Body & Fitness

How to: Easy, natural coffee alternatives

Sometimes, you just want a coffee. But if you're trying to cut back on caffeine, try reaching for these instead.

As you may know, I’ve recently taken the bold step of quitting coffee. And when you love it as much as I do, this is no easy task!

While a little bit of coffee can be good for you, too much of it puts stress on your adrenal system, messes with your blood sugar, wreaks havoc in the gut and can trigger headaches and migraines.

In my bid to go caffeine-free, I’ve experimented with some alternatives. I’ve hit a few duds (including a vile oat drink I forced on everyone around me), but I’ve finally landed on my top four substitutes – deliciously natural teas with bonus health benefits.


Chicory tea is famous for its use as a coffee alternative. It doesn’t give you the same energy hit as caffeine, but its delicious and robust taste makes it the perfect stand-in when you’re hankering for a comfort coffee. Plus, chicory has calming properties and contains a powerful probiotic called inulin, so it’s great for your mind and your tummy. But be careful, too much of this can cause a drowsy effect, which won’t help if you’re trying to stay awake!


If you do need something to keep you on the ball, dandelion root tea is nature’s energy shot. A cup in the morning will get you up and out that door with a spring in your step. As well as being an energy booster, dandelion root is also known for aiding digestion and giving your liver a good detox while it’s at it.

Dandelion root tea is a natural energy booster, sure to get you out the door with a spring in your step.


Matcha tea is another great pick-me-up, plus it’s packed with antioxidants. While the traditional Japanese green tea does have a small amount of caffeine, I find the energy it gives me is gentler and doesn’t have the same jittery, frenetic quality of a coffee high.


Since I’ve been drinking it, the dreaded 3pm slump sails by without me even noticing! Rooibos tea has nothing to do with black tea and is in fact a herb. It has a very pleasant flavour when combined with milk. Rooibos is the leaf of a broom-like tree in South Africa and this tea has been happily consumed there for generations. It is caffeine-free and low in tannin so it is very soothing for stomach complaints and is said to have many health benefits, such as being a cure for headaches, and a sleep aid.

Words: Wendyl Nissen

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