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  • Healthy alternatives to coffee

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    Healthy alternatives to coffee

    Coffee is a well-known and well-loved drink. Across the globe, people will brew and sip it, enjoying the delights of their surroundings, whilst enjoying its mellow warmth.

    But, we all know one – the person that cannot seem to get further than their front door without the all-consuming desire to drink coffee. More than 2 or 3 hours without a hit of caffeine will send them in to an agitated state that will only continue and get worse until they get their caffeine hit.

    It can also be a routine and a habit, as well as the inevitable peer pressure of not drinking the same as colleagues, for example. If the thought of introducing a coffee alternative would set the cat among the pigeons, keeping your fluid level high and the need to drink coffee is somewhat negated.

    Sounds dramatic but it does happen. However, if this is you or you feel that your need for coffee is overtaking your life, then you need to do something about it.

    Finding alternatives and weaning yourself off coffee

    Caffeine is found not just in coffee, but in all kinds of drinks and snacks and is widely regarded as the biggest drug in the world, albeit a legal one.

    And so, to find suitable alternatives you first need to know what life will be like without caffeine – and how to get there:

    • Understanding caffeine addiction – you may think that words like addiction, addict and the like are too strong when it comes to caffeine but, if you cannot go more than a few hours without hankering after a coffee, then this is the outline of addictive behaviour. Admitting that this happens to you is the first important step as, once you know there is potential for a caffeine craving to strike, then you can be prepared for it…
    • Motivation – like all changes we make in life, knowing why we are doing is the basis for the motivation to keep on going, even when times are tough. For some, it will be about knowing that a substance has control over them and, rather than this happening on a daily basis, getting back control is important. For others, they find that after a few days of being caffeine free they feel so much better, with more energy and are less irritable. Find your motivation as to why giving up coffee is the right move for you.
    • Have a plan and stick with it – some people approach the removal of coffee from their lives in different ways; some opt for the ‘cold turkey’ approach and simply stop. Others use the cutting down approach – choose the one that suits you.

    However, key in helping you stay motivated and cut out coffee completely is the ability to have a choice of other drinks to indulge in… why not try these?

    Coffee substitutes – there are various brands offering caffeine free coffee alternatives here in the UK, some of which you may see in your local supermarket or health food store, but some can be purchased online too. Well-priced they may have the taste of coffee, but without all the bits and bobs you don’t want; one brand makes theirs from organically grown chicory, figs, cereals and acorns. Customer reviews describe it as delicious and a real coffee taste.

    Flavoured teas – don’t forget that caffeine is in many other products too, including tea and some energy drinks and so check carefully that the favoured tea you are opting for is caffeine-free. Peppermint tea is a tasty, caffeine free alternative to coffee and is good after meals as it aids digestion. It is also light and refreshing. Drink it hot or make a pot and allow it to cool, as it is delicious as a cold tea drink too.

    Ginger tea – worthy of a separate mention as ginger has so many positive qualities and effects on the body that it is worth investing in some delightful ginger tea. A spice that natural warms and energises the body, ginger tea is great in the morning or if you feel a dip in your energy levels coming on. Great for those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and other gastro issues.

    Green tea – if zero caffeine is your goal, then you need to know that green tea does have some in it, but at far lower levels that your ordinary cup of coffee. If you are struggling with caffeine withdrawal, then green tea could be helpful.

    Chamomile tea – a really delightful tea that is relaxation in a cup! It is a flower that, once processed, has little in term of a massive taste hit, but it is known to help relax, reduce tension and improve sleep patterns, the latter you will notice improve even more when the caffeine levels in your system start to drop.

    Coffee can be a delightful drink but, the level of caffeine in some brands and products can mean that the delight of partaking in a cup or two can be overridden by the desire to have a caffeine hit. Lower caffeine levels can help our body so much!