11 Sep 5 Coffee Alternatives & Natural Energy Boosters
I used to drink 2 cups of coffee a day and now…it’s more like 2 cups a month, if that. Don’t get me wrong…I love the smell of coffee…I love the taste of coffee…and I love the immediate alertness you get when you have that first cup. What I don’t love is the jitters, the dehydration from too much caffeine, the extreme crash or the withdrawal headaches. And nowadays, the acidity of it just doesn’t sit well in my stomach. Coffee is not only acidic in your stomach, but also to the acid/alkaline balance in your whole body; this acid waste can actually cause calcification throughout your body, which can lead to arthritis and even affect serotonin production (this is due to calcification on the pineal gland that stimulates serotonin production).
Crazy that what you’re drinking could have such a big impact huh? And if you’re drinking energy drinks…don’t even get me started on what kind of havoc those are making on your system.
Even if you’re not ready to give up coffee or energy drinks altogether, at least know that there are some natural energy boosters that will give you tons of energy, less crash, positively affect your mood and as an extra super bonus…are loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and overall physical and mental benefits.
So here are my top five natural energy boosters:
1. Fresh Juice
Duh…you saw this coming right? I’m one of the biggest juicing cheerleaders you’ll ever meet. Usually this is all I need in the mornings to get me going. Since I started juicing on the regular I’ve never had the issue of “not having enough energy to work out”…I always do (check out some great juice recipes here).
BONUS – Add some Spirulina…it’s full of vitamins and minerals as well as chlorophyll and always gives me a little extra pep.
2. Green Tea
This is probably the most well-known coffee-alternative, but for good reason. Green tea is extremely high in antioxidants, which help your body fight free radicals. Basically all of the toxins you encounter every day (thousands of known chemicals) wreak havoc in your body and antioxidants are the warriors that protect it (woohoo!) Plus, green tea contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that helps calm the mind while also increasing alertness. I really like this tea with a little honey and almond milk…it has a bit of a chocolate undertone, yum! And it’s great iced too.
3. Yerba Mate
This is a leaf that comes from the South American rainforest and is extremely popular in that area. If you’re looking for a rival for coffee…this is a great bet as it can be extremely stimulating…but without the crash. You brew it just like coffee, so you can stick with your normal morning routine. Mate is also full of antioxidants, vitamins and polyphenols, similar to green tea. Here’s a great mate latte recipe that’s become a staple of my mornings. You can buy it here.
4. Guayusa Tea
Guayusa comes from the leaves of a tree–and similar to green tea and yerba mate–is also full of antioxidants, polyphenols and l-theanine but isn’t quite as bitter (read all about it here). I don’t usually have to add anything to this as the flavor is pretty smooth and mild. Here’s a good brand to try.
5. Gynostemma Tea (Jiaogulan)
Gynostemma (or Jiaogulan) is from China and is an adaptogenic herb…which means it’s been shown to bring your body back into balance, whether that balance concerns energy-levels, weight, mood, blood sugar or cholesterol. Personally, when I drink this, I notice a feeling of just general well-being and alertness…just what I need as a little afternoon pick me up to help me focus and get sh** done! I like this brand.
I know sometimes there’s just something about the brewing process of coffee that’s very ritualistic…but recently I bought a nice teapot with a strainer and some good loose leaf teas and I’m kinda liking this new ritual. Plus, you can blend your teas together or with other herbs and create drinks that are not only delicious, but can also be extremely beneficial to your health.
So have you tried any of the above? What did you think? Did they work for you? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!
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