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Choose Your Healthy Morning BeverageThe way you start your morning can have a HUGE effect on the rest of your day. If you start things out with a high-sugar breakfast, you're going to run out of energy quickly and increase your risk of making unhealthy food choices the rest of the day. Start things off with healthy options, and you're more prone to continuing that healthy streak all day long. If you want to kick off your day right, here is a list of healthy morning beverage options:
Green teaNothing beats green tea! Not only does green tea contain a small amount of caffeine to perk you up (roughly ¼ of what you get from coffee), but it also contains a healthy dose of antioxidants to fight free radicals, detoxify your body, and improve cardiovascular function. The antioxidants in green tea can also target belly fat and encourage better fat-burning and weight loss. It's recommended to have at least 2-3 cups of green tea throughout the day, so get your first cup in first thing in the morning.
CoffeeYes, coffee makes it onto the list of healthy morning beverage options, thanks to its high antioxidant content. The flavonoids and polyphenols in coffee are heart-smart, can reduce your appetite, and improve digestive function. Coffee also gives you a little boost to keep you alert and energized for hours. Just remember: adding too much sugar, cream, milk, and added flavorings makes the coffee unhealthy. Stick with black coffee or keep your additions to a minimum. Say NO to those high-calorie Starbucks coffees!
There's nothing like a glass or two of water first thing in the morning to wash away the previous night's sleepiness. The fact that you go for 8-10 hours without water every night means you wake up in a slightly dehydrated state. By having a glass of water first thing in the morning, you give your body the fluid needed to perk up and get all the internal functions firing. Water will aid in digestion when you sit down for breakfast, and will help to prevent the dehydration common when drinking caffeinated beverages. Try to have at least a cup or two of water before you head out the door for work.
Homemade Green JuiceFruit juice is all sugar, with very little in the way of fiber or nutrients. Green juice, however, contains a hefty dose of fiber (thanks to the veggies), and it's loaded with the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants from your fruits and veggies. As long as you make it fresh (never from a bottle!), it's a perfectly healthy drink. Just remember: don't throw out the pulp. The pulp is where all the fiber is, and you need fiber to slow down your body's absorption of the fructose. Instead of juicing all the fruits and veggies, throw some in the blender to keep the fiber intact. ALWAYS have natural, fresh-made fruit juice to start your day off right.
Herbal TeaGreen tea is a good way to caffeinate, but herbal tea delivers other important nutrients. For example, lemon tea is loaded with Vitamin C. Chamomile tea can soothe your stomach and relax your body. Peppermint tea is a digestive aid that will help your stomach work through a heavy breakfast. Pomegranate tea is rich in antioxidants. These herbal teas contain zero calories, no caffeine, and give you an extra amount of water to start your day off right. Drink them without sugar, and you'll find they're the perfect option to help you get more fluid and nutrients in your morning!