5 Ways To Replace Your Morning Coffee

Your new wake-up call is here.

September 9, 2015 9:00 am

Fall is supposed to be your most productive time of year. And productivity requires you to be firing on all cylinders.

Ergo: fire up the ol’ Keurig, ‘cause we’ve got little time and a lot of bad coffee to get us through the season.

Unless … you’re sick of all the niggling little side effects that come with java. Caffeine and chlorogenic acids in coffee can increase stress, decrease insulin sensitivity, cause indigestion and disrupt sleep. And for yours truly, add profuse sweating. (Editor’s note: TMI.)

For those looking for an alternative to the morning cup o’ joe, we offer five ways to keep yourself moving.

1.Take a Stand

A few months back, your correspondent switched to a standing desk. During his new time standing, he’s noticed increased digestive health and far more energy (admittedly, it took a few days). Depending on your budget (or your company’s), you can find something useful for as little as $69, or go full master of your office domain with the NextDesk, an adjustable desk that can, through its “Pulse” package, also track your movements and analyze your desk health.

2. Fix Your Diet

It’s a three-parter.

a. What to drink:

August Uncommon Tea: Our L.A. editor’s drink of choice. “Delicious and robust.” And featuring about 1/4 the caffeine of coffee. But maybe stay from their Jet Black, which is tea infused with espresso beans.

Wheatgrass: Two ounces a day is great for energy, mental clarity and boosting the immune system. Use in a smoothie if you’re looking to hide the flavor.

Water: Keeps you hydrated. And your mouth occupied.

Kombucha Tea: Helpful for digestion and maintaining energy levels.

Matcha tea and yerba mate: Both contain caffeine, but also natural stabilizers good for fighting jitters.

Runa: Made from a caffeinated tea leaf called guayusa. This “super leaf” definitely keeps a body alert without the death rattles of overcaffeinating

b. What to eat:

Go nuts.

Protein provides concentration and mood. Which means nuts, seeds, chicken, eggs, fish and (good for mornings) smoked salmon.

Iron improves your concentration levels: think spinach, beans, poultry and seafood.

If you’re really serious, food detox. Get rid of refined sugars, alcohol, gluten (if you must), dairy or anything else you think may cause fatigue. Before zeroing in on coffee, our doctor suggested removing a typical food item a week from our diet to test our body’s reaction — and it turns out, besides coffee, chewing gum was causing major problems.

c. How to supplement

Vitamins: Look to B-6 and B-12 to boost energy levels.

Ginseng, schizandra berry and guarana for improved mental alertness.

Dandelion root is a powder you can add to water. It’s anti-inflammatory, and as our NY editor claims, “It’s the go-to in the vegan non-caffeine world.”

3. Go Decaf

We have yet to find a decaf coffee substitute that entirely fools our senses. That said, Stumptown does a pretty good job with its Trapper Creek Decaf, as does Blue Bottle with their Decaf Noir. Both are surprisingly bold and flavorful. For espressos at home, we personally use Nespresso’s Arpeggio Decaffeinato capsules. But our biggest find? Decaf works better to curb our coffee fix, not end it. Think of it as your second-cup replacement, not your first. (We’ve never tried Teeccino, a carob-based “coffee alternative,” but some people swear by it.)

4. Exercise

According to the American Heart Association, the best time of day to exercise is not a specific time, but when you will do it most consistently (though muscle strength and endurance peak in the late afternoon). Personally, we like a sweaty morning routine (and use T25, for both cardio and brevity’s sake): you eat less afterwards, it’s easier to plan and, most importantly, it perks you up for the day.

Combine with a brisk out-of-office walk every two hours — we’re firm believers in the admittedly arbitrary 10,000 steps workout — and you’ll find yourself refreshed.

5. Sleep

Sleep more. Take power naps. And don’t make your bed.

It’s for your health.


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