Coffee Substitutions And Natural Energy Boosters

Coffee Substitutions And Natural Energy Boosters
October 23, 2013 Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

Coffee has some benefits – there are lots of studies showing a link between a cup of coffee a day and prevention of certain cancers.

But the downside of coffee is that it’s addictive and it’s a stimulant, so for a lot of people it would be a good thing to cut back.

A lot of people ask me about how to wean themselves off coffee, and what they can use as natural energy boosters.

Weaning Off Coffee

To be honest, I don’t know that I’m the best person to give advice on this because I’ve never been a coffee drinker and I don’t find that I’m really affected by caffeine.

However – what I’ve seen have the best success in others (one being my mom) is if they start mixing decaffeinated coffee in their grind mix, and slowly increase the ratio of decaf:caf.

Start with maybe 1/4 decaf and 3/4 caffeinated, then when you get used to that shift to half and half, and so on, or make the shift even more gradual.

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Coffee Substitutes

Coffee is a really unique flavor, so you’ll never be able to replace it exactly aside from decaf coffee, which some people even say doesn’t taste quite the same.

There are instant roasted drink powders you can buy, which are meant as a kind of coffee substitute. I bought some once, thinking if I was going to suggest it to anyone I should really try it for a while.

I found it really tasty, though I had to mix it with a bit of almond milk and maple syrup because I’m not very into the bitter flavor. It was made with roasted chicory and barley. There are lots of brands, and all of them have a slightly different mix.

The other good substitutes would be teas (black, green or herbal) or hot chocolate (I make my own to be dairy-free).

Natural Energy Boosters

As I said, I don’t really get a boost from caffeine, and even if you do I’m sure you’ve experienced the inevitable crash that follows. It’s similar to the effects of refined sugars.

If you go for natural energy boosts instead, you should find a sustained level of energy that’s much more fun.

My favorite natural energy booster is fresh fruit. I love any kind of fruit – apples, pears, melons, bananas, berries, oranges, pineapple, mango.

They’re full of easily-digested sugars for energy, fiber to make sure it doesn’t get to your blood stream too quickly, nutrients to nourish your body and water to hydrate you. Pretty perfect!

If you find yourself getting a sugar crash after having fruit, try having a handful of nuts or seeds along with your fruit to decrease the glycemic load.

Fruit gives instant energy, and whole grains and legumes/beans give energy on a longer scale. They have complex carbs for slower-released energy, fiber and important vitamins and minerals (like magnesium, B vitamins and iron) for utilizing energy from your food.

If you want to start boosting your energy in a serious way, my Baby Steps program will start you off with an information session on the 5 biggest causes of low energy and how to solve them, plus my best energy-boosting tips and food recommendations.

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