These healthy alternatives to coffee can help you boost your energy levels, improve concentration, and start your morning on the right foot without a coffee bean in sight.
For many of us, starting our mornings with a cup of hot coffee is an essential part of our routine. According to the British Coffee Association, the UK consumes around 98 million cups of coffee every day.
We rely on this caffeinated drink to help us wake up in the mornings and to get us through the post-lunch slump. But for many people, too much coffee can cause issues, including anxiety, insomnia, digestive upset, and heart palpitations.
If you’re looking for some healthy alternatives to coffee to get your day started the right way, our list should help. We’ve included some of our favourite herbal teas that can bring you many of the same benefits, such as boosting your energy levels and helping you focus.
Plus, if you are used to making a cup of coffee as soon as you wake up, switching over to herbal tea is a relatively small change. You get to keep an established part of your morning routine and can still enjoy the comfort of a hot drink – just without some of the side effects of coffee.
1. Green Tea
Green tea still contains caffeine but a lot less than coffee. This means you’ll still get the benefits of caffeine, which include increased alertness, brain function, and memory. However, the lower dose should help you avoid some of the less desirable side effects.
If too much coffee causes you to feel jittery and anxious, green tea is a great alternative. It contains high levels of L-theanine, a compound that helps you relax and de-stress. This helps to balance out the effects of the caffeine, giving you a sustained energy boost without the nervousness.
Plus, green tea is packed full of the antioxidant, EGCG. There’s evidence that this compound helps to combat inflammation, encourages weight loss, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
For many of us, coffee is essential when we need help concentrating on our work or want to clear the fog of mental tiredness. But you don’t have to turn to the coffee machine every time you want to focus.
There are other herbs that help to boost memory, focus, and mental alertness. One of these is ashwagandha, which has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years.
Research shows that ashwagandha can boost cognitive function, helping us to perform better on tasks that test memory and brainpower. It also improves athletic performance, helping our muscles, heart, and lungs use oxygen more efficiently.
Like green tea, ashwagandha also contains compounds that help us to feel calmer and less stressed.
When it comes to boosting mental and physical performance, another healthy alternative to coffee is ginseng tea.
Ginseng is a popular herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It can help to boost cognitive performance and reduce mental fatigue, great for when you are struggling to concentrate or need to focus on a tricky task.
It isn’t just brain fog that ginseng can help with either. It also gives a boost to your physical energy levels and combats fatigue.
Plus, ginseng is packed with antioxidants that protect your brain health and help lower your risk of developing chronic diseases.
Also known as milk vetch or huáng qí, astragalus has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. One of its benefits is combatting fatigue and tiredness, making it another great alternative to coffee.
Astragalus is often used alongside other herbs, especially ginseng and liquorice. It’s also thought to reduce stress and help us sleep better. If your coffee habit has you struggling to drop off at night, astragalus might be just the alternative you need.
5. Gotu Kola
Although it isn’t yet widely used in the West, gotu kola has been a valued medicinal plant in Southeast Asia for centuries. It’s packed full of useful compounds and has many benefits for our health.
These benefits include enhancing our memory and cognitive performance, making gotu kola a healthy alternative to coffee when we need a bit of a mental boost. It’s known to enhance our mood too.
Gotu kola also has a neuroprotective effect, protecting our brains from damage as we age. It is even being investigated as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s.
Native to the Amazon region, guarana is a naturally caffeinated plant that has been used to treat a whole range of different conditions.
Because of its caffeine content, guarana is traditionally used to boost energy levels and increase mental alertness. However, it is also packed with other bioactive compounds that benefit human health, including catechin and epicatechin, which are also found in green tea.
These compounds help to protect against inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Although its high caffeine content might mean you only want to take guarana in small doses, its many benefits make it a healthy alternative to coffee for boosting your energy levels.
At NutraTea, we have a lot of respect for the natural benefits of herbs. But we also like to give nature a helping hand by combining different herbs into powerful herbal tea blends that give you the medicinal benefits of several plants in one cup.
NutraBoost is our energy tea and a tasty alternative to your morning cup of coffee. Packed full of energising herbs, including green tea, ginseng, ashwagandha, astragalus, gotu kola, and guarana, it aims to fight tiredness and fatigue without causing anxiety or other issues.