Coffee computer keyboard Notebook on wooden table
Health and Lifestyle

Coffee alternatives to banish your mid-afternoon slump

We joke about 3.30-itis, but that doesn’t make the period any less significant or real. We’ve all felt the effects a few hours post-lunch: the yawns set in. Our eyes start to droop; eyelids close without any instruction. Welcome to the too-often unproductive hours of the mid-afternoon.

Likely, many of us reach for another mug of coffee to reinvigorate for the remainder of the day. We turn to caffeine to boost our concentration levels and motivate us once again. Information varies on the subject, but most health experts recommend pausing the coffee intake by around 2 pm or 3 pm to prevent any sleep disturbances. Besides that, the hard-hitting caffeine (not to mention the extra milk) can cause jitters, a racing heart, stomach troubles or headaches. So here are some reviving alternatives to have in your arsenal instead.

Try a colourful coffee alternative

Matcha Latte

Golden Milk is a delicious and healthy combination of anti-inflammatory ingredients. Turmeric, cinnamon, pepper, ginger and a milk base (ideally nut or oat) promise to lift the soul and keep you going for longer. So grab a mug, purchase a pre-made mix or, even better, create your own to heat over the stovetop. Add your milk of choice and a little coconut oil, then sip the afternoon away – wide-eyed.

Matcha is another vibrant option, reflecting a deep green hue. Matcha itself is higher in caffeine than regular green tea but generally contains less than a cup of coffee. The powder derives from the whole leaf of Camellia sinensis, so it offers a concentrated dose of antioxidants, along with a much-needed mind revival. Many recommend this as an excellent alternative to a second coffee as matcha contains L-theanine – an amino acid that relaxes the mind without causing drowsiness. Receive a burst of energy without the uncomfortable jitters.

Turn to tea

Various types of tea

Tea might not have the “cool kid” attitude of coffee, but there are myriad benefits to reap with so many options available.

Peppermint tea is a wonderful caffeine-free option for those steering clear of caffeine altogether. Reportedly, it supports brain oxygen concentration to increase alertness. It also assists in soothing any head- or stomachache symptoms. Go for loose-leaf, bags, or simply pick a few leaves from the garden and steep in hot water for a beautifully fresh brew.

On the other hand, chai does contain caffeine, however, in much lower quantities than coffee. The aromatic mix of spices will help energise, increase mental alertness and also support blood sugar levels. Similarly, green tea contains caffeine but comes with great health and mind-boosting benefits. Research states that consuming the beverage regularly helps reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease and the likelihood of certain cancers.

Indulge in herbal coffee

coffee with turneric

Reap the flavourful benefits of coffee without the ensuing tremors and insomnia. Herbal coffee, otherwise known as chicory coffee, is made from chicory root and other natural ingredients. The beverage can be brewed just like regular coffee, whether in a press or espresso machine and many claim it tastes astonishingly similar.

Mushroom coffee is the new kid on the block and promises to offer a cleaner, long-lasting energy source. Typically, a mug of mushroom coffee contains half the caffeine, suitable for morning and afternoon consumption. With Chaga, Lions Mane, or Cordyceps mushrooms, the drink boosts brain function, improves focus and assists memory function. Consume like coffee, add to a smoothie,  or stir in water.

If you’re after something you can munch on

various types of nuts

Sometimes we need more than a beverage to keep us going. Sugar-laden treats only lead to short bursts of energy (followed by even greater slumps), so opt for an enduring option instead.

A handful of nuts will keep you feeling full and energised due to their nutrient-dense nature. If you’re after something sweeter, berries are a great source of healthy energy. They will pick you up and satisfy afternoon cravings. Similarly, apples offer a natural boost of slow-releasing sugars, avoiding the rollercoaster of alert peaks and weary troughs. Protein balls are a great mix of natural sugars and nuts – all it takes are a few mouthfuls for the stamina to pick back up.

Afternoon slumps are a thing of the past with these coffee substitutes. Perk up, and rest well at night too.

Hannah Cole is a freelance writer and digital marketer based on the NSW South Coast. With interest in fashion, sustainability, health and beauty, Hannah has produced content for a wide range of clients and publications. In her spare time, she likes to reset in the kitchen with nourishing meals and unashamedly catch up on reality TV with her rescue greyhound.

Leave a Reply