As a physician, it is my job to steer people in the right direction to get them on a better path to being healthy and happy. In my articles Surprising Reasons You Should Cut Back on Coffee and 10 Reasons You Should Never Drink Soda, I discussed how these beverages can be damaging for your health. I know that we, as Americans, are very dependent on caffeine and sugar to give us a boost of energy, but unfortunately, there are a lot of bad consequences to that. Coffee is highly acidic and depletes the body of essential nutrients while also lowering the threshold of the immune system. In addition, it has negative cardiovascular side effects like increased blood pressure and palpitations. Sugar is essentially guilty of the same thing. If you are relying on caffeine and sugar to define your day, then there are concerns that I have as a physician.
Beyond Coffee: 14 Healthy Drinks to Get Your Morning Started (Slideshow)
People should not be addicted to caffeine and sugar. These dependencies signal to me, as a physician, other potential health concerns which may need to be examined, such as hormone, dietary, sleep, exercise, or neurotransmitter problems.
There are healthier alternatives to drinking coffee, energy drinks, or soda, especially if you want to have naturally sustainable energy throughout the day instead of a high that perks you up but makes you crash in the afternoon. When sugar levels are stable, then you can avoid these periods of highs and lows and be more even-keeled in the way you feel mentally and physically.
What your mom said was right: breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. After a period of slumber and lack of food, the body needs fuel, but not just any calories will do the trick: a cup of coffee and a doughnut will set you up for failure later in the day.
So before heading out to grab your cup of joe (sorry Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts), I have compiled a list of much healthier alternatives to get your day going positively.
For healthiness, you can throw a small handful of flax powder, chia seeds, hemp seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, or ginger into most of the drinks you see below. Switch your coffee out and you’re on your way to creating a healthier and happier version of your existence!
Dr. Deepa Verma of Synergistiq Integrative Health believes that healthy and holistic living is the key to happiness and aging gracefully. Follow her on Twitter @DrDeepaVerma and subscribe to her Youtube Channel.
This post was originally published on May 8, 2014.