I love coffee. In fact it’s one of my favorite indulgences. The aroma, the taste, the buzz; I’m a coffee addict. Recently, however, I’ve felt the ill-effects of caffeine on my mind and body. For me, each day is an opportunity to get as much work done as possible. And for years I’ve turned to coffee as my source of energy. The past year it’s started to catch up with me. Crankiness, crashes, anxiety, jitteriness and even aggression. Was it stress or was it the four cups of double espresso a day? For two weeks I quit coffee and drank two cups of moringa tea per day. The results were inspiring.
After the initial two days of caffeine withdrawal (headaches), I began to experience a sense of sustained vitality. There were no more peaks and valleys. I was calm, collected and focused (I used to attempt, usually unsuccessfully, to perform 3-4 tasks simultaneously). Things got done but without all the angst, and my morning commute no longer turned me into a furrowed-browed grump.
One could attribute this to the simple absence of caffeine. One thing I know is that I’ve quit coffee before, and felt terrible for a week. By substituting java with moringa tea, my suffering was minimized. The energy and mental clarity were there, but in a sustained supply. My fuel supply went from crude oil to ethanol.
I’m back on coffee now. One cup at about 10 AM. I also drink two cups of moringa tea. One upon waking and one mid-afternoon. I’ve found a balance that works for me and I have all the energy I need.
Here are 6 reasons to try moringa tea in place of your morning joe:
1. Moringa contains a whole lot more antioxidants than coffee
Antioxidant has been a buzzword for a while now. But what exactly are antioxidants? These compounds actively hunt and destroy free radicals in the body. Free radicals create cellular damage which leads to inflammation, ageing and diseases like cancer. Lab tests have shown moringa leaves contain a higher Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (or ORAC value score) than any other food. The ORAC value is the standard measurement of antioxidant levels in foods developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Moringa scores a whopping 157,000, while matcha green tea comes in at 134,000 and acai berries at 102,700. Coffee measures a measly 17,000.
2. Moringa tea is naturally caffeine-free
While caffeine gives you that focus and alertness you want, it also gives you a mean crash. This means you end up in a vicious cycle of highs and lows, with another cup of java being your solution. Coffee is also a diuretic, meaning it causes increased urine production, which in turn dries you out and flushes your system of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Being caffeine-free, moringa tea is both nourishing and hydrating simultaneously. Moringa is actually not tea at all, but rather a tisane. Tisanes have been used by ancient cultures for centuries for their restorative and healing properties.
3. Coffee is acidic
This one is obvious. Anyone who drinks coffee black can attest to its acidity. Drinking coffee can lead to stomach irritation, heart burn and imbalances in your digestive flora. Body chemistry is a delicate thing and too much acidity leads to disease. Alkaline foods, on the other hand, promote health. Moringa is strong in alkalizing compounds like chlorophyll.
4. Your body needs time to wake up naturally
Downing a cup of coffee upon waking is a ritual worldwide. 54% of Americans over 18 drink coffee daily. Unfortunately it’s a terrible habit. After a night of sleep your body is in desperate need of hydration. And as mentioned earlier, coffee has the opposite effect. Caffeine is also a vasoconstrictor, which decreases blood flow and increases blood pressure and heart rate. Less blood to the brain is a bad thing when you’re trying to wake up. Additionally, jolting yourself awake with a surge of caffeine is literally a shock to your body. You’re much better off going outside for fresh air and sunshine with a glass of water or non-caffeinated tea.
5. Your sleeping habits and mood will improve
Have you ever lay awake in bed at night, unable to sleep because of that afternoon coffee you had? I have, many times. It’s frustrating and exhausting. Sleep is incredibly important due to its restorative benefits. It is one of the key elements to living a healthy, happy life. Cut out the caffeine and the quality of your sleep will improve. Caffeine can also cause anxiety and even anger, as it did in my case. No one cares how productive you are if you’re a raging jerk. Slow and steady wins the race.
6. You are stronger than your (bad) habits
We could add addictions to the above line. Caffeine is without a doubt a drug, with likely billions of users worldwide. We are not slaves to our habits, though. If you experience adverse effects from coffee, then you need to know that you have the power to quit caffeine. There are many other ways to boost energy and mental focus, including: exercise, meditation, fruits and teas like moringa.
For me, being able to have control over my coffee habit gave me a boost in confidence and energy. I was able to set a goal, achieve it and feel great both physically and emotionally.
Try it for a week or two and see what happens. What've you got to lose?