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Healthy Drinks to Help You Quit Coffee

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You made the decision: You're ready to quit coffee! Maybe the caffeine has become too much, or coffee upsets your stomach, or you're worried that it's stressing your adrenal glands, or you're just on a detox that asks you to give up coffee.

So now, you have a big commitment to follow through on.

But what do you drink? How can you find something that gets you going and starts your day off right?

There are a number of good replacements for coffee; it is easiest to separate them into those with caffeine and those without.

With Caffeine

If you still want some caffeine with your morning -- though less than coffee -- tea is a perfect alternative. Darker teas, including black teas such as Russian Caravan, Lapsang Souchong, or Yunnan black tea are bold, heavy, even smoky teas that have a kick to them somewhat similar to coffee. They maintain their strength even when adding milk and sugar (if that's how you normally like your coffee). Another dark tea to look for is ripe pu-erh, which will have an earthy, complex, almost roasted flavor that approaches that of coffee. Any of these can be served cold or hot.

For a strong dose of a caffeine that tastes nothing like coffee, check out Yerba Mate, the South American version of "tea." Mate (for short) contains stimulants beyond caffeine that you may find help get you up and focused even better than coffee. Mate can have a bit of a grassy flavor, so it might take some getting used to.

Without Caffeine

If your reason for moving away from coffee is to quit caffeine altogether, there are a few alternatives for you. Roasted chicory root "coffee" is said to be the most authentic tasting coffee alternative and is readily available in health food stores.

For a hot morning drink, herbal infusions such as mint or ginger with lemon and honey, can feel invigorating, but are free of stimulants.

If you really liked your coffee for the creaminess, start by heating milk of your choice (almond, coconut, regular, etc.) in a pot on the stove. Add spices such as cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, and ginger, letting those gently simmer for a few minutes to infuse their flavors in the milk.

When quitting coffee, keep in mind your goals and why you're switching -- it'll help make the transition easier. You might have to try a few drinks to find which you like and which most satisfyingly replaces coffee for you.

But, in doing so, you might discover something you like more than a cuppa Joe and that makes you feel even better.