10 alternatives to coffee when you want to reduce caffeine (but keep energy)

To the eye, the alternatives to coffee can deceive with their intense brown color. On tasting, they will not deceive espresso lovers, but will surprise them favorably, with their malty notes and pleasant taste. Coffee substitutes also have the advantage of sipping at any time of the day. Discover the benefits of these caffeine-free alternatives.

Of course, coffee gives you the energy and allows you to benefit from certain health benefits, but it also has its counterparts: heartburn, acid reflux, palpitations (among others). However, we often hesitate to do without coffee because we never imagine that another drink can cause the same effects. For example, giving us energy.

On the same subject

“Coffee is a bit like cheese in France. It’s part of our heritage! If we want to stop it, it’s often linked to minor health problems, sometimes more rarely for a fashion effect” underlines Hélène Comlan, naturopath in Montpellier. In case of pregnancy, hypertension, heart problems or recurrent insomnia, one is obliged to do without it. But don’t panic… There are many equally tasty alternatives that can also give you a boost. “The small problem for real coffee lovers is at the level of taste. It will often be difficult to find the same power. But we can get closer. Afterwards, it is quite possible to get used to it and get to a de-addiction as in all addictions” adds the specialist.

Goal: less caffeine

“Coffee is a stimulant that people take when they are tired, but which ends up exhausting the body” emphasizes Dr. Chevallier, nutritionist. “Caffeine is not a pick-me-up. It speeds up the heart rate, tires the heart, can cause sleep disturbances depending on the degree of consumption for non-decaffeinated coffees. Drinking in large quantities, coffee also prevents proper assimilation iron by the body. It can thus cause anemia, which will itself lead to fatigue… A vicious circle.”

The solution, if we tend to overuse the coffee maker? Gradually reduce its consumption by replacing certain cups of coffee of the day with substitutes, such as chicory.

VSare caffeine-free substitutes? Obtained by roasting cereals (barley, wheat, spelled…), fruit (fig, acorn, chestnut…), root (chicory, dandelion…) or kernels (date, cherry… ), these substitutes are naturally caffeine free. They can thus be consumed at any time of the day. These comforting drinks, sources of fiber (especially those offered in the form of soluble powder) and minerals (iron, phosphorus, magnesium, etc.), can also help “addicts” to reduce their consumption of coffee, which is sometimes responsible for irritation. gastric or arterial hypertension.

Substitutes often grown in France

While coffee beans travel several thousand kilometers before ending up in our cups, substitutes promote local cultures. In the past, these “coffees” were commonly “home-made”, with dandelion roots from the garden, cherry pits…roasted on the stove, crushed and then infused.

Today, most ersatz coffees marketed in France are made from ingredients grown in France (chicory in the North, barley in Brittany, etc.) or from our European neighbours. Their taste varies according to the roasting method, the dosage and the method of preparation. (soluble powder, seeds to infuse or grind for percolator). Sometimes you have to test a few references before finding the one that best suits your palate. Several brands offer original blends: Cereccino d’Aromandise (wheat, barley, fig, acorn), Nectador de Favrichon (with chicory in addition), Yannoh de Lima (wheat, barley, rye, chicory, chickpea), etc. . Something to vary the pleasures, from sunrise to sunset.

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Some varieties of chicory are grown for their leaves, eaten in salads. Others, for their roots, used in herbal medicine or roasted, to be consumed as an ersatz coffee. Roasting reduces their natural bitterness and develops caramel notes. Chicory is sold in the form of a soluble powder (Abbaye de Sept-Fons, Favrichon, etc.) to be dissolved directly in a hot liquid (water, milk or vegetable drink), tea bags (Aromandise, etc.) or flakes. to infuse (Lima…).

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spelled coffee
Its light malty taste is reminiscent of a long coffee. It is obtained by roasting spelled seeds and is mainly found in organic stores (Hildegarde de Bingen, Mount Hagen brands, etc.), in the form of an instant powder, to be dissolved in a hot liquid. Like barley coffee, this cereal-based substitute contains gluten. Do not consume in case of intolerance.

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lupine coffee
You may be familiar with the seeds – round and yellow – of sweet lupine, to peck as an aperitif… Slowly roasted, the seeds of this plant grown locally (in the Rhine plain, in particular) make it possible to obtain a substitute round and mellow coffee. Still little distributed, this bluffing ersatz can be bought mainly on the Internet (Artzenco…). Since lupine is a food allergen, it is advisable to ensure beforehand that it is well tolerated.

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The chai
The chaï contains a blend of spices with multiple virtues: green cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and black pepper. This drink was introduced in India. Spices are infused with sugar in boiling milk. Strong in taste, it does not contain theine and is as effective a tonic as coffee.

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Yerba mate
Originally from South America, this infusion is prepared with yerba mate leaves, an Amazonian plant similar to holly. This drink rich in antioxidants and vitamins is perfect for staying active. It can be drunk cold or hot. Yerba mate contains less than 1% caffeine.

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It comes from bushes that grow in South Africa. Rooibos has many benefits for sleep, skin and intestinal disorders. Rich in antioxidants, it helps fight against free radicals, the source of premature aging of cells. It is perfect in case of stress or fatigue because it remineralizes the body.

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Dried matcha leaves are ground into a powder to make tea. This green powder contains some caffeine and L-theanine, an amino acid. It can be mixed with hot water or milk. Matcha provides a multitude of health benefits. It helps concentration and brings calm and energy. It helps to slow the onset of degenerative diseases. It is also rich in anti-oxidants so helps fight against free radicals, the source of premature cell aging

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In infusion, it is an interesting tonic provided you choose a quality plant (which is not always the case) organic. And also to favor the root. In these cases, we benefit from its energizing effect similar to that of coffee.

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How about herbal teas?
Switching from coffee to herbal teas may seem impossible. But most often, it’s because we haven’t found the one that suits us as well in terms of taste. And also because it retains a somewhat outdated image. Sometimes it is enough to test mixtures to appreciate the flavors. Mint, verbena, lime blossom, but also ginger, cinnamon, cloves or lemon, etc. The choice is vast. Do not hesitate to test and possibly seek advice from a herbalist.

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