Is coffee friend or foe? According to the headlines regularly splashing across wellness sites, the pendulum seems to swing with some frequency. On one hand, a growing body of research shows a wide-ranging host of potential health benefits associated with the drink, including lower risks of cardiovascular disease and cirrhosis. On the other, there’s talk in alternative-medicine circles that a cup (or two or three) can stress out your adrenals and shift sleep patterns.
There’s an empty cold brew—delicious, gone too soon—next to this coffee drinker as I type, and yet even I can recall fruitful breaks from the habit; a few days after the fog subsided, I remember waking up clearer-headed and more even-keeled, the sine curve of energy spikes and dips noticeably smoother. Flirting with the idea of another break, I cast around for inspiration and asked a group of herbalists, wellness gurus, and chefs for their favorite alternatives. Between an almond milk smoothie fortified with skin-boosting probiotics and a bottled tonic spiked with fulvic acid and adaptogenic herbs, here are seven new ways to jump-start the morning, one for every day of the week, from a few of our favorite experts.
1. Lulu Luchaire
Cofounder of Torii Labs, Los Angeles
The drink: A full glass of water to rehydrate, followed by Torii Awake—her line’s bottled tonic, formulated with fulvic acid, organic goji and ginger juices, and adaptogenic herbs (rhodiola, eleuthero, and schisandra).
The how-to: “I take it out of the fridge, give it a good shake, and drink it straight from the bottle; I feel like the gesture is associated in my brain with that morning kick we are all looking for,” says Luchaire. While the tonic “helps me start my day energized and focused,” she explains that it also makes a nice substitute during another type of break. “Sometimes when I do my dry month, I have a Torii Awake in a whiskey glass with a big ice cube. It is the best alternative to alcohol and has a real punch to it and little sugar content.”