Coffee is one of the most addictive substances in the world. And according to the National Coffee Association, one of the highest consumed beverages in America. It has become a part of a routine, a morning ritual of sorts. Or an afternoon perk me up. Some pretty exciting statistics and numbers about America’s consumption of the average cup of Joe may or might not surprise you.
- Coffee drinking has gone up 5% nationwide.
- Nearly 70% of individuals have coffee every week
- Meanwhile, over 60% drink coffee daily
- And the average individual who considers themselves a coffee drinker has over three cups daily.
With these numbers, it is only natural coffee invitations arise regularly. Social and professional people gather around coffee shops, cafes, or even the coffee cart downstairs in the office. It has become more than a drink. Coffee is a lifestyle.
But with all of these numbers on the rise, coffee drinking can sometimes become a coffee addiction. The caffeine running through your veins can quickly become a coffee addiction. If you’ve ever been addicted to coffee and tried going without it, you’ve likely experienced withdrawal symptoms— headache, grogginess, fatigue, and sudden crash in energy. If you suffer from these symptoms without coffee, now might be the right time to find a replacement for your fix.
Here are the four best drinks to replace coffee.
1. Green tea and matcha
Green tea, or matcha in its powdered form, can aid in caffeine addiction like coffee but without quite as much as the average cup of coffee. Your typical 8 oz cup (but it never stops at one cup, does it?) has anywhere from 80 to 100 mg of caffeine compared to an 8 oz cup of green tea with only 30 to 50mg. Green tea is also packed with antioxidants that aid in weight loss, improve cognitive function, protect against certain cancers, and lower the risk of potential heart diseases. Plus, it’s a warm beverage that is typically served in most coffee shops these days. So, as your colleagues or friends are stirring up their favorite latte, you can order a matcha latte for a fraction of the caffeine intake.
2. Herbal tonic
You might’ve heard of an herbal tonic before. An herbal tonic is a different type of tonic that’s plant-based, which means it can deliver nutritionally dense benefits directly to you, including small amounts of caffeine. It is made up of superfoods and herbs, which can be packed with electrolytes, not coffee's dehydrating effect.
Herbal tonics date back centuries to Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine in India. Each herbal tonic has a variety of other benefits for your body. There are traditional benefits through herbs like adaptogens, alternatives, aromatics, astringents, bitters, and nutritive.
But what you can do, which often coffee lacks, order up a flavor option such as:
- Mint. Mint can help with digestion with its anti-inflammatory properties
- Ginger. Ginger is also known to fight inflammation
- Hibiscus. Hibiscus has vitamin C and other antioxidants, making it delicious and nutritious
- Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is popular because it can reduce stress.
The next time you’re at the grocery store and find yourself going for the coffee beans, opt for an herbal tonic instead.
3. Hot cacao
Hot cacao, not hot chocolate, has lower amounts of caffeine than regular coffee. Plus, it has delicious flavors of chocolate. Unlike the hot chocolate you are likely thinking of, it doesn't have the extra sugar associated with processed hot cocoa. In the same way, you would add a dash of sugar or milk to coffee, with hot cacao, you enjoy it brewed with a splash of sweetener or milk, and it has the same soothing effect. A fun fact: This might be new to you, but it’s been done for thousands of years! Since the cacao bean was discovered, it has been brewed as a delicious beverage.
4. Chicory coffee
Don’t confuse the name with coffee, it is not exactly alike. Chicory comes from a plant, like coffee does, except the roots of this plant are entirely caffeine free. It has a tasty flavor and a delightful aroma of woody and nuttiness. If you see this on the menu the next time you’re out or in a store, give it a try. You’ll find yourself tasting similar flavors but without any of the actual caffeine.
Coffee might be one of the most heavily consumed beverages in the world, with the average person drinking three cups a day. As a result, Americans are finding themselves heavily dependent on the drink and the addictiveness of caffeine. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to choose from to replace your cup of coffee. So, whether you’re trying to cut back, cut out, or just try something different, give these beverages a go!