The debate around the possible health benefits (or lack thereof) of coffee is a long-standing one, with both sides using scientific data to back their arguments in quite compelling ways. The conclusion most studies seem to find is the concept of moderation, or more precisely, that a bit of coffee each day may not help, but it doesn’t always hurt. However, for those committed to a healthy lifestyle, this may not be a sufficient answer to justify their caffeine dependency. While kicking coffee to the curb may seem like a great idea in theory, in practice it’s harder than it sounds. Many people are dependent on their daily dose of caffeine to have enough energy to get through their busy days, and quitting cold turkey simply isn’t an option.
For those with these concerns, there are thankfully other options to get your morning energy fix, without necessarily turning to an espresso. Tea is a widely popular alternative to coffee, containing only slightly less caffeine while offering an abundance of antioxidants that help prevent heart disease and stroke. Beverages like kombucha offer a similar, though less strong, energy boost, as they’re made with fermented tea–this is a nice alternative for those who don’t enjoy a hot beverage, or are avid pop-drinkers, since kombucha is naturally carbonated. Diet pops like Diet Coke or even sugar free RedBull are low (or zero) calorie options to boost energy, though these–like coffee–are recommended to be enjoyed in moderation.
While the caffeine content is relatively low, a few squares of dark chocolate are another way to get a quick pick-me-up when you’re itching for a cup of joe. Chocolate and cocoa contain a small amount of caffeine, partnered with a high amount of antioxidants per serving. Dark chocolate has also been proven to lower blood sugar and can even help prevent sun damage, among other benefits.
While these caffeinated options offer a quick energy fix, experts agree that increasing fruit and vegetable intake throughout your daily life, as well as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and drinking higher quantities of water are all easy swaps to make to wake up feeling more rested and ready for the day ahead. Correcting behaviours at the source is often to best way to avoid the effects of their influence in our daily lives.