Coffee is a pretty healthy beverage: It’s loaded with antioxidants, provides the body energy, and can be enjoyed as a hot beverage or a cold brew.
Coffee drinkers also seem to have lower risks of diabetes and some cancers, according to experts.
But of course, there are downsides. Coffee can cause upset stomachs, interrupt sleep, and feelings of anxiousness – and that’s without the excess calories if you prefer a sugary coffee.
If you’re looking to avoid the downsides of coffee or can’t stomach the bitter brew, there are plenty of beverage alternatives you can drink in the morning that provide similar benefits.
Matcha green tea
Matcha tea is regular green tea, but instead made with actual tea leaves (they’re usually discarded) ground into a powder and added to hot water. The leaves boost the caffeine level of a cup of matcha to about the same level as coffee.
“But instead of a jittery stimulation with a sudden subsequent energy slump when the caffeine wears off, matcha provides a more calming sense thanks to the amino acid L-theanine,” Ilana Muhlstein, RD, told Health.com.
“Wheatgrass is a concentrated source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, and amino acids,” nutritionist and author Maggie Moon tells Health.com.
The combination of these natural ingredients can actually give you a boost of energy similar to caffeine.
“Moreover, preliminary studies suggest that wheatgrass may also have a role in providing benefits for rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, diabetes, obesity, and oxidative stress” explains Appetite for Health co-founder Julie Upton, RD.
The rich red of pomegranate fruits hints to its high antioxidant content, which helps refill energy levels.
“Pomegranate juice is known for its antioxidant potency, and its polyphenols are being studied for muscle strength recovery, cognition, and more,” says Moon. Try adding it to water as a refreshing fuel source in the summer.
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