Chicory coffee or chicory root coffee – whatever you want to call it, is beginning to develop quite a name for itself, with searches up by 91% recently.
So what is it? Why do I drink it instead of “normal” coffee? And why should you give it a go?
What is Chicory root coffee
Let’s start with what this magical elixir actually is shall we?
Well, YouTube megastar Dr. Axe describes it nicely; “Chicory root comes from an herbaceous plant in the dandelion family… It’s roasted, ground, and brewed to make a nutty-tasting beverage. [It’s] caffeine-free, unlike coffee, [and] makes a good substitute for coffee since it has a creamy ‘mouthfeel’ and somewhat bitter but toasty/nutty taste.”
Chicory root Vs. coffee
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Is coffee even bad? Is Chicory root better? So many questions.
I don’t want to bash on coffee, but I think its health benefits are wildly misreported or at least, over exaggerated. I’m probably guilty of this too, but seriously, for the sake of it potentially lowering your risk of prostate cancer by up to 11%, are you willing to take all of the side effects like anxiety, jitters, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, etc., etc., etc.?
Put it this way – would you eat cyanide every day if it lowered your risk of a heart attack by 11%? I don’t think so. Just eat your fruit and veg, exercise and don’t live like a glutton and you’ll knock that % down way past 11.
If you want to learn more about why I initially decided to ditch coffee and why I think it is an insidious little psychoactive bitch, you can read why I quit here.
Why I swapped my coffee for chicory root
So why did I make the switch?
It should be pretty obvious by now if you actually read the above section, but to cut a long story short, I would crash massively after a cup of coffee. Usually I’d use it right before the gym to pump me up for a big session but I would actually feel more sapped by the time I got there. In fact it got to a point where I didn’t even feel the caffeine buzz at all.
What I did feel however, were all the negative side effects such as constant fatigue, poor sleep, anxiety, heart palpitations, poor digestion – you name any negative side effect of coffee, I experienced it to some degree. Now this is just me, you might be completely different. We all metabolise caffeine differently.
But have you ever seen the people (or been that person), who say “don’t speak to me before my morning coffee”? Or who simply can’t do anything without fuelling themselves with a cuppa Joe? We’ve all been there, right?
It gets to the point where coffee – and caffeine in particular is our drug. We can’t function without it and we build up tolerances so high that we need to up the dosages drastically to capture that same buzz we got when we first started.
That’s why I realised I had to make a switch and reclaim my natural energy.
Benefits of chicory coffee
Now let’s get into the juicy stuff. What are the benefits of chicory root coffee? What’s in it for you?
Improved digestive health
Did you ever hear about the constipated maths teacher?
…He worked it out with a pencil.
Messing. He drank a load of chicory root coffee and shat himself.
Well maybe not that drastic.
But chicory root itself is full of inulin which is a type of fibre that improves digestion. Inulin is also quite a powerful prebiotic that can help your gut to grow healthy bacteria, meaning your digestion game is in for a real overhaul if you start regularly glugging the good stuff.
I’d probs keep it to two cups a day max so you don’t get the green apple splatters though.
Zero caffeine – naturally
Chicory root coffee will give you a jolly good jolt, but it has absolutely zero caffeine. Zilch. That means you get a little buzz without any of the negative effects of caffeine. This lack of caffeine is completely natural too, unlike decaf coffee, which often uses bleaching to achieve the caffeine-free-ness you crave.
And spoiler: Decaf doesn’t mean caffeine free. It’s a lose lose. But Chicory? Win win my friend.
Tastes just like coffee
Maybe not just like coffee, but it tastes close enough that people who are looking to wean off can feasibly do so without feeling like they’re missing that signature taste.
To be quite honest, I prefer the taste of the chicory elixir to that of bean juice now. Especially as someone who drinks both black, you can really taste the difference. If you’re a milk and sugar kind of person, you’ll probably notice the difference even less.
All that inulin fibre is not only great for improving digestion – you’re also going to feel far more satiated after sinking a cup of chicory goodness. This is due to fibre’s filling effect. Not only that, chicory root coffee can help to lower blood sugar levels and manage diabetes due to its ability to lower insulin resistance. It’s a wonder drug in a cup.
Increased brain function
This is the final nail in conventional coffee’s coffin. Or should it be called a coffeen?
Thanks to chicory’s B6 and manganese content, it’s entirely possible that the coffee made from its roots can speed up the electrical signals that power your brain. This is due to the perfect mixture of manganese’s vasodilation properties and B6’s ability to create vital neurotransmitters.
And as always, make sure you give me a follow on Instagram here. You can keep up with my chicory coffee drinking ways as much as you damn well please.