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Coffee, despite all its shortcomings, is pretty dang great if you need a wake-me-up.
Like red wine or dark chocolate, though, it seems to fall into the category of things that can have health benefits if consumed in moderation, but not really in excess.
In big quantities, it can upset your stomach, sap hydration, and cause headaches and anxiety, among other things. If you’re up to more than a few cups of coffee a day, you might actually experience a withdrawal when you try to quit. And on a superficial note, it’s not exactly helping you keep your teeth white.
But, again — very, very good at keeping you awake.
If you want to kick the habit of drinking coffee for something substantially healthier and more guilt-free and sustainable, there are great alternatives (that are great for you) that you can swap in. You’re not likely to get the same jolt of instant energy, but the health benefits that many of the following foods have (and coffee lacks) mean that you can have a higher quantity of them without the concern. In fact, since they’re so good for you, you’re actually getting more benefits the more you have, which is a lot more like a win-win relationship than the one you had with coffee. It could take three cups of green tea to equal one instant coffee, but it’s also known to be one of the healthiest things you can possibly drink.
Being energised doesn’t have to mean a sacrifice of health on your part.
And unlike when you have to forgo your morning cup of coffee, you’re probably less likely to feel agitated and lethargic when you similarly have to skip a cup of black tea. You aren’t creating a dependence that leaves you super high and then super low on the energy scale. Plus, for foods like oatmeal and high-in-protein nuts, you’re giving your body energy through food, which is a healthy alternative too few of us really utilise.
If you’re interested in diluting your habit of coffee drinking with healthy, energizing alternatives or want to swap out entirely, these are eight great options to throw into your Amazon cart:
It depends on your choice of coffee, but green tea typically has about one-third the caffeine as an instant coffee of the same size, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Even if you need to drink a little more of it, that might not be such a bad thing -- green tea is packed with health benefits. Christopher Ochner, PhD -- a research scientist in nutrition at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital -- says, 'It's the healthiest thing I can think of to drink.' The catechin content is key; the antioxidants fight and may even prevent cell damage.
In Mayan, 'chia' means 'strength,' and that isn't a coincidence considering the massive amounts of energy these little seeds pack. Ancient warriors used to eat the seeds to improve their stamina, and today they're used by athletes and the everyman alike for the same purpose.
Protein and fibre help boost our energy levels, and nuts pack them both. Especially after exercising, salted nuts are a great way to replace some of the electrolytes you've lost in a natural way.
Notably high in fibre and protein, oatmeal is one healthy way to keep your energy levels up. It also stabilizes blood sugar levels, which should also help with feeling awake and like yourself.
According to the Mayo Clinic, brewed black tea has almost as much caffeine as one cup of instant coffee, and maybe even a little more than an espresso shot.
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