Do you rely on a warm, steamy brew, or coffee with a strong aroma that whiffs by gently as you take your first sip? You're not on your own! But do you also find yourself suffering from that mid-afternoon slump?
For centuries, we’ve been enchanted by this drug for its miracle effects on our bodies. Since the early discovery of caffeine’s stimulant effect, studies have since linked the drug to reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
But that caffeine also has a dark side. Drinking numerous cups in a day can leave you feeling jittery during the day and restless at night. Of course, caffeine tolerance varies by person, but we have covered below several revitalising beverages to try as an alternative every now and again.
Kombucha is a fermented, lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea drink commonly consumed for its supposed health benefits. Sometimes the beverage is called kombucha tea to distinguish it from the culture of bacteria and yeast.
It's a great low caffeine alternative to coffee or tea, so you can enjoy a little boost without the dreaded crash! It has also been suggested that consuming kombucha on an empty stomach may also help to balance your gut bacteria to aid digestion throughout the day
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting crushed apples using yeast and bacteria. This process produces a compound called acetic acid, which may have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels, according to some studies.
A basic apple cider vinegar beverage combines 1–2 tablespoons of raw or unfiltered apple cider vinegar, 1 cup (237 ml) of cold water and optionally 1–2 tablespoons of honey or another preferred sweetener.
Rooibos or red tea is a caffeine-free beverage that originated in South Africa.
Unlike coffee and other teas, rooibos is low in tannin antioxidants, which can be beneficial but also interfere with the absorption of iron. Despite a low tannin content, rooibos provides a substantial amount of other antioxidants.
Studies are extremely limited. One test-tube study suggests that rooibos may help protect against heart disease, while another found potential for reducing cancer risk.
Rooibos has a longer steep time than most teas and over-steeping does not result in a bitter taste. Instead, rooibos has a slightly sweet, fruity flavour.
Shop Rooibos Tea here, they have a variety of flavours.
Chai tea is a type of black tea blended with strong herbs and spices. Though it contains less caffeine than coffee, studies suggest that black tea may still improve mental alertness.
Black and green teas are both made from the Camellia sinensis plant, but black tea undergoes a fermentation process, which changes its chemical makeup. Both types seem to have powerful antioxidant properties.
Although more research is needed, some observational studies have linked drinking black tea with a lower risk of heart disease. Besides its potential health benefits, chai tea has a robust flavor and comforting smell.
B12 vitamins play an essential role in energy production. This is no secret: take one look at the ‘energy drinks’ on the shelves at your local supermarket and you’ll often find B12 vitamins as the star of the show. If you set aside the sugars, sweeteners and artificial flavourings, they're actually on to something.
B12 vitamins work for energy production by improving the rate at which the food we eat is converted into energy. These vitamins work in tandem with one another, each playing their own individual role along the energy production chain. If you’re deficient in just one B vitamin, the whole chain will come grinding to a halt.
The best way to ensure you are getting an adequate supply of B vitamins is by eating a varied and balanced diet. Dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and potatoes are good sources of multiple B vitamins. For a little extra support, you can also try our high quality B12 supplement.
Specifically, pay careful attention to vitamin B12. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’re at a high risk of deficiency in this particular nutrient.
Maca is a herb that grows at high altitudes in the mineral rich soils of the Andes Mountains. It’s a fairly new discovery in the Western world, but has been traditionally consumed for over 10,000 years by Incan warriors as a way to boost energy, endurance and alertness.
In a 2009 study published in the American Journal of Ethnopharmacology, a group of male cyclists were split into two sub groups – one of which was given maca, the other a placebo. The cyclists who consumed the maca increased their time faster than the ones who got the placebo.
A separate clinical review of maca also noted it’s ability to improve energy levels and mood in a range of subjects, both male and female. Take a teaspoon of maca powder in a smoothie before a workout, lookout for the subtle yet long lasting energy boost.
Mint acts as a natural, refreshing alternative to coffee, as research suggests the smell and flavor of it can enhance memory and boost alertness and attentiveness. Enjoy Mint tea either by a good quality tea bag, or through hot water and bashed fresh mint leaves.
Kick the benefits of mint up a notch by mixing up this cucumber mint smoothie recipe that is energizing, hydrating, nourishing, and cooling!
Switching up your morning beverage doesn’t have to be complicated. Lemon water is a great way to start your day. It’s calorie- and caffeine-free and provides an ample dose of vitamin C.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C plays a role in your immune system and protects your skin from sun damage. It’s essential for creating collagen, a protein that provides the basic structure for your skin, tendons and ligaments.
While one serving of matcha has much less caffeine than coffee, it provides a less jittery, more sustained energy boost – with no crash at the end. L-Theanine also improves focus and helps you concentrate. Matcha features much higher levels of antioxidants, which protect against disease and ageing.
You can get your Matcha fix by various grades of powder or infused in tea bags.
Many golden-milk devotees drink up first thing in the morning to get a long-lasting energy lift without turning to caffeine. Recipes for golden milk tend to vary, with some proponents adding ingredients such as coconut oil and cinnamon. Though it’s usually made with dried turmeric and ginger, you can also use fresh herbs.
“Herbal Coffee” - Chicory Coffee
Like coffee beans, chicory root can be roasted, ground and brewed into a delicious hot beverage. It tastes very similar to coffee but is caffeine-free.
It is also a rich source of inulin. This soluble fibre may aid in digestion and support a healthy gut by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria — particularly Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
In addition, it can stimulate your gallbladder to produce more bile, which may be beneficial for fat digestion.
Chicory root can be found pre-ground and roasted, so it’s easy to prepare. Simply brew it like regular coffee grounds — in a filter coffee maker, French press or espresso machine.
Shop Chicory Coffee here.
From fostering cell growth and survivability to delivering life-sustaining oxygen to all parts of the body, water is ironically the healthiest energy drink to exist while gifting the human body existence.
So replace that morning mug of coffee with a tall glass of water to boost health and ignite energy levels, as even slight dehydration cause fatigue and moodiness. Add some lemon, lime, orange, and other invigorating flavors to really put some pizazz into your morning step!
That notorious glass of OJ is more than just a quick squeeze.
According to research conducted at the University of Reading, a glass of orange juice in the morning can boost brain energy over the course of the day. More specifically, cognition and alertness have shown to be significantly boosted up to six hours after consuming a 240 milliliters (or an 8-ounce fluid cup) serving of orange juice.
Coconut water is naturally low in calorie and high in rehydrating electrolytes, including sodium and potassium. (Even containing more potassium than four bananas claims WebMD!)
The balance of electrolytes helps fight off fatigue and combat against muscle weakness and cramps, which also makes it a highly sought after post-workout recovery drink.
Use coffee or caffeine as a pre-workout drink? Pomegranate juice is one of the most effective caffeine alternatives, with research showing it may actually improve exercise performance by improving blood circulation and flow.
And as an added bonus, pomegranate juice may promote greater muscle recovery, which poses the opportunity to maintain a comfortable exercise regimen!
Swap out that mug of coffee for a warm and soothing cup of ginseng tea. There is evidence showing Panax ginseng bares antifatigue effects with positive outcomes on cognitive performance and mood.
Furthermore, WebMD reports ginseng has shown to relieve the fatigue experienced by 90 percent of people with cancer!