What You Need To Know About Coffee + Coffee Alternatives
Now, first things first, I’m not pro or against coffee. It truly does come down to personal preference and your health goals. A lot of people can do really well with 1-2 coffees per day, and there is plenty of research to back that moderate amounts of coffee can actually be good for our health.
One of the biggest concerns I have with coffee is actually not the coffee itself but how people drink their coffee. The addition of sugar, artificial sweeteners, milk or cream. In my opinion, a dash of cream isn’t too bad (if you’re not intolerant to dairy), or a dash of milk, but when ordering a large latte which comes with a ridiculous amount of milk in my opinion that just isn’t necessary or going to benefit your health.
Everyone processes caffeine from coffee differently. Some people are “fast metabolizers” and some people are “slow metabolizers”, which basically means your body processes caffeine slowly. Fast metabolizers can often tolerate a lot more caffeine than slow metabolizers. In fact, there are many more health benefits of caffeine for fast metabolizers, some studies have shown that depression decreased with increased caffeine intake from fast metabolizers. On the flip slide if you think you might be a slow metabolizer and experience some negative symptoms you may want to consider cutting back on the amount of coffee you drink.
Caffeine actually releases adrenaline and cortisol our stress hormones (which for slow metabolizers can be a big problem) and can cause all kinds of health issues such as anxiety, feeling more stressed, hormonal imbalances, sleep disturbances, digestive problems and trouble shifting weight for some, in particular around the mid-section. Click here to read my post about the pros and cons of coffee.
So, if you experience the negative symptoms above consider substituting caffeinated drinks for an alternative below. Try this for 3-4 weeks and see if you notice an improvement in your symptoms. For those who don’t have any of the above symptoms, my recommendations are to limit coffee to 1-2 cups per day (without sugar or large amounts of dairy) before 12pm.
Healthier coffee alternative:
- Long black – optional: add a dash of good quality full-fat milk or cream
- A piccolo
- A macchiato – should only come with a small amount of milk
- A small flat white or latte with either almond/coconut/ full-fat milk
- Turmeric latte with almond/coconut milk or a small turmeric latte with full-fat milk
- Spicy chai with almond or coconut milk – my personal favourite!
- Matcha latte with almond/coconut milk or a small matcha latte with full-fat milk
- Herbal tea – green tea/peppermint/chamomile/chai/rooibos/lemon & ginger/berry
- Hot lemon toddy
- Superfood hot chocolate – or use 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1-2 tbsp raw cacao powder + 1 tsp honey
- Dandelion coffee
- Teechino herbal coffee
Hi I’m Natalie, a Registered Clinical Nutritionist, health influencer, blog writer & recipe creator. My own health complications prompted me to make positive diet & lifestyle changes, revitalize my health leading to a career change from the corporate world to nutritional medicine. I believe in a wholefoods approach to good health, focusing on simple strategies for modern, busy people.