5 Coffee Substitutes For Your Morning Routine

We’re going to go out on a limb here and assume the reason you clicked on this article is because the first thing you want when opening your eyes in the morning is a trustworthy ol’ cup of joe. Some people can’t even think straight in the morning without their daily coffee fix.

Thankfully, we’ve become very aware of caffeine addiction and its negative side effects throughout our years in college. If you’re starting to get jittery, anxious or even become more tired during the course of your day, you might want to reconsider your morning routine, because it sounds like you have a coffee addiction. #Yikes!

Instead of allowing your body to accommodate more and more caffeine, only leaving you to crash and feel lethargic compared to your lively self, consider replacing a morning cup, or two, with these alternatives.

1. H2-motherfreakin-O

Hey, I get it. Coffee tastes, and smells, amazing at 8am. Not only does it add a slight skip in your step for the first few hours of the day, it’s warm and provides comfort and routine. However, coffee is a diuretic, meaning it’s slowly dehydrating you. When your body doesn’t get enough water, it leads to fatigue.

Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of water- or 64 oz total- a day. The higher your H2O intake, the more alert you’ll feel all day. If you still want that warm cozy feeling in the morning, try a cup of warm water with a wedge of lemon.

2. Exercise

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you probably just rolled your eyes at pure thought of moving more than the 25 feet to your Keurig in the morning.

Even though this may sound impossible, there’s nothing like an early morning run to give you a jolt of energy before the rest of the world even wakes up. Basically, anything to get your heart pumping and your lungs filled with air.

Too lazy to make it all the way to the gym? That’s fine, try 50-100 jumping jacks and a few basic stretches. That can be done directly next to your bed as soon as your feet hit the floor, a.k.a. no excuses.

3. Healthy Fats

Sounds like an oxymoron, right? Wrong.

You’d be surprised to learn there are numerous nutritional fats that will leave you feeling energized in the A.M. Pack your breakfast full with proteins and good fats by using nuts, organic animal protein, beans or avocado.

Skip that sugary breakfast cereal and add some protein to your morning to keep you full until lunch. Greek yogurt is packed with protein and can be easily added to smoothies and oatmeal. Eggs also contain protein (an average of 6 grams each!), take a whole 5 minutes to make and you really can’t mess them up (great for those of us who got cut from the Next Great Baker’s audition). On top of that, throw in some avocado, feta and spinach or kale for some healthy fats and added protein. You’ll thank me later.

4. Chia Seeds

Basically these are like magic, nutrition sprinkles. Chia seeds are jam-packed full with protein and fiber, hardly have a taste and can be used in just about anything- including cereal, oatmeal, yogurt or smoothies.

These life-changing seeds enlarge when soaked in liquid substances, leaving you feeling full and ready to tackle your morning to-do list with ease.

5. Chocolate

Say what? Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch… sorry for the tease, but I needed to get your attention.

It’s no secret that a chocolate bar is going to perk you up, in part due to sugar and the sheer mouth-watering goodness, but the energy actually stems from the raw chocolate inside called cacao. Cacao is basically a raw, organic seed that comes in powder or nib form and is used to make cocoa, cocoa butter and chocolate.

Cacao provides energizing properties without the fear of refined sugar crashes, which leaves it somewhat more bitter than the milk chocolate you are used to but still possesses a great cocoa taste. Consider adding a teaspoon of cacao nibs to your morning oatmeal, smoothie or yogurt for morning bliss.

I’m not saying a latte or occasional Starbucks run is going to harm you, but if you’re looking to cut back on your caffeine addiction, these coffee alternatives will leave your morning equally full of smiles and enough energy to power through your morning classes. Rise and shine!

Image by Irina Puchkova

Taylor Martz

Contributor, University of Dayton Major: Communication Management Her heart belongs to: rom-coms, colored pens, mermaids, saying namaste and keeping Coldstone in business Take her away to: anywhere without cell service with nothing but adventure on the agenda (however, she'll settle for gelato in Italy)

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