5 Healthy Energy-Stabilizing Alternatives to Your Typical Morning Coffee


Mon, June 10

"Coffee, coffee, coffee!" Probably the most iconic Lorelai Gilmore phrase in the much-loved Netflix series and the one I'm sure you've found yourself screaming as soon as your alarm (or angry mum) wakes you up. With late nights and early mornings being the mantra of teenage student life, we often rely on caffeine to get us through the day.

What are the side effects of drinking coffee?

While coffee is undoubtedly the 'holy grail' of morning beverages, the side effects can be severe. The caffeine found in coffee works by stimulating the central nervous system (CNS), heart, and muscles. However, it can delay the timing of your body clock and block the sleep-promoting receptors in your brain, leading to reduced sleep quality and, in some cases, insomnia.

In addition, the caffeine found in coffee promotes the release of the hormone noradrenaline, which plays a huge role in regulating cognitive function. However, this hormone can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, causing a 'fluttering heart' and lightheadedness or dizziness. It was not the most pleasant experience during that mid-morning lecture or examination!

What alternatives are there to coffee?

Plenty of coffee alternatives will provide your body with longer-lasting and more stabilized energy levels so you can avoid that mid-afternoon energy crash! From matcha to breakfast juices and smoothies, you can opt for healthier morning beverages that won't compromise your health in the long run! Below, I've compiled a list of 5 healthy alternatives to your morning coffee.

1. Matcha

Matcha is most definitely becoming an increasingly popular drink, and it's no surprise due to the host of health benefits that it comes with. Besides being easy to prepare (always helpful on those 'touch-and-go' school mornings), the drink is full of natural antioxidants and boosts brain function. The drink is also extremely versatile, with hundreds of ways to customize it: from adding cold foam to a strawberry purée for an extra shot of sweetness (or just enjoying it in its original form)!

a drink sitting on a plate on a table

Photo by Sittinat Thurdnampetch on Unsplash

2. Chicory

If you're still craving that distinct, bitter coffee taste without the caffeine, then chicory is your new BFF! I enjoy this drink on a weekly basis, and it can be one of the most decadent, comforting drinks when topped with warm, frothed milk. While caffeine-free and does not offer the same energy boost as coffee, it helps regulate appetite and aid digestion, so it's the almost perfect morning drink to start your day!

a person pouring milk into a glass with a cookie on the side

Photo by Faruk Tokluoğlu on Unsplash

3. Golden Milk

This aromatic, warming drink perfectly blends invigorating spices such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, and honey, packing it with an anti-inflammatory punch. You can buy the drink ready-made in health stores, such as this one from Ayurveda Pura, or you can make it yourself at home using an online recipe. This drink warms you from head-to-toe for those early, cold winter mornings, making it a healthy comfort drink to soothe and invigorate your body!

clear glass mug with brown liquid inside

Photo by Shreyak Singh on Unsplash

4. Rooibos Tea

This caffeine-free herbal tea originated in South Africa and contains antioxidants. The flavor of this tea completely contradicts that of coffee; instead of being strong and bitter, this drink has a sweet, fruity flavor and does not become bitter if left steeped for too long (unlike other teas). This tea works wonders in lowering blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels, meaning practically anyone can enjoy it, and it can be a herbal aid to those who may be diabetic or suffer from cardiovascular illnesses.

shallow focus photography cup of tea

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

5. Chai Tea

This tea has a more robust flavor than rooibos tea and is blended with strong herbs such as cinnamon, cardamom, and fresh ginger. This drink is perfect in winter as an immune-system booster and contains anti-inflammatory properties to help fight against acne (the bane of most teenagers). Besides these health benefits, chai tea is also proven to help sharpen cognitive performance and improve alertness, making it a brilliant beverage before an exam or early-morning class.

full-filled liquid mug

Photo by René Porter on Unsplash

So there you have it! Five quick and easy morning beverages to replace your morning coffee will still offer you that much-needed energy boost while supporting your body and mind in the long run. The immediate switch from coffee to caffeine-free beverages can be hard, so try switching out your coffee for two days this week, then three next week, and before you know it, you'll be well on your way to conquering the day without caffeine!

Which drink will you try?!

Amy Dhannie

Writer since May, 2024 · 2 published articles

Amy Dhannie is a teenage student and aspiring journalist/public relations officer. She has had many of her creative writing samples published in several "Young Writers" books, and helped set up a student-run newsletter in her school, of which she was an editor. In her spare time she enjoys travelling; writing; reading; hanging out with friends (preferably over a tub of lemon sorbet); scoping out new adventure opportunities and bingeing her favourite coming-of-age Netflix series: Gilmore Girls (however cringy it may get).