14/08/2014 12:43 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Coffee Alternatives: Five Healthy Substitutes

Do you need at least three cups of coffee to get through the day? If the answer is yes, it's a good indication you need to cut down, or even cut it out all together.

Why? Although small quantities of coffee aren't damaging to the health (it's actually high in antioxidants) drinking too much can cause stress, anxiety and sleep problems. And when you do try and quit it, the withdrawal symptoms are too much to deal with. So you start drinking it again.

To avoid the throbbing headaches and battles with tiredness that come with a no coffee diet, it's best to look to healthier substitutes for the caffeine-packed drink.


Here's five coffee alternatives to try when you're trying to quit or limit your daily intake:

1. Matcha
This green tea powder is used for its high vitamin and mineral content - but the best thing about this coffee alternative is the high antioxidant level (studies have found matcha contains 20 times more antioxidants than blueberries.) It does contain caffeine, but with 70mg per cup, it's less than a regular cup of coffee and as well as boosting energy, matcha can do wonders for the mood and concentration levels. Add the powder to hot water, milk or your favourite smoothie for a cleansing caffeine fix.

2. Cocoa
When it comes to indulging in chocolate, darker varieties with a higher amount of cocoa solids are the healthier choice. Dark chocolate contains more caffeine as well as antioxidants called flavonols. Recent studies have also shown these can promote a healthy heart.

3. Ginseng
This herb has been used to boost energy and promote recovery from illness for thousands of years making it a brilliant natural alternative to caffeine. It can be found in powders, tablets, drinks and even skincare, thanks to its anti-ageing properties. The easiest way to get a boost from ginseng? Add the root to hot water to make an immune system-boosting tea.

4. Chai
This blend of herbs and spices is known for having many health benefits, from boosting metabolism to curing a bloating stomach. One of the biggest perks? It can be relied on for a pick-me-up thanks to the main ingredient - black tea. However, because of the spices, chai provides a slower and more balanced energy release, making it a more natural stimulant than coffee.

5. Ginkgo Biloba
Never heard of ginkgo biloba? It's a herbal extract that has been recommended as an alternative to caffeine thanks to its ability to increase blood flow to the brain. It has also been used in Chinese medicine to treat asthma and bronchitis as well improving memory function. If you're desperate to stay alert after an early start, try adding the ginkgo leaf to hot water instead of reaching for your regular latte.

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