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18 Apr, 2022

Healthy alternatives to coffee

Did you know that 80% of adults drink a caffeinated drink every day? And there is likely no doubt that coffee is the winner, with over 400 billion cups consumed each year in the UK. However, despite the natural antioxidants that enrich coffee, too much caffeine can affect our blood sugar levels. When our sugar levels are unbalanced, we are more likely to crave highly sugary foods or struggle to maintain a healthy weight. What’s more, the effect of coffee disrupts our natural bodily intuition. Once absorbed, caffeine can cross your brain barrier and block the receptors of adenosine (a compound associated with sleep qualities), to increase your alertness.


In moderation, one coffee a day can see health benefits and won’t upset your natural bodily instincts and functions too much. However, we are all different and it may affect some more than others. If you are looking to conquer your dependence on coffee, we thought we would suggest some healthy, natural alternatives out there for that energy boost we sometimes need.

A matcha made in heaven. Matcha is rich in antioxidants, namely ECGC. Though matcha is high in caffeine, there is less than in your average cup of joe. However, if you’re looking for a higher kick of caffeine but are prone to becoming jittery or crashing down, matcha might be the drink for you. It contains an amino acid called l-theanine, which helps your body absorb the caffeine slower and have a calming effect by increasing alpha waves to your brain. Plus, studies have shown that matcha can increase your metabolic rate, such as one from the American Journal of clinical nutrition which found that consuming matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis - the body's own rate of burning calories - from a normal 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure, to between 35% and 43%. Whilst another proved that exercising after drinking matcha burnt 25% more fat during the exercise.

Go green with green tea. If matcha is too strong for you, green tea is a gentler alternative. The health benefits are very similar, just slightly less amplified, as you are not actually consuming the green leaves that you do with matcha. Green tea does also contain caffeine of course, but you are able to monitor the level based on how long you brew the leaves for.

Nothing like a comforting cuppa. Sometimes, just a weak black tea is the answer. We suggest dipping a black tea bag in boiling water for 30 secs - 1 minute. Quite often this will satisfy the need for a boost of energy and help curb the craving for the taste of coffee. Add a splash of oat milk, and there you have a cuppa that may just hit the spot.

Marvellous mushrooms. And no, we are not referring to the hallucinogenic kind but rather mushroom coffee: a delicate version of coffee, made of ground mushrooms and a small amount of coffee beans. This boasts medicinal mushroom extracts and possible health benefits like reduced anxiety and stronger immunity. Though this does contain coffee, the caffeine content is cut by half but does provide a similar rich, nutty taste to coffee and can be prepared in the same way. Therefore, a great alternative if you are specifically craving the taste of coffee. We would recommend this brand. Disclaimer: can be a little on the pricey side and difficult to source when out and about.

Herbal heroes. If you are looking to cut caffeine completely, try swapping your morning coffee for a herbal alternative for a few days. And you’ll find your digestion may have improved as herbal remedies do wonders for soothing inflammation and IBS. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your body adapts and settles into a new routine. Our favourites include a fresh ginger, lemon & honey, or mint, as well as fennel or liquorice for a hint of sweetness. You can also find our special mulled apple juice recipe here.