With an increasing number of daily coffee drinkers each year, it’s safe to say Americans love coffee. And if you’re one of the people in the crowd that’s trying to cut down on your caffeine intake but can’t sacrifice the energy boost, it can be hard to put that cup down. But instead of trying to cut out coffee completely, you might want to consider some coffee alternatives that will still wake you up.
“Since every person is different, it’s important to get curious (and honest) with how coffee could be affecting your body and how much you really feel like you need,” says Josie Santi, holistic nutrition coach and founder of Wellness By Josie. “If you do feel like you need caffeine or cannot stay awake without it, [it’s worth] figuring out the root cause.”
Just like everything, an excess of caffeine is not necessarily good for you. “Caffeine releases adrenaline (aka how it gives you energy), but adrenaline is also associated with the fight or flight response, meaning you might feel more anxious or respond more anxiously when in stressful situations. Also, excess caffeine can cause hormonal imbalances,” says Santi, who suggests drinking decaf before and during your period if you are prone to intense symptoms.
“When looking for an alternative to coffee, a lot of finding something that you enjoy depends on what you love about coffee,” Willow Jarosh MS RD CDN, registered dietician-nutritionist, health expert for Health-Ade Kombucha, and co-author of Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook, tells Bustle. “If it’s the flavor, then looking for something that has a rich, complex flavor is key. If it’s the warmth of a soothing morning sip, then a warm option is important. If it’s the caffeine buzz, then that should be a part of the alternative as well. If you need to replace coffee for some reason, then at least your alternative can bring you the most joy!” And if you don’t know where to start, here are eight coffee substitutes that will help you put away the coffee but still keep the energy.