one of the healthiest things you can possibly drink.

Being energized doesn’t have to mean a sacrifice of health on your part.

And unlike when you have to forgo your morning cup of coffee, you’re probably less likely to feel agitated and lethargic when you similarly have to skip a cup of black tea. You aren’t creating a dependence that leaves you super high and then super low on the energy scale. Plus, for foods like oatmeal and high-in-protein nuts, you’re giving your body energy through food, which is a healthy alternative too few of us really utilize.

If you’re interested in diluting your habit of coffee drinking with healthy, energizing alternatives or want to swap out entirely, these are eight great options to throw into your Amazon cart:

Caffeine alternative to coffee

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