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ENERGIZING ALTERNATIVES TO COFFEE


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Recently I’ve been slapped in the face with the reality that kicking a coffee habit can be pretty darn difficult. Between that intoxicating aroma, its full-bodied satisfying flavor (I buy the good stuff) and the comfort of beginning your day with a warm cup in your hand – having your morning brew is a lovely little ritual. But lately, I’ve been on a quest to find something to replace that morning cup of java. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my coffee. A lot. But what I don’t love are the not so fun side effects, like heart palpitations, anxiety, and insomnia I experience after drinking it. And caffeine sensitivity isn’t the only reason to find an alternative. I know for others coffee can also cause tummy troubles triggering acidity, stomach upset and acid reflux.

But even with all the unpleasant side effects, it doesn’t mean we all don’t want our cup of Joe. Or at least something like it. So whether you’re looking to kick caffeine to the curb, or you want something gentler on your gut, I found some surprisingly satisfying and healthy coffee-like blends to enjoy instead. Most of these are naturally caffeine-free, and will not cause sleeplessness, high blood pressure, stomach problems or make you want to crawl out of your skin. Plus, they come with some pretty great health benefits!

Don’t think of these as a coffee ‘substitutes’ but as a new and satisfying way to start your morning with a hot mug in hand. All of these alternatives to coffee can be ordered through our favorite health & wellness shop – iHerb!

 

1. Cafix – All Natural Instant Crystals

 

 

With a coffee-like flavor without any of the bitterness, acidity or caffeine, Cafix is the perfect alternative to hot caffeinated beverages. Cafix has a rich, robust coffee-like flavor yet none of the caffeine or acidity found in coffee or tea. It’s made with all-natural ingredients like roasted barley, rye, chicory, and beets. Chicory root is a good source of inulin, a type of fiber and prebiotic, which promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut and can improve digestion. Cafix instantly dissolves in water so it can easily be enjoyed anytime hot or cold! To prepare a cup, simply stir one or more teaspoons of Cafix crystals into a 6 oz. of hot water. The more you add, the richer the cup. Of course, you can add milk or creamer and sweeten to taste. Cinnamon makes a lovely addition too.

 

2. Pero Instant Natural Beverage

 

 

Pero is another 100% naturally caffeine-free herbal coffee substitute with a great coffee-like appeal. You can easily enjoy it morning, noon or night. It’s blended from soothing and stimulant-free ingredients like malted barley, barley, chicory, and rye. Pero is also low in acid, so no need to worry about an upset stomach. Craving a cappuccino or mocha latte? Pero also doesn’t need to be brewed and instantly dissolves in hot or cold water. Blend Pero with your favorite ingredients like cream or coconut milk to create your favorite coffee house style drinks.

Try with a dash of almond milk, coconut or cream and cinnamon for a satisfying cup without the jitters or belly aches.

 

3. Dandy-Blend Organic Instant Herbal Beverage

 

 

Dandy-Blend is another unique and tasty herbal beverage that will give you both the health benefits of dandelion root and the rich, full-bodied flavor of real coffee without the bitterness or acidity. Other ingredients in Dandy-Blend include organically cultivated roasted barley, rye, chicory root. It’s super convenient with no brewing required. Dandy-Blend dissolves instantly into the hot or cold liquid making it perfect for all your favorite specialty coffee recipes, smoothies or baked goods.

While Dandy-Blend is naturally caffeine-free, some people have reported it gives them a boost of energy, so you may not want to drink it before bedtime. The company reports this is most likely due to the naturally occurring trace minerals in the dandelion root that support adrenal function. The only way to find out is to try it for yourself and see how it affects you. Depending on how much you add to your cup, the flavor of Dandy-Blend can range from a pleasant, nutty roasted tea, to a rich, strong espresso. It’s also a delicious and convenient way to get the benefits of dandelion root, like liver protection and better digestion into your diet.

 

4. Yerba Mate

 

 

Instead of tasting similar to coffee, Yerba Mate is a tea-like beverage brewed from the leaves of a type of holly plant grown in South America. This one isn’t caffeine-free, but contains about 30 mg of caffeine versus about 100 mg in a standard cup of coffee. Those who regularly drink Yerba Mate report the effect of its caffeine as much less than coffee and more of a mellow buzz.

And it’s super healthy too! Not only is Yerba Mate packed with more antioxidants than green tea, but it contains 24 vitamins and minerals and 15 amino acids including vitamins C, B1 and B2, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, and zinc. Lovers and researchers of Yerba Mate report benefits that include lowering cholesterol, enhancing mental clarity, boosting energy and increasing the body’s ability to burn fat.

We like the Mate Factor Organic Dark Roast Yerba Mate. This Dark Roast Mate Factor blend combines fresh and roasted Yerba Mate with roasted barley, carob, and chicory. Unlike most Yerba Mate available today that is typically aged for at least one year and has a smoky flavor, Mate Factor is dried right after harvesting to protect nutrients and flavor and packaged fresh. The result is a smooth and delicious coffee alternative. You can find Yerba Mate in a variety of flavors and varieties. It also comes in tea bags for a convenient way to take your Mate on the go.

Mate Factor Organic Dark Roast Yerba Mate is a loose-leaf style tea, so you’ll need a handy little tea strainer to make it. Here’s an awesome one for only 3 bucks or you can brew it in your French Press or coffee maker. Enjoy as-is or with a splash of milk and sweetener if you like. For an iced version, steep in a glass jar with cool water in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. Drink up!

 

5. Teeccino Chicory Herbal Coffee

 

 

Created by an herbal tea designer, who had a desire to make a tea blend that was caffeine-free, acid-free and could stand in as a robust beverage in place of roasted coffee, Teeccino was born. Inspired by rich and healthy Mediterranean flavors Teeccino, is gluten-free and made with organic roasted herbs, Spanish carob pods, French chicory roots, Italian barley, California golden roasted almonds and is lightly sweetened with dates and figs.

Unlike Cafix, Pero, and Dandy-Blend, Teeccino is drip-brewed just like ground coffee and comes in a full range of yummy flavors like Vanilla Nut, Hazelnut, Amaretto, Mocha, and Chocolate Mint. You can brew it in your French press or espresso machine.

Made from nourishing ingredients that supply a healthy supply of potassium and nutrients, drinking Teeccino can give you a natural energy lift without the jitters. An added benefit of drinking Teeccino is the soluble fiber supplied from the chicory. It acts as a prebiotic feeding the good bacteria in your gut while strengthening your immune system.

 

6. Four Sigmatic Superfood Mushroom Drinks

 

 

Drinking a blend of mushrooms may never have crossed your mind. It sure never crossed mine. But Four Sigmatic Superfood Mushroom drink includes a blend of ten different powerfully healing mushrooms including Chaga, lion’s mane, reishi, and cordyceps, enokitake, maitake, shiitake, tremella, Agaricus blazei, and meshima. Whew! These ancient superfoods that have been used to heal and nourish around the world for age, are now getting major props from science. Instantly dissolvable in water and combined with adaptogenic organic herbs like eleuthero and warm spices like cinnamon, cardamom extract, and star anise, Four Sigmatic makes it super convenient and delicious to get all your mushrooms in. Pop the packets in your bag for the day and fill up on the go. And you don’t have to only drink it hot. Try blending it in your morning smoothie, juice, or sprinkle into oatmeal, yogurt, soup, or dessert. Try their sampler box to find your favorite flavor.

 

7. CafeCeps by California Gold Nutrition

 

 

Okay, so this one is technically coffee. But bear with me for a moment. CafeCeps is a Certified Organic Instant Arabica Coffee but with the added perk (yes, I went there) of a superfood blend of Cordyceps and Reishi Mushrooms. It’s also the perfect way to transition away from regular coffee. Used in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine since at least the 15th Century, Cordyceps is a natural energy booster that may increase exercise performance, help stabilize blood sugar levels, support heart health and provide anti-aging properties. Reishi Mushrooms, also known as the “king of mushrooms” are adaptogenic mushrooms that have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. They have a wide range of health benefits including helping to balance hormones, help your body deal with stress, improve liver function, fight allergies, and protect against infections. They also have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties. CafePress is an instant beverage with a pleasantly earthy, coffee flavor. To enjoy, simply add to 6 ounces of hot water. You can add sweetener or a splash of milk too. For a darker roasted, espresso-like flavor uses less water.

Set on the no coffee whatsoever thing? Try CocoaCeps instead. It has the same health-boosting blend of Cordyceps and Reishi Mushrooms but blended with cocoa powder instead of coffee. A rich delicious cup of hot cocoa with the health benefits of Cordyceps and Reishi all in one? Someone get my mug.


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