A steamy mug of coffee in the morning is a perfectly acceptable practice and delivers caffeine in moderation that most people can easily process. With the hustle and bustle of modern living it seems people are reaching for the coffee pot time and time again throughout the day and they are starting to notice the unwanted health effects including:
- High Cortisol Levels: Caffeine in coffee can increase the level of this stress hormone in your body. Elevated cortisol is associated with weight gain, moodiness and over the long run it has been associated with heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
- Low Energy: Caffeine stimulates the adrenal system which initially boosts energy but subsequently crashes it to leave you fatigued and usually reaching for the sugar.
- Mineral Deficiency: Coffee affects iron absorption in your stomach and particularly your kidneys ability to retain calcium, zinc, magnesium and other important minerals.
- Impacts Sleep: Caffeine stays in your nervous system for 4-6 hours so even if you are in a fatigued slump you may often still find it disrupts your sleep.
Fear not- here are three great alternatives to help keep your coffee fix to once a day but your energy levels souring!
Matcha Green Tea Powder
When you drink matcha you receive an incredibly high level of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as well as a long and steady release of caffeine which, unlike coffee, does not leave you with the “jitters”, energy slumps or sleepless nights.
With matcha, the caffeine is absorbed and released slowly by the body over a period of 6-8 hours. This means that matcha provides a sustainable energy boost without the rapid 30-minute spike, slump, and jitters associated with coffee.
In addition, tea is the only plant that makes the amino acid theanine. Theanine is known for its ability to increase alpha waves in the brain and promote calmness and alert concentration, giving matcha users a great “zen” state. Controlled experiments have shown that theanine has a positive effect on the mind and improves memory by increasing dopamine levels. Additionally, the alpha brain waves increase 40 minutes after a person consumes theanine, making this a great drink for students or professionals.
Matcha can be made as a delicious hot tea, or as a great iced tea. Here is our favourite matcha iced tea recipe: https://zengreentea.com.au/sugar-free-iced-tea/
A large number of people do not know that a major symptom of dehydration is fatigue. Often when you are feeling tired, have a head ache or cannot concentrate you are actually just dehydrated. Most people do not drink their daily recommended level of 2 litres of water per day and only drink when they are thirsty which is a symptom that usually appears last after fatigue.
Without sufficient hydration, bodies can experience more muscle soreness, the need for longer recovery times and less desire to push oneself – in short, dehydration can make you feel less motivated to achieve at any activity. One study of athletes found after limiting fluids for 15 hours, 92 percent felt tired, had lapses in memory and difficulty concentrating.
When dehydrated, the fluid loss causes a drop in blood volume, which makes the heart work harder to push oxygen and nutrients through the bloodstream to the brain, skin, and muscles.
Green Smoothie/ Juice
Introducing more greens into your diet can often see a dramatic boost in your energy levels from all the nutrients and antioxidants. Start your morning or afternoon with a green juice – kale + cucumber + celery + parsley + mint and half a green apple and you’ll notice your energy levels rising as well as other great effects including glowing skin. For an added energy kick you could add in a superfood supplement like spirulina, barley greens or matcha green tea powder.