Is coffee harmful?
While research suggests that one cup of coffee a day won’t cause significant harm to our bodies, the truth of the matter is, very few people stick to one cup a day. The research is also based on pure black coffee without any additions like sugar, cream, milk or sweetener. At coffee houses around the country, the orders vary from large triple cream and sugar to a small single milk and every variation in between. Coffee has become the morning pick-me-up so many of us depend on it to get our day started, but is it really giving us more energy or reducing our body’s ability to create its own energy throughout the day?
When consumed in larger quantities than usual, caffeine can mess with the body’s fight or flight system. It produces excessive amounts of adrenaline and tricks our minds into getting our bodies ready to flee or do battle. The energy we experience is actually a state of agitation and can leave us grouchy and tired when the adrenaline dissipates and we crash.
Benefits of not drinking coffee
One benefit of ditching the caffeine in your daily schedule is the positive impact on your appearance. Just like nicotine and red wine, caffeine can stain your teeth and make them look yellow and unhealthy. You can opt for expensive whitening products or choose an alternative energy booster so your teeth stay white. Are you on a diet but can’t figure out why those extra pounds are not disappearing? Caffeine could be a reason why that stubborn fat around your midsection is sticking around. It affects the system that regulates fat in our bodies.
Most of us do not get enough sleep and that can affect all aspects of our lives and cause diseases like high blood pressure, unhealthy blood sugar and digestive issues. Waking up tired and groggy may also have us reaching for an unhealthy breakfast with our morning coffee because we don’t have the energy to make a wholesome one. Having too much caffeine or having it too late in the day can badly affect our sleep cycle and result in insomnia and related health problems.
Luckily, for those of us who need that boost to start the day, there are some healthy and natural alternatives to caffeine that will have us zipping through the morning and will help our bodies produce enough energy for the afternoon and evening, too.
While teas do contain caffeine, it is in small amounts and don’t cause the same side effects as coffee. Some teas contain trace amounts of caffeine and are loaded in antioxidants and other healthy ingredients to help give an energy boost like coffee, but without the jittery feeling associated with it. Tea is an excellent way to help wean yourself off of coffee because it still contains caffeine so you won’t feel the withdrawal system as acutely.
Green tea is one of the most popular natural alternatives to coffee because it is the most naturally sourced type of tea. The majority of the ingredients in a bag of green tea are natural and unprocessed, so it is a much healthier alternative.
If you want a gentle way of kicking the coffee habit with minimal withdrawal symptoms, Matcha is the tea for you. These tea leaves are ground into a powder and when hot water is added to them, the result is a slow-release of caffeine throughout the day to help you avoid the jitters and kick the caffeine habit.
Other teas that make excellent caffeine alternatives include Yerba, made from dried leaves in South America, Chai, a black tea that can make you more alert, and Rooibos, a red tea from South Africa packed with antioxidants.
Coconut water is a great way to get a natural burst of energy without caffeine. bursting with electrolytes, this natural caffeine alternative will hydrate and replace your body’s fluids more effectively than any sports drink.
Apple cider vinegar
Adding a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a cold glass of water will help with reducing lactic acid build-up in your body to reduce muscle-tenderness and tiredness. It also contains potassium that helps with maintaining energy levels throughout the day. Just make sure you mix it with water because it can burn your throat if you drink it raw.
Turmeric is a well-known spice that reduces inflammation and increases cognitive abilities as well as reducing fatigue. Golden milk mixes turmeric with other ingredients such as non-dairy milk, cinnamon and ginger. If you want to sweeten the milk you can also add natural honey.
There are so many natural alternatives to caffeine that can help improve mood, appearance and sleep. It is surprising that so many of us are still dependent on that boost from coffee. Give one of these natural alternatives a try the next time you reach for your morning java and feel the difference.