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Written by Alison Mooradian   
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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Alternatives to Coffee

Coffee is undoubtedly a robust industry that dominates the world’s beverage market. Thus, it seems like every other day I see another article online about how coffee is either healthy for me or bad for me. Whether or not this is the case, there are some interesting and beneficial coffee alternatives if you feel like you need to shake up your morning—or for some, afternoon—routine!

Coffee Overview
There are 124 species of coffee in the world. However, two species dominate the global coffee industry: Coffea Arabica and Coffea Robusta. While Robusta is usually used for instant coffee and makes up 30% of the world’s coffee consumption, Arabica, which is native to southern Ethiopia, is the species consumed the most.1

Arabica vs ROBUSTAi

There are differences between the Robusta and Arabica species that consumers often take into consideration. First, Robusta has 2.7% caffeine content, while Arabica only has 1.5%. Robusta’s higher caffeine content causes it to have an intense burnt taste, meaning most consumers prefer the taste of Arabica. Another reason consumers prefer the taste of Arabica is that it naturally contains twice the amount of sugar than Robusta does.2

Is Drinking Coffee Healthy or Not?

The truth is that the line is blurry because everyone is different. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently concluded that moderate coffee consumption (which they measure at three to five eight-ounce cups of coffee per day) is not linked to long-term negative health impacts for healthy people.3 However, it is key that they use the term “healthy people.” Genetics largely determine how our bodies handle coffee metabolism.4 This means that people with conditions such as heart disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, anxiety, and high blood pressure are not ideal coffee drinkers.5

It is also important to be mindful of how caffeine affects your sleep, even if you are a frequent coffee drinker and feel as though you have a high tolerance for caffeine. It is best to avoid drinking caffeine at least six hours before bed.6 Lastly, many of us do not like drinking coffee black and therefore add in other ingredients, such as milk and sugar. However, daily intake of extra milk and sugar can actually have more harmful health effects than the coffee itself.7

In the end, it all depends on whether your body can handle coffee or not. Dr. Mark Hyman explains, “One person may be able to enjoy raw, cruciferous vegetables while another needs to avoid them because of digestive issues. This same thing applies to coffee. For some people it works; others, not so much.”8

Coffee Alternatives
Drinking Coffee Alteranives to Coffeeii
To figure out if coffee is the right fit for you, Dr. Hyman suggests: “If you can handle it, remove coffee from your diet for three weeks and add it back in slowly. Be attentive to how you feel once you reintroduce coffee. Pay attention to your energy levels, symptoms (like anxiety or jittery feelings) or changes in digestion. In other words, monitor how you personally respond to coffee.”9 If you find that you feel better without coffee as part of your daily diet, there are luckily other warm beverage options that can take its place in your routine:

Golden milk – This is a turmeric-based Ayurvedic recipe. Turmeric is an herb that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and increase cardiovascular health.10 There are many variations of golden milk recipes, but the base involves your milk of choice (can be dairy, almond, coconut, etc.) and turmeric. From there, you can add extra flavors such as cinnamon, honey, ginger, black pepper, etc.11

Warm lemon water – An incredibly simple beverage, many people love having a cup of warm lemon water in the morning. After you have been asleep for eight hours, your body needs an influx of water to flush the digestive system and rehydrate. The lemon also provides vitamin C and potassium.12 Just make sure to drink it with a reusable straw to protect your teeth enamel from the lemon.13

Maca Root – Maca root is part of the cruciferous family, like broccoli, and is native to mountainous habitats in South America.14 It is usually sold in powder form and can be added to the milk of your choice.15 It can also be added to food such as smoothies, oatmeal, or cereal. Maca is packed with beneficial compounds, such as eight essential amino acids, 20 fatty acids, and vitamins B-1, B-2, C, and E. It also contains more calcium than milk. Studies have found that maca has positive impacts on stabilizing energy and mood throughout the day.16

Of course, if these alternatives don’t float your boat, try out some tea or stick with your coffee routine For information about the current coffee industry, visit: Coffee Industry .

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Last Updated ( Monday, 11 September 2017 )