People are always impressed when they find out that (1) I don’t drink alcohol and (2) I don’t drink coffee! For alcohol, people’s response is often, “Omg we HAVE to get you drunk” (…) For the latter, “How is it that you do all that you do without coffee???”
For two drinks that are so integral to most people’s every day lives, it’s hard to imagine life without either, but I’d like to share my three caffeine alternatives that are total game changers!! Please give them a try!
Tea – For More “Stable” or “Smooth” Energy
Tea is known for giving a more “stable” or “smooth” energy boost than coffee. I see people needing multiple cups of coffee a day. With tea, I only need one in the morning and I am solid for the whole day!
A huge selling point is that tea also has sooo many additional health benefits that you intake with every cup! You’ll see in the Asian culture that tea time is all the time. And lastly, there are tons of different variations of teas and many are so tasty! Why not drink tea over coffee??
For me, these are my recommendations. They are the most Americanized and most popular, so I think you will like them!
- Matcha Latte – I know this sounds pretty basic, but it is my ride or die!! The energy boost you get from this seems subtle, but is sooo powerful. I get so much done with a matcha in hand and I really feel like I have my ish more together. People will ask me what is that green thing I am drinking at work…and then they start drinking it and thank me for it!! 🙂
- Milk Teas – If you don’t like the taste of tea, I suggest adding milk and sweetener (Pro tip: condensed milk!). This is very common in Asian culture and it makes it taste so delicious. Usually, people will add milk to black tea!
Boba milk tea is one of my favorite drinks (Pro tip: Get brown sugar boba milk tea!!)~ My boss calls me a little boba beast, “You just see her typing away at her computer while drinking her boba” lol
- Fruit Tea – And of course, you can alternate with a refreshing fruit tea, but I do not think these give you as much energy as others.
If you want to try other teas, and learn more about the history of the art of tea making, go check out zhaoluzhai.com! This is my cousin’s blog and he travelled to China and did his
thesis tea-this all on tea!
*Note: Not all teas give you caffeine! Some are meant to relax you, help your digestion, or serve other purposes.
Ginseng – For Laser Focus
Ginseng is a root herb that is very praised in Asian cultures, and rightly so, as it has so many health benefits and is used in Chinese medicine. You will find entire Chinese stores with barrels of different ginseng. It can be overwhelming because there are so many different kinds, but just ask the clerk to help you! If he/she does not speak English, surely a customer in the store can help you translate! The price ranges and it can get expensive (again, ginseng is considered very valuable!), but there are tons of affordable options for a couple bucks a pound. You can scoop however much or little you want!
Ginseng soup is one of my favorite things EVER!! You MUST try it. Whether it’s Chinese ginseng soup or Korean ginseng soup…I can eat it every day. You can easily find this dish at Korean restaurants (called Samgyetan). These are herbal soups that are for overall health and immune (usually cooked with other herbs and superfoods). If you plan to use the ginseng for cooking, you can ask if the ginseng shops can slice it for you (some shops have a machine!).
Fun Fact: The Chinese ginseng soup is normally made with black chicken!! Michael was freaked out when he first saw it at my house, but it is called Silken chicken and has a nice chewier texture than regular chicken.
Fun Fact 2: Actually, Silken chicken itself is known for its health and medicinal value – with double the amount of antioxidants than its regular chicken counterparts, less fat, much more heart healthy iron and minerals, and even immune and fertility benefits! But if you can’t find black Silken chicken, regular chicken or hen will be just as delicious.
If you really want to be laser focused, try ginseng tea. One time I was at a business competition and my team was up all night preparing our case. It was past midnight and I was soooo tired – my Chinese classmate offered me a piece of ginseng. Of course I knew about it and have had it in soups, but I had never tried it myself in a drink.
Omg, my focus was INSANE. I honestly think that piece of ginseng root is one of the reasons why we did so well in the competition lol. All you have to do is put a piece of ginseng root in hot water! It can be a little bitter on its own, so drink it quickly. You can add lemon or honey to mask the flavor.
I keep a ziploc bag in my purse with a couple pieces of ginseng for those days I really need it. If you can’t find a specialty shop that sells ginseng root, you can also buy tea packet versions at regular grocery stores.
Green Smoothie – For Wellness And Clean Energy
Lastly, a green smoothie is a fantastic way to start out your morning. It is such a healthy breakfast packed full of nutritious ingredients.
I am NOT dependent on caffeine and I think that is an important point. I limit my matcha lattes to every other day or every two days. In between, I will have smoothies as an alternative! I think one of the reasons people drink multiple cups of coffee a day is because they’ve grown tolerant and therefore need more caffeine to get that energy.
Let me know if you try any of these! I hope they give you the energy you need to feel better and be your best, most productive self!
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