It’s the start of mornings in countries around the world. For many, it’s the thing that gets them out of bed. That easy to prepare, warm and bitter burst of energy that comes with a classic cup of coffee. Coffee can be hard to resist. And it isn’t necessarily bad for you—as long as it’s consumed in moderation.
As a self-proclaimed caffeine addict, there are few things that disturb me more than the thought of waking up to anything but a nice cup of Joe. But for some, consuming caffeine is not an option due to its side effects of stained teeth or coffee breath that is too much to bear.
Regardless of the reason, there are numerous potential benefits to giving up coffee, or at least cutting down on it. If it seems impossible, don’t worry! There are a host of other ways to start your morning without caffeine and still have the energy to make it to lunch.
1. Try a shake or smoothie.
Homemade smoothies are no longer reserved for the super health-conscious. I tend to use spinach, store-bought frozen fruit, almond milk and a scoop of protein powder to add some flavor and substance.
But you can endlessly customize smoothies—and as healthy as what you put in them. Fruits and greens provide important vitamins and antioxidants, and the results are just as delicious. With the right blender, they can be as easy to prepare as coffee too!
2. Whip up some avocado toast.
Like green smoothies, avocado toast gets a bad rap. But it’s more than just the indulgent brunch staple of the spoiled Millennial.
Avocados are a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, and healthy fats. Half an avocado and a slice of bread is all it takes to make this quick and nutritious breakfast. The avocado can be sliced or mashed and the bread is toasted.
From there, the sky’s the limit: add salt and pepper, salsa, a fried egg for some protein, or just about any other topping you want. Avocado toast is almost as easy to make as coffee, and can fill you up and power you through to lunch.
3. Go for a run!
On paper, I can think of few more disappointing substitutes to a steaming cup of freshly-brewed coffee than a bout of vigorous exercise, and it’s certainly not for everyone.
However, if you’re up for it, following a workout regimen can provide some refreshing structure to your day. Exercising in the morning can set the tone for an energetic afternoon and evening. Studies have shown that a morning workout can also help with weight loss and better the quality of your sleep at night.
4. Drink water with lemon.
One of the simplest items on the list, lemon water can be enjoyed hot or cold. The simple beverage provides a boost of energy and a healthy dose of Vitamin C. Drinking water as soon as you wake up can start a positive trend for a day of good hydration.
5. Raid your pantry for some apple cider vinegar.
This may sound odd, but apple cider vinegar boasts some impressive potential health benefits, according to an article from Healthline, including helping with blood sugar and weight loss. The article recommends mixing one to two tablespoons of vinegar with a cup of water, and potentially honey or other sweeteners to balance out the acidity.
If you’re not ready to give up coffee completely, any of these can supplement—not just supplant—coffee as a part of your morning routine. Drink a glass of water with your coffee, or eat some avocado toast. Your body and your brain will thank you later.