There are many things you expect to happen once you get to college. I heard rumors that college would mean ramen noodles and the beginning of a coffee addiction. I was also led to believe that I would instantly find a big group of friends, a major and never miss my parents. Few of those things actually played out as imagined. One of those few? The coffee addiction. Although I still don’t drink coffee, I know far too many people whose lives have been taken over by this caffeinated beverage. There may be nothing inherently wrong with coffee, besides the caffeine addiction and hole in your wallet that results from drinking it. But if you have read some of my other articles, like my healthy double chocolate chip cookie recipe, you know that I tend to preach everything in moderation, coffee included. By this I mean I believe that all foods and drinks can fit into your diet, no matter their nutritional quality, as long as they are consumed in moderation and are things that make you happy. But what if I told you that you could get the same energy boost and more positive health effects from a different drink, minus the addiction and cost? Yes, there really is such a drink. After seeing a few bloggers in the health and wellness scene start making apple cider vinegar drinks, I began to research myself. I’m usually the person that struggles on “coffee dates,” because I stick to ordering chai teas, water and kombucha. Tea is great, but you can only really drink so much tea. Needless to say, I wanted my own original option to fill a Hydro Flask. I decided to come up with my own recipe as a healthy alternative to the addictive drinks consuming college students’ lives. Morning Mix Recipe Ingredients: 1 mug of warm water 3-4 thin slices of ginger root 1 quarter of a lemon 1 capful of apple cider vinegar — you can increase this amount once you get used to the effects Optional: 1 tbsp honey or a shake of cinnamon Instructions: Heat the water Mix all ingredients together Enjoy! There aren’t any real limits on this wellness tonic. To be honest, it doesn’t even really have a name. But at the base of every different recipe I have seen for it are four vital ingredients — apple cider vinegar, ginger, lemon and water — that all pack their own nutritional benefits. You might be wondering how it is possible to drink even diluted vinegar, but hear me out. Unfiltered apple cider vinegar helps maintain healthy pH balance, which aids in digestion. It also works to helps with detoxification and protects against harmful bacteria by being composed of acetic acid, which can help prevent bacteria from spreading. Lemon, particularly lemon water, also helps maintain pH balance, detoxifies the body and maintains digestive health. Lemons themselves are a great source of vitamin C and also contain anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is just as powerful, with lots of antioxidants and vitamins. Ginger is great for digestion, which is why it is common in traditional herbal medicine for calming the stomach and gut. All of these ingredients work together to have stimulating effects, like coffee, making this drink a natural energy booster. I know nothing about this combination screams “tasty,” but my sister likes to add honey whenever she makes it, and it makes the drink comforting and sweet. You can also add cinnamon for a pinch of spice. Not only will you be doing your body a service by helping regulate your digestion, you will even save a few dollars after the initial cost of buying these ingredients. No more coffee or K-pod budget necessary — just wholesome ingredients.