Healthy, High Energy Alternatives to Coffee

By Lorne Marr


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If you like the caffeine rush that gets you going in the morning –  or when that afternoon slump hits – but you’re trying to minimize or avoid coffee, you may be looking for some substitutes that will give you a similar kick.
 
The good news is there are tons of great ways to imbue yourself with the mystical power of caffeine. The better news is that many of these options are super healthy and downright tasty!

Let’s start with one of the more buzz-worthy options: green tea. While it packs a slightly lower caffeine kick than a cup of coffee, green tea will give you more than enough boost in the energy department, and without those coffee-related jitters. On top of that, green tea has catechins, powerful antioxidants that help fight disease. Plus, there are way too many green tea flavour combinations to list here.
 
Speaking of super delicious alternatives, how about a *nut* smoothie? High in fiber and protein, a smoothie combined with fruits, veggies, cashew milk and/or nut butter will give you a healthy spike in your blood sugar, which will simulate that caffeine kick without any actual caffeine.

Break out your fashion scarf and fedora for this hipster “clean living” staple: wheatgrass juice. At the heart of the juice bar industry, this staple contains vitamins, minerals and nutrients, while also being easily digestible. All amazing aspects, but the one we are focusing on here is the all-natural energy boost your body gets from it. It’s a kick for your energy – and your digestive system.
 
One downside to getting an energy boost from coffee is that once the initial blast of caffeine wears off, you end up feeling sluggish. It’s what leads many coffee drinkers to go back for another cup. One way to get your energy levels up without feeling that swoon shortly after is simple: water. Mixed with lemon and lemon zest, the scent alone will give you a wake-up, and the natural sugars will give you an extra little get-up-and-go.

Even if you’re a coffee drinker and not planning on giving it up, modern research suggests you are better off delaying that first cup of Joe until mid-morning and, instead, starting your day with just ordinary water. In addition to flushing out your digestive system, drinking water first thing in the morning ensures you begin your day well hydrated.
 
Health-conscious folks are putting these in everything from oatmeal to muffins to cookies: flaxseeds. What’s the big deal with these tiny morsels? Well, flaxseeds offer a natural energy boost that can give you a bit of nutty flavour without containing nuts. Try throwing some flaxseed oil or ground flaxseed into your morning smoothie and marvel at how great you feel. In their whole form, flaxseeds are an insoluble fibre source, which means they’ll pass right through you, so be sure to buy them ground or grind them yourself.
 
Prune juice. Yes, prune juice! Is there anything it can’t do? This thick, crisp juice has the power to help regulate the levels of electrolytes in your body, which will, in turn, boost your stamina. If you’re not a fan of the flavour, it mixes easily with any other juice to make a potent pick-me-up punch.

This supplement has become readily available and is a combination of fruits and vegetables in powder form: greens. Greens products suggest that with one scoop, you will get your entire daily requirement of fruits and vegetables. Whole foods still reign supreme, but for convenience, you can add a greens supplement to a smoothie, a protein shake or shoot it straight, if that’s your idea of a good time. Regardless of how you imbibe it, you’ll be getting tons of nutrients that will boost your natural energy levels, with no crash.
 
So, if you are looking to kick your coffee habit to the curb or simply experiment with something different, there are options out there for you. And the best part is they won’t kick back!

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