I know, I know… nobody wants to hear that their morning cappuccino might not be the best thing for them. Being an avid coffee drinker myself, I must admit that it’s taken a lot of reckoning to accept the fact that while I love it, coffee might not be the best thing for me.
But recently a few things have set me off of my favourite drink. After a few nights of subpar sleep, and a particularly busy week, I couldn’t seem to wind down. No matter if I had completed every task I’d set out for myself that day, I would lie in bed with my mind continuing to run for hours.
Though I found it difficult to articulate, I had an overlying body fatigue that made me feel so run down.
After a short period of time of feeling less-than my usual peppy self, I realised I needed to take a step back and examine what it might be that was causing me to feel this way. One of the biggest culprits, I immediately realised was my heavy reliance on coffee to give me energy throughout the day.
And while I wasn’t constantly guzzling down cup after cup, I began to notice that just one extra coffee too many during a day would throw me off and mess up sleep schedule for that night — leaving me extra tired the next morning.
While I’d like to say that it was as easy as just cutting out coffee altogether, that would be a lie. And while I was going through those first few days of missing my ever-reliable caffeine hit, I found it useful to have a few alternatives in mind that I could reach for or from a cafe menu when temptation stuck.
Some of these options still contain caffeine, but in far less quantities than your typical espresso.
If you’re trying to wean yourself off as well, or just want to try something new, give one of these a go.
Without a doubt, this one is my new favourite. A little earthy, a little sweet, and a surprisingly pleasant green tint, matcha lattes have been my healthy go-to. While matcha still contains caffeine, at only 25mg compared to 120mg in an average cup of coffee, the amount is far less: Additionally, matcha has extra benefits you won’t find in coffee. It’s packed with antioxidants and also protects the liver and brain. Sounds like a pretty good alternative to me.
This yellow, herbal latte is rapidly growing in popularity and is now listed on many cafe menus. Made of the spice of the same name, turmeric lattes are a caffeine free alternative to your favourite coffee drink. Usually consisting of turmeric, nut milk, cinnamon and ginger, these herbal elixirs are said to reduce inflammation and improve memory.
With 40mg of caffeine, the chai latte is a good place to start when gradually stepping away from your daily cup (or three) of coffee. The chai latte is made of chai tea, containing various spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, black pepper and black tea. One thing to keep an eye out for when getting a chai latte, however, is sugar. Some chai lattes contain large amounts of sugar, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask for yours with half the amount. Chai lattes also have a few purported benefits including improved digestion and heart health.
If a cold drink is more up your alley, kombucha should fill our coffee-shaped hole. Fizzy and fruity, a typical kombucha contains anywhere from 30-80mg of caffeine per serving. Kombucha comes in a variety of flavours, and many cafes even have their own signature house version. What makes kombucha a true hero, however, is the fact that it contains a high amount of probiotics.
Similar to probiotics you might find in yogurt, for example, the benefits include reducing the risk of cancer, obesity and even aid with mental health due to the gut-brain connection.
While quitting coffee may sound impossible, knowing about these other options can help you choose something else over your habitual cup of joe.
If reducing your intake is something that you’d like to try, order one of these other options the next time you stop at the local cafe.
Whether it’s simply a reduction of caffeine you’re after or one of the many added benefits of the previously mentioned drinks, you won’t miss out by trying something new.