15 Of The Best Morning Drinks To Get Your Day Started

11 Min Read | By Lottie Salako

Last Modified 12 January 2024   First Added 10 January 2024

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

We’ve spoken a lot about the best drinks for bedtime, but what about when you wake up? Our morning routine and the drinks we first consume are just as important to set us up for success. They can even help us sleep better at the end of the day too. So, let’s explore the top recommendations for morning beverages and the science behind their benefits.

Morning drinks for hydration

Unsurprisingly, you’re already dehydrated by the time you wake up – even if you don’t feel thirsty. You go without any liquids all night and lose water to breathing and sweating as you sleep. Come morning, your body is in desperate need of rehydration. But, like many others, you may be guilty of skipping this step.

One of the best things you can do to improve energy levels and mental focus is to prioritise replenishing your water stores. However, this doesn’t mean downing a glass of plain water first thing. Join us as we explore more enjoyable suggestions to kick off your day:

1. Supercharged water

While water is undeniably the best way to get hydrated in the morning, it’s not very exciting. Infuse water with tasty extras like cucumber and mint for a refreshing drink, or add fruits like lemon and berries for benefits like added vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties.

The biggest benefit of adding flavours to water is that it encourages you to drink more. It’s recommended for most people to consume between 2-4 litres of water per day through food and drinks, but this will vary depending on your weight, activity levels, and climate. Start in the morning and then evenly spread your intake throughout the day. This will keep you feeling mentally alert and energised.

2. Coconut water

For an extra boost to your morning hydration, coconut water is packed with electrolytes and the minerals needed for healthy function, such as potassium, magnesium, and sodium. These are particularly essential for hydration as sodium helps the osmosis process in your cells, allowing them to become hydrated.

3. Electrolyte smoothie

If you’re someone who wakes up especially thirsty or you like to get in a workout early, then focusing on replenishing electrolytes is a must. Minerals like magnesium and calcium help your muscles function, reducing the risk of cramps and putting a spring in your step. For the ultimate electrolyte-focused smoothie, try these ingredients:

  • Coconut water
  • Soy milk
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Banana
  • Watermelon
  • Peanuts (or peanut butter)
  • Tofu
  • Strawberries

Not only will this hydrate you, but it’s a super healthy, energy-packed breakfast that will set you up for a productive day.

4. Aloe juice

Mixing the flesh of the aloe vera plant with water can create a yummy, refreshing drink that hydrates you from the inside out. Aloe vera is great for your skin, especially if you have sunburn or sensitive skin, but it’s also good for you internally. With antioxidants and blood sugar-stabilising properties, it’s perfect for the early morning.

5. Ginger tea

Ginger is a powerful medicinal spice. It’s been shown to help with nausea, heal inflammation, provide antioxidants, and protect against heart disease. The best way to prepare this drink is with grated fresh ginger. Add 2-3 grams of grated ginger root to boiling water and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and serve warm as a tea, or allow to cool.

For colds and sore throats, you can add pure honey and lemon to create a soothing concoction that will be sure to help get you back on your feet. Clearly, it’s no replacement for medication when that’s required, but it’s certainly a welcome addition to any routine for improved health.

Energy boosting morning drinks

Sometimes, we need something extra to get us up and ready. Whether you had a bad night’s sleep or have a big day ahead of you, there are plenty of options for energy-boosting drinks to start your morning right.

6. Coffee

The classic choice. However, the jury’s still out on whether coffee is ideal as a morning drink. On the one hand, it’s easy to make, provides a quick boost of energy and focus, and can even lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes. But there are negatives too.

Many experts, like Dr Andrew Huberman, suggest avoiding high-caffeine drinks like coffee first thing in the morning. That’s because they increase cortisol, the stress hormone, which is already at its peak when you wake up.

Instead, it’s best to treat coffee as your mid-morning drink, enjoyed after a nutritious breakfast, and choose another from this list to help energise and rehydrate in the earlier hours.

7. Matcha & green tea

Often offered as a lower caffeine alternative, green tea has up to 70% as much caffeine as coffee. This still makes it a good option for those sensitive to caffeine or if you don’t like the taste of coffee but still want a morning kick. Green tea also comes with its own health benefits, such as high amino acid content. Tea and mushrooms contain a unique amino acid called theanine, which has anti-stress effects. Additionally, regular consumption of green tea is linked with improved attention and executive function.

8. Yerba mate

A popular South American drink, yerba mate is a herbal infusion with similar properties to green tea. It contains caffeine, antioxidants, and minerals such as magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc. And despite its current trendy status, it’s been used for its medicinal qualities for thousands of years. Give this a try if you’re looking for something to keep you focused during an afternoon slump.

9. Mint tea

Although it has no caffeine, mint can help perk you up with its strong, refreshing taste. Just like minty gum, toothpaste, and essential oils, you may find that a cup of mint tea is enough to get you ready for the day. That’s because even just the smell of peppermint is associated with alertness and improved memory. A study also showed that peppermint oil can improve physical performance by increasing oxygen to the brain and lactate levels.

Peppermint is also a well-known anti-emetic, so for those who wake up feeling nauseous or need something to settle their stomachs before bed, this is the one for you. If you find peppermint a touch too strong, try spearmint for a more subtle taste.

10. Chicory root

Another caffeine-free option, chicory root has recently gained a lot of popularity as it tastes remarkably like coffee and makes for a great alternative. Multiple studies into consuming chicory root have shown potential benefits like blood sugar control, anti-microbial properties, and improved gut health.

Morning drinks to improve your health

When it comes to your first drink of the day, you want to start as you mean to go on. If you’re looking for an easy way to get in more vitamins, minerals, and other health-boosting benefits, then a delicious beverage is the best approach.

11. Hot cacao

You might not expect to see chocolate on this list, but cacao has a huge list of health benefits. Recently, a study revealed that the flavonoids and antioxidants in cacao powder can stimulate tissue regeneration and stem cell production. It can even protect cells from degradation (think sun damage and ageing!). The only caveat is you need to consume high-ratio dark chocolate – 70% or more.

If you’re not a fan of drinking dark chocolate, you can also eat it! Try making a dark chocolate breakfast bar with chopped fruits, nuts, and cereals. The important thing is to check the quality of your cacao to ensure you’re getting the benefits.

12. Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has soared in popularity over the last decade. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi help to improve your gut biome by introducing healthy bacteria that act as pre and pro-biotics. It’s been used as an energy drink and digestion aid in China and Japan for thousands of years, but there aren’t many studies to prove the potential benefits yet.

Studies into kombucha have found that the profile of drinks available wildly varies from brand to brand, most likely because every manufacturer uses slightly different base teas, sugars, and fermentation processes. Therefore, it’s difficult to assess how effective they are.

13. Tumeric latte

Also known as a golden latte, this drink is traditionally made by mixing turmeric, warm milk, and other spices like ginger and cinnamon to create a cosy, immunity-boosting remedy.

Like ginger, turmeric has a compound called curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. A great source of phytonutrients, turmeric can shield cells from damage and ease a variety of health conditions like arthritis, mood disorders, and dental health.

14. Bone broth

Exactly what it sounds like, bone broth is made from simmering bones, skin, and connective tissue to make a broth – similar to how you would make stock. The idea is that bones, marrow, and cartilage are rich sources of key minerals and vitamins like calcium, iron, vitamins A and K, and collagen, so it’s an easy and tasty way to boost your daily intake. Studies have found that supplemental collagen made from animal bones may help with joint health, soothe osteoarthritis, and improve skin elasticity. Many people enjoy this in the morning as a savoury option for hydration that’s easy on the stomach.

Additionally, glycine was found to have sleep-promoting effects, helping people to fall asleep quicker, get more restorative deep sleep, and feel more awake during the day. So, you may find that a cup of warm bone broth is just the thing to have before bed!

15. Chia seed drink

You may have heard of eating chia seeds but welcome to drinking them instead. Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that swell up and create a gelatinous coating when soaked in water. They’re a small but powerful superfood that studies show offers antioxidant, anti-depressant, anti-ageing, and immunity-boosting benefits. So, if you’re looking for a way to hydrate and get in tons of micronutrients, adding chia seeds to water or juice is an easy way to start the day.

Chia seed drinks are actually quite common around the world as people enjoy the texture they add. In ancient Mexico, they had iskiate or chia fresca, a mix of water, chia seeds, and lemon that was given to warriors and long-distance runners to keep them energised and hydrated.

Woman drinking tea in bed Woman drinking tea in bed

Drinks to avoid first thing

Now we’ve covered what to drink in the morning, we also have some advice on what to avoid. Although drinking these things when you wake isn’t necessarily harmful, they’re not the best way to prioritise your health or set yourself up for a successful day.

1. Sugary soft drinks

We all know we should limit our soft drink intake, especially if you are partial to the full sugar versions. A meta-analysis of 88 studies found that soft drink consumption was closely related to excess calorie intake, lower nutritional intake, and increased risk of health conditions like diabetes. The main issue is that soft drinks don’t give you any additional nutritional value and often contain high levels of sugar and caffeine, which can cause an energy crash soon after.

2. Energy drinks

Similar to other soft drinks, you may be tempted to crack open an energy drink when you’re feeling sluggish in the morning, but it won’t help you in the long run. Many drinks have very high doses of caffeine, which can cause serious health problems such as heart palpitations, nausea, vomiting, and anxiety. Caffeine can also have a half-life of up to 10 hours in some people, so consuming high doses or drinking them late in the day can mess with your sleep quality, causing you to be more fatigued and creating a dependency cycle.

3. Acidic juices

This may be surprising considering how popular it is to have drinks like orange or grapefruit juice as a morning beverage, but they’re not necessarily the best choice on an empty stomach. Highly acidic juices are associated with an increased risk of acid reflux issues and can irritate your stomach, making you feel nauseous. There is also evidence that consuming acidic drinks within ten minutes of brushing your teeth can cause enamel damage.

4. Alcohol

We probably don’t need to tell you this, but you should definitely avoid alcohol for your first drink of the day. Even if you’re on holiday or celebrating, we would suggest waking up to something nutritious and hydrating. As well as the intoxicating effects, alcohol dehydrates you, impedes healthy cell function, depresses your nervous system, reduces mental function and can even affect your sleep.

Visit the NHS website for more information on alcohol misuse and support options if you’re worried about your alcohol intake.

Overall, the best drink to have in the morning is something that hydrates you and replenishes your body with energy. Try to avoid high sugar and caffeine as your first drink or before breakfast to avoid an afternoon crash and ensure you sleep well later on.

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