Caffeine is in coffee, tea, and other foods. It is stimulating and elevates mood. But it also has a lot of ill effects. How do counteract these effects? What caffeine substitutes can one use?
Caffeine and foods and drinks
Caffeine is an ingredient found in many plants such as coffee beans, tea leaves, soda, and also cocoa beans. It is part of drinks and also of certain other foods and drugs.
Its addition increases the flavor of foods and provides medicines with a stimulating effect. The latter is to counteract the effect of sleepiness that certain anti-cough drugs and antihistamine medicines produce.
The caffeinated drinks refresh us and give us energy instantly. They elevate our moods and improve our concentration. Our sleepiness runs away and we get ready for more work.
But moderate amounts of caffeine of around 300 to 400 mg are okay. But this limit varies according to age, weight, caffeine habit, and health of the drinker.
Excess can give us problems in the form of headaches, anxiety, panic attacks, lack of focus, insomnia, tremors, increased heart rate, and blood pressure rise. It can decrease iron absorption and chronic use can cause anemia.
Therefore, many people are switching to healthy coffee substitutes. Which are these drinks that do not harm? The non-caffeinated drink to replace coffee are chicory root coffee.
In this, the chicory root can be roasted ground and brewed to produce a healthy drink. The smell and taste are like coffee. Additionally, it has soluble fiber inulin.
This can help in digestion and promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria. This also improves bowel movement and prevents high blood sugar spikes.
Alternatively, one can opt for rooibos tea or red tea. It comes as loose tea or in tea bags. It has no caffeine or tannin and tastes good.
Alternatives to soda and chocolates
Soda has caffeine in it and so do chocolates. In its place, choose fruits and vegetable smoothies. A dash of lemon juice provides it with the zing.
If you cannot give up soda, go for fruit juice with soda and lemon juice. This refreshes and also tastes good and is healthy. It causes no weight gain. Apple, grape, cranberry, and raspberry juices are great.
Chocolates have caffeine and sugar. Both are bad for overweight people and diabetics. Instead of snacking on them prefer Carob. This is derived from fruit pods of the Carob tree.
It is sweet and its texture is similar to chocolate. This also helps in gut health and digestion. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory actions. It is rich in antioxidants, and the minerals and pinitol in it provide an energy feeling.
Read more: What is caffeine addiction? How do overcome it?
Nuts are good in place of chocolates because they have no caffeine. But they contain healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Their protein content gives a feeling of fullness and aids weight management.