For many people, coffee is their go-to morning brew. But what if you don't think the French roast in your cup is the greatest part of waking up?
The high caffeine content (95 mg per serving) may make some people jittery and agitated, often known as "the jitters." Others may have headaches and gastrointestinal discomfort from coffee. Finally, several people simply don't like the bitter flavor or are tired of their morning cup of coffee.
Need a coffee alternative you want to cut back on caffeine for your morning boost? Many excellent coffee substitutes are now available because not everyone enjoys coffee.
Everyone can find a coffee alternative on this list, which includes caffeinated, caffeine-free, herbal, and other options. They are not only full of additional health benefits, but they also provide a terrific energy boost.
10 Healthy Alternatives To Coffee
If you've become too reliant on coffee, have a venti-sized dislike for how it tastes, and cannot stomach the digestive and urinary side effects, the thumping heart, or the jitters, switching to a coffee alternative no caffeine can help.
Swap out your regular coffee with these best coffee alternatives!
1. Health-boosting Mushroom Coffee
We're not talking about the regular white button mushrooms cooked for dinner. Instead, medicinal mushrooms such as Turkey Tail, Lion's Mane, Chaga, Reishi, Maitake, and Cordyceps can provide a significant antioxidant boost to the regular cup of coffee or espresso.
These mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which may help balance your immune system and promote nerve growth factors(1) in your brain, among many other excellent health benefits.
Each mushroom has various effects. Lion's Mane, for example, may improve brain health, while Cordyceps is utilized to enhance physical stamina. Likewise, Chaga gives an antioxidant boost, while Maitake helps lower blood sugar levels.
2. The Versatile Matcha Tea
An ultra-potent and nutrient-dense variant of conventional green tea, matcha is one of the most incredible coffee substitutes for people seeking energy and antioxidants. The nutrients in traditional green tea come from the water the leaves have soaked in, but matcha is different.
Matcha tea(2) is a form of green tea brewed with an entire leaf. The leaves are pulverized into a powder and grown in specific circumstances to increase their amino acid and chlorophyll content.
You get far more significant antioxidants and EGCG since you drink whole leaf powder rather than extracting the flavor with hot water. Also, matcha tea contains somewhat less caffeine than a cup of coffee. Finally, Matcha tea has a significantly more robust flavor than green tea, making it ideal for blending into smoothies, hot water, steamed milk lattes, and other beverages.
3. Say Hello To Yerba Mate
The dried leaves of the South American holly tree, llex paraguiensis, make yerba mate, a naturally caffeinated herbal beverage. If you want a coffee alternative but don't want to give up your morning caffeine, yerba mate(3) is a fantastic option.
One cup (237 ml) has around 78 mg of caffeine, comparable to the caffeine amount of a standard cup of coffee. Yerba mate is also high in plant components that function as antioxidants. Some research claims that it contains more antioxidants than green tea. This helps alleviate jitters from the caffeine.
Moreover, it contains several vitamins and minerals, including thiamine, riboflavin, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and vitamins C and E. It has a distinct flavor that might be described as smokey or bitter. Yerba mate is traditionally prepared in a yerba mate gourd and drunk using a metal straw, adding water as needed.
You can alternatively steep the leaves in a tea ball or buy yerba mate tea bags to make drinking yerba mate easier. Then, just immerse the leaves in boiling water for 3-5 minutes and enjoy.
4. The Not-So Regular Mushroom Tea
Mushroom teas serve as fantastic caffeine alternatives. It is made by steeping mushrooms or mushroom powder in hot water. It can be made in various ways using a wide range of mushrooms.
Chaga(4) is a potent medicinal mushroom high in antioxidants, which help strengthen your immune system and digestive health. In addition, because Chaga uses a hot water extraction method to extract all of the fantastic medicinal ingredients, it's an ideal coffee substitute!
Reishi(5) is an adaptogenic mushroom popularly known as the mushroom of immortality. It helps your body adapt to stress by stabilizing and optimizing various physiological systems during difficult times. Reishi tea also improves blood pressure and immunity.
5. Gut Healthy Chicory Root Coffee
Chicory(6) root, like coffee beans, can be roasted, ground, and brewed into a delectable hot beverage. It tastes similar to coffee but contains no caffeine.
It also contains a lot of inulin. This soluble fiber may improve digestion and promote gut health by encouraging the growth of good bacteria, specifically Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Furthermore, it can stimulate your liver to generate more bile, aiding fat digestion.
Chicory root is available pre-ground and roasted, making it simple to prepare. Simply brew it in a filter coffee maker, French press, or espresso machine like ordinary coffee grounds.
6. Immune Stimulating Kombucha
Kombucha is made from fermented black tea. Making kombucha at home is similar to creating jailhouse hooch, but with different ingredients. Black tea is fermented with bacteria, yeast, and sugar resulting in kombucha.
The fermentation process produces a SCOBY, a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha contains probiotics, antioxidants, and acetic acid, after fermentation, all of which may have health benefits. According to animal and test-tube research, kombucha may strengthen your immune system and improve cholesterol(7) and blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.
7. Anti-inflammatory Golden Milk
Golden milk is a rich, caffeine-free coffee replacement. This beverage contains energizing spices like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and black pepper. Cardamom, honey, and vanilla are also popular ingredients.
Turmeric may offer great anti-inflammatory benefits thanks to the potent molecule curcumin(8) and give your drink a gorgeous golden hue. Furthermore, black pepper and fat improve your body's absorption of curcumin. That’s why choose coconut milk or whole milk instead of fat-free milk for this drink.
8. Twist It Up With Chai Smoothie
Chai isn't simply a good afternoon beverage; it creates delicious smoothies! In Arabic, chai simply means "tea," which usually refers to basic black or green tea.
In the West, we're familiar with a black tea and spice blend called Karak Chai, which contains powerful spices like black pepper, cardamom, ginger, clove, and cinnamon.
If you want to avoid caffeine, leave out the black tea base and combine the essential chai spices with a frozen banana, coconut milk, and a tablespoon of your favorite natural sweetener, such as stevia. Yum!
9. Nothing Like A Good Old Herbal Tea
Herbal teas are one of the best alternatives to coffee. Each form of herbal tea has its own set of health advantages. Choose a few and make your unique hot beverage mix.
For instance, rooibos, sometimes known as red tea, is a caffeine-free beverage native to South Africa. Unlike coffee and other teas, rooibos has few tannin antioxidants, which can be helpful but also inhibit iron absorption. However, despite its low tannin level, rooibos has many other antioxidants.
One study(9) suggests that rooibos may help protect against heart disease, while another suggests it may help reduce cancer risk. Rooibos takes steeper than most teas, and over-steeping does not taste bitter. Instead, the flavor of rooibos is slightly sweet and fruity.
Likewise, you can sip peppermint tea for an energy boost, ginger tea for inflammation, and dandelion root tea for liver detox.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss
The fermentation of crushed apples with yeast and bacteria produces apple cider vinegar (ACV). In addition, according to some research, this process creates acetic acid, which may have favorable effects on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels.
Research(10) indicates that drinking 20 grams (0.5 teaspoons) of ACV before a meal lowered blood sugar by 64% in insulin-resistant patients. ACV may also help with weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness after meals.
FAQs About Coffee Alternative
What Happens If I Stop Drinking Coffee?
If caffeine is an essential part of your regular diet, eliminating it can have several negative consequences in the short term. Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, depression, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness. Symptoms will appear a day or two after you quit.
Do Coffee Alternatives Taste Like Coffee?
Chicory root tastes like coffee and can be roasted, grounded, and made into a hot beverage. However, it is caffeine-free and very high in the beneficial fiber inulin.
Why Might Someone Want To Try A Coffee Alternative?
While coffee may boost mental alertness and energy levels during the day, it also raises the heart rate, which can cause restlessness and anxiety. Many are looking for coffee alternatives because of this.
If you're trying to cut back on caffeine, there are many caffeine-free coffee alternatives, such as mushroom coffee, mushroom tea, and kombucha. Or, replace your afternoon or morning beverage with yerba mate for a balanced energy boost and many health advantages!
- Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia, (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/
- Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography, (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14518774/
- Yerba Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis): a comprehensive review on chemistry, health implications, and technological considerations, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18034743/
- Antioxidant effect of Inonotus obliquus, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15588653/
- Immunomodulating Effect of Ganoderma (Lingzhi) and Possible Mechanism, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31777013/
- Chicory: Understanding the Effects and Effectors of This Functional Food, (6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8912540/
- Protective effect of kombucha on rats fed a hypercholesterolemic diet is mediated by its antioxidant activity, (7)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25856715/
- Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa), (8)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12676044/
- Tea flavanols inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme activity and increase nitric oxide production in human endothelial cells, (9)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16872562/
- Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes, (10)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14694010/
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