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The 8 Best Coffee Alternatives

 

It’s definitely easy to confuse the energy surge that comes along with caffeine consumption as something that’s beneficial or good for us. There’s no doubt it feels great (for most people) in the short term, but studies have shown that the long term effects of heavy coffee consumption can wear and tear on our adrenals, nervous system, thyroid, liver, and wreak havoc on the endocrine systems.

I used to be a very big coffee drinker and I enjoyed having my daily coffee as part of my morning routine. But the one morning coffee eventually turned into an afternoon coffee, and there was a period of time where I was drinking up to 3 cups of coffee per day. Eventually, I ended up quitting coffee due to the impact it was having on my physical and mental health. During my time of slowly weaning off coffee, I turned to other coffee alternatives.

One of the most common complaints coffee drinkers mention is the jittery feeling and anxiety that sometimes comes with too much coffee consumption.

An energy boost and morning or midday pick me up should definitely not have to come at the expense of your nervous system, your adrenals, or your health. Say ‘bye-bye’ to those coffee jitters and try incorporating these coffee alternatives below into your life - your body will love you for it.

The Effects Of Coffee On The Body

Coffee contains an inordinate amount of caffeine, and while that buzz is one of the aspects that makes coffee so enticing, it also has it’s negative effects. If you feel highly anxious when drinking coffee, then it is more than likely having an effect on your health and your body. Doctors, medical professionals and studies have all suggested that there can be long-term repercussions to drinking too much caffeine long-term and the recommended maximum amount is a small coffee (max 200ml) once per day, and preferably in the morning before noon as consuming coffee later in the day (1-3pm) can impact the bodies diurnal rhythm and spike cortisol levels.

  • Coffee causes spikes in adrenaline that the internal system can sometimes struggle to metabolise properly. This is because the huge spike and crash often present in consistent coffee consumption can cause fatigue and mental fogginess.
  • When you consume caffeine, you are giving your adrenals a little ‘kick’. This long-term and consistent consumption of coffee may lead to adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue. When consuming coffee, the brain tells your body to produce more adrenaline. Adrenaline is a stress hormone which produces more cortisol. Too much cortisol long-term can weaken the immune system.
  • Consistent coffee consumption has been shown to weaken digestion, increase anxiety, decrease libido, impact cholesterol levels and cause a range of symptoms such as anxiety, heart palpitations, headaches, dehydration, restlessness, drowsiness, panic attacks, and insomnia.
  • Anyone prone to anxiety, panic attacks, feeling overwhelmed, jittery or adrenal fatigue may need to try and steer clear of coffee as consuming it may only cause these symptoms to worsen.
  • Health professionals advise that individuals who suffer from autoimmune disease, thyroid based issues, eczema or skin issues and adrenal fatigue/chronic fatigue should reduce and cut back on their coffee and caffeine consumption.

Coffee Alternatives We Love And Recommend

Matcha Green Tea Powder

Matcha was the first coffee alternatives that I tried while transitioning away from coffee, and it's still one of my favourites to this day (I'm obsessed!). The powdered Japanese green tea continues to reach new heights of popularity, and is now considered to be one of the most powerful super foods on the market today.  Matcha still contains a small amount of caffeine (only a quarter of the caffeine that coffee does), but the nervous system does a much better job at managing the shift. Matcha also doesn't come with glucose spikes or adrenal overload, and instead creates a calm type of alertness and mental acuity without the spikes and crashes that coffee can cause.

Read our other blog 'There's So Matcha To Love About Matcha' to learn more about Matcha and the benefits that this powder can provide.

 

Masala Chai

Masala chai is a strong flavoured black tea that originates from India, which is another favourite coffee alternative. Masala chai contains added warming spices and aromatic herbs such as cardamom, fennel, cloves, ginger and cinnamon, and whilst it still is caffeinated, it has far less caffeine than a cup of regular coffee. Besides giving you that early morning energy buzz, masala chai also contains antioxidants, aids in digestion, boosts immunity, reduces nausea, lowers blood sugar levels, and may also improve heart health. Masala chai is really easy to make at home, you can create your own masala chai blend at home or brew a masala chai blend concentrate in hot water and then adding a milk of your choice with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. I personally love The Fresh Chai Co. Masala Blend Chai as it already contains natural sweeteners such as honey and vanilla beans, plus the seven spices of chai. 

 

Mushroom Mix

If you really want to give yourself an energy boost without the caffeine, then reach for the power of mushrooms. Medicinal mushrooms have over the years gained popularity within the health community for their incredible health benefits such as boosting the immune system and balancing hormones due to their polysaccharides, antioxidants and other health-supporting compounds.  Ancient herbal systems have long worked with medicinal, or ‘functional’, mushrooms and many scientific studies have suggested that they have incredible and beneficial effects. I personally loved watching the 'Fantastic Fungi' documentary to learn more about the power of mushrooms (if you haven't seen it yet, then I'd highly recommend).

Shroom Magic Mix by Nature's Harvest is a delicious beverage that is very much like a turmeric latte, but with the benefits of added mushrooms that include reishi, chaga, lions mane, turkey tail and cordyceps which all support and strengthen the immune system while managing stress and enhancing mood.

To shop our whole mushroom powder range, click here.

 

Roasted Dandelion Blend

If you love the taste and flavour of coffee, then try a dandelion latte (or 'dandy' latte) instead. Roasted Dandelion has a roasted flavour (hence the name), but without the bitterness of coffee. Roasted Dandelion root has many incredible health benefits and is perfect at supporting the liver. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, and also contains probiotics which can help feed good gut bacteria. Bonvit Roasted Dandelion Blend is made from 100% natural, roasted dandelion and chicory, which I mention further below. It has a rich, earthy and nutty flavour making it a delicious yet healthy coffee alternative. Enjoy on it's own seeped in hot water to make a dandelion tea, or create a dandelion latte by combining the dandelion tea liquid with some warm frothy milk.

 

Hot Cacao

Cacao is probably one of the most favourite coffee alternatives, as brewed cacao tastes so similar to that of brewed coffee. Cacao (not to be confused with cocoa) also does still contain caffeine (about half that of a cup of coffee), and therefore will still give you that boost of energy in the morning. However, cacao also contains crucial elements required to balance that caffeine, including the calming mineral: magnesium. Magnesium helps keep our hormones and mood balanced, and our energy levels high. Not only does it contain magnesium, but it also contains theobromine which is a naturally occurring stimulant in cacao that expands the blood vessels (as opposed to coffee, which constricts them). Cacao does not activate the nervous system and is packed with enzymes, antioxidants, and flavonoids which all can help to reduce stress, support blood sugar control and increase endorphins (our feel good hormones). Lastly, cacao also contains an ingredient called phenylethylamine, otherwise known as 'the love drug' which is why cacao is sometimes referred to as a 'heart opener drink'. Move over coffee...

You can make brewed cacao by placing a few tablespoons of cacao beans in a French press, adding 1 cup of boiling water and steeping for 5-10 minutes before pressing. Or alternatively, I add 1 or tablespoons of cacao powder with a tiny bit of hot water to create a paste and then add my choice of warm milk. I also like mixing cacao with a sweetener such as honey, maple syrup or coconut butter, and adding other medicinal herbs such as cinnamon, maca, and ashwagandha which help to support the adrenals, rather than deplete them.

 

Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate has been a traditional South American beverage for centuries, and for good reason. I love the flavour, as it has a very 'earthy' taste with floral scents and is delicious. Yerba Mate contains less caffeine than coffee, so it can be great for people that need a gentle energy boos with the crash that may come after drinking coffee. Yerba Mate can be so easy to make, just add 1 teabag in your cup, and steep it for at least five minutes. Some people also like to add some frothed milk or a small amount of sugar/sweetener.

 

 

Golden Turmeric Latte

Golden Turmeric lattes date back thousands of years and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India for centuries. Curcumin (or turmeric) is the star ingredient, as it is a powder antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. Studies have suggested that curcumin has been shown to reduce inflammation, helps in immune-boosting, and eases arthritis and depression.
It is the perfect coffee alternative, and drinking a golden latte is like a warm and nourishing hug!

Natures Harvest Turmeric Latte Mix is the perfect blend that contains turmeric, vanilla, cardamom, ground ginger, and black pepper. I love warming up some milk on the stove with a small amount of this powder, adding some manuka honey and enjoying this beautiful and delicious golden goodness.

 

Chicory Root

Chicory root is naturally caffeine-free and it makes for an excellent coffee substitute if you are looking to reduce your caffeine intake as it mimics the flavour of regularly coffee really well.
Research has also suggested that chicory has potential health benefits such as improving cholesterol, lowering blood sugar, improving brain health, and increasing your guts good bacteria as it is the botanical with the highest content of inulin (not to be confused with insulin) which is a soluble that nourishes the microflora in the microbiome, making chicory a natural prebiotic. Making a cup of chicory is as easy as making a cup of herbal tea, you can consume chicory by itself by brewing it in hot water either to a french press or to a pot, or adding a creamer or your choice of milk - much like coffee.  

 

Still wanting to stick with coffee and not ready to give up coffee just yet? Then maybe try switching to decaffeinated coffee. Decaffeinated coffee is the same as regular coffee, but has a majority of its caffeine removed. We have a range of decaf coffee products online in our store. Check out these products:

  • Montville Coffee Decaf Coffee Beans - Montville Coffee proudly provide a range of coffee that is not only Certified Organic and Fairtrade but also award-winning specialty coffee. Their coffee is hand-picked, and all of their beans are specialty graded, which means you are only getting the highest quality beans.
  • Planet Organic Coffee Espresso Decaf - This coffee creates a smooth and well rounded coffee and is decaffeinated using a chemical free water decaffeination process. The unique combination of carefully selected organic and Fairtrade coffee beans and small batch roasts deliver premium freshness. Enjoy  the smooth, rich, full bodied flavour and aroma with Planet Organic coffees...Without all the caffeine.

 

Shop the entire LYH coffee substitute range here.

Have you tried any of these coffee alternatives? Do you have another coffee alternative that you love and we didn't mention? Feel free to let us know in the comments below, we'd love to know!

Bonvit Roasted Dandelion Blend Fine Ground 175g
Bonvit Roasted Dandelion Blend Fine Ground 175g
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Loving Earth Raw Organic Cacao Powder (300g)
Loving Earth Raw Organic Cacao Powder (300g)
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Nature's Harvest Shroom Magic Mix 67g
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Nature's Harvest Turmeric Latte Mix 70g
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Nutra Organics Latte Matcha 100g
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Planet Organic Chicory Root (Roasted) Loose Leaf Tea 100g
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Planet Organic Herbal Tea Bags Yerba Mat? (25 pieces)
Planet Organic Herbal Tea Bags Yerba Mat? (25 pieces)
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The Fresh Chai Co. Masala Blend Honey Soaked Chai (125g)
The Fresh Chai Co. Masala Blend Honey Soaked Chai (125g)
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