It pains me to say, but sometimes, coffee just isn’t the best option in the morning. It can leave you dehydrated, jittery, or with an undesirable caffeine crash at midday—it can even mess with your anxiety.
While reaching for a cup of joe in the morning comes as second nature for most, sometimes mixing it up is necessary and refreshing. These nine beverages will add pep to your step with nary a grain of Arabica.
Cozying up with a mug of something warm is half the appeal of coffee. Swap it for antioxidant-rich green tea, which still has plenty caffeine for an energy boost. It’s also been shown to help prevent Alzheimer's disease and keep blood sugar stable.
Whether you steep it alone or mix it into a latte, chai is jam-packed with energizing benefits. The black tea base has caffeine, and the spices boast different benefits: Ginger aids in digestion and eases stomach troubles, cinnamon quels fatigue and increases metabolic rate, and cardamom is a natural detoxifier. Plus it smells and tastes like pure warmth.
Matcha is like green tea on steroids. It’s the result of dried, ground green tea leaves that boast 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea: One serving packs 10 times the nutritional potency of traditional green tea.
As a recent entrant into the world of kombucha, I can personally attest to its greatness in the morning. The fermented beverage is packed with gut-friendly probiotics to wake your digestive system up and keep you moving. The flavor takes some getting used to, but I actually crave it now (it tastes like health).
Dandelion Root Tea
Stop popping the heads off those yellow weeds! Dandelion root tea is great for those who love the taste of coffee, but prefer something that’s more mild on the system. It has detoxifying qualities, soothes digestive ailments, and has naturally occurring anti-bacterial compounds.
Hot Water with Lemon and Honey
More than a go-to sick drink, the combination of hot water with lemon and honey boosts energy, detoxifies, aids in digestion, fights disease, and hydrates like no other. The blend is a natural antiseptic that’s been known to keep illness at bay, and the combination of flavors is a waker-upper.
Never heard of this South American tea? It boasts the “strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate all in one beverage.” Yerba mate also naturally contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, abundant antioxidants, and is lauded for its rejuvenative effects and energy boosting power that won’t cause jitters.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Mixing two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into an 8-ounce glass of water is a gross-tasting health booster. It has antibacterial properties that boost your immune system, helps digestion and gut health, and acts as a natural anti inflammatory by breaking down starches to reduce bloating. If you can stomach it, it’s a huge health asset.
Drinking a glass of icy water in the morning aids in digestion, gives your system a jumpstart, and increases blood flow. Plus, after eight hours of stagnant sleep, your body craves hydration—imagine how parched you’d be if you didn’t drink a sip of water for eight hours throughout the day. You should integrate this into your morning routine even if you plan on sticking with coffee.