7 healthy alternatives to drinking coffee

Around one in four Australians reckon they simply “can’t survive without it”.

But is your love of coffee an unhealthy addiction?

Perhaps too much coffee is keeping you awake at night? Or you get awful headaches if you do without your daily brew.

It could be time to consider some ‘healthier’ coffee alternatives

Here are a few of the most popular drinks on offer:

1. Green tea

Green tea has become increasingly popular. It’s one of the less processed tea varieties. Green tea contains only a small amount of caffeine compared to coffee and black tea.

It’s made of unoxidized tea leaves, so it contains plenty of antioxidants. Antioxidants are known as ‘free-range’ scavengers. They help prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals. These are unstable molecules produced by the body as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.

Green tea is thought to help your body cope with many conditions including: cancer, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Matcha tea

Matcha tea is a type of green tea. It’s made by grinding young tea leaves into a fine, bright green powder. To make your matcha tea, simply whisk the powder in hot water.

It’s the chlorophyll in the matcha tea leaves that creates the bright green hue. Because you’re using all of the leaves, it’s unlike the normal way of making tea where you throw away the leaves after infusion. It means your brew retains all those precious nutrients

The reported benefits of drinking matcha tea are like those of other green teas. Matcha tea contains some caffeine, though much less than coffee.

3. Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented beverage made of yeast, sugar and black or green tea. Though it’s been around for 2,000 years, it’s recently become popular as a health and energy drink.  

Made properly, kombucha tea has probiotic qualities. The benefits are said to include: boosts your immune system, helps prevent high blood pressure and heart disease, lowers cholesterol. Yet, many of these benefits remain unproven by rigorous scientific testing.

As it’s made with green or black tea, kombucha does contain some caffeine.

4. Ginger tea

Ginger tea is tasty and easy to prepare. The best way of making ginger tea is to either grate or slice some fresh ginger into a cup of hot water. As a sweetener, you might also add a spoonful of honey.

Ginger tea is traditionally used to prevent or relieve nausea. It’s also said to help ease indigestion, high blood pressure, arthritis and muscle aches.

If you’re trying to avoid caffeine, ginger tea is a good choice. It contains zero caffeine.

5. Coconut water

Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young, green coconuts. These days, it’s readily available on the supermarket shelves. The benefits of drinking coconut water are: it’s thirst-quenching, boosts your hydration, and increases your intake of important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It’s also caffeine-free.

One of its key ingredients is potassium, which is necessary for the heart, kidneys, and other organs to work normally. But health experts recommend you should only drink coconut water in moderation to avoid potassium overload.  

6. Lemon water

Lemon water can be enjoyed hot or cold. A simple drink, just add lemon juice to your glass of water, and drink up! We recommend adding a little lemon rind or mint leaves for extra taste.

The benefits of lemon water include: low in kilojoules, high in vitamin C - and no caffeine!

Healthwise, it’s said to help improve your mood, energy levels, immune system and metabolic health.

7. Warm water

According to doctors, drinking a cup of warm water first thing in the morning is a great way to start your day. It’s said to cleanse your digestion and reduce metabolic waste. It also helps with weight loss, relieves constipation, reduces pain and stops premature ageing.

But take care the water is not too hot to avoid burning your mouth or throat.

No kilojoules and no caffeine. What’s not to love about a cup of warm water!