Coffee is a staple in most people’s lives, including mine! Did you know that Americans drink three cups of coffee a day on average? That equates to 400 million cups per day! The fact that I used to be a Starbucks Store Manager tells you that I, for sure, have had more than three cups a day back in the day.
Nowadays, I mainly make it from home and only have one cup of half-decaffeinated coffee. If you’re considering alternatives due to concerns about caffeine intake or looking for a change in your nutrition habits, read on to find out the best 10 caffeine alternatives, including natural energy boosters.
Side Effects of Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant that is commonly found in coffee, tea, and energy drinks. While it can provide a quick boost of energy, excessive caffeine consumption can have negative side effects, such as jitters, anxiety, and insomnia. That is mainly why I cut back personally. I have realized over the years that caffeine actually just gives me the jitters versus energy. Another negative side effect for me is that caffeine makes me hungry and I already tend to overeat.
Fortunately, there are many natural alternatives to caffeine that can provide a healthy boost of energy without the negative side effects. In this article, we will explore 10 of the best caffeine alternatives for energy.
Green tea is a great alternative to coffee, as it contains a moderate amount of caffeine, as well as other compounds that can provide a healthy boost of energy. In addition, green tea is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body from oxidative stress. You can drink it hot or cold!
Matcha is a type of green tea that is made from finely ground tea leaves. It contains more caffeine than regular green tea, as well as a unique amino acid called L-theanine, which can help promote relaxation and mental clarity. Just be sure to not order the “Matcha Frappuccino” as it is a sugar bomb filled with fat! Instead, buy the ground up matcha in a jar and mix into your own concoction so you can be in better control of your sugar intake. Match blends well with Oat milk, Soy milk or even Coconut milk.
Yerba mate is a traditional South American drink that contains caffeine, as well as other stimulants, such as theobromine and theophylline. It can provide a sustained energy boost without the jitters that can come with excessive caffeine consumption. Again, just be careful not to buy canned drinks that have more than 10g of sugar. Preferably, less than 5g is ideal. Loose leaf tea is the best version because there is no sugar.
Guarana is a plant that is native to the Amazon region, and its seeds contain high levels of caffeine. It can provide a quick energy boost, as well as a number of other benefits, such as improved focus and mood. Studies have shown it can improve cognitive performance but be aware of how much you consume.
Rhodiola is an herb that is commonly used in traditional medicine to help combat fatigue and improve energy levels. It works by increasing the body’s production of serotonin and dopamine, which can help promote a sense of well-being and mental clarity. Be cautious when purchasing Rhodiola as some brands will have the quality and purity lowered. Look for labels with USP or NSF seal. These are third party, non profit organizations that ensure supplements contain what they claim, without impurities.
Maca root is a nutrient-rich root vegetable that has been used for centuries to boost energy levels and improve overall health. Maca can also be known as Peruvian Ginseng. It contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as compounds that can help regulate hormone levels and improve mood. I personally like a pill versus powder form to mix in a drink.
Bee pollen is a nutrient-rich substance that is produced by bees. It contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, as well as natural sugars and enzymes that can provide a quick boost of energy. This includes Vitamins B1, B2 and B6 which all help your body turn food into energy.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been used for centuries to help combat stress and fatigue. It works by helping the body adapt to stressors and can provide a sustained boost of energy without the negative side effects of caffeine. I’ve taken Ashwagandha for about a year now and love the balance between calm yet energized. It’s way different than coffee!
Ginkgo biloba is an herb that is commonly used to improve cognitive function and memory. It can also provide a mild boost of energy by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
Finally, one of the best ways to boost energy naturally is through exercise. Physical activity can increase blood flow and oxygen to the body, improve mood, and help combat fatigue. Consider a short walk, light stretching or ten push ups the next time you’re feeling low on energy as they each can provide a quick, natural boost!
Overall, if you even think you are overdoing caffeine, I’d suggest tracking and measuring how much you are actually taking in. As you can see, it looks different when you consume a cup of “drip coffee” compared to shots of espresso compared to a cup of green tea.
Chronic dehydration is common in most people these days, and our constant consumption of caffeine, especially in the form of coffee, is not helping. Before I allow myself any coffee in the morning, I need to consume 20-30 ounces of water. If I want the second cup of coffee, I need to do the same again. This helps to ensure I stay hydrated between cups.
Just know that if you’re feeling frazzled, jittery and struggling with sleep due to caffeine intake, there are many natural alternatives. Depending on your preferences and needs, some can be in pill form, powder form, or liquid form. The next time you’re looking for a quick energy boost, try one of these caffeine alternatives and see how it can help you feel more energized and focused throughout the day.