Get Well

Coffee Alternatives for the Not-So Morning Person

by Liv Schreiber

For some, there’s nothing like a Starbucks run in the early morning to start the day. But what if I told you that your coffee runs weren’t just costing you your spare change, but your health too? Coffee, although healthy in moderation, can result in negative side effects when consumed long term. Although it may be a much needed and easy wake-up beverage, it is also known to cause symptoms of dehydration within the body. Most people attempt to rehydrate from caffeine once they feel thirsty, but feeling thirst is one of the last symptoms that show when your body is dehydrated. And let’s be clear on one thing: lacking hydration is never a good way to start your day off on the right foot.

Searching for a cure? Look no further, as there are healthier ways to get that energy flowing. Think no more caffeine jitters, early energy crashes, and restless nights. Count me in! Let’s explore a few alternatives below.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar may not be as tasty as Ariana Grande’s signature Cloud Macchiato from Starbucks, but its health benefits may make you want to say, “Thank you, next” to your old coffee routine. In fact, ACV plays such a major role in reducing blood sugars that it’s included in many prescribed diabetic diets! Due to its alkalizing effect, it is known to prevent heartburn, increase satiety, and even kill bad breath. Take that, coffee.

To top it off, consuming it is fairly easy – all you have to do is add one tablespoon (two at the most) of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. This tangy concoction is known to boost energy levels on top of the health benefits it provides, making it an easy morning pick.

Dandelion Tea

Used as far back as the 7th century in Chinese medicine, dandelion tea has high levels of Vitamin K, which strengthens bone mass and can act as a contender against Alzheimer’s Disease. It was also used in the Middle East in the 10th century to aid in digestion and liver issues. A recent study showed that dandelion root extract increases the generation of new skin cells, which helps to slow the aging process. Talk about a miracle tea!

Dandelion tea is made from the roots and leaves of the dandelion and can be made at home or bought in stores. To make it, steep dandelion flowers in hot water for 20 minutes. For extra benefits, wash and chop the dandelion root into fine pieces and heat on high in a warm oven for 2 hours. Then, steep 1-2 tsps in hot water for 10 minutes. If DIYing it isn’t your style, dandelion tea is available on Amazon and in most grocery stores – you can be sipping on your new morning blend as soon as tomorrow!

Yerba Mate

A natural antioxidant-filled pick-me-up, Yerba Mate is traditional a South American super beverage. Made from steeped leaves of an indigenous plant, Yerba Mate can be bought pre-made, or you can make it yourself with a lot of preparation. Traditional Yerba Mate, also known as cinmarron, requires a mate (or dried gourd), a bombilla, (a special straw for drinking that filters out the tea leaves), and a thermos, for transporting the hot water.

The drink dates back to the pre-Columbian era, where the Guarani people began cultivating the Ilex paraguariensis plant, seamlessly creating one of the world’s first wellness drinks. The drink is strong and bitter, with a distinctive taste.

The benefits of baring the taste are endless – the antioxidant power of Yerba Mate is higher than that of green tea. And get this, it contains 7 out of 9 essential amino acids! With 5 milligrams less of caffeine than coffee’s 75 milligrams, Yerba Mate may improve cognition with less jitters.

Introducing coffee alternatives into your life does not have to be a rash or permanent decision. Try switching up your morning routine with these drinks, and see how you feel! Or, try switching to these beverages for an entire week and note the differences. The only consequences may be surprising health benefits and trying something new.

Feature Image via Coveteur

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