Cover your ears, coffee lovers. It may be time to swap your daily brew for a hot pot of herbal tea in the name of health.
Not just a fad, herbal teas are popping up all over to serve health devotees (with added health benefits), even replacing a long black or skim cappuccino for some.
Feeling sluggish after the caffeine boost has worn off? We’ve done the research for you on why that may be, and how a change in your morning drink could improve your health for years to come.
What does coffee/caffeine do to the body?
As caffeine is a central body stimulant, it impacts your body in several different ways. While the majority of people will opt for caffeine in some form and use as intended, the immediate health effects might make you consider cutting back or swapping for a herbal infusion instead.
At first, there’s no doubt you’ll feel a burst of energy after your morning cup of coffee, but as the day (and years) wear on, caffeine can increase the likelihood of anxiety and insomnia.
If you drink more than a cup a day and then go cold turkey, you’ll notice headaches from withdrawal. This overuse of caffeine can cause irritability and drowsiness when not fulfilled. You may physically react after what your body deems ‘too much’ caffeine with heartburn and high blood pressure – yikes!
Despite this, coffee is linked regularly to physical performance and athletes. As mentioned, caffeine works as a stimulant, meaning if you’re physically fit, this will cause the nervous system to break down body fat mixed with a high-intensity exercise regime.
Generally, a coffee a day won’t do you any harm. But the alternative is pretty sweet...
What type of tea can I replace my coffee with and why?
Herbal tea can be an unfamiliar world when you’re used to your double shot soy flat white. However, tea is loaded with powerful antioxidants. Getting your head around what will work best for you and your lifestyle is the start of a more productive, better hydrated day.
Popular in Ayurvedic medicine, Ginger increases energy (perfect for the morning) and does wonders for any tummy troubles you may have.
Also used to aid digestion, Lemongrass is known to reduce bloating and also help with those annoying, possibly coffee-induced, headaches.
A lifesaver in cold and flu season, peppermint will get rid of that pesky running nose and protect against a worsening cough or mild aches and pains. Bonus: menopausal women claim peppermint gives hot flushes the flick.
A tea for dreamers, chamomile is great if you’re struggling to nod off at night. Used to treat insomnia, you’ll be sound asleep in no time after a calming cup of chamomile. Wondering 'is there caffeine in chamomile?' We can assure you, there isn't.
For those experiencing high blood pressure from overuse of caffeine, hibiscus is the tea for you – known to lower blood pressure and reduce hypertension.
A jack-of-all-trades, Lavender is known to help with everything from asthma and bronchitis to lowering body temperature and treating fevers.
What about green tea?
Often an acquired taste, green tea is a popular alternative to coffee as it holds that key ingredient we’re so reluctant to live without – caffeine. Switching from green tea to coffee can have its benefits, especially if you’re trying to lose a few kilograms with a healthy diet and exercise. It’s widely known that green tea, unlike coffee, has antioxidants that can aid in repairing a low immune system.
Besides a boost to your general health, green tea also has impressive compounds that work to make your brain function better. It sounds vague, but other than caffeine, green tea has the amino acid L-theanine, which is known to have anti-anxiety effects on the brain. Dopamine in every cup!
How can I make the switch?
Like changing any habit, completely ditching it all together will have you crawling back for more. The only way to truly make an impact on your health is to first, decrease your current intake of coffee, and second, start introducing a herbal tea once or twice a day into your regular routine.
Begin your journey with teas that have similar tastes to coffee, for example, full-bodied black teas. As you adjust, drop the caffeine. Many Japanese teas are roasted and give similar aromas to a hot brew of black coffee.
Cast your vote in the comments: herbal tea or coffee?