Every day millions of people start their mornings off with a cup of coffee, in fact, companies like Starbucks gross over $60 million dollars daily in sales. While caffeine is a great way to kick-start your day and give you an energy boost, it also comes with its share of health risks.
Drinking more than four cups of coffee daily, regularly, has been linked to early death. Caffeine has also been linked to conditions such as heart attacks, high blood pressure, indigestion and headaches to name a few. The average 8oz cup of coffee contains up to 135 mg of caffeine, and most Americans drink larger portions and multiple cups per day.
Finding alternative beverages that provide a similar energy boost, without such high levels of caffeine can have a positive effect on your overall health. Some coffee replacements to provide a boost that have more moderate levels of caffeine are listed below.
Matcha is a green tea that is prepared as a powder that is whisked into hot water. Because matcha contains a higher level of caffeine than traditional teas, however not as much as coffee, it is a popular replacement morning drink. Additionally, because of the phytochemical content of the tea, studies have shown that it was found to “improve performance in attention switching tasks and alertness”.
Typical serving sizes of matcha range from ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon, providing between 34 and 68 mg of caffeine per cup. Another benefit of matcha is the phytonutrient composition of the tea causes a slow dissemination of caffeine into the bloodstream providing sustained energy over 6-8 hours.
Other teas with high caffeine content are black tea (25-48 mg), white tea (an average of 37 mg), black pu-erh tea (60-70 mg) and chai tea (31-45 mg).
Replacing your morning coffee with a dark chocolate snack could be another way to reduce your caffeine intake while still getting the boost you need. Because chocolate is made from cocoa, it all contains some level of caffeine. Dark chocolate contains the highest level of caffeine in comparison to other chocolates.
A 1.5-ounce serving of 80 percent cacao dark chocolate can contain over 40 mg of caffeine, and even up to 75 mg depending on the brand. Be sure to pay attention to your sugar intake if you decide to substitute dark chocolate for your morning brew.
Guarana Berries or Seeds
Guarana is a plant native to the South American Amazon whose seeds are eaten or brewed into a drink to