Jennifer Hanway is holistic nutritionist and certified personal trainer based in Boston, Massachusetts. Here, she shares the best healthy drinks to sip on the morning of your wedding if you need a little extra help managing big-day jitters.
Although reaching for a cup of coffee for a quick energy boost or another glass of chilled prosecco to take the edge off of your nerves might seem like a good idea on your wedding morning, the truth is that neither of these options are going to keep you calm and energized on such an important day. While coffee will provide you with a short term energy boost, it can actually increase stress levels on your big day. The reason: Consuming caffeine encourages our adrenal glands to produce more cortisol, our stress and energy related hormone. With levels of this hormone already understandably high on our wedding day an extra cup or two may cause a false spike in energy coupled with a rise in anxiety, followed by an energy crash a few hours later.
Similarly, the sugar in alcohol may cause your blood sugar to spike, leaving you feeling worse than before. So what's a bride to drink on the morning of the wedding? Ideally, I'd suggest choosing an option that is not just caffeine- and alcohol-free, but that has added benefits of relaxing and supporting herbs, mushrooms, and adaptogens, which will leaving you feeling calm but still energized throughout the day. Here, I share some of my favorite options, plus tips if you know you'll want to indulge in at least a little coffee and alcohol.
If you need coffee...
Limiting your caffeine intake to one small cup of organic, low acid coffee (Puroast is my coffee of choice) after breakfast (caffeine can also spike blood sugar levels so consuming after eating is best) means that you can still enjoy your morning coffee without the harmful effects. Coffees with added adaptogens such as those from Four Sigmatic may also be a good option—they have lower caffeine levels than regular coffee but have the added benefits of adaptogens such as chaga and reishi. Matcha green tea is also a great substitute.
Go for low-sugar wines.
One small glass of prosecco or champagne isn't going to cause too many problems, however reaching for more may find you feeling light headed, dizzy, and even a little nauseous—not a good look for any bride! Eating a light but nourishing breakfast will ensure the sugar in the alcohol doesn't cause a huge spike in blood sugar, and choose options with a low sugar content, low sulfites and additives such as those from Fit Vine Wine or Scout and Cellar.
Sip herbal tea.
Great herbal tea choices include calming florals such as chamomile or rose petal, or lemon balm and peppermint which soothe digestion and a stressed out stomach. Consider flowering tea buds such as those from Mountain Rose Herbs, that look beautiful and feel extra special when served in a glass teapot or glass tea cups.
Add adaptogens to your morning smoothie.
Adaptogens are non-toxic mushrooms and herbs that have immune supporting, energy boosting, and calming effects, they 'adapt' your body's capacity to handle mental, physical and emotional stress, and have been used in traditional medicines for hundreds of years. They usually come in powder form, and can be easily incorporated to lattes and smoothies. Stress relieving options for your wedding morning include Ashwagandha and Reishi, or choose Lion's Mane for clarity and sharpness without the unwanted side effects of caffeine.
Make a mug of hot cacao.
Hot cacao (not to be confused with hot cocoa) can be a wonderful alternative to coffee. Cacao contains high amounts of antioxidants and polyphenols (our body needs more antioxidants at times of stress) and high amounts of magnesium (a mineral that is used in over 300 metabolic processes that is essential for a healthy stress response). Combine cacao with adaptogens for a nourishing, grounding warm drink that calm your nerves for the day ahead.