Coffee is well known for its energy-boosting powers, but drinking it all day just with this reason is not good. Regular coffee drinking has its own share of side effects as well.
7 Healthy Alternatives To Coffee
There are various things which can be swapped with coffee and give the same energy-boosting effect.
- Matcha Tea: It is a type of green tea which can be made by steaming, drying, and grinding the leaves of Camellia Sinensis plant into a fine powder. EPCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is present in a greater amount in matcha tea making it a more concentrated form of the antioxidant source.(1) It is also found effective in reducing weight and controlling type 2 diabetes.(2) As the matcha is consumed as the whole leaf, the caffeine content on it is higher than that of green tea and is sometimes even higher than coffee.
- Chicory Coffee: Chicory roots can be roasted and brewed into a hot beverage. The taste is similar to coffee but is caffeine-free. Chicory roots are a rich source of insulin. The soluble fiber present in it promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria, bifid bacteria and lactobacilli.(3) It also promotes the production of bile which is beneficial for fat digestion. Chicory roots cause digestive symptoms such as gas and bloating in some people.(4) Also, it should not be taken by pregnant and breastfeeding females since the research on its safety under these circumstances is lacking.
- Lemon Water: Lemon water is a great morning drink to start a day. It is free from caffeine and calories and provides a good amount of vitamin C. The antioxidants and vitamin C boost the immune system and protect the skin from sun damage. It also promotes collagen formation, a protein that provides the basic structure of the skin, tendons, and ligament.(5, 6) Lemon water is a refreshing drink to start a day and keep you hydrated.
- Yerba Mate: For those who cannot start their day without a cup of coffee, yerba mate is a good alternative. It is a naturally caffeinated drink made from dried leaves of holly tree found in South America. One cup of yerba mate contains 78 mg of caffeine, which is roughly similar to that of coffee.(7) Yerba mate contains beneficial plant compounds that act as antioxidants and some studies suggest it has higher antioxidant than green tea.(7) It is also rich in other minerals and vitamins such as riboflavin, phosphorus, iron calcium, and green tea. In spite of so many benefits, its regular intake is linked with an increased rate of certain cancer.(8, 9)
- Apple Cider Vinegar: It is a caffeine-free alternative of coffee which has numerous beneficial effects to the body as it may lower the blood sugar levels and also assist weight loss. It is prepared by fermenting crushed apples by using yeast and bacteria. The acetic acid present in it controls the insulin activity and blood sugar levels. A study showed the effect of apple cider vinegar in controlling the blood sugar in individuals who drank 20 grams of it before meals. The effect, however, was not seen in those with type2 diabetes.(10) Do not drink it without diluting as the acetic acid content might burn the mouth and throat.
- Kombucha: Kombucha is yeast and its tea is prepared by fermenting it with tea, sugar and other flavors. It contains probiotics, acetic acid, and antioxidants all of which benefit health. Making kombucha on own is not recommended due to the high risk of harmful pathogens.
- Rooibos Tea: Originated from South Africa, Rooibos tea or red tea is a caffeine-free beverage. It is slightly sweet and has a fruity taste. It is low in tanning antioxidants, which are beneficial but interfere with the iron absorption.(11) A study suggests rooibos may help in protecting against heart disease and it is known to have the potential for reducing cancer risk.(12, 13)
Coffee has a lot of health benefits, but it may not necessarily work for everyone.
All of the above can be taken instead of coffee and are healthy alternatives. All on the list are worth trying.
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