The 5 Best Coffee Alternatives for Entrepreneurs to Boost Productivity, Mental Clarity and Focus
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You work hard. You know it and we know it, or else you wouldn't be here. When you work hard, a few things happen: When your brain tries to focus, synapses fire at faster rates. As you go from task to task while battling distractions and wanting to zone out and play games on your phone, you also suffer from something called decision fatigue. According to the American Medical Association, "By the time the average person goes to bed, they've made over 35,000 decisions, and all of those decisions take time and energy, and certainly can deplete us." As an entrepreneur, we can assume you've probably made 35,000 decisions by lunch alone.
So, what's the go-to? Coffee, of course. Coffee kept Special Agent Dale Cooper happy on Twin Peaks. Coffee makes Dave Grohl happy daily. Coffee is full of healthy antioxidants too, according to the National Institute of Health.
Coffee also led, in part, to Dale Cooper's imprisonment in the Red Room. Coffee landed Dave Grohl in the hospital. And, in general, coffee can cause an upset stomach, anxiety, irritability, muscle tremors, and more, per the Mayo Clinic.
So, what's the alternative?
What are Nootropics, Adaptogens, and Matcha?
While most of us are chasing that sweet-bitter coffee house smell in our homes, others have turned to alternative sources of focus and caffeine. Mushroom powders, teas, nootropic gums, mints, and pills that won't make you feel jittery later on. Plus, unlike caffeine pills, these alternatives are made or extracted from mushrooms, naturally occurring chemicals from the brain and body, or synthesized versions of brain-boosting chemicals and amino acids that won't leave you feeling drained, exhausted, or even addicted later on.
Nootropics (aka "smart drugs" as they are known colloquially) tend to be a combination of amino acids, brain chemicals, and caffeine extracts purpose-made to promote focus and to get entrepreneurs like yourself to what's called a "flow state" (think runner's high, but for sitting in front of a computer).
Most commonly found in mushrooms- adaptogen, and adaptogen teas take these magic little vegetables (such as Chaga, lion's mane, cordyceps, and more) from the forest, ground them (or use extract, a perfectly viable option) and allow you to turn them into a sort of coffee or tea. You can also feel free to add them to your post-workout smoothie, weave them into a sauce to go with your mushroom pasta for dinner, or whatever else you can think of. While not as chemically based as nootropics, adaptogens do allow for more flexibility and a truly all-natural approach to focus and stimulation for those who don't want extra brain chemicals or amino acids in a pill or powder form.
Matcha contains L-theanine, a naturally occurring chemical found in matcha leaves. It has been shown to inhibit rising blood pressure and help decrease stress and anxiety. Matcha powder also has about 130x the antioxidants of regular green tea.