Is your 2020 resolution to cut caffeine? If so, we may have natural solutions for you. While caffeine can give us a feeling of adrenaline in the morning and increase dopamine levels, it is a stimulant that leads to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which makes it dangerous if consumed at large doses daily. From coffee and tea to chocolate and energy drinks, you may be consuming more caffeine than you think.
Caffeine is not the best in the long run and is especially not recommended for pregnant women and people who may be anxious about consuming too much. Here, we’ve compiled a list of caffeine alternatives for those trying to kick the habit while staying awake during those endless days.
In traditional Chinese medicine, ginseng has always been one of the most beneficial ingredients for the body. It is said to supplement the five viscera of the body, namely the spleen, lungs, heart, liver and kidneys, as well as to sharpen the mind and increase alertness. In Asia, drinking ginseng tea or ginseng juice is extremely popular. Korean ginseng juice is sweet and usually made with other natural energy boosters like jujube. Students of Chinese culture, drink ginseng tea not only for its concentration-enhancing benefits, but also for its cold-preventing abilities. The drink is a little bitter, so many add a little honey or a few large gummies to neutralize the taste.
Another natural caffeine alternative widely used in Asian cultures is Cordyceps. Mushrooms are believed to increase athletic performance and endurance, and it’s a favorite among fatigue for supporting energy levels. It is widely put into double-porridge soups, but can also be found in powdered form for drinks and smoothies.
Although Maca has been around for centuries, it has grown in popularity as a superfood for health junkies. It is widely known for its properties of increasing mental focus while fighting fatigue, making it a surefire guardian of your kitchen. Add a few scoops of Maca to your smoothie or make it hot with milk for a great way to start the day.
If you’re looking for a sweet midday snack for an energy boost, try sticking to natural berry sugars. The berries are nutrient-dense and a good source of fiber, which means the energy boost will last longer and won’t cause you to crash sugar afterwards. Opt for blueberries and blackberries if you like fresh berries, or try goji berries for a dried alternative. For breakfast, try blending berries to make a breakfast smoothie, along with coconut water, oats, and bananas to start your day off right.
We get it, sometimes the day seems to drag on forever and you need a snack to distract you from something. Nuts are the perfect alternative to a caffeinated pick-me-up, as they are high in nutrients and fiber, as well as a great energizer. Nuts, in general, have also been linked to improving brainwave frequencies associated with cognition, so you can stay sharp in a natural way. If you are looking to increase memory and learning abilities, studies have shown that consuming walnuts will also help with this aspect.
This article was first published on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.