5 Alternatives to Coffee
- July 23, 2018
- Shane Hurlbut, ASC
Coffee Rocks! I started drinking it in college as a nursing student when I had to be at the hospital by 6:00 am and have enjoyed it ever since, except when I was pregnant. A cup of coffee in the morning is routine not only for me, but for many filmmakers, especially those with early call times or pulling all nighters editing. It helps you wake up, has a great aroma while brewing and brings people together. There are many brands of coffee beans and different protocols in the roasting process, so the sourcing of coffee absolutely matters to avoid chemicals and pesticides. Be aware of what you choose and find out if there are additives or nasty pesticides that can harm your body. Shane and I have a number of friends who choose to source and roast their own beans.
However, caffeine is controversial and considered by many a “drug” with addictive tendencies. There are health benefits and risks associated with drinking coffee. How do you know when it is harmful? What is considered to be too much? What alternatives are there if you want to avoid coffee altogether.
Coffee helps with memory, mood, energy, focus, and concentration. It contains several important nutrients, including Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium and Niacin. Dr. Donald Hensrud, at the Mayo Clinic writes that there may be health benefits associated with drinking coffee. Decreased risk from dying of heart disease (except young adults who drink large amounts), protection against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, decreased incidence of type 2 diabetes and lower liver and colorectal cancer rates. Coffee can lower the risk of depression and improve brain function overall.
The negative risks seem to happen at more than 2 cups per day. You can get jittery with drinking too much coffee, which is not great for operating a camera. It also can increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach which may result in gas, bloating and eventually diverticulitis if constantly taken on an empty stomach. Coffee can cause irritable bowel issues, heartburn and acid reflux. Again, problematic on set with limited time and access to restrooms. Drinking unfiltered coffee like espresso, could increase cholesterol levels. The darker the roast at high temperatures has the ability to produce more potentially cancer causing substance, Acrylamide. There is also a genetic mutation that slows down the breakdown of caffeine in the body that could then put you at risk for heart disease. How quickly you metabolize it increases your health risk.
If you are trying to drink less coffee or not to rely on any substance, here are some healthy alternatives. Everything is a choice with certain benefits. Please weigh whichever option works best for you and consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions before trying anything new.
Mushroom Coffee Mix with Lion’s Mane & Chaga
Imagine 100% organic Arabica coffee mixed with mushrooms that does not taste like mushrooms! Packaged as tea bags, for easy to travel and can be used anywhere. It has immunity support, focus and energy from the mushrooms. 50 mg of caffeine per tea bag. https://bit.ly/2yNab5B
Dandy Blend – Instant Herbal Beverage with Dandelions.
Dandy Blend is made of 5 ingredients — extracts of barley, rye, dandelion, chicory and beet roots. There is no Caffeine. One box has 25 single serving packets. It is ideal for travel, affordable and versatile. It tastes like slightly sweetened coffee from the chicory root. It is also a source for minerals.
Jiaogulan Tea and Raw Protein Powder as a base for Elixirs. These are a little more involved to make, so not a great option if you are busy and traveling. Different herbs mixed in to the tea and protein supports different body systems.
My personal favorite is Yogi brand Green Tea Super Antioxidant to reduce free radicals. It is a blend of green tea, grapeseed and amla extracts as the antioxidants with lemongrass, licorice root, alfalfa, burdock root, dandelion and Jasmine tea to add a bit of sweetness. The ingredients are carefully sourced and drinking the tea makes me feel so great about my commitment to my personal health.
Get it on Amazon HERE: https://amzn.to/2uOuv1m
A great way to boost your energy level and just feel great for the day by starting off with this supplement. The quality of ingredients without refined sugars or caffeine. The focus of this vitamin, nutrient and mineral supplement is improving your gut health and simplifying by taking just one thing. This is one more item in your arsenal to remain healthy and avoid getting sick.
Whatever your choice in terms of caffeine or healthy alternatives, it is important to pay attention to subtle signals your body is giving about what is working. Increased energy, stable blood sugar without cravings, lack of bloating or stomach pain, a calm nervous system are all positive signals that you are on the right path. Finding the right mix for your personal biochemistry means testing and trying a variety of new things. Please let us know what you like and is working for your body!