There is something really relaxing about a big beautiful latte in the morning, and (pending your individual health), that doesn’t have to change. Coffee only raises red flags when we begin to double and triple up on cups with loaded milk, sugar and artificial flavoring. Coffee is also a diuretic, which dehydrates the body and can introduce too much acid resulting in heart burn or acid reflux. Some people also find it increases anxiety and deceases the ability to focus.
1. Yerba Mate: Native to the leaves of the South American rainforest holly tree, yerba mate has just as much, if not more, caffeine than coffee. It also boasts an incredible amount of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. It’s been used in Native South American societies as a beverage to drink before you eat, because it helps you feel full quicker (great for weight loss). There are many companies selling bottled yerba mate, but if you want something simple with less calories, go for the hot tea bags.
2. Maca: This is an amazing multi-functional root used in indigenous Andean societies for energy, strength and libido. It has been coined the “miracle drug” or “food of the gods”. A scoop of this to your morning smoothie will have you soaring through your morning – literally – with an intense amount of energy.
3. Cordyceps: This is actually a mushroom that, wait for it… grows on high-altitude caterpillars. *Before you exit the page, hear this out – cordyceps is consumed in a powder form and is used traditionally in Chinese medicine for increased stamina and athletic performance. It increases adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy source for your muscles; many professional athletes and Olympians consume this regularly. It’s an amazing additive to smoothies or herbal tea, found at specialty health food stores or online.
4. Cacao: Chocolate! Yes! Cacao, not to be confused with cocoa, is an antioxidant powerhouse that decreases inflammation and increases circulation in the body. Raw cacao has mood-enhancing properties that increase brain flow. Mix 1 tbsp of cacao with a frozen banana and nondairy milk for an amazing afternoon energy boost.
This post originally appeared on Because I’m Addicted.