Sunday, July 30

Energy-boosting coffee alternatives


Is it worthwhile to try yerba mate, yaupon tea, matcha, and other beverages that have invaded the coffee and tea markets and offer comparable energy advantages and health benefits when you're feeling low on energy? These coffee substitutes are popular and frequently advertised as "wellness drinks," according to the International Food Information Council.

So how do a few well-known substitutes compare nutritionally? Do they depend on coffee to give them energy? Do they include plant components that could be beneficial or harmful?

An introduction to coffee and tea
A survey conducted by the National Coffee Association found that 70% of American adults consume coffee, with 62% doing so on a daily basis. Observational studies have connected antioxidants and polyphenols found in coffee beans to a range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and neurological diseases including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. But for those reasons, the majority of us probably don't drink it.

Coffee lovers savour the aroma and rich, deep flavour of their favourite beverage while getting a caffeine energy boost that enhances clarity and focus. However, not everyone enjoys it because it can make some individuals restless and irritate delicate stomachs due to the acidity and caffeine.

Tea, a relative of coffee, is consumed by one-third of Americans and is the second most popular beverage worldwide after water. Herbal teas have little to no caffeine, but the majority of tea varieties have around half the acidity of coffee. Tea contains antioxidants that are good for your health, like flavanols.

Black tea has about 47 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces, green tea has about 28 mg, instant coffee has about 60 mg, and brewed coffee has about 95 mg.

Yarba Mate: What You Need to Know
The Ilex paraguariensis tree in South America produces yerba mate (also known as mate), an herbal tea with a more bitter and earthy flavour than other teas. It has the same amount of caffeine as coffee or more (80 to 175 mg per cup), as well as antioxidant polyphenols like chlorogenic acid. It may help people lose weight and lower their blood cholesterol, according to preliminary research, but more research is needed. Because of the caffeine in it, users report feeling less tired and more focused, but not jittery.

Cons: Some meat processing techniques, such as smoking the leaves to dry them, may add polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are the same cancer-causing compounds found in grilled meats. Certain cancers, particularly those of the head and neck, stomach, bladder, and lung, are linked in certain studies to mate consumption in large amounts over time. Unsmoked mate, on the other hand, which is dried by air processing, might be safer.

Information on yaupon tea
Yaupon is an herbal tea, much like mate. It is a native of the US and tastes something like grassy green tea. It has antioxidants and chlorogenic acid, which are said to reduce inflammation and increase energy. This tea has 60 mg of caffeine per cup in addition to theobromine, a chemical that is chemically related to caffeine and is present in many teas and cocoa beans. While caffeine gives a quick but fleeting boost, theobromine takes longer to kick in and lasts longer than caffeine. Theobromine boosts blood flow and may increase energy and alertness.

Theobromine and caffeine together may cause your heart rate to rise and interfere with sleep, especially if you consume a lot of yaupon or sip it too soon before bed.

Information on matcha tea
The same Camellia sinensis plant that produces green tea also yields matcha. Though matcha is produced in the shade, unlike green tea, which shields it from sunlight and oxidation and gives it a brighter green hue and a higher polyphenol content.

Matcha stems and whole tea leaves are powdered, and hot water or milk is then mixed into the mixture. Matcha includes the same antioxidant polyphenols as green tea, notably theanine and catechins, and contains 40 to 175 mg of caffeine per cup. Matcha, however, might have higher quantities of antioxidants than regular green tea because it is made from complete leaves.

Cons: Matcha can have extremely high levels of caffeine, much more than coffee, while green tea has little to no caffeine.

Information on chicory coffee
To make a beverage, chicory is made from the dried, roasted, and ground root of the Chicorium Intybus plant. Prebiotic fibre found in chicory, inulin, caramelises during roasting to give the beverage a dark brown hue and a nuttier, sweeter, and less bitter flavour than regular coffee. Although it has a similar flavour to ordinary coffee, because it lacks caffeine, it does not provide the same energy boost. (Some individuals combine brewed coffee and chicory coffee for a lower-caffeine beverage.) Chicory root contains anti-inflammatory effects, according to animal research. The low levels of inulin contained in chicory coffee are not likely to have this effect, while inulin may be beneficial for the gut flora and bowel health.

Cons: Since ragweed and the chicory plant are related, individuals who are allergic to ragweed pollen may experience adverse reactions to chicory coffee.

The conclusion

Wellness beverages that don't contain coffee may have plant substances that are similar to those in normal coffee and green or black tea. If you enjoy the taste, you may choose them. Just be careful not to assume that they are healthy, as there isn't much solid proof to back up promises of cancer prevention, heart health, or weight loss.

The best way to enjoy these drinks is either straight or with a tiny bit of lemon, honey, unsweetened milk, or plant milk. Any health benefits from naturally occurring plant chemicals can be negated by processing and other additives. For instance, some study indicates that enhancing tea with protein and fat via milk or creamer can lessen the antioxidant effects and possibly deactivate flavonoids. Even though the original components are still present, adding sugar, half-and-half, syrups, or whipped cream turns a beverage into a dessert and negates any potential health benefits.


  1. this is an interesting perspective , thank you for sharing!

  2. Interesting post. I have had matcha but never heard our tried any of the others.

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