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6 Buzzworthy Alternatives to Coffee

There’s no denying that coffee is a miracle substance. Truly nothing compares to the comfort provided by that morning cup o’ joe and sometimes its super power effects are the only thing that can get us through the day. It is important, however, to know where to draw the line.  While the question of how coffee affects our health remains a controversial topic, there are undisputed health risks associated with excessive coffee consumption. Its high amounts of caffeine increase anxiety, stress hormones, blood pressure and blood sugar levels and its addictive power makes it difficult for the body to utilize its natural energy sources. Coffee’s favorite accompaniments, cream and sugar, certainly don’t help the situation either. Therefore, while it is not necessary to cut coffee out of your life completely, consider replacing your daily cup (or one of them…) with one of these healthy alternatives.

1. Green Tea

Green tea has been in the spotlight for ages because of its incredible health benefits. Not only is it packed with antioxidants that prevent cell damage, but it has fat-burning capabilites, contains amino acids that improve brain function, and is excellent for your metabolism. This refreshing drink can be served hot or cold and contains enough caffeine to give you a boost without the jitters or crash.

2. Protein Smoothie

This delicious option is an excellent way to start the day, but is also ideal for combatting afternoon fatigue. Combine fruit and leafy greens with a source of protein, such as nuts, yogurt, or whey protein for the ultimate energizing smoothie. The vitamins from the veggies combined with the natural sugars of the fruit will improve alertness and focus, while the protein and fiber will provide fuel to sustain you throughout the day. Check out these mouthwatering recipes for inspiration.

 

3. Apples

Nope, your doctor wasn’t kidding about apples. Fructose, the natural sugar found in fruit, is slower-acting than caffeine, meaning it provides long-lasting energy, rather than quick jolts of energy followed by crashes. The carbohydrates also offer ample fuel to help keep you moving throughout the day.

 

4. Dark Chocolate

Chocoholics, your dream just became a reality. The small amounts of caffeine found in dark chocolate make for an ideal quick pick-me-up and, when consumed in moderation, it packs a variety of nutrients and health benefits. Aim for bars that are at least 70% cocoa, as they will contain the most caffeine and the least amount of sugar.

 

 

5. Chai Tea

Replacing coffee with this soothing tea will cut your caffeine intake, while still providing ample energy for fighting fatigue. When combined with milk and honey, the warm, creamy texture mimics the comforting taste of coffee. Even more, the black tea found in chai is loaded with antioxidants and the combination of spices, such as cinnamon, clove, and cardamom have been found to improve circulation, mental sharpness, and immune system functioning. 

 

6. Pomegranate Juice

This tangy and refreshing drink is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and contains natural sugar that provides a quick, immediate boost. If the taste is too tart for your liking, blend it with other fruit juices for a fresh and revitalizing lift.

 

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