Few morning brews match coffee's punch. But if you are hoping to ease up on the jitters, Jody Villecco, Whole Foods Market nutritionist, gives the scoop on three alternatives:
HERBAL COFFEE (such as Teeccino)
MAIN INGREDIENT: Chicory root.
BUZZ EFFECT: No caffeine—but fans insist it gives a "natural" alertness.
FLAVOR FACTOR: Tastes like classic joe, but slightly sweet and smoky.
HEALTH BOOST: Chicory's got inulin (a digestive aid) and heart-friendly potassium.
YERBA MATE (such as Guayaki)
MAIN INGREDIENT: South American holly tree leaves.
BUZZ EFFECT: Less than half the caffeine of coffee.
FLAVOR FACTOR: Evocative of herbal medicine.
HEALTH BOOST: Antioxidant levels akin to green tea, plus potassium.
MATCHA (such as Morning Matcha)
MAIN INGREDIENT: Green-tea leaves ground into powder.
BUZZ EFFECT: Half as much caffeine as regular coffee.
FLAVOR FACTOR: Similar to steeped green tea, but kicked up several zillion notches.
HEALTH BOOST: Three times the antioxidants of the bagged variety, which means extra protection from cancer and heart disease.
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