Originally published August 2 2013
Seven natural solutions to overcome morning fatigue and kick the coffee addiction
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Overcoming coffee addiction can be tough for many people, especially when the headaches, jitters, and other nasty withdrawal symptoms start kicking in. But finding alternative sources of daily energy to replace caffeine with just might be the best thing you ever do for your health. Here are seven alternatives to coffee that will help you overcome morning fatigue, gain lasting energy throughout the day, and ultimately defeat your coffee addiction.
1) Eat organic apples. You might be thinking to yourself that there is no way eating an apple provides even close to the same amount of morning energy that drinking a cup of coffee does. But eating an apple can actually provide more energy than coffee, as the fruit's natural blend of fruit sugars, complex carbohydrates, and dietary fiber elicits an energy boost that is consistent and lasting.
2) Drink fresh juice from the juicer. Even better than just eating an apple every morning is juicing fresh apples, along with things like carrots, beets, spinach, celery, wheatgrass, and various cleansing herbs. Fresh juice from the juicer is packed with energizing vitamins, enzymes, and other living nutrients that many people say they can literally feel coursing through their veins upon consumption.
Unlike with coffee, fresh juices will not lead to an energy crash halfway through your day. Drinking coffee overstimulates the central nervous system in the same way that stress does, which can cause serious health problems. Instead, fresh juice stimulates your entire body with a plethora of energizing and life-giving nutrients that help cleanse the blood, improve blood flow, and detoxify the body. (http://www.joyoushealth.ca/2009/04/15/fresh-juice-vs-coffee/)
3) Make some organic yerba mate in the French press. Long revered throughout South America as a "drink of the gods," yerba mate is rich in 24 unique vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, 11 polyphenols, and a wide array of other antioxidants and nutrients that boost immunity and provide lasting energy. Yerba mate also contains a unique form of caffeine, which some people refer to as "mateine," that boosts energy levels without causing the negative side effects that coffee often does.
Just like coffee, yerba mate can easily be brewed in a French press every morning and taken to go. Just be sure to use less-than-boiling hot or warm water when brewing yerba mate as its somewhat delicate nutrients can become damaged from exposure to high heat. (http://guayaki.com/mate/130/Yerba-Mate.html)
4) Steep some organic green tea. The health benefits of green tea are extensive. Besides boosting energy levels, green tea promotes healthy blood flow, enhances immune function, and encourages weight loss. Like yerba mate, green tea is loaded with free radical-scouring antioxidants. A single cup of green tea, in fact, contains greater antioxidant activity than a serving of broccoli or spinach. (http://www.lef.org/abstracts/codex/green_tea_index.htm)
Though green tea does contain some caffeine, its unique nutritional profile helps taper caffeine's effects within the body. A cup of green tea also contains significantly less caffeine than a cup of coffee does, which means its overstimulating effects will be subdued. (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/green-tea-000255.htm)
5) Supplement with eleuthero root. For many people, lack of energy is often related to chronic anxiety and stress, both of which can take a heavy toll on hormone-regulating adrenal glands. Supplementing with herbal adaptogens like eleuthero root, also known as Siberian ginseng, can help restore adrenal function, which in turn can promote balanced energy levels throughout the day.
Your adrenal glands are responsible for producing the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, both of which provide your body with energy and strength. Taking eleuthero root can ensure that these and other hormones are being produced in proper amounts so that your body will not even need a stimulant like caffeine in the morning just to get going. Some other powerful adaptogens include ashwagandha, ginseng, and rhodiola. (http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/newsletter/07/september/adapt.html)
6) Add some raw cacao to your morning oatmeal. Rich in a substance known as theobromine, raw cacao helps naturally stimulate the central nervous system and promote balanced energy levels. Cacao also contains the mood-elevating amino acid tryptophan, which can help eliminate anxiety and stress by boosting serotonin levels and releasing endorphins, which are endogenous opioid peptides that give the body a natural "high" feeling. (http://www.fitday.com)
Available in both powder and "nib" form, cacao can be added to smoothies or juices, or used as a topping on oatmeal or breakfast cereal. You can even eat cacao nibs straight, or add them to your favorite trail mix.
7) Add goji berries to your diet. A powerful, energizing "superfood" with an extensive history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are loaded with complete proteins, 21 essential trace minerals, 18 amino acids, beta carotene, and a host of other energizing nutrients. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that drinking goji berry juice regularly for as few as two weeks, significantly boosts energy levels, improves sleep quality, and promotes healthy digestion. (http://www.nutraingredients.com)
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