The low down on coffee, and what to drink instead

Coffee is delicious; it's cosy, it smells good, and it's full of antioxidants and can have some beneficial effects on your health. Unfortunately, it can also have some more negative effects. These effects include;

  • increased need to pee (which may increase the likelihood of dehydration)
  • difficulty falling asleep
  • withdrawal symptoms (including depression, anxiety, and insomnia)
  • jitteriness
  • heart palpitations
  • low or high blood pressure
  • changes in breathing

So, instead of reaching for a second, third, or fourth cup of coffee, why not try one of the drinks below instead? I promise they are delicious, offer mild energy and cognitive boosts, and, as the cherry on top, they're full of health benefits.

Matcha latte

Matcha is powdered green tea and is thought to have even more health benefits than typical green tea infusions. Matcha green tea has antioxidant, antibacterial, stimulating, and stress-reducing effects. Unlike coffee, a matcha latte can give you a boost without the accompanying increase in stress and jitteriness.

What you will need;

  • matcha powder
  • hemp powder
  • raw honey
  • vanilla extract
  • oat milk
  • water

How to make it

Quantities will vary based on your tastes and the size of your cup. For my small cup, I do the following;

  • Fill your cup with 1/2 water and 1/2 oat milk, pour the mixture into a pot, and heat on a gentle heat.
  • While it's heating, add 3/4tsp matcha powder and 1/2tsp hemp powder. Use a matcha brush or whisk to combine well.
  • Add 1/2tsp raw honey and 1/2tsp vanilla extract; stir to dissolve.
  • Remove from the heat before the mix starts to boil and serve.

Tahini hot chocolate

Cocoa powder is an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral essential to most reactions which go on in our bodies. Magnesium deficiency has been linked with a host of negative health effects including increased inflammation, poor blood sugar regulation, and increased likelihood of depression and anxiety.

What you will need;

  • cocoa powder
  • tahini
  • raw honey
  • spices (optional)
  • oat milk
  • water

How to make it

  • Fill your cup with 1/2 water and 1/2 oat milk, pour the mixture into a pot, and heat on a gentle heat.
  • While it's heating, add 1tbsp cocoa powder and whisk well to combine.
  • Then add 1tsp tahini and 1/2tsp honey; stir well to combine.
  • You can add spices like cinnamon, chilli, or cardamom for extra flavour.
  • Remove from the heat before the mixture boils and serve.

Turmeric latte

The potential health benefits of turmeric include its ability to reduce inflammation, reduce chronic pain, support blood sugar regulation, and support digestion and the immune system. The hemp protein powder and other spices in this recipe support optimal bioavailability of the turmeric.

What you will need;

  • ground turmeric
  • cinnamon
  • cardamom (pods)
  • clove
  • ground aniseed
  • black pepper
  • hemp protein powder
  • raw honey
  • oat milk
  • water

How to make it

  • Fill your cup with 1/2 water and 1/2 oat milk, pour the mixture into a pot, and heat on a gentle heat.
  • While it's heating, add 1tsp turmeric, 1/2tsp cinnamon, a dash of ground aniseed and black pepper, one pod of cardamom, and two-three cloves.
  • Whisk well to combine, then stir in 1/2tsp hemp protein powder and 1/2tsp honey.
  • Remove from the heat before boiling and serve.

Beetroot latte

This one may be a bit more tricky to make, as it can be hard to find powdered beetroot. If you live in London, you will find it in one of the spice stalls at Borough market.

Beetroot has been shown to reduce blood pressure, inflammation, and improve exercise performance. Like many of the other ingredients included in these recipes, it is also high in vitamins and minerals.

What you will need;

  • beetroot powder
  • hemp protein powder
  • raw honey
  • oat milk
  • water

How to make it

  • Fill your cup with 1/2 water and 1/2 oat milk, pour the mixture into a pot, and heat on a gentle
  • heat.
  • While it's heating add 1/2 tsp beetroot powder and 1/2tsp hemp powder; whisk well to combine.
  • Stir in 1/2 tsp honey.
  • Remove from the heat before boiling and serve.

A quick note on hemp

You may have noticed that many of these recipes include hemp protein powder. Whilst this is optional, it is a useful ingredient to include for three reasons;

  • Adding protein to your snacks, drinks, and meals helps to regulate blood sugar.
  • Hemp has a good balance of fats, which also support blood sugar regulation, and helps absorb nutrients better.
  • Hemp is a good source of magnesium.

References

  • Lara, D.R., 2010. Caffeine, mental health, and psychiatric disorders. Journal of Alzheimer's disease, 20(s1), pp.S239-S248
  • Smith, A.P., 2009. Caffeine, cognitive failures and health in a non‐working community sample. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 24(1), pp.29-34
  • Lucas, M., Mirzaei, F., Pan, A., Okereke, O.I., Willett, W.C., O’Reilly, É.J., Koenen, K. and Ascherio, A., 2011. Coffee, caffeine, and risk of depression among women. Archives of internal medicine, 171(17), pp.1571-1578
  • Sojar, S.H., Shrier, L.A., Ziemnik, R.E., Sherritt, L., Spalding, A.L. and Levy, S., 2015. Symptoms attributed to consumption of caffeinated beverages in adolescents. Journal of caffeine research, 5(4), pp.187-191
  • Sajadi-Ernazarova, K.R. and Hamilton, R.J., 2019. Caffeine, Withdrawal. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing
  • Burcuș, A., Vamanu, E., Sârbu, I. and Petre, A., 2018, June. Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and Antibacterial Potential of Different Drinks Based on Matcha Tea. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (Vol. 374, No. 1, p. 012072). IOP Publishing
  • Unno, K., Furushima, D., Hamamoto, S., Iguchi, K., Yamada, H., Morita, A., Pervin, M. and Nakamura, Y., 2019. Stress-reducing effect of cookies containing matcha green tea: essential ratio among theanine, arginine, caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate. Heliyon, 5(5), p.e01653
  • Blaszczyk, U. and Duda-Chodak, A., 2013. Magnesium: its role in nutrition and carcinogenesis. Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny, 64(3)
  • Fang, X., Wang, K., Han, D., He, X., Wei, J., Zhao, L., Imam, M.U., Ping, Z., Li, Y., Xu, Y. and Min, J., 2016. Dietary magnesium intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMC medicine, 14(1), p.210.Vancouver
  • Tarleton, E.K., Littenberg, B., MacLean, C.D., Kennedy, A.G. and Daley, C., 2017. Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial. PLoS One, 12(6), p.e0180067
  • Singletary, K., 2020. Turmeric: Potential Health Benefits. Nutrition Today, 55(1), pp.45-56
  • Clifford, T., Howatson, G., West, D.J. and Stevenson, E.J., 2015. The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease. Nutrients, 7(4), pp.2801-2822
  • Murphy, M., Eliot, K., Heuertz, R.M. and Weiss, E., 2012. Whole beetroot consumption acutely improves running performance. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(4), pp.548-552
  • Chhikara, N., Kushwaha, K., Sharma, P., Gat, Y. and Panghal, A., 2019. Bioactive compounds of beetroot and utilization in food processing industry: A critical review. Food Chemistry, 272, pp.192-200

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Written by Marie Glaeser (mBANT, DET)

Marie Glaeser is a Nutritional Therapist with a background working in mental health. She has published a book on the importance of being kind to yourself in times of stress, which uses nutritional therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness principles to take readers on a 7-day retreat in their own home.… Read more

Written by Marie Glaeser (mBANT, DET)

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