Coffee is healthy in small doses. However, like everything, too much caffeine can lead to negative side effects. While a steaming cup of coffee may wake you up in the morning, we’ve put together a list of alternatives that can do the same job in a much healthier way.
- Black Tea
Yes, black tea does have caffeine in it too. Though it does depend on what type of leaf is used, generally speaking one cup of black tea will have roughly 28-44mg of caffeine. Coffee, on the other hand, has about 100mg (learn more here). If you substitute tea for your three coffee’s each day, you can potentially save yourself from over 210mg of caffeine.
- Yerba Maté
Maté is a South American concoction of caffeinated herbal tea, hugely popular in Argentina. Each cup contains about 85mg of caffeine, so more than black tea but less than coffee. Traditionally, it’s drunk out of a Calabash Gourd, often shared between a group of people, and best served boiling. The leaves of maté can be re-brewed multiple times, simply by refilling the hot water.
In terms of health benefits, maté has a unique antioxidant profile compared with other teas. It also contains vitamin B and C, and gives a balanced energy boost, similar to that of coffee, but without the negative side effects of sleep interference and jitters.
- Coconut water
Coconut water has many health benefits. It’s high in electrolytes, chlorides, potassium and magnesium. You may find a cup of coconut water in the morning will hydrate you much better than coffee and help keep your skin clear. In addition, it contains low levels of sugar, sodium and protein. A cup of coconut water has a mere 46 calories, compared to a medium-sized latte which contains around 135 calories.
Kombucha is an ancient Chinese probiotic fermented beverage. It contains a combination of bacteria, tea and sugar, which can be brewed at home. It’s an acquired taste, but is said to help boost the immune system, decrease high blood pressure and heart disease, keep the stomach lining strong and lower cholesterol.
- Decaf Coffee
Yes, I went there. You can keep your coffee-dignity and drink decaf. In fact, drinking decaf coffee will allow you to have more cups of coffee per day. University of Florida researchers found that 5-10 cups of decaffeinated coffee have a caffeine dose equivalent to 1-2 cups of regular joe. Even if it means replacing one of your daily cups with decaf, you’ll be doing yourself a favour.