Is It Time You Found a Healthy Alternative to Coffee?
Reuters was commissioned by the National Coffee Association (I didn’t even know there was one) to find out how many people drank at least 1 cup of coffee each day, and they found out that 64% of Americans fit into that category…the highest percentage since 2012. That’s a lot of Americans.
So why do they do it?
- Some enjoy the buzz it gives them…a spike in energy.
- The caffeine in coffee enters your bloodstream and boosts your blood pressure and heart rate within 10 minutes of drinking it.
- You become more alert and concentration improves after about 20 minutes.
- Some feel it’s the only way they can get their day going.
- Coffee is a social drink, it’s just assumed that everyone has a cup of coffee in the morning. Just look at all the coffee shops on every corner where people meet for a cup of “joe”.
- Most are addicted to the caffeine and don’t want to experience the withdrawal symptoms such as:
- difficulty concentrating
- low energy levels
On the other hand, there are adverse side effects for those who drink more than 3-4 cups of coffee a day, which equals about 400 mg of caffeine:
- Drinking coffee anywhere from 4-6 hours before bedtime, even if you’re really tired, will disrupt your sleep.
- The caffeine in your coffee does give you a burst of energy, but it is short-lived energy, it will wear off in a short time, and you will find yourself fatigued.
- Your stress hormone, cortisol, increases from caffeine, and when our cortisol is elevated, you could experience weight gain.
- Caffeine affects your kidneys’ ability to store important minerals such as, zinc, magnesium, calcium and others. It also makes it difficult for your stomach to absorb iron. These are all impotant functions for a healthy body.
- Coffee can stain your teeth, and for those of you who drink the fancy coffees, they contain sugar and can increase tooth decay.
Choose a healthy alternative…
So, after reading all the negative affects from coffee, you may want to stop drinking it…but you’re wondering if there are any alternatives that can replace coffee while still boosting your energy levels. The answer is yes, and you should give them a try.
- Start with the most important beverage you should be drinking – water! We all know adults are supposed to drink about 1/2 gallon of water a day…that seems like a lot of water, but there’s a good reason for it…to avoid dehydation. Your body is made up of about 65% water, and when your H2O intake is low, you you become dehydrated. When you are dehydated, you become fatigued (low energy) and your body quits working as it should. Two other symptoms of dehydation are headaches and difficulty focusing. Does this sound like some of the reasons you drink coffee? Drink more water and your symptoms will probably go away…and if you’d like a little more flavor in your drink, you can always add lemon (they contain anti-oxidants) or infuse it with healthy flavors from your favorite fresh produce such as cucumber or watemelon. (There are water bottles on the market made just for that purpose.)
- Smoothies that are protein based are another healthy alternative. Not only is protein necessary for the body’s energy, but it can also help you become more alert, more focused and able to concentrate. Add a few nuts for extra fiber.
- Green vegetable smoothies will boost your energy levels and provide you with healthy nutrients and anti-oxidants. Green juice daily has also been shown to lower your bad cholesterol.
- Golden milk is a warm, rich alternative to that hot cup of coffee. This easy to make drink may have anti-inflammatory properties.
- To make it, in a saucepan, simply combine 1 cup of milk (or non-dairy product) with 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground tumeric, a pinch of black pepper and 1/8 tsp ground ginger. You can also add a little honey for sweetness. Warm on medium to low heat – enjoy!
- Pomegranate juice is a great energy booster and full of anti-oxidants. Add it to your favorite smoothie or drink it on its own.
- Chamomile tea helps you leave the stress of the day behind and is good for a nice warm drink before bedtime.