Coffee is one of the most widely used stimulants in the globe today. More than two-thirds of adults around the world use coffee at least once a day. The main stimulant in coffee is known as caffeine. It is mostly used as a drink made purely from the coffee beans, sometimes along with other ingredients like milk, cream, cocoa, and sugar. Well, this caffeine is also included in pre-workout snacks, energy drinks, gels, and some foods.
People take caffeine because of the stimulation effect it has on the nervous system, making its users perform more efficiently throughout the day. The effect that coffee has on its users is referred to as the ergogenic effect. This makes them have enhanced stamina, physical performance, and recovery. The impact it has on the consumer’s brain creates an illusion that the person has done less work than they have actually done. It is, therefore, effective when one is in endurance and resistance training.
Especially being a dehydrating agent, too much coffee may have some negative effects on the body as well. Therefore, there is a limit on the amount of caffeine one should take at a time. Some unpleasant side effects of taking a lot of coffee may include restlessness, abnormal heart rate, anxiety, increased blood pressure, stomach upsets, and heartburns. If you are a fitness enthusiast and you need something that works like coffee, here are options you should consider replacing coffee with:
1. Chicory Coffee
This is a beverage that tastes the same as coffee but is caffeine-free. Chicory coffee is made from chicory roots, roasted, ground, and made into a hot drink. The beverage is a source of insulin, a soluble fiber known to enhance digestion by promoting the occurrence of a certain bacteria found in the gut. The drink is also known to stimulate the gallbladder to produce more bile juice that promotes fat digestion. This is essential in producing more energy required during workouts. Just like coffee, the drink should be taken moderately as it can have some unpleasant effects on the digestive tract.
2. A Supplement Before Workout
If you talk to most adrenaline junkies who are also coffee lovers, they will attest to one thing. Consuming coffee before working out can have a huge impact on yo0ur energy levels and performance. Nothing is as good as a cup of Joe before heading to the gym or hitting the road jogging. Apart from giving you a performance boost, coffee is also touted as an effective boost to your weight loss journey.
However, it so happens that taking the right supplement before working out can have even more pronounced benefits than pre-workout coffee. With a good pre-workout supplement, you get more fuel energy when working out. It helps boost your endurance and resistance, so you can easily take your exercise routine to the next level.
You can also choose between several fruity flavors, including green apple, raspberry, and fruit punch, among others. The fruit punch flavor is caffeine-free but uses ingredients like DMAE and Huperzine to keep you physically and mentally fueled up for satisfying workout sessions.
The beauty of today’s quality pre-workout supplements is that they are clinically proven and you don’t have to worry about the disturbing effects that sometimes come with coffee. You can forget about jitters, aches, and fatigue after working out, thanks to the powerful ingredients found in these supplements.
3. Lemon Water
After being used to that good cup of Joe every morning or before working out, it can be tough to keep going without it. In other words, and as we all know, caffeine tends to be addictive. If you are looking forward to cutting down on your caffeine intake, then lemon water could make an excellent alternative. The drink is free from both caffeine and calories, thus making it supportive of your weight loss journey.
It is also full of vitamin C, which is well-known to boost immunity, and it helps in the creation and repair of strong muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which are quite essential if you are a fitness person. It also helps promote healthy skin growth and helps fight inflammation, thus lessening the chances of fatigue and aches after working out. You can add other flavors to your drink to give it a personalized taste as you wish.
4. Yerba Mate
Most of us want to cut down on the coffee we are taking but don’t want to part with caffeine. If this is the case for you, then yerba mate can make a great alternative. It’s the perfect substitute for coffee because it is caffeinated. It is also loaded with several antioxidants. Some studies suggest that the antioxidants in this drink are more than the ones in green tea.
Nonetheless, Yerba mate should also be taken with moderation as it is known to have some effects you may find unpleasant. Also, you should be alarmed that taking more than one to two liters of this beverage may increase your chances of suffering from certain cancer types.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
This drink is made by fermenting crushed apples with yeast and bacteria. The fermentation process leads to acetic acid formation, which is essential in regulating insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. Some studies claim the ACV increases the feeling of fullness, thus reducing the urge to eat. It can, therefore, help those trying to maintain healthy body weight.
However, apple cider vinegar is known to wear out the tooth enamel, especially when taken in higher amounts. To protect your milky whites, it is advisable to dilute it before drinking, and swishing water after taking it. In a nutshell, apple cider vinegar may help you:
- Kill harmful bacteria
- Lowers blood sugar levels
- Helps promote weight loss
- Improves skin health
- Supports cardiovascular health
6. Golden Milk
This beverage is made by incorporating black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger. You may also add honey, vanilla or cardamon, or even several of these ingredients to create a unique blend. The drink is caffeine-free, making it a perfect substitute for coffee for those who want to escape the negative effects of caffeine. The curcumin compound found in turmeric is found to have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. The compound is also effective in helping your body absorb fat. This makes it an effective substitute for the bodybuilder and those doing endurance training.
In addition to helping promote energy, metabolism, and fat loss, golden milk may have several mother benefits to your health. Some of these include the following:
- Improved mood
- Protects against free radical damage
- Lowers blood sugar
- Supports heart health
- Improve memory and supports brain health
- May help reduce cancer risk
- Provides immunity boost
- Reduces inflammation
7. Matcha Tea
This is a type of green tea that has been found to promote fat loss, thus enhancing weight loss among its users. It has been found to lower the risk of having type II diabetes among its users. The tea is made by steaming, drying, and grinding Camellia sinensis leaves into powder. It is more concentrated than the casual green teas because you are consuming the whole leaf. This means that you are taking in more antioxidants than you get from taking green tea. It has also been found to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
This drink is suitable for those who want to step up their caffeine intake. The fact that you consume the whole leaf means that the beverage has an increased caffeine level than brewed green tea. It even contains more caffeine than some types of coffee. You can also try darjeeling tea if you want to explore some other teas.
8. Coconut Water
This drink has more than people take it to have. Coconut water has several nutrients and minerals that play several crucial roles in your body, including replenishing the electrolytes that you tend to lose when you are working out. Research has shown that electrolytes help in muscle contraction, as well as in generating energy in the body. It is also a delicious source of hydration, especially after long work out sessions. The fact that it has several minerals makes it the perfect drink to replace coffee as a fitness enthusiast.
Apart from helping with your workout routine, coconut water can have numerous other benefits to your health. Some of these may include the following:
- Contains antioxidants that help fight free radicals and inflammation
- May protect against diabetes
- Supports kidney health
- Could benefit your heart health
Coffee has numerous health benefits, but it may not work for us all. It could help promote your energy levels and endurance during workouts, but it also comes with its fair share of demerits. At the same time, you might need to change the drink and look for an alternative with the same benefits. This means choosing something with lower caffeine concentration, or something more than what you are used to.
Whatever your goals are, there are many alternatives that you can opt for. Many of these alternatives have other benefits that coffee can’t offer. If you are a fitness enthusiast, the above are just a few of the many things you can substitute coffee with.