Coffee Alternatives: Healthy Drinks To Start Your Day With

First off, there is usually nothing wrong with drinking coffee in the morning. But for a number of reasons, some of us may want to avoid the beverage first thing in the morning.

Maybe you want to get rid of your caffeine dependence. Or maybe you have a medical condition that requires you to reduce your coffee intake. Whatever the reason may be, you are fortunately not short of options when considering alternatives.

According to dietitians, here are four healthful beverages you can include in your morning routine instead:

1. Green tea

According to various studies, this kind of tea could provide relief against allergies, promote better eyesight, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of tooth decay among other health benefits.

Brigitte Zeitlin, a registered dietitian and owner of BZ Nutrition, notes that tea contains less caffeine and more antioxidants when compared to coffee. So aside from the health benefits, you don't have to worry about building a dependence on tea since you are less likely to experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms like headaches or disrupted sleep patterns.

2. Kefir

If you face problems such as bloating or irregular bowel movements, this may be the drink for you. Kefir is a fermented milk drink, cultured from kefir grains. It is believed to boost digestive health as the drink is rich in probiotics.

"I tell people that are eating yogurt for probiotics to make the switch to kefir," said Dawn Jackson-Blatner, a registered dietitian based in Chicago. "Kefir has more types of actual bacteria and a higher amount of good bacteria than yogurt."

3. Lemon water

When life gives you lemons, use them to create the perfect morning coffee substitute. Autumn Bates, a certified clinical nutritionist, says that a glass first thing in the morning is the best way to replenish the water your body loses overnight.

She also explains just how to do it — add at least half a lemon to eight to 10 ounces of water, warm in temperature. This ensures that you get the adequate amount of vitamin C and polyphenols to give your immune system a boost and improve your skin health.

4. Smoothie

While perfectly capable of being a healthful beverage choice, it largely depends on how you prepare the smoothie. For one, avoid using too many fruits as they could increase blood sugar levels. Instead, limit yourself to one fruit per smoothie and use more green vegetables instead. Spinach, beet greens, kale, and collard greens are a few options to consider.

Dietitians also recommend including a good quality protein in your smoothie. This could be yogurt, low-fat dairy milk, or protein powder for those who follow a vegan diet. Healthy fats like avocado are also helpful in providing a feeling of satiety to start the day with.