Many working adults rely on coffee to get them through their busy week. However, drinking too much of this highly caffeinated beverage can stain your teeth, increase your anxiety and make you jittery. Switching out your coffee for a healthier drink alternative could dramatically improve the health of your body and mind. Here are five incredible drinks you should consider adding to your diet.
1. Yerba Mate
This naturally caffeinated drink is made from the dried leaves of a holly tree. Described as having a bitter taste, this drink may take some getting used to. It’s a great option if you don’t want to give up your morning caffeine. Yerba mate is full of helpful antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins like iron, calcium, and riboflavin. You’ll have no problem finding loose tea leaves or prepackaged tea bags at your local grocery store. The leaves should be steeped for about three to five minutes. Be sure to remove the bag soon after to avoid making the drink too strong.
2. Matcha Tea
Matcha tea has recently gained a boost in popularity due to its heart benefits. This drink is high in antioxidants that lower your risk of chronic disease and promote healthy cell growth. Matcha has also been shown to boost brain function, enhance weight loss and protect the heart. This tea tastes delicious and is easy to prepare in bulk so you have a beverage ready for the rest of the week. Matcha is often sold in powder form, allowing you to adjust the consistency and flavor as necessary. You can even add matcha to your desserts, smoothies, and lattes.
3. Chai Tea
Another popular tea alternative to coffee is masala chai mix. This is a type of black tea that’s naturally caffeinated. The tea is often spiced with herbs like cardamom, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and black pepper. Chai tea has a comforting smell and a strong flavor that soothes and relaxes you. While chai doesn’t have quite as much caffeine as coffee, it’s still shown to improve your mental alertness and provide antioxidant benefits.
This tea can be found in both tea bags and powder forms. Using a powdered chai mix saves you the clean-up of straining the tea to remove the spices. Pair your drink with any milk of your choice and a light sweetener.
4. Golden Milk
Golden milk isn’t a drink you’ll typically find on the shelves. This homemade beverage is created by boiling milk and a variety of spices and herbs like turmeric, black pepper, ginger, and cinnamon. It’s often sweetened with honey or vanilla to enhance the flavor. Golden milk doesn’t have any caffeine and instead works to improve your mood and memory.
Tumeric has been used in both dishes and medicines in India for thousands of years. It’s a spice with strong anti-inflammatory properties that can improve the body’s capacity for antioxidants. Golden milk can be prepared by boiling your milk of choice with the herbs listed above for five to 10 minutes. Since it’s not caffeinated, this drink can be enjoyed at the start of your day or right before bed.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made with fermented apples and yeast. The fermentation process creates acetic acid, which can help you maintain your blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. There’s no caffeine in apple cider vinegar, but it has been shown to moderately assist with weight loss and reduce cholesterol.
Apple cider vinegar should not be consumed without first diluting it. You’ll often find this form of vinegar in the cooking aisle of your neighborhood supermarket. It’s best to mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into one cup of water. You can also add honey to dilute the unpleasant taste. Be sure to use raw or unfiltered vinegar rather than any products meant specifically for cleaning or cooking.
While coffee can help you focus and burn fat, it’s not healthy to drink regularly or in large quantities. Mix up your morning beverage choices by drinking chai tea, golden milk, or yerba mate. All of these drinks can improve your health while energizing you for the day. Expanding your palate can also boost your overall intake of vital nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.