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October 27, 2020

The Best Alternatives to Coffee for Energy

When we need the right fuel first thing in the morning in order to get our days started properly, most of us turn to the coffee maker.  Perhaps some rely on tea, but most people prefer a good, strong cup of coffee to get their morning going.  But, what if you could get that same refreshing jolt from something other than coffee?  In fact, what if you could get an even better start to your day that is going to be healthy for you short- and long-term?  It’s time to dive into the world of some great caffeine alternatives. They are not stimulants like coffee, but they work better than coffee. The two classes are the nootropics and the adaptogens and they can both change your life for the better!

Early Bird Morning Cocktail is a blend of nootropics and adaptogens that gets you functioning at your best without the jitters and the side effects of caffeine.

Early Bird Morning Cocktail is a great way to start your morning without the jitters and the side effects of caffeine. This is a blend of nootropics, adaptogens, and a special form of caffeine that gets your functioning at your best. Buy it here and here is your 10% discount as a Stay Awake reader: COFFEEBREWING10

Nootropics

There are some people out there who think that coffee is a nootropic.  Nootropic is the term used for a natural ingredient that allows you to ward off sleep and focus on the task at hand.  It is completely natural and will also improve your mood and even boost your energy.  Sounds like coffee, right?  Exactly.

However, the reality is that coffee, while possibly considered and categorized as a nootropic, is not actually a good example of a nootropic.  The reason is purely because a nootropic is considered to be a healthy and natural supplement suitable for everyone that will give you all of those benefits without having any side effects.  That caffeine withdrawal that you feel when you miss your morning cuppa?  Or, that grouchiness you get in the afternoon when you need another cup?  That’s proof that coffee and caffeine are not the nootropic you think you’re getting!

There is a special class of nootropics that are the best of the two worlds; the adaptogens. Adaptogens are great nootropics.  They do all of those positive things — and then some — that caffeine does, but with no side effects! But we’ll get to that in a bit.

Examples of Nootropics

Healthy green tea matcha latte – a nootropic to boost brain function.
  • L-theanine
    L-theanine is what tones down the effects of caffeine and it provides calm alertness, reaction time, mental endurance. As I mentioned, it’s a great pair for caffeine.
  • Nicotine
    Nicotine is great for improving your focus and mood, but it is addictive so you have to be very careful, and only use it once in a while.
  • Modafinil and adrafinil
    While these two substances are great nootropics, that improve focus, motivation, clarity and memory, you can only get them with a prescription, and they are addictive.
  • Bacopa Monnieri
    A plant native to India, bacopa is in fact an adaptogen – it helps your body adapt to stress. It also improves attention, mood, stress, memory in healthy adults.

Adaptogens

All considered to be healthy caffeine alternatives, adaptogens are natural herbs that have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine.  They get their name from their ability to help the brain naturally adapt to the world around it.  This is mostly seen in the brain’s biological stress response.

When you have coffee with its stimulant of caffeine, it will activate your sympathetic nervous system, which is what is responsible for helping you react to perceived stress.  When taken in the right amounts, it helps you take on the day and react well.  However, it can also be a double-edged sword by actually making you more stressed out, speeding your heart rate up and just feeling jittery and on-edge. 

Adaptogens, on the other hand, will help strengthen your body’s natural stress reaction.  It gives you a much higher threshold for stress.  It will not only help you conquer stress a whole lot easier, but will also help you calm down from anxiety or a panic attack much faster.  All of this brain benefit while still stabilizing energy long-term, improving your mood and even helping sleep (and wake up) better.  And no side effects!

Examples of adaptogens

There are many adaptogens that you can try in both natural form or supplement form (depending).  Some of the most popular go-tos include:

Reishi mushroom – Ganoderma lucidum
  1. Ashwagandha: This particular adaptogen is known for its soothing qualities.  While you may not think of “calm” as a perk when it comes to alternatives to coffee for energy, just remember that calm doesn’t mean sleep!  It means stable and confident.
  2. Reishi mushroom: This fantastic ingredient will help reduce your blood pressure (which caffeine is known for spiking), and improve your level of alertness overall.
  3. Shiitake mushroom: Rich with Vitamin B, this caffeine alternative is going to both energize you and help you enjoy a healthy metabolism.
  4. Holy basil: This will ease your tension and nerves as a true caffeine-free coffee alternative and it won’t be the double-edged sword where too much will make you even more jittery!  An added bonus is that it boosts your immune system,
  5. Turmeric: Rich with nutrients, this does a little bit of everything, including strengthening the active jobs of the rest of your adaptogen blend.
  6. Maca: This is a huge energy boost that will give you raw, pure energy that won’t make you feel like you won’t sleep for 3 days.  It’s natural, easier absorbed energy throughout your entire body.
  7. Matcha: For those that love the boost in brain power, matcha is designated for improving overall brain function and helping you work at your best capacity, mentally speaking. 

How do these compare to caffeine and other stimulants?

            Even to those who are only looking at alternatives to coffee for energy on a general basis, these nootropics sound pretty great.  The best way to see how there really are the healthy caffeine alternatives, though, is to put them side by side:

Coffee/Caffeine

  • Activates your stress response
  • Binds to your sleep hormone and the body is forced to make more, forcing you to drink more coffee to offset it (aka: tolerance)
  • Caffeine crashes, tolerance and dependency, etc…

Sometimes, the biggest problem with coffee is that people hate coffee. Let’s face it, almost everyone of us disliked it when they first tasted it. Unless you are a weird coffee geek like the owner of Coffee Brewing Methods, who likes coffee in any form, and knows how to brew it.

Adaptogens/Nootropics

  • Strengthens the body’s natural stress tolerance for better response and calm down
  • Aids your body in getting natural energy and bettering sleep so that you are well-rested, biologically speaking
  • No side effects

Early Bird – A Blend of Nootropics and Adaptogens

Early Bird Morning Cocktail is a blend of nootropics and adaptogens that gets you functioning at your best without the jitters and the side effects of caffeine.

The problem with all the teas and plants on my list is that you need to buy them, weigh them, and then make them into a drink or food that still tastes decent. I did this for a while but it is exhausting, and you feel like it is a lot of effort to prepare it?

Early Bird Morning Cocktail is a great way to start your morning without the jitters and the side effects of caffeine. This is a blend of nootropics, adaptogens, and a special form of caffeine that gets your functioning at your best. Buy it here and here is your 10% discount as a Stay Awake reader: COFFEEBREWING10

But what about decaf?

 While most people go with coffee because of its stimulating effects, there are some who enjoy coffee simply for the taste.  Decaf coffee is a great alternative to traditional coffee and you can still get that distinctive, comforting taste first thing in the morning. 

In fact, the taste of coffee is so appealing that there are many adaptogens that are infused with roots such as chicory (known for its coffee taste) so that you can still get that strong aromatic flavour you’re going for, without the caffeine.  Others will drink decaf coffee and add adaptogen supplements to their diet so that they can enjoy both! 

There are all sorts of energetic alternatives to coffee that have been around for a long, long time.  Available on their own, in dried blends that can be added to other foods, or even as classic supplement capsules, you’ll be able to get better, healthier and safer energy when you step back from the coffee cup!

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