Here at You, Me, and Uni we talk a lot about tea. But we know many of you love your coffee too. Maybe you have tea and coffee at different times of the day or on certain days of the week. Tea and coffee both have varying health benefits. There is no reason to choose just one. However, some people notice the negative effects of coffee and want to cut down or eliminate it from their diet. The thought of this is scary for some.
Let’s Discuss Coffee
Coffee is high in antioxidants; B vitamins, Magnesium, Folate, and Potassium are in the 2-3% RDA range for one cup of coffee. Caffeine speeds up your metabolism and increases brain function. However, if you are a daily coffee drinker, you may build up a tolerance to these benefits and they will not create the same effects over time.
It is claimed that coffee has health benefits if consumed in small doses. The problem with this is that caffeine is a very addicting drug and some people can’t stop with one small mug of coffee each day. When the caffeine boost wears off, the urge for another cup arrives. Caffeine levels in coffee are much higher than tea. Compare coffee at 100 milligrams with black tea at 20-70 milligrams.
Pesticides in Coffee
I’ve long known of the additives in coffee, especially for decaffeinated coffee. As a Licensed Midwife, my pregnant clients thought they were making a healthy choice by switching to decaf-coffee. However, with the additives in coffee, I recommend choosing organic fair-trade coffee and decaffeinated coffee that uses a water process, to be on the safe side.
“Given numerous health scares connected to early efforts in decaffeination (the hit list of toxic solvents include: benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), dichloromethane, and even chloroform) the solvents of choice have become methylene chloride and ethyl acetate.”Coffee Confidential
Do you want to take a break from your daily coffee?
Perhaps the acidity of coffee is causing heartburn and acid reflux. Maybe your teeth are stained from drinking numerous cups of coffee each day for several years. You don’t like the headaches and withdrawal symptoms from skipping your morning dose.
Come up with a Quit Coffee Plan!
Quitting abruptly will leave you with many negative effects. Headaches, irritability, and feeling tired throughout the day, are just a few reasons to use baby steps when cutting out coffee. Come up with alternative beverages and a plan for cutting down slowly so you can still function in your life.
How to cut back on coffee
How many cups of coffee do you drink each day? Let’s use two cups per day in the example that follows. One goal plan is to cut back 10% every 2 days.
Day 1: Drink your regular two cups of coffee in your regular mug. Enjoying this regular day will help you to set your intentions and will allow you to savor each sip.
Day 2: Take a sharpie and make a line at the top of your mug that shows a 5% decrease. Fill your cup to this line for each cup of coffee today (only two cups).
Day 3: Same plan as Day 2.
Day 4: Draw another line, 5 % lower than the first line. Fill your coffee to this second line today- for both cups of coffee.
I believe you can take it from here. Now, I want you to use this same mug for a different beverage at least once per day. You have associated this mug with your precious coffee, and you will slowly trick your brain into feeling a similar comfort with tea, green juice, or water. Right? That’s the hope anyway!
Pick your alternative beverage
What else do you want to drink while you are slowly weaning yourself off of your daily coffee ritual? Think about adding vitamins and minerals with healthy choices to nourish your system while you detox.
Consider these choices:
Fresh vegetable juice: green blend, beet, or carrot- full of antioxidants
Herbal teas: also full of antioxidants- caffeine-free
Chicory coffee: made from chicory root- naturally caffeine-free
Kombucha: fermented black, green, or white tea with yeast, bacteria, and sugar
Matcha: green tea powder mixed with water or milk
Golden milk: a blend of ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, and honey in milk- rich with antioxidants
Comparing tea to coffee
While tea and coffee can both have caffeine in them, teas contain less caffeine. Tea also has L-Theanine, which calms your nervous system. It helps to disperse the caffeine into your body at a slower rate, so you don’t get so jittery like you may have felt from coffee.
Green tea is full of health benefits and it gives you a bit of caffeine for that boost you were used to with coffee. Matcha is green tea, in powdered form- you just add the liquid and the sweetener and shake with ice for a delicious pick me up.
Herbal teas come in hundreds of varieties and will benefit your immune system, nervous system, and your overall health. There is no guilt involved with herbal teas and you will notice the positive benefits with regular use.
Black tea is rich and bold in flavor and can seem similar to coffee in its color. This may be what you need on days when coffee cravings are strong. Packed with more caffeine, this is the tea to turn to when you want that rush.
Kombucha is a fermented tea made from black, green, or white tea mixed with yeast, bacteria, and sugar. It has a low-sugar content, is full of probiotics, and brings on a deep feeling of calm, as well as giving you a pick-me-up.
Adding an exercise routine to your mornings will boost your energy levels in big ways. The high you feel from working out or going for a run will last longer than a cup of coffee. If you are short on time, go for a 20-minute walk or dance to music for a few songs for a rush of happy endorphins before starting your day.
Increasing your water consumption has many health benefits, especially as we are nearing summer temperatures. Drink it room temperature to mimic the environment in your body. If you live in a hot climate, drink it cold to cool your body down. I once read that drinking cold water causes your body to burn more calories. Please don’t quote me on this fun fact.
If coffee helped you have more energy, consider nature’s caffeine: SLEEP! Most of us do not get enough sleep each night. You may find the urge to nap during your first week of reducing your daily coffee. Naps are so good for us, yet many of us don’t take the time to give in to this luxurious activity…or non-activity. Not everyone needs a solid 8 hours of sleep each night. Some of us need less and some of us prefer more. Know your needs and give your body what it craves.
Custom herbal tea
Browse the herbal tea articles on the site for more tips on adding delicious tea to your healthy lifestyle. Lavender is a great little herb to relax you and calm the nerves. Read You, Me, and Uni’s article: 5 Ways Lavender Benefits the Body and Mind.
I’m wishing you the best on your journey, in whatever you choose to consume.
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden of Walden Writes For Women, is a writer & editor in Gainesville, Florida.