Can’t make it through the morning without your daily java? Try brewing some green tea, which has slightly less caffeine than a cup of Joe but enough to give you a boost without any of the coffee jitters. The refreshing drink is also packed with health benefits, says Nadine Taylor, registered dietitian and author of Green Tea: The Natural Secret to a Healthier Life. “Catechins are powerful antioxidants and potent disease fighters that are found primarily in green tea,” she says.
Perk up with peppermint tea! As well as freshening your breath and calming your stomach after a meal, the cooling sensation of this minty drink is an instant revitalizer. “[Peppermint stimulates] the same nerve that’s activated when you revive someone with smelling salts,” says Alan Hirsch, director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation.
The name may be difficult to pronounce, but schizandra herbal tea is an easy replacement for your daily java fix. Brimming with health benefits, the tea is brewed from schizandra berries, which are native to East Asia and popularly used in traditional Chinese medicine. “It has a subtle calming effect, improves sleep, balances blood sugar, is good for the liver, and may increase memory,” White and Foster say.
Native to India, this soothing beverage is commonly made with rich black tea, milk, and a variety of spices, like cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom. A steaming hot mug of chai tea will help you get over an afternoon hump. An added bonus? Though you’re automatically cutting your caffeine intake by drinking chai, the tea’s smooth, creamy flavor tricks your mind into thinking that it’s coffee!
Reishi Mushroom Tea
You’ve devoured mushrooms enfolded in tasty omelets or sprinkled atop your favorite pastas, but if you’re looking for a unique coffee alternative, try mushrooms in the form of tea. A staple in traditional Chinese medicine, the soft, flat reishi mushroom makes for one invigorating (and healthy) libation. White and Foster recommend combining 1/3 ounce of chopped or powdered reishi mushroom with 3 cups of water, then bringing the tea to a boil and simmering for 30 minutes before drinking in doses.
Siberian Ginseng Tea
Siberian ginseng tea gets its kick from the slightly bitter ginseng root, but if you can’t down the brew on its own, sweeten it with a dollop of honey. The herbal drink is supposed to stimulate your concentration, according to White and Foster. “This favorite, tried-and-true fatigue-buster is safe for long-term use in most people.’
Even if you didn’t like licorice candy as a child, you’ll appreciate the benefits of sweet, spicy licorice tea. The bold-tasting brew is actually caffeine-free, but supports overburdened adrenal glands, which are organs that respond to stress. “Licorice is an adrenal tonic and increases energy. It adds a pleasant taste to tea blends and can also be taken in tincture form,” explain Dr. Linda B. White and Steven Foster, authors of The Herbal Drugstore.
And there are many many more…but why don’t you start and give them a try to any of this list? Try something new today!