Ginger Orange Guide to Drinks to Put a Spring in Your Step
From a perfectly brewed espresso to zingy kombucha, Ginger Orange Team has been exploring drinks designed to perk us up. In true GO fashion we stuck to the more natural options and avoided anything in a can/ heavily processed/ full of chemicals or that that glows in the dark (we did try that luminous taurine-pumped stuff once and even the thought of it still gives us the jitters…).
Here’s our guide to drinks to put a spring in your step:
ESPRESSO: Our feisty friend the espresso has gotten GO through many a dark morning. As it’s caffeine (around 75mg per shot depending on bean, roasting and brewing methods) is undiluted by milk or excess water, it’s ‘lifting’ effect is more instant on the body than it’s longer relatives. Research has also found that drinking 3-6 cups of coffee a day drastically cut the risks of getting Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinsons and heart disease. On top of all of that, it’s rich in anti-oxidants, helping the immune system and fighting free radicals. Now, we’re not intending to drink it by the bucket-load but it’s nice to know that our morning pick-me-up actually does our body some good (as well as getting us to work on time…)
BULLETPROOF: ‘Upgraded’ (free from mycotoxins like moulds that can be found on regular beans) organic coffee, grass-fed butter, XCT oil (often replaced by coconut oil). This unusual combo sounds… well, sounds pretty gross, but we were up for the challenge. Being plant-based we opted for coconut oil instead of butter (an option available at the gorgeous Ethos in Noho, London) and were pleasantly surprised that it tasted creamy, not oily. The main benefit of this concoction is that it triggers ketosis: switching your body to fat burning, bringing a mental clarity and focus well above that of the humble espresso and satiating cravings. You’re advised to drink bulletproof first thing in the morning – getting your body and mind on track for the rest of the day. An added benefit was that when we licked our lips we were applying a layer of coconut oil to them – no need for lip salve that day!
MATCHA: Matcha is made from the whole tea leaf and contains over 130 times more antioxidants than regular (sencha) green tea. It also contains catechin ECGg – one of the most potent antioxidants with cancer-fighting properties. On top of this, mighty matcha packs detoxifying chlorophyll, around 35mg of caffeine for a gentle lift and L-theanine – an amino acid that helps mental focus and clarity. This green delight might taste a bit like grass but for the beautiful balance of a ‘switched on’ mind and a gentle pick-me-up without the jitters, matcha has become a our favourite.
KOMBUCHA: This spring, London grabbed kombucha by it’s scoby (the alien-looking slice of symbiotic bacteria and yeast culture used to help ferment kombucha) and shouted in approval. This refreshing probiotic tea-based drink has been drunk in China for centuries where it is called the ‘Immortal Health Elexir’. 2000 or so years on, London has finally caught up and kombucha is popping up in every on-trend café and food store. Research has shown it to have liver-detoxifying properties, boost immunity, help digestion and help energise the body through the iron it contains (released from the tea during the fermentation process). It is also known to lift moods and help with anxiety thanks to the B Vitamins in packs. It might not give you the same kick as a coffee, but the long term benefits of kombucha are amazing… just don’t be afraid of the freaky-looking scoby.
LEMON INFUSED WATER: Simple, cleansing and caffeine free: with the gentle lifting affect of citrus this might not have the punch of coffee or give you the sharp focus of matcha, but it is an amazing way to detox, support liver function and balance PH. If you’re looking for long-term gains, this is a brilliant way to start your day.
BLACK TEA: With around 26.2mg of caffeine per cup, this classic classy beverage can certainly help you through a mid afternoon slump. However, unlike coffee, research has found that tea also has a relaxing effect on the body and helps control stress hormone cortisol – meaning it can perk you up while also chilling you out which is a fabulous combination Not only packed with antioxidants, black tea is also full of tannins which can ease asthma and sooth digestive issues.
We chose to side-step cans of fizzy drinks and orange mocha-choca frappuccinos – of course we’d get a big ole sugar and caffeine kick from them but we didn’t fancy putting ourselves through that post-high slump. What we put in our bodies has both a short and long term effect and it can be a difficult balance the two – ‘I haven’t had enough sleep and need to get to a meeting so hand me the jug of caffeine’ v ‘long-term, natural, self-generated energy and positivity.’ However, with the health benefits of all the drinks we explored, at least we don’t have to feel guilty about reaching for an espresso once in a while…
Written by Martha