7 Coffee Alternatives to Try If Caffeine Makes You Nervous

It can be difficult to boost your brain and body without a morning coffee.

But you may have noticed that caffeine makes you feel more and more jittery, or you may have a health condition that requires you to reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet. So what can you do to get off to a good start while avoiding that 10 am feeling? Here are some smart thoughts from nutrition experts.

“Some people, like me, are sensitive to caffeine,” said nutritional wellness chef Marshall O’Brien. “I get very anxious and stressed, and I think it affects my focus and my calm.” For O’Brien, the answer is drinking green tea, which has about a third of the caffeine in coffee. “It also has a calming amino acid called L-theanine, and there are studies showing some increases in focus,” O’Brien said. Another fan of green tea is nutritionist Vicki Shanta Retelny. “It’s much lower in caffeine than coffee, and it has a number of flavonoids, which are phenolic compounds that work wonders in the body,” she said.

Start by being aware of how much caffeine you’re getting from all sources throughout the day. The general recommendation is no more than 400 mg a day, the equivalent of four to five cups of brewed coffee. Keep in mind that while these guidelines can be helpful, your Caffeine Car mileage may vary.

“Some people metabolize caffeine more slowly than others,” explained nutritionist Amy Gorin. “If they consume a lot of caffeine in a very short period of time, they are more likely to experience side effects like jitters.”

And keep in mind that not all coffee cups are created equal. “Starbucks coffee, for example, tends to have more caffeine than what you brew at home,” Gorin added. Registered nutritionist Marissa Meshulam said: “If you feel really sensitive, I recommend avoiding cold coffee as it is much stronger than traditional coffee.”

Also pay attention to the type of roast you like the most. “Dark roasted coffee has less caffeine than lighter roasts, so switch to darker varieties with deeper flavors if you need to cut back on caffeine,” said nutritionist Amanda Frankeny.

Another way to stay calm is to start your day differently, especially if you tend to stagger to the coffee maker before you’re even fully awake. “Take coffee for at least an hour after waking up in the morning,” suggested nutritionist Jerlyn Jones. “Drink a glass of water instead.”

“Even though coffee has now been linked to health benefits like lowering glucose and protecting the liver, it’s important to keep it in balance if you want to experience the positive effects without the negative,” said registered dietitian Sharon Palmer. Instead of making “cold turkey,” she suggested starting with small changes, like going from two cups in the morning to one cup. O’Brien suggested this approach: “Start with regular coffee, then mix decaf half into your blend. So you can try black tea, then green tea.”

Jones is a fan of matcha green tea, which she said is “loaded with antioxidants and has a fresh, earthy taste.” Another plant-based alternative is golden milk, which Jones described as “a rich, caffeine-free substitute for coffee.” Here is a vegan golden milk recipe from Minimalist Baker.

As you’re cutting out or cutting back on caffeine, keep these thoughts from Frankeny in mind: “Plan ahead for the first two days of caffeine abstinence. Don’t schedule it for your best friend’s birthday weekend, because this kind of detox can bring out the worst in you. Have pain relievers on hand if needed. Let the people you love or work with know what’s going on, just in case they notice your physical pain or you become short with them. It’s the caffeine’s fault, not theirs.”

Ready for some morning alternatives that make caffeine easier? Here are some expert suggestions.

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“This has one-seventh the amount of caffeine but provides the same ‘hot cup’ feeling,” Meshulam said. “It’s made with cocoa, masala chai and a mixture of mushrooms.”


Golde Cacao Turmeric Superfood Latte Blend

Containing 2 mg of caffeine per serving, “This is another great option to change things up from your morning cup of coffee,” Meshulam said. “Plus, you’ll get lots of antioxidants from cocoa and anti-inflammatory benefits from turmeric.”

call it green tea

“I love a good cup of green tea, which contains just a fraction of the amount of caffeine you find in coffee,” Gorin said. She is a fan of this brand. A 6 to 8 ounce cup of tea usually contains between 15 mg and 70 mg of caffeine.

Health-Ade Kombucha

“This is a bottled drink that I really like,” Gorin said. “They’re super tasty and you get a small amount — around 8 to 15 mg — of caffeine per serving, depending on the flavor.”


Anthony’s Instant Chicory Root Coffee Alternative

“This product is made by roasting, crushing and fermenting the base of this flowering plant into a nutty coffee-flavored drink,” Frankeny said. “It’s a source of inulin, a prebiotic fiber that, in the right proportions, supports a healthy gut by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria, aids in digestion and helps lower blood sugar levels. More research needs to be done on promoting health. effects of inulin in this particular drink. However, this product is caffeine free, so mix it with your morning coffee to minimize your morning buzz or go up and fill your cup whole.”

Guayaki Yerba Mate

“For me, this product hits all the right notes,” said Frankeny. “It’s USDA Organic, fair trade, kosher, B-corp certified, vegan and gluten-free. It’s a derivative of a traditional South American beverage rich in caffeine, made with soaking dried leaves of the holly species Ilex paraguariensis in hot water .” A 12 ounce can contains about 80 mg of caffeine and tea bags have 40 mg.


Bai Bubbles Soda water

“This seltzer serves as a calorie-free soda substitute,” Frankeny said. “But be aware that it still has some caffeine, the same amount as some sodas.” Each can contains about 45 mg of caffeine.

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