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7 alternatives to coffee that will give you a mental break without the post-caffeine jitters.

There are many reasons why you might want to take a break from coffee, or even give it up all together.

Maybe you’re finding your 3pm coffee kick disruptive to your sleeping schedule, or perhaps you’re just overly sensitive to caffeine, and find the buzz not conducive to productive work.

Or maybe you’ve come to realise that you’re just a bit too addicted to your coffee hit and find yourself with a pounding headache if you go without for more than a few hours.

Either way, well done – the first step is acknowledging the problem.

If you’re in that tricky in-between period where you’re trying to quit, but haven’t quite managed to, perhaps try one of these coffee-alternatives, with some lighter, more gently-caffeinated options thrown in as well.

A less rattly, frantic mind awaits you.

Now that you’ve actively decided to give up drinking coffee we have great news, you can now put it up your bum a la Gwyneth Paltrow. The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss. Post continues after audio.

1. A protein shake.

Whether you need something extra to get you through between meals, or want a nutrient boost before or after a workout, a protein shake is perfect for those times when you need a bit more sustenance.

While they’re more filling to drink, protein is essential in helping with stabilising your blood sugar levels, increasing concentration, maintaining energy levels and supporting your body with absorbing the nutrients you eat from other foods.

With so many flavours and formulations found in the supplement section of your supermarket or chemist, you can sample away to your heart’s content until you find an option you’ll gladly guzzle.

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2. Kombucha

All the probiotics you could ever want to keep your gut healthy and happy. The antioxidant-rich drink is filled with good bacteria that is said to improve digestion and reduce inflammation. That being said, you don't need to go out and buy a SCOBY off Ebay and start brewing kombucha in your kitchen, with a range of flavours on the market there'll be something pre-made that you like.

It's also great if you're gradually withdrawing from a multi-cup daily coffee habit; because kombucha is generally made from black tea there is leftover caffeine, just much less than what's in your cafe staple.

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3. Matcha

You've probably seen it on the menu at all the hip cafes, the Shrek-green tea is the health drink de jour.

While it's an acquired taste... one could describe it as 'earthy,' it's souped up with antioxidants - 137 times the amount in regular green tea, and is said to be metabolism-boosting, as well as containing the catechin EBCg which is said have cancer and free radical fighting properties.

It's also rich in fibre, chlorophyll, Vitamin C, selenium, chromium and zinc, and is about as super as a super food can get.

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4. Coconut water

For a while there in the wellness scape, coconut water was touted as the do-all miracle hydrator that everybody was guzzling.

The good news is that as delicious as this elixir is, it's also full of electrolytes that help hydrate the body, and a cup (240mL) of the stuff contains 15 per cent of your recommended daily intake of your magnesium, and 17 per cent of your RDI for manganese and potassium.

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5. Fancy spa water

It doesn't matter if you're typing away at work or fighting off the 3pm slump at home, you can make your day a little fancier with a jug of spa water... just like the kind you see on TV shows, films and your Instagram feeds.

Cucumber and water is a classic, but citrus fruits and berries are great if you like some flavour in your water. If you want to inject some extra Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fibre into your diet, or stave off raiding the snack drawer, add a couple of tablespoons of the seeds to a glass of water and sip away.

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6. A hot cup of tea...

A soothing option.

Green and black tea also contain antioxidants, however if you're avoiding caffeine altogether, stick to a herbal alternative.

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7. Yerba Mate

Commonly sipped on in South America and Uruguay, yerba mate is slowly making its way into the Western consciousness. It's made out of dried leaves from a 'holly tree' native to South America and is said to give the drinker a more alert and "balanced energy boost," compared to coffee and other caffeinated drinks.

Despite this, apparently it won't get in the way of sleep either, even though it has 85mg of caffeine per cup which is less than coffee, but more than black tea.

Traditionally drinkers have to drink it out of a wooden mate gourd with a bombilla - or straw filter, and like green teas in traditional Asian cultures, you're meant to refresh the leaves with multiple brews of hot water.

Taste-wise, it's like a woodier version of green tea and can be quite bitter especially on the first brew.

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Did you give up coffee and live to tell the tale? Please tell us exactly how you did so, we're all ears.

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