5 Tasty and Creative Alternatives to Coffee

If the idea of giving up coffee sends you into a panic, but you need something to give you a boost of mid-morning (or afternoon) energy, don't worry! We've got five tasty and creative alternatives to coffee. Each one is just as healthy and provides the same jolt of energy that coffee does, but without the jitters.

1. Green tea: Green tea has slightly less caffeine than coffee, but gives you the same bolt of energy. The refreshing drink is also packed with health benefits, says Nadine Taylor, registered dietitian and author of Green Tea: The Natural Secret to a Healthier Life. "Catechins are powerful antioxidants and potent disease fighters that are found primarily in green tea," she says.

2. Licorice tea: Even if you didn't like licorice candy as a child, you'll appreciate the benefits of sweet, spicy licorice tea. The bold-tasting brew is actually caffeine-free, but supports overburdened adrenal glands, which are organs that respond to stress. "Licorice is an adrenal tonic and increases energy. It adds a pleasant taste to tea blends and can also be taken in tincture form," explain Dr. Linda B. White and Steven Foster, authors of The Herbal Drugstore.

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3. Chai: Native to India, this soothing beverage is commonly made with rich black tea, milk, and a variety of spices, like cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom. A steaming hot mug of chai tea will help you get over an afternoon hump. An added bonus? Though you're automatically cutting your caffeine intake by drinking chai, the tea's smooth, creamy flavor tricks your mind into thinking that it's coffee!

4. Wheatgrass juice: This natural energizer is known as a liquid shot of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Some people don't mind the taste and others do, but all agree that wheatgrass is one of the most nourishing juices. "Because of its easy digestibility and rapid assimilation, it's a natural energy supplement, whether alone or added to a protein-type supplement drink," says Gloria Gilbère, doctor of natural health.

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5. Prune juice:
With sugar and cream stirred in, coffee is one enticing morning treat. But next time you reach for your thermos, fill it with prune juice! The thick, crisp juice helps regulate the proper level of electrolytes in your body, which in turn leads to increased stamina, according to Staci Nix, author of Williams' Basic Nutrition and Diet Therapy. If the flavor of prune juice is overpowering, try diluting it with water or apple juice for a thinner blend.

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