I’ve always had a complicated relationship with coffee. In moderation, it’s great. I enjoy the ritual, the smell, and the taste. But I find that every so often my intake starts to creep up. I start doubling it up in the morning, maybe grabbing one in the afternoon. Soon I find myself slamming back 6 just to get to normal. While this is happening the negative side effects begin to pile up;
- Lack of quality sleep
- Brain Fog
All of these contributing to why I need to drink more coffee.
It’s at this point I finally make the plan to cut down. What helps to get through this is not going cold turkey, but replacing it with something else. Something with less caffeine yet ultra healthy.
Here are the top 3 things you can use to replace coffee the next time you need a break or even if you just want to change things up.
Matcha is a special type of powdered green tea grown to be a nutritional powerhouse. Farmers cover the plant (Camilla Sinesis) about a month before harvesting, this increases chlorophyll production, boosts the amino acid profile and gives the plant a rich green hue. They then pick, stem and de-vine before it’s stone ground into a fine powder.
What you end up drinking is the nutrients from the entire green tea leaf, which results in a whole bunch of nutritional and antioxidant benefits;
- Catechins (EGCG) believed to have cancer-fighting effects on the body
- Helps prevent diabetes and heart disease
- Helps to increase metabolism which in turn aids in weight loss
- Contains L-theanine – this helps to promote a sense of calm without any drowsiness
- Detoxifier due to high levels of chlorophyll, this helps to remove heavy metals and toxins from the body
Matcha is one of our favorite things to add to a green smoothie in the morning. It has quite a potent taste when it’s mixed on its own (think green tea taken up a notch). When we have it on its own we usually mix in some honey to take a little of the edge off.
Yerba mate is a herbal tea made from the leaves and twigs of the Ilex Paraguariensis or Holly tree, native to South America. The leaves of the Holly tree naturally contain 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids and are full of antioxidants. The Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific society in 1964 concluded that “it is difficult to find in any area of the world equal to mate in nutritional value”.
Some of the benefits of drinking Yerba Mate are;
- A smooth increase in energy
- Loaded with Vitamins such as A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin, B5 and B Complex
- Packed with Minerals like Calcium, Manganese, and Iron
- Contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds known as saponins which may help to boost the immune system
- Antioxidant properties can help to keep your heart healthy
Overall Yerba Mate is a great substitute for coffee. It has around 85mg of caffeine per serving which is less than a cup of coffee but more than tea. It is an acquired taste but like tea, we usually just add in some honey to sweeten it up.
Mushroom coffee has quickly gained popularity for its extremely healthy properties, it’s caffeine boost, but also the smoother less jittery energy you get from it. It also helps that it has zero mushroom taste. You can get mushroom coffee from a couple different health food suppliers but one of the companies trying to take mushroom coffee to the mainstream is Four Sigmatic (we don’t get anything from mentioning them, they are just the only company we have personally tried that offers this type of beverage).
Mushroom coffee comes in a bunch of different types, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, and Cordyceps all offering the benefits of the mushrooms added. Some of the benefits from them are;
- Less Acidic – will help with those who have stomach issues with regular coffee
- Boosting Your Immune System – reishi mushrooms, in particular, have proven scientific studies on improving this
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Boost Liver Health – reishi mushrooms are rich in adaptogens which may help to improve liver function
Mushroom coffee is a great alternative to your normal cup as it has the same taste with even more health benefits from mushrooms as well. We’ve tried a couple different types from Four Sigmatic that we found at the local health food store and we can confirm it tastes everything like coffee and nothing like mushrooms. It definitely gives you a much smoother energy than a normal cup of coffee.
Switch It Up
A cup of coffee has it’s own health benefits but can sometimes create some problems especially when consumed in excess. These three alternatives, Matcha, Yerba Mate and Mushroom Coffee can still give you a caffeine boost but all of them have a much smoother, cleaner energy to them. They’ll leave you with fewer jitters, sustained energy and a whole host of nutritional benefits you just can’t get from a cup of coffee alone.
So if you’re in the mood for a change or just want a nutritional beverage, grab one of these from your local health food store (Matcha and Yerba are easily found in most grocery stores) and enjoy!