Caffeine is a bitter substance that occurs naturally in more than 60 plants including:
There is also synthetic (man-made) caffeine, which is added to some medicines, foods, and beverages. Some pain relievers, cold medicines, and over-the-counter alertness medications, for example, contain synthetic caffeine. So do energy drinks, "energy-boosting" gums, and snacks.
Effects of Caffeine
Caffeine has a wide range of effects on your body's metabolism. It:
Side Effects of Caffeine
Caffeine consumption of up to 400mg per day is not harmful to most people. Caffeine consumption can lead to a variety of health issues, including:
Because it is dependent, you must take more of it to achieve the same results. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine's effects than others. Coffee is a sacred part of many of our morning rituals. Who are we kidding? It's the highlight of our morning routine and the first thing we do (drink the coffee, then do the items). Aside from its comforting and delicious taste, coffee gives us a (much-appreciated) energy boost to get us through the morning.
That being said, it may not be the best option for everyone. Don't get us wrong: if your relationship is going well, keep your coffee addiction going. However, if you are caffeine sensitive, there are other energy-boosting caffeine alternatives that may be better suited to your needs. Whether you're ready to ditch (or cut back on) the coffee habit or coffee just doesn't settle with you, we have some energy-boosting tips.
While studies show that caffeine intake of up to 400 mg per day, or about 4 cups, is usually tolerated by most healthy adults, caffeine is not for everyone. Furthermore, everyone's caffeine tolerance varies greatly. Caffeine jitters may hit those who don't tolerate caffeine well after drinking that morning brew. Caffeine may cause unpleasant digestive upset in some people. But, don't we all need a little pick-me-up in the morning? So, while caffeine may not be the best choice for everyone (at least in excess), we've compiled a list of game-changing caffeine alternatives that will leave you feeling energized without feeling jittery. You're going to want in on these hacks, which range from ice-cold showers to cosy herbal beverages.
Alternatives for Caffeine
1. Golden Milk
Not only is Golden Milk delicious, but it's also an incredibly nutrient-dense way to start the day and fuel your body with powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients. And, if it's just a warm, comforting beverage first thing in the morning, replacing your coffee with this cup of gold is a no-brainer! It is easy to make.
Add the milk to a medium-sized saucepan. Then stir in 12 teaspoon turmeric, 12 teaspoon cinnamon, one pinch of cayenne pepper (optional), one pinch of ground ginger, and one teaspoon of coconut oil. After a thorough mixing, your golden milk is ready.
2. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea has a very refreshing flavour, and it may just give you the boost you need first thing in the morning. According to research, peppermint may have some energy-boosting properties. In fact, just smelling the essential oil of peppermint may be enough to combat sleepiness and fatigue. And, if you're feeling particularly daring, grow your own peppermint at home to make a homemade brew each morning (yum!).
3. Energy Boosting Smoothie
Begin your day with an energy-boosting smoothie that will not only serve as a great coffee substitute but will also fuel your body and keep you satisfied until lunch. Try combining a variety of energy-boosting foods (look out, healthy fats!). Smoothie ingredients like coconut or MCT oil, sliced avocado, and almond butter provide significant energy and blood sugar support.
Toss in your favourite fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, a frozen banana, and a handful of spinach. Combine everything with your favourite dairy-free milk.
Breakfast is taken care of with just a few ingredients and a few minutes of your time, and you're giving your body all the healthy fats it needs for sustained energy all morning. Do you need an extra boost? For a fiber-rich plant-based protein boost, add a spoonful of chia or hemp seeds. The combination of fibre and protein will not only keep you full, but it will also give you a boost of energy!
4. Herbal Coffee
If it's the flavour of coffee that you're after, give this caffeine alternative a shot. Herbal coffee (such as Teeccino) is made from herbs, and this particular brand combines Chicory root with natural ingredients such as almonds and carob.
It tastes like coffee but also nourishes your body without the acidity or jitters associated with caffeine.
Another interesting blend? Coffee Alternative Beverage Dandy Blend Dandy blend, like Teeccino, has a bitter coffee flavor and is made with all-natural herbs such as Chicory root. It also contains Dandelion root, a herb that is especially beneficial to the liver and digestion. Best of all, it will give you a coffee-like boost with no added jitters (thanks to the 16 naturally occurring trace minerals that support adrenal function). For a caffeine-free way to start your day, sip it in your favorite mug with a splash of coconut milk and a drizzle of raw honey.
Why don't you drink more water if you already know how healthy it is for you? It can be consumed warm or cold with a squeeze of lemon or berries for natural flavour. Water can make you feel more alert regardless of how you consume it, especially since dehydration (even at low levels) is a major contributor to fatigue. Start the day with a large glass of water to ensure proper hydration, and when you find yourself in need of a boost throughout the day, think of it as your body's natural cue to get some water.
6. Hot Cocoa
Making hot chocolate at home is easy. According to Jazz Leaf, a private chef for NBA athletes, all you need is one tablespoon of 100% cacao powder, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, one cup of your preferred plant-based milk, and one teaspoon of maple syrup (more or less, depending on sweetness). She goes on to say that cacao powder is rich in antioxidants, magnesium (which supports healthy muscle function), and fibre, which activates the body's digestive enzymes. She continued by saying that cacao powder is a healthy substitute for coffee because it gives your body energy when you're feeling tired naturally.
MUD/WTR is a coffee alternative that contains black tea powder, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cacao, Himalayan salt, cinnamon, and mushrooms like lion's mane, cordyceps, chaga, and reishi.
Although MUD/WTR contains a small amount of caffeine from the black tea powder, Axe claims that the antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral content of the product may help you feel a little more energized.
It is made from a combination of superfood ingredients, such as medicinal mushrooms, spices, and cocoa, which are high in antioxidants and may improve how well your body handles stressors. In addition to being rich in antioxidants, cocoa also contains naturally occurring caffeine, which may support increased energy and help you focus.
8. Protein Shake
It's a healthy swap for caffeine and I find it can help keep my energy levels up throughout even the busiest of days. Given that protein sources give the body the energy it needs to repair and build muscles, tissues, bones, and antibodies, which in turn helps increase your strength and stamina, Bede notes that not getting enough protein during the day may be a major contributing factor to fatigue.
She advises refueling in the morning with a ready-to-drink protein shake like Ensure Max Protein to ensure you get an adequate dose. You could also create your own. You can quickly feel more energised by mixing a banana, some almond milk, and a scoop of your preferred whey or plant-based protein powder.
9. Hot Apple Cider Vinegar
Since apple cider vinegar contains enzymes that can help balance blood sugar levels, control your appetite, and possibly prevent problems like heartburn and indigestion, Axe says that cider made with real apple cider vinegar is excellent for supporting digestion.
Leaf advises mixing one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of honey (or more, depending on your preferred level of sweetness), and hot water in a mug before waking up. She advises drinking it first thing in the morning to feel your digestive system start to function (using a straw to protect your tooth enamel).
10. Pomegranate Juice
Ashley Reinke, a certified nutritionist, says pomegranate juice is a great caffeine substitute because it will also make you feel more hydrated and give you a boost from its natural sugar. This potent juice has been demonstrated to increase blood flow, and circulation, and assist in muscle recovery, according to the woman. "These qualities make it a great swap to your pre-workout caffeine routine as it is also high in vitamin C, E, and folate, which helps with cellular repair and regrowth," she adds.