Caffeine is insanely popular. It’s a magical drug that can help you feel awake when you’re not actually. It increases your heart rate and blood pressure. It increases circulation to your brain, therefore prompting studies that show coffee can help prevent cognitive decline and increase concentration. It can even induce panic attacks, but you know, that’s another story.
Here are some of the top four overly caffeinated beverages and what you can replace them with to reduce your caffeine intake and say hello to natural sources of energy.
1. Black Tea: Replace with Green or Herbal Tea
Although black tea has about half of the caffeine of a cup of coffee, it still contains about 47 milligrams of the stuff. This means that if you have two cups of black tea throughout your day, it’s still like drinking coffee. Black tea is also reported to contain yeast, which can be detrimental for those who suffer from yeast sensitivities and allergies.
You can replace black tea with green tea, which has less than 30 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Green tea and black tea are actually from the same plant but just processed differently. Because green tea isn’t allowed to oxidize, it contains more antioxidants than black tea, which can protect against free radicals.
You can also replace black tea with herbal tea—but if you do this immediately, you may notice that your body has trouble adjusting from the lack of caffeine intake. I switched from black to green tea, then from green to herbal. It was a much smoother transition!
2. Soda: Replace with Kombucha
Although sodas don’t contain a huge amount of caffeine, some of them contain upwards of 30-40 milligrams, which sets you back at a black-tea level. If you consume several sodas throughout the day, you might as well have just drunk a couple cups of coffee and gotten it over with!
Kombucha is a fabulous drink that’s loaded with probiotics. Probiotics nourish your gut and your entire body and give you a natural boost from drinking these beneficial organisms. Probiotics are a type of good bacteria that many people are lacking in. They’re typically found in fermented foods and drinks—kombucha is one of them!
Kombucha is carbonated and comes in many different flavors. I love strawberry, but you can try any kind—they are much healthier than soda and if you get the right kind, contain no sugar or caffeine, just a natural probiotic kick!
3. Energy Drinks: Replace with Natural Versions
Conventional energy drinks have gotten pretty scary. They contain unsafe levels of caffeine and sugar, and they contain ingredients that have many parents shaking their heads. These energy drinks not only cause a dangerous caffeine and sugar high, but they can actually make your heart rate skyrocket and increase your risk for heart health problems.
You can mix up your own energy drink instead to help your body balance its nutrients again. You can mix up an easy and healthful natural energy drink at home with ingredients that generally everyone has on hand, so give natural energy drinks a try. Check out some recipes and the benefits of some of their ingredients!
4. Coffee: Replace with Cocoa
I know you’re tempted to buy a coffee at this point, but please don’t. Try raw cocoa powder instead! This stuff contains zinc, magnesium, and iron: all essential minerals for your body. Cocoa powder also contains some caffeine, but less than coffee or tea. Raw cocoa also contains beneficial antioxidants, and thanks to its iron and low caffeine content, gives you a natural boost!
Try drinking raw cocoa in smoothies, in a glass of water, or in hot chocolate sweetened with maple syrup rather than conventional sugar!
Instead of drinking caffeine throughout the day, rehydrate with these natural energy boosters. Rehydrating is essential to helping your body get rid of toxins and keep all your electrolytes in balance. Plus, your skin will look better, you’ll feel better, and let’s face it—those natural energy drinks? They taste fabulous!
Written By Jenn Ryan