Food tips, myths and facts

Food tips, myths and facts

November 16, 2016

Morning alternatives to your coffee fix

Image credit: iStock/WichitS

Many of us can’t really get going without one or five cups of coffee. Not pouring yourself a hot cup of caffeine can mean you continue to feel tired, get a bit moody and don’t really get motivated.

This reliance on coffee can be bad for you, resulting in headaches if you don’t drink any and meaning that your energy levels dip part way through the day unless you have another cup. Research is also often contradictory as to whether coffee is good or bad for your health, so we aren’t entirely sure how it affects us.

If you want to cut down on coffee and opt for a healthier alternative, here are some options that could help you wake up in the mornings:


Matcha has a number of health benefits – which you can read about in more detail here – with one being that it helps you feel more alert. While it still contains some caffeine, matcha is also full of antioxidants and nutrients, which give you more of a boost.

It is a great option for those who want to speed up their metabolism and one small glass a day can help keep you raring to go for up to six hours. Try swapping your coffee for a matcha latte made with skimmed milk or blend half a teaspoon of the green powder with a small glass of fresh juice.

Green tea

If you want an option that doesn’t taste quite as strong as matcha, you can try other forms of green tea. There’s a difference between how the different teas are grown and made, which means standard green tea doesn’t have as many benefits, but it is more delicate.

Green tea has less caffeine in than coffee, so you’ll still get a boost but you won’t have the big come down later on. Just remember that loose leaf versions have more antioxidants and other good things in than teabag varieties.

Ginseng tea

Ginseng has been used for centuries as a way to boost concentration and to make you feel more alert, so a ginseng tea could be just the thing you need. You can buy teas that are ready to go – either loose or in bag form – or you can get hold of some ginseng root to steep in hot water.

The taste is fairly bitter so try adding a touch of lemon and honey for a sweeter taste that still ensures you’ll get a jolt of energy.

Smoothies with nuts

While fruit smoothies alone aren’t going to give you enough get-up-and-go to see you through the day, adding nuts into the mix could be the perfect option. Nuts are chock full of protein and fibre and offer a nourishing option that could add more spring to your step in the morning.

Protein also helps to increase your blood sugar levels, meaning you get sustained energy without putting you at risk for a sugar crash.