I’ll be the first one to admit that coffee is a heavenly brew. It’s taste and aroma alone have won our hearts. And when a little almond extract, non-dairy creamer and hazelnut flavoring is thrown into the mix…well, it’s no wonder that Bach wrote an actual cantata about this flavorsome bean!
However, there are some amazing alternatives to everyone’s favourite morning pick-me-up that are not only worth looking into-they are delicious in their own right. Trust me, I am talking from experience. When I was in college I did lots of research to find alternative ways of boosting up my energy (those term papers were not going to write themselves after all!) and tried each and every one of these mouthwatering alternatives. Now, not a day goes by without me adding matcha to my green smoothie. (frozen ‘nanas + matcha + coconut water blend gorgeously and it’s absolutely delicious!)
Green tea has a lot more going for it than pretty Instagram pictures (who can deny they’re gorgeous?) Though coffee does contain more caffeine than tea, the caffeine in tea is released much slower into your system which gives you sustained energy for a longer period of time.
Green tea contains large amounts of a catechin called EGCG, natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage. Tea also contains a powerful stimulant called L-theanine, it increases blood-flow and acts as an anti-inflammatory which means that you are both alert and relaxed, making it the perfect drink to have when studying. In addition, green tea stabilizes blood sugar, improves brain function and boosts your immune system. You literally cannot go wrong with this tasty beverage.
Chai is actually still tea- in India, Chai means tea-but the difference between regular tea and chai lies in the way it is prepared. Chai’s particular charm can be found in the gorgeous, aromatic spices that are used to give it it’s distinctive taste such as ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel seeds and cloves. This stellar blend has it all; cinnamon has been proven to reduce cholesterol, ginger reduces blood-sugar levels and fights off nausea and cloves stimulate digestion. Since it is brewed with (non-dairy) milk chai is thicker and creamier than your average water steeped tea which means it pairs perfectly with a good book and a pair of warm socks.
What I love the most about green smoothies is how incredibly versatile they are! Have you got more of a sweet tooth? Add some dates! Do you want it thicker? throw some diced avocado in there! Are you craving a piña colada or some other tropical flavours? Mangoes and pineapples are your friends!
Whatever the combination, a green smoothie’s base must always be-and this goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway-some refreshing greens. I find that spinach is up to the task; since it has a mild flavour and blends beautifully. After that, you’ve got the floor; try any and every combination you want! It’s guaranteed to taste absolutely delicious and boost up your vegetable intake significantly. One green smoothie will definitely strengthen your immune system, keep you hydrated and increase your energy. My go-to breakfast green smoothie is a blend of spinach, banana and mangoes. It’s the perfect way to start the day.
Ok, I’ve got to admit that I am a bit biased when it comes to matcha as I completely and utterly love it. It was love at first taste. Though matcha comes from the same plant that green tea does (camellia sinesis) they are entirely different due to the way they are cultivated. Matcha tea plants are covered to avoid sunlight, which gives them a unique flavour profile and a whole bunch of added benefits: since matcha powder is made from the entire leaf its benefits surpass those found in green tea. Research shows that matcha can enhance cognitive function, is quite high in antioxidants, fiber, chlorophyll and can even help lower cholesterol. Much like green smoothies, matcha is incredibly versatile. Nowadays there are matcha lattes, matcha desserts and even matcha shots! Take your pick… it will still be a win-win!
Kombucha is a tea-based fermented beverage which uses yeast and sugar for its fermentation process. After it is fermented, Kombucha gains b vitamins, a high amount of probiotics and tons of enzymes. This makes Kombucha ideal for maintaining a healthy gut flora as it’s amino acids and probiotics highly benefit digestion. A powerful antibacterial; Kombucha might help keep those seasonal diseases at bay. This sweet drink is also incredibly delicious! Due to its fermentation, it becomes a carbonated beverage, which makes it a perfect cold, refreshing pick-me-up whenever you need it!
Not only is coconut water absolutely delicious ( it has a slightly nutty flavour that enhances any smoothie,) it is also incredibly high in manganese, potassium, selenium and calcium. Coconut water has been shown to improve blood pressure and lower cholesterol. It is also many athlete’s staple drink as it’s insanely high level of electrolytes make it ideal for preventing dehydration and fatigue, (a perfect substitute for that third cup of coffee,) this high-nutrient water instantly refreshes your whole system and might even help you de-stress after a long day at work due to its high amount of magnesium. So whether you are running a marathon or pulling an all-nighter coconut water is guaranteed to help you stay calm and hydrated.