Healthy coffee alternatives

Get your caffeine fix with one of these healthy alternatives

It can be tough to set that cup of coffee down. Whether it’s the rich, nutty flavour, the boost of energy, or the ritual of sipping, there are plenty of reasons to love coffee. But sometimes, it’s healthy to cut ties with the thing you love – and coffee is no exception. Maybe you realised caffeine is keeping you up at night, you feel too jittery afterward, or you have a medical condition that requires you to limit your coffee. If you’ve been rethinking your daily cup (or two), finding an alternative to coffee can help make the transition easier.

Read on to discover several healthy coffee alternatives that will still provide the energy, flavour, or ritual you crave.

Matcha tea

If you crave the ritual of sipping a warm beverage first thing in the morning, give matcha a try. It’s a type of powdered green tea high in antioxidants that may help lower inflammation. You can mix the powder into hot water for an earthy-flavoured tea, or add in milk or a milk alternative to create a vibrant green latte. Plus, the buzz you’ll get from matcha will make you feel alert without the jitters you typically encounter from coffee. Matcha contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which gives you a calmer burst of energy and no crash. Be aware that matcha does contain caffeine, though the amount is much lower than you’d find in coffee.

Fresh fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies

Blending or extracting fresh fruits and veggies into a juice or smoothie is a great way to get a hearty dose of vitamins and minerals in a single serving. Fresh fruits, such as berries, bananas and oranges, and leafy greens, like kale and spinach, are packed with vitamins that help your body convert food into fuel, also known as energy. Fruits also contain glucose, which is your brain’s preferred fuel source. If you have a juicer or blender, play around with different flavour combos until you find something you love.

Chicory coffee

If you can’t part with the flavour of coffee, chicory coffee is for you. Made from the chicory root, this beverage looks, tastes, and smells like coffee, but without the caffeine and acidity that coffee beans bring to the mug. Chicory root contains inulin, a prebiotic that may help promote gut health and reduce inflammation. It may also improve blood sugar control.

Apple cider vinegar

This one is a little out there, but bear with us. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made by fermenting the sugar from apples, which creates a compound known as acetic acid. Acetic acid has been credited with providing the many benefits associated with ACV. It works to give you more energy throughout the day by helping to regulate blood sugar levels, keeping your energy up, and preventing fatigue. ACV can be harsh on your teeth, so don’t drink it straight. Instead, dilute a small amount (no more than one to two tablespoons) into a warm mug of water.

Chai tea

Chai is a sweet and spicy drink that originated in India. It’s made by combining black tea with aromatic herbs and spices like cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper. While still a caffeinated beverage, many chai tea brands are lower in caffeine than your morning cup of drip coffee. Your average cup of chai will contain about 25 mg of caffeine, compared to a cup of coffee, which can be upward of 75 mg. This makes chai a great option for cutting back your daily caffeine intake, while still reaping some of its energy-boosting benefits. Prepare it with hot water and a splash of sweetener (optional), or try a frothy chai latte.