Coffee alternatives if you just can’t handle caffeine

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For a very long time, a warm cup of coffee was my go-to assistant when I needed a helping hand to get through homework and assignments. This on-call assistant was perfect for the job. It gave me an energy boost and provided a warm and cozy feeling that no other drink seemingly did. However, over time, I began to realize how toxic our relationship was as the dangers of the caffeine intake began to present themselves — in my case, with digestive issues. That’s when I decided that my cup of coffee and I needed some distance.

If you clicked on this article, you may be like me. You may be tired of putting up with the caffeine-induced anxiety and jitteriness, the headaches, digestive issues or the irritating afternoon crash. Or maybe you’re just bored of your typical cup of coffee. Here are the cozy and downright delicious coffee alternatives that I’ve discovered recently:

Maca Cacao

This one is by far my favorite from the list. During my desperate search for energizing alternatives to caffeine, I came across maca, a superfood from Peru believed to provide steady energy and enlightenment. Usually available in powder form, maca may help enhance your focus, and when paired with cacao, it can provide a dreamily nutty, mocha-like substitute.

To make this drink, simply add about 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of maca powder, one tablespoon of honey/maple syrup and half a teaspoon of cinnamon to a cup. Next, pour a couple drops of boiling water into the mixture, and stir to create a chocolate paste. Finally, pour your paste into a glass of either iced or warm milk, and stir to complete your mocha replica!

Golden Milk

Also known as a turmeric latte, you can find this drink in many cafes, or even buy it pre-made at some grocery stores in powder form. Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric’s reputation is believed to have anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as its ability to help fatigue, joint pain and digestive issues.

If you want to make it yourself, add about two cups of your preferred milk to a pot at a low temperature. To this pot, add one teaspoon of turmeric and honey, half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a pinch of ginger and a small pinch of pepper. Once the milk is warm, remove it from the heat and strain it. Pour into a mug and voila, you’ve got yourself a creamy, comforting, and perfectly sweet hot milk drink.

Hot Chocolate

A classic. As we come into fall, a cup of cocoa won’t only warm you up during the cooler months, but can also act as a gentle stimulant and give you some of that energy you’d want from a coffee.

If you’re looking for a healthier and more wholesome alternative to store-bought hot chocolate, this is the recipe for you. Simply heat up a cup of your milk of choice in a small saucepan. Mix in about two tablespoons of cocoa powder, half a tablespoon of honey/maple syrup, a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract, a tablespoon of dark chocolate and a pinch of salt. Once the chocolate is melted and smoothly combined, pour the drink into a mug and add some whipped cream and/or chocolate syrup if you’re feeling extra fancy.

For many of us, including me, giving up coffee forever is pretty much unimaginable. But if you’re looking to get rid of an addiction, or just eager to try something new, give these substitutes a chance!

Contact Salma Sarkis at [email protected].