5 Healthy Alternatives to Coffee To Energize You in the Morningon
No morning beverage is as beloved or more consumed by early morning risers as coffee. It is estimated that 50% of the population, equivalent to 150 million Americans, drink espresso, cappuccino, latte, or iced coffees. With around 95 mg of caffeine per serving, a hot cup of coffee in the AM provides (for some) a necessary boost of energy to get their day and their productivity started.
Though coffee is used to relieve mental and physical fatigue and to increase mental alertness, there are many reasons why people choose to forgo their morning cup of joe and are looking for coffee alternatives. For some, a high amount of caffeine can cause nervousness and agitation (also known as the "jitters"), anxiety, headaches, insomnia, and digestive problems. As we increase your consumption of coffee, our bodies' tolerance also increases, require stronger and more doses of caffeine to make a noticeable difference in energy levels. Constantly relying on coffee for energy can also lead to caffeine addiction, making our bodies crave it and causing negative responses when it goes without.
If you're among those who are looking to reduce or replace coffee, we have compiled just for you a list of healthy alternatives to coffee that will help you start your day energizes and ready to go!
Healthy Alternatives to Coffee
1. Hydrate with Lemon Water
One of reasons why we are sluggish and groggy in the morning is due to our bodies being dehydrated after a night's rest. For an energizing and refreshing boost, start your day with a glass of lemon water. Not only does it help hydrate and replenish your body, lemons also contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help improve your immune system. As well as being calorie and caffeine-free, lemon water is a great option for those who want to cut out caffeine in their diet and improve body functions overall.
2. Drink a Strong Herbal Tea, Like Matcha
If you're set on enjoying a warm beverage first thing in the morning but want to forgo coffee, choose a hot cup of strong herbal tea instead. There are many different teas to choose from with varying amounts of caffeine. Matcha is popular tea choice as a healthy alternative for coffee for its high level of caffeine and metabolism boosting, antioxidant benefits that helps to lower anxiety. Higher in caffeine than regular brewed green tea, matcha ranges from 35-250 mg per cup. If the taste of matcha is not to your liking, peppermint tea and tea containing ginger, cayenne, or cinnamon can also energize you in the morning.
3. Working Out In The Morning
A wonderful, healthy alternative to coffee that helps energize you in the morning is, believe it or not, a morning workout! In the early hours, we produce more Cortisol in the body than other times of the day, a hormone in the body that keeps you awake and alert. Exercising when our Cortisol levels are high allows us to be more primed and ready for physical exertion at this time. A 2019 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that morning exercise improves attention, visual learning, and decision-making. By exercising early, you may feel more energized and focused throughout the day while regular exercise also boosts energy and reduces fatigue. Whether it's yoga, going for a run, or hitting the gym, movement right after waking gets circulation going and releases feel-good chemicals into the body.
4. Eat A Balanced Breakfast
Have you ever heard that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day?" There is definitely some truth to that. Having a healthy and nutritious meal in the morning allows our bodies to wake up and boosts our energy levels. Consuming the appropriate mix and portions of nutrients (protein, low carbs, and healthy fats) can get us through the day and maintain satiety, combat fatigue, and prevents blood sugar crashes. A balanced breakfast might include eggs, toast, leafy green veggies, and fresh fruits.
Though protein alone does not directly boost your energy, it has been known to improve your sleep quality and prevent sugar crashes. If you're looking to add some extra protein to your breakfast (to reach your protein allotted protein intake, fuel up for a morning workout, etc) and you love the taste of coffee, try snacking on a Mocha Almond Rise Bar to get you through your workout and keep your energy up all day. Delicious coffee flavor, 5 real food ingredients, 15g of protein, and 25mg of caffeine, this bar lets you enjoy that comforting coffee taste while reducing your coffee intake.
5. Music for motivation and positive vibes in the morning
The above suggestions may require a little bit of a lifestyle change, however, this next healthy alternative to coffee to energize you in the morning is for sure the easiest to include in your morning routine! Music is a great way to get you moving, grooving, feeling good, and get you motivated to start the day. While listening to positive music, your brain releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical that is linked to happiness, pleasure, and also impact physical changes in your body such as heart beat, chills, breathing rate, etc. If all of this can happen to your body when you're listening to music, ditch the coffee mug, turn on your favorite tunes, dance, and energize your way into a happier mood and a more productive day.
Don't be dependent on coffee to run your morning and your day. Choose these other healthy alternatives to coffee instead. They will energize you in the morning, sustain you throughout the day, and keep your caffeine intake low!
Author: Katie Nguyen, Rise Bar Team