“How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?”

is the ultimate icebreaking question that most, if not all, people can bond over or argue about.

Coffee acts as the forefront ingredient to productivity and focus, and it’s tough for coffee enthusiasts to give up their favorite beverage for anything less efficient.

While moderate consumption of coffee is almost harmless, let’s be honest: how moderate can we be when statements like “I haven’t had my coffee yet” are reason enough to stay out of someone’s way for an hour or two?

Read on and discover why coffee is not the real answer.

When it comes to coffee:

  • Go moderate

The healthy caffeine intake is estimated at 400 milligrams, an equivalent to four 250 ml cups of coffee for a healthy adult. Take into account that this number changes according to your coffee sensitivity/tolerance and that we often consume other drinks containing caffeine as well.

To avoid any confusion, here’s what a 250 ml (8 oz) cup looks like:

  • Or give it up

If you can separate your self-imposed ideas about quitting and failure from one another, it’s your lucky day because your coffee habit is the place where quitting is actually a sought-after status.

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Whether you want to quit your coffee habit completely, only limit it to a smaller dosage, or have something to drink when your 4 cups are long gone, here are 7 healthy alternatives that will prove to you that coffee is not the real answer:

Lemon water

Sometimes you will find that it’s the simple things that will stimulate your senses. What you might not know is that even mild dehydration can affect energy level, mood, and ability to think clearly. So next time when you think you’re low on caffeine, try a cold or even a warm cup of lemon water instead.

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Need an extra push?

Banana smoothie

If you couple it with nondairy milk such as almond milk or coconut milk, a banana smoothie can act as a delicious coffee substitute. Rich with healthy carbohydrates, bananas help your body produce more energy. They also contain a lot of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6 that improve mood and boost brain activity.

Need an extra push?

Green smoothies

Claiming to be the world’s healthiest drink and the secret sauce to prolonged natural energy, green smoothies are naturally dairy-free, using creamy fruits such as bananas, mangos, and papayas as a base. This allows for getting the taste and benefits of the greens as well as the flavor in all your favorite fruits. One fact that makes this choice even more interesting is this: they don’t need to taste green.

Need an extra push?

Green tea

If you’re not ready to cut off caffeine altogether, a 250 ml cup of green tea contains only 30-40 mg of caffeine. This amount will give you a boost without any of coffee’s foul jitters and other side effects.

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Need an extra push?

Hot apple cider

I know that by giving up coffee you think you’re giving up on the best cozy ritual for winter. A sweet hot alternative such as this one is mainly on this list to not deny you this feeling. The smell and tanginess of apples and cinnamon mixed together will be enough to stimulate your senses and wake you up.

Need an extra push?

  • Apple cider counts as your apple a day but in liquid form, since apples barely lose any of their nutrient value when brewed.
  • It tastes delicious.

Wheatgrass juice

This one is basically your green alternative to an espresso shot. By drinking wheatgrass juice, you will get an increased feeling of energy and endurance. Also, you will experience an overall sense of well-being. This can be traced back to it being the best sources for chlorophyll, the first product of sunlight, which in turn contains more “light energy” than any other food element.

Need an extra push?

Yerba tea

Known for being popular amongst brain hackers seeking to optimize their mental performance, this drink is definitely worth a try. Yerba tea will give you a smooth increase in energy levels resulting in the same coffee buzz, with none of the caffeine crash afterward, and it’s full of nutrients.

Need an extra push?

It’s all about tolerance and dependency. If your body was able to adapt to 400 mg+ of coffee, your body could adjust to having less of it and still function at a high level. And if you can find the same caffeine perks, delicious tastes, and higher nutritional value, why are you still holding on to your coffee mug so tightly?

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