From waking up in the morning to pick-me-ups throughout the day, a cup of Joe is your go-to when you need to get up and going. When you miss your first cup of coffee of the day, you feel groggy and like you can’t function; it’s almost as if you are in a fog. While the caffeine in coffee provides several benefits, the most notable of which is waking you up, excessive consumption can also lead to a number of issues.
Coffee speeds up your metabolism and suppresses your appetite, which is great for weight loss; but, if you are drinking too much, you might be skipping out on important meals that provide valuable nutrients, and as a result, your overall health will be impacted. Additionally, while the caffeine in coffee does certainly wake you up, when it wears off, it can make you crash, which can make you feel like you are in a groggy, foggy slump. Also, the tannins in coffee can stain your teeth, making your smile dull and yellowish in color.
If you are an avid coffee drinker, but you are looking to cut back on the beverage so that you don’t subject yourself to its negative effects, you will be delighted to learn that there are alternatives that offer just as much wake-up power – without the downsides.
Here’s a look at some of the best alternatives to coffee that will effectively wake you up, increase your energy and get you up and going.
Hot Maca Root
Lepidium meyenii, more commonly known as maca root, is an adaptogen plant and a part of the cruciferous family (think cabbage and broccoli.) However, because of its unique properties, maca root is considered one of the most power natural super foods in the world.
Maca originates in the Peruvian Andes, where it grows at altitudes of 11,000 feet and higher, which makes it the highest growing food crop in the world. The root of the maca plant is about the size of a radish, and it is this part of the plant that is coveted. The maca root has been used for thousands of years to boost energy levels, increase stamina and even improve fertility.
Dried maca root is nutritionally dense. The nutritional makeup is as follows:
- 13 to 16 percent protein
- 8.5 percent fiber
- 19 essential amino acids
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D
And the list goes on and on. On top of all of these nutrients, maca root is also an adaptogen herb, or a food that increases overall energy levels.
To reap the benefits that the maca rooth provides, including the energy boosting benefits, the maca root is ground into a powder. Add a few tablespoons of the powder to a cup of warm almond milk, along with a few dashes of ground cinnamon and some raw honey. Maca root has a pleasant taste, and when combined with the cinnamon and raw honey, it really makes a nice, tasty beverage that will wake you up; and, it is much healthier than coffee.
Herbal Dandelion Tea
Though most people in North America regard the dandelion as a weed, you might want to reconsider pulling it from your yard. These yellow flowers provide a wealth of health benefits and have been used for their medicinal purposes for centuries. In fact, in Japan, the dandelion is considered to be one of the most beautiful flowers.
Though humble in appearance, the dandelion actually packs some serious health benefits. It has the ability to protect the liver from various toxic chemicals, which is why it is commonly used for cleanses. It is actually considered a ‘hepto-protective’ herb, because of its protective abilities.
It works by cleansing the toxins that build up in the liver. Though you may not know it, many of the foods and drinks that you consume contain toxins, and those toxins are filtered through the body by the liver. As they are filtered, these toxins actually buildup in the liver, which can cause a number of health issues, including depleted energy levels.
Dandelion contains powerful nutrients, including choline, vitamins A, B, C, iron, calcium and magnesium. All of these nutrients not only cleanse the liver, but the help to improve energy levels by stimulating the respiratory function at the cellular level.
In order to make a dandelion herbal tea, mix roasted dandelion, maca and chicory together in hot water and allow it to steep. It creates a flavor that is similar to coffee, yet it is healthier and provides more health benefits.
Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea is all the rage right now, and for good reason: it contains tons of beneficial nutrients that detoxify the body and boost energy. In fact, it is regarded as an antioxidant powerhouse!
Matcha green tea contains so many nutrients that are vital for health and well-being, including catechins, EGCg, amino acids, fiber, vitamins A and C and potassium. It also contains caffeine. Of course, the caffeine helps to boost energy levels, but it isn’t the only thing in matcha green tea that makes it a great alternative to coffee… The rest of the nutrients revitalize the body, helping to boost the immune system and cleanse toxins, working together with the caffeine to create a powerful energy boosting beverage.
Lemon water probably isn’t the first thing that you think of when you want to boost your energy levels. In fact, it’s probably what you think of when you want to refresh yourself. However, lemon water is a great source of energy.
The citric acid in lemon plays a vital role in restoring the body. It boosts the immune system, balances pH levels, flushes out the buildup of unhealthy toxins and so much more. All of these benefits actually help to boost energy levels, which is why drinking a cup of lemon water (preferably warmed) in the morning will jumpstart your energy.