Everyone likes to talk about coffee. Most of us would probably prefer to talk about coffee over a cup of coffee! Coffee is on every corner, in every waiting room and for a lot of us, it’s on our every morning agenda. It’s one of those things the health community really cannot agree on: is coffee okay to drink?

There are a lot of benefits to drinking coffee: studies have shown that it can regulate blood pressure, relieve headaches, prevent some forms of cancer and Alzheimer’s, regulate intestinal function, increase alertness and act as an antioxidant.

Here’s where coffee drinking can be an issue. Why are you drinking coffee? And are you coming from a place of dependence and addiction? So many of us use coffee to coat the symptoms of other issues such as hunger, lethargy and irritability. Caffeine is the problem; coffee is simply the catalyst. And so often, coffee becomes the gateway to consuming sugars, aspartame, artificial flavors and dairy. If you’ve ever said anything along the lines of “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” or you’re drinking a whole pot all by yourself – it may be time to re-boot.

Here a few healthier alternatives that will leave your body feeling energized without the addicting side effects.

  1. Hot water with lemon

Start the day with a hot cup of water with lemon. You won’t believe how energized and fresh this simple drink will make you feel. Plus it promotes healthy digestive, detoxifying and elimination processes so you’ll feel clean and ready to take on the day!

  1. Green smoothie

Blend romaine, spinach, celery, kale, lemon, banana, apple (or whatever other fruit you have around) with water and ice for a delicious morning treat. Store leftovers in an airtight pitcher in your fridge for a mid-day pick-me-up.

  1. Raw Cacao Powder “Frozen Mocha”

Skip the high-calorie and high-sugar coffee chain frozen mochas (and the long lines to get one) and blend raw cacao powder, ice, almond milk and a dash of cinnamon. The cacao powder is packed with antioxidants and minerals that will leave you feeling bright and alert instead of dragging on sugar residue.

  1. Kukicha  

Kukicha is an incredible green tea made from the stems and shrubs of the tea shrub. Among other things it contains zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, fluoride, Vitamins C, B1, B2, A, Niacin, and amino acids. It contains six times more calcium than cow’s milk, reduces blood pressure and helps with digestion. To call this a superhero green tea would be an understatement.

  1. Teccino

Teccino, a popular herbal “coffee,” is made from a blend of herbs, grains, fruits and nuts. It is roasted and ground to taste like coffee, so if you’re craving that taste, this is a great option. It’s caffeine-free but provides a natural energy boost from all the minerals and vitamins packed into the grinds. Like many sports drinks (but without all the artificial stuff), Teccino replenishes potassium which stimulates nerve impulses, helps oxygenate the brain and enhances athletic performance.





*Article reprinted from: www.elissagoodman.com, 2012.