I’ll admit, I love coffee. Like, loooove coffee. I’m drinking it as I write this, have it every morning and probably will never change that! However I try to draw the line there – I try not to have it in the afternoons, and I know many of you are better than me and simply look for a coffee alternative to just say no! Even though coffee does have its health benefits, it is highly caffeinated and often not an ideal afternoon pick-me-up…leading to a crash later and potentially wide eyes at midnight.
It seems we are not alone in our quest. Shape magazine has gotten creative with some coffee alternatives that we can try – all of these options will not only provide you with an energy boost, but they boast other benefits like fiber, nutrients, even omega-3’s, which we should always be seeking to add into our diet anyway!
9 Creative Alternatives to your morning or afternoon coffee:
1. Green tea: no surprise that this is the first suggestion – you’ll still get quite a bit of caffeine (but less than coffee) minus the jitters, and add on incredible health benefits: its all about the catechins – powerful antioxidant disease-fighters!
2. Nutty Smoothies: If you’re looking for a simple pick-me-up without a caffeine jolt, having a healthy snack could be key. Shape Magazine tells us “according to certified nutritionist Angela Pifer, smoothies made using ingredients like cashew milk, protein powder, and nut butter help elevate your blood sugar levels. “A 3 p.m. slump is not innate to us,” Pifer says. “Since food gives us energy, it’s more of a problem with our blood sugar dropping.””
3. Chai: a native drink of India, Chai is commonly made with rich black tea, milk, and a variety of spices, like cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom. An afternoon mug of this soothing, hot beverage saves you the caffeine but gives you the same comfort as enjoying a steaming mug of coffee!
4. Carob powder: Shape magazine tells us that this powder is “similar to cocoa, naturally sweet carob powder tastes just as yummy mixed with warm milk and a touch of honey, and prevents you from experiencing a nasty energy crash later on.”
5. Lemon water: this is definitely the case with me, but interestingly sometimes the mind is just craving a “treat” – something different than your glass of water to stimulate your senses. Shape Magazine tells us: “”I find that the best waker-upper is water with lemon zest and lemon juice,” says Lisa Rinna, television host and author of Rinnavation: Getting Your Best Life Ever. She suggests adding the juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon of freshly grated zest to your H2O.”
6. Pomegranate juice: While keeping the sugar count that naturally occurs in this sweet and tangy fruit juice, it can be a great pick-me-up on its own, or blended into another fruit juice or smoothie. Bonus: you’re getting all of the fabulous antioxidants that come with this healthiest of fruits!
7. Green smoothies: We know that green smoothies are a fabulous way to sneak more greens into your diet – and then blend with fruit to sweeten up the taste! Nothing will make you feel more generally energized and just plain “good” than a diet packed with greens.Shape magazine suggests that you “experiment with different combinations of your favorites, like spinach, kale, mango, blueberries, and bananas, then put your blender to work. A chilled smoothie in the morning is a quick way to wake up!” Smoothies can be made the night before and then shaken or stirred in the morning to save you additional time!
8. Schizandra tea: Shape magazine tells us this unique tea comes from schizandra berries, which are native to East Asia and popularly used in traditional Chinese medicine, and the tea “has a subtle calming effect, improves sleep, balances blood sugar, is good for the liver, and may increase memory!”
9. Flax seed smoothie: adding flax seeds is a fabulous way to add healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and nutrients to any breakfast or snack (natural energy boosters!), but you can also blend into an icy smoothie for a delicious shake as the weather warms: Shape magazine suggests “blending flaxseeds with yogurt, soy milk, ice, and the frozen fruit of your choice!”