Coffee is awesome, there is no arguing with that. But for some, coffee can cause anxiety, insomnia, nausea and stomach issues.
If you are looking to boost your morning without any side effects, we have compiled 8 coffee alternatives that not only give you that zap of energy needed, but also have incredible benefits for your health.
Health Benefits of Yerba Mate
This plant-based South American drink increases energy and enhances mood and alertness without the jittery effects of coffee. Yerba Mate also contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C and E and has the most antioxidants that tea can offer. Medicinally, it is used for lowering blood sugar, boosting your immune system and weight loss.
How to Make Yerba Mate
- 1 tablespoon of Yerba Mate leaves
- 8 ounces of hot water
- 1 splash of cold water
- Sweetener (sugar, honey or maple syrup)
Step 1: Add one large tablespoon Yerba Mate leaves to a tea bag, strainer or tea ball.
Step 2: Splash with cool water to preserve its nutrients.
Step 3: Steep in 175˚F hot water for approximately 4 minutes.
Step 4: Sweeten with honey, sugar or maple syrup (optional).
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric has long been used in Indian food, such as yellow curry. But perhaps the biggest benefit of using large amounts of turmeric (combined with black pepper) in your everyday life is for it’s medicinal properties: to treat inflammation and prevent cancer. Several studies have shown that turmeric can also help with depression.
How to Make Golden Milk
- 2 cups milk of choice
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
- Pinch of black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
Step 1: Blend all ingredients until smooth.
Step 2: Pour mixture into a small pot and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
Step 3: Drain through a fine mesh strainer.
Step 4: Pour into your favorite mug. Add extra cayenne pepper if you want more spice.
Health Benefits of Chai Tea
Because chai tea contains a lot of spices with beneficial properties, this drink is great all around. It can be enjoyed hot or cold. Cinnamon helps increase circulation, cardamom aids the lungs kidneys and heart, clove helps relieve pain, and black pepper increases the potency of all the spices combined. Nutmeg and ginger both help in relieving digestion, while star anise has anti-fungal properties.
How to Make Masala Chai Tea
- ¾ cup water
- 2-4 whole green cardamom pods, smashed
- 1-2 thin slices of fresh ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- ¾ cup milk of choice
- ½ teaspoon loose black tea leaves
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
Step 1: Crush all spices using a coffee grinder, mortar and pestle or grater until they form a powder.
Step 2: Grate the ginger into fine pieces.
Step 3: Boil water, then add ginger, spices and black tea.
Step 4: Continue boiling mixture for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 5: Add in your milk and stir again.
Step 6: If your liquid boils over, lower temperature (You may need to do this several times).
Step 7: Add in sweetener of choice (optional).
Step 8: Turn off the heat and let it sit for about 2 minutes.
Step 9: Place a strainer over a cup, strain and enjoy!
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Besides curbing your craving for sweets, dark chocolate also makes you more alert for about 2-3 hours after eating it and increases blood flow. Looking to lower your blood pressure? A couple pieces of dark chocolate can help with that as well.
How to Make Mexican Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups milk of choice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 3-ounce disc of Mexican chocolate
- ½ tablespoon Ancho powder
- 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch of salt
Step 1: Cut your chocolate in pieces.
Step 2: Pour your milk into a pan and add a cinnamon stick, ancho powder, and salt.
Step 3: Stir mixture for about 3 minutes on medium heat.
Step 4: Add chocolate pieces, making sure they melt completely.
Step 5: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, stir and serve.
Health Benefits of Maca
Maca comes in many forms. The most popular is powder. It is known for aiding fertility, controlling estrogen levels, testosterone and keeping blood sugar levels in check which in turn helps with adrenal health. Maca has also been known to prevent chronic diseases, especially those caused by high cholesterol.
How to Make Honey Maca
- 1½ cups almond milk
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon maca powder
Step 1: Place almond milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a small pot and heat for about 10 minutes.
Step 2: Add maca powder and stir.
Step 3: Add honey to sweeten.
Step 4: Top with extra cinnamon (optional).
Health Benefits of Matcha
If you are looking to detoxify your body from chemicals and metals, matcha tea may be exactly what you need. Not only is it great tasting, it also helps improve cholesterol, aid weight loss, maintain a healthy metabolism for those with type 2 diabetes and helps you relax while staying alert. Matcha green tea is a traditional tea used in many Japanese ceremonies. Buddhist monks also prepared this tea as an elixir to promote concentration.
How to Make Matcha Latte
- ½ cup hot water
- ½ cup hot coconut milk or almond milk
- 1 teaspoon matcha tea powder
- 1 tablespoon sweetener (optional)
- 1 dash of vanilla extract
- Frother (optional)
Step 1: Scoop the matcha powder into a mug or small bowl.
Step 2: Pour in a small amount of the hot water and carefully whisk until it creates a pasty texture.
Step 3: Add in your hot coconut or almond milk, along with the remaining water.
Step 4: Stir together until the matcha dissolves completely.
Step 5: Place frother on top of liquid and froth until desired texture is achieved.
*If you don’t have a frother, you can simply pour all ingredients in a blender and blend until frothy and serve.
Health Benefits of Mint
If you are looking for something refreshing, mint does the trick. Mint is used in common, everyday items like toothpaste, breath mints and chewing gum. Along with helping with digestion, mint also relieves coughs, fatigue and headaches.
How to Make Mint Iced Tea
- A large handful of fresh mint leaves
- 2 cups water
- 3 tea bags of choice
- Sweetener of choice
Step 1: Steep three tea bags in hot water, set aside and let it cool.
Step 2: Pour cooled water into a cup, filling it about half way.
Step 3: Add in mint, ice and strawberries.
Step 4: Add water and sweetener of choice.
Health Benefits of Berries
Berries contain phytochemicals which help prevent cell damage. By having at least two servings of berries a week, you are preventing mental decline like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Not only are berries pretty, they also help with heart health, and can be used to naturally sweeten food and drinks.
How To Make Superfood Berry Smoothie
- ½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 6 large fresh or frozen strawberries
- ½ cup coconut water
- 2 scoops of protein powder
Step 1: Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Step 2: Pour into a glass and top with your favorite berries.
Now that you’ve seen that there are other energy boosting alternatives, which will you try first? Keep in mind, some of these options do contain caffeine, so if that’s what you are trying to avoid, there are plenty of other options. Create your very own personalized mug and start the morning off right.