Published 09 October 2017 Category: Compass Tips, Leisure

8 Surprising Substitutes For A Coffee Addiction

Whether we start drinking coffee out of necessity or pleasure, there’s no denying the importance of this caffeinated beverage in our lives. We drink coffee to help us wake up in the morning. We take coffee breaks when we’re at work. We network over coffee, hold important meetings over coffee, catch up with old friends over coffee — we even go for coffee when we’re on a date (and sometimes we invite our dates back for “coffee” afterwards too). Combine all this with the other 195 coffee-consuming countries in the world, and it’s easy to see why coffee is one of the most universally beloved beverages.

But despite coffee’s popularity, it also has some problems. While there’s no conclusive evidence to suggest that a cup of coffee a day poses any significant health risks, over-consumption of low quality coffee has been linked to a number of nasty side effects. So while enjoying a daily cup of locally-roasted, freshly-ground, high-quality coffee beans can actually be good for your health, knocking back three or four cups of brewed sludge that drips out of the office coffee machine can be detrimental to your physical and mental well-being.

One or two cups isn’t a problem. But more than four is a sure sign you should try to cut back.

To help you get a handle on your caffeine addiction, here are some alternate energy-boosting substitutes to help you reduce your daily coffee dosage. So the next time you get a hankering for that steaming sludge from the office coffee machine, try one of these alternatives instead.

Green Tea
Going cold turkey on caffeine can be tough, so sometimes it’s easier to start decreasing your intake gradually rather than quitting altogether. If that’s your strategy, then green tea is a perfect solution. Unlike brewed coffee which has an average of 150 mg of caffeine per cup, green tea only has an average of 40 mg per cup. Plus it also has a healthy dosage of antioxidants which is great for repairing damaged cells, lowering cholesterol, and preventing cancer.

Lemon Water
Adding a slice of lemon to your glass can give you an extra kick by refreshing your senses and triggering your metabolism to start converting fat stores into energy. Careful though! Too much lemon juice can burn through the enamel on your teeth, so consume in moderation.

Dark Chocolate
The good news is that dark chocolate is a great treat for beating the midday slump. Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols - chemical compounds that have been found to give short-term boosts to brain power by increasing bloodflow to the brain. So if you feel your brain powering down in the late afternoon, pop a piece of dark chocolate to keep productivity high for another two to three hours.

You may have already been using gum to crush your coffee-breath, but did you know that you can use it to cut out coffee too? According to a study in the British Journal of Psychology, chewing gum increases oxygen flow to the brain, making you much more alert and better at concentrating. The flavour of gum doesn’t matter, although peppermint does have some naturally refreshing qualities.

The Breakfast Habit
The best way to really wake up in the morning is to eat a healthy breakfast. When you wake up, your blood sugar glucose is generally quite low, meaning you need to refuel to get your body’s engines running again. A cup of coffee as you rush out the door, however, isn’t enough to do the trick. Ideally, try aiming for a combination of carbs, protein, and fiber; so you can avoid the mid-morning slump, and get on with it until it’s time for lunch.

Take a 10 minute walk
Just like chewing gum, a short ten minute walk increases oxygen flow to the brain, increasing alertness and improving your ability to concentrate. Plus, you can also get a small endorphin rush, which is great for reducing stress. Not enough time to get outside? Climbing a flight of stairs or doing a couple of stationary stretches will do the trick.

Teeccino is a caffeine-free herbal coffee that is a blend of various herbs, spices, grains, fruits, and nuts designed to simulate exactly how coffee tastes. It also comes in a variety of different coffee flavours — such as French roast, Java, Mocha, and Hazelnut — so you can pick and choose your favourite.

And finally…Get some zzzzz’s
If you need coffee to keep your eyes open throughout the day, it could be because you just aren’t getting enough sleep in the first place. We’ve done a deep dive on the creative benefits of sleep before, but it’s worth reiterating the value of a good night’s sleep here, too.

So next time you reach for that old Cup O’ Joe, take a minute to reflect on how much sleep you got the night before. Maybe you need that extra cup of coffee, or maybe you need a lifestyle change all together!