If you’re like me, you probably reach for at least one cup of coffee every day . It’s become a natural part of our routines and for many is a morning staple like taking vitamins or eating breakfast. As the busy-oriented lifestyle continues to consume our society, coffee has been positioned as a magical elixir to help us focus and multi-task.
As comedian Jerry Seinfeld once said, “We want to do a lot of stuff: we’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup.”
What most people don’t realize is that there is a whole world of interesting coffee alternatives that can:
> Enhance your diet, sleep cycle, and exercise routine
Optimize sustainable brain function
Offer a variety of other healthy benefits
For starters, I firmly believe that coffee can be incredibly beneficial if consumed in moderation . In fact, some scientists are even encouraging people to drink more coffee . Coffee drinkers run into trouble when they get into a habit of five plus cups per day or reach for a Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino in the evenings.
But you’re probably wondering, “ What else is even out there?”
I was initially introduced to several coffee alternatives like nootropics, adaptogens, and mushrooms after reading through Beyond Coffee, a sustainable guide that breaks down different ingredients and analyzes if they are optimal for productivity, scientifically backed by research, and can act as a realistic source of energy.
Everyone’s heard that green tea is a great coffee substitute for energy and burning fat, but I want to take it one step further and break down a few possibilities to try that you may not be aware of. The three options mentioned below are all extensively detailed in Beyond Coffee , supplements that I take on either a daily or weekly basis, and have been proven to be effective and, more importantly, considered safe if taken within the FDA’s recommended dosage.
So, here are a few interesting coffee alternatives for you to consider that no one is talking about.
Omega-3’s fall under the umbrella of “nootropics”, a growing category of compounds, pills, and powders advertised for their potential to enhance focus and productivity.
I’m sure you come across nootropics on a daily basis and have seen them advertised in your local grocery store. While Nootropics aren’t new, they have become more popular in recent years with users creating a nootropic stack- combining multiple compounds into a “cocktail” for heightened results. Nootropics include a variety of supplements that have been well-researched and are widely considered safe like matcha green tea or my recommendation, omega-3’s, along with other drugs and commercial products that are less effective and possibly unsafe.
Commonly recognized as fatty acids, omega-3’s are often derived from consuming fish like tuna and salmon, or taken in a pill form. While most people use omega-3’s for eye health and to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, research also shows that increasing your omega-3’s may enhance cognitive performance and improve attention span.
There is even evidence to support that omega-3’s can slow or reduce the likelihood of brain degenerative diseases. A study on elderly adults followed for nearly four years discovered that those who ate higher amounts of fish and supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
Omega-3’s are relatively inexpensive and you can take them daily.
L-Theanine is another nootropic that has been well-researched. If you’re someone who associates nootropics with “smart drugs” like the movie Limitless , you may be disappointed to hear that a lot of nootropics are used for their de-stressing agents and anti-inflammatory properties- not an output of hyper intelligence.
L-Theanine is an amino acid found in fungi, plants, and green tea. This is one of the few supplements that I would recommend taking in addition to caffeine to get the most out of it- but this doesn’t necessarily have to be coffee.
According to Beyond Coffee, “Theanine is thought to have neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects by increasing serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and glycine levels in the brain.” There is also evidence suggesting that L-Theanine will improve your mood and can be used for treating high blood pressure. L-Theanine has been classified by the FDA as “generally recognized as being safe” or GRAS status.
I started using spirulina last year as an addition to my morning protein shakes. Spirulina is a blue-green algae rich in protein, B-vitamins, and iron. Just a single tablespoon is packed with plant-based protein and has been recommended for a variety of conditions including high blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and diabetes.
Regarding energy, Vitamin B1 helps regulate your body’s thiamin (which contributes to fatigue) resulting in a more stable maintenance of energy. Coffee alternatives don’t necessarily need to be sharp boosts in attentiveness like the energy provided by caffeine. Instead, a supplement like Spirulina can help you hold onto more energy throughout the day- it has even been shown to improve athletic performance by increasing endurance.
Am I imploring you to delete your Starbucks app and throw the company Keurig in the trash?
Not quite …but there are other energy alternatives out there that also offer a multitude of healthy benefits. As always, it’s important to use supplements as they are intended. They should supplement a healthy diet and physical exercise. A spoonful of spirulina in your orange juice won’t make a difference if you’re running on two hours of sleep and a Big Mac. Why micro-experiences at work are more important than ever right now 7 foods you should eat if you’re over 50 15 fun icebreaker games for meetings