As a pelvic floor therapist, I spend time talking about the importance of being hydrated. Water influences not only elimination (both urination and defecation) but also helps other vital body functions such as transportation of nutrients in the body. We are composed of approximately 70 percent of water and nearly every aspect of our body's function calls for it.
As a mom of two kids under age 3, I love my fair share of coffee. However, when I find myself grabbing java excessively, I notice I drink less hydrating beverages throughout the day. Coffee seems to be my go-to beverage for the majority of the morning, and then becomes my excuse for that need for an “afternoon pick-me-up.” Pretty soon, I notice that I hardly drank any water and its dinner time. Think I have any time to drink any water at that “magical hour” for toddlers?!
One of the biggest problems for people (such as myself) who drink high volumes of coffee is that we eventually replace water as the daily form of hydration, as I’ve described above. And coffee is a diuretic. So excessive amounts of coffee can actually negatively influence the water balance in the body.
I’ve compiled a list of my favorite caffeine alternatives below. Especially in the winter, having a warm beverage is soothing so I’ve tried to focus on warm drinks. An added plus is that a warm beverage in the morning can help elicit your gastro-colic reflex, which basically means it encourages you to poop in the morning, as our bodies naturally want to do.
Drink up! Here’s my list:
- Warm lemon water
I know, I know, this is not anything like coffee. But There are so many studies that tout the benefits of lemon water. It’s high in vitamin C, postassium and aids digestion. Read more here.
2. Teeccino Herbal Coffee, Mediterranean Java, Caffeine-Free
This tasty beverage is sweetened from dates and figs. It’s rich in inulin, a soluble fiber in chicory root that helps improve digestion and elimination plus increases the absorption of calcium and minerals.
3. Peppermint Tea
One of my personal favorite caffeine replacements. It has no caffeine but peppermint tea has an invigorating energy to it that is perhaps more subtle, but very soothing.
Peppermint tea is a powerful digestive aid, especially for bloating and stomach gas.
4. Chicory Root Coffee
This is an herbal coffee substitute that tastes like real coffee with no caffeine. Brews like coffee, drinks like coffee, without the edge and side effects of caffeine. It has roasted barley, chicory root, and rye.
5. Cashew Milk
Soak 1 handful of raw cashew nuts overnight (or for a few hours) and rinse them carefully. Infuse about a mug of boiling water with your milk (dairy, almond, soy). Blend your cashews, your milk of choice and a pinch of cinnamon.