20 Best Natural Alternatives to Coffee for Energy

20 Best Natural Alternatives to Coffee for Energy

Key points

  • Many people consume coffee not for its bitter taste but for its ability to increase energy levels. However, there are many other caffeine-free alternatives that will make you feel energetic while also providing some benefits that coffee doesn’t have.
  • Caffeine-free coffee alternatives include chicory coffee, roasted dandelion root, barley coffee, lemon water, red tea, golden milk, hot cacao, and roasted fig. Sparkling spirulina drinks by FUL® are also an amazing coffee alternative worth considering, especially for those looking for a go-to drink packed with vitamins and nutrients.
  • If you are looking for other caffeine drinks that will not make you jittery, try drinking matcha tea, black tea, yerba mate, kombucha, or masala tea. 


    Coffee is the most popular wake-up beverage in the world and a great energy booster for many people. However, if you’re a coffee drinker, you may be familiar with its unpleasant side effects, such as anxiety, headache, and digestive distress. The reason why we feel so anxious after drinking a little more coffee than we are used to is that caffeine consumption stimulates the production of adrenaline, the hormone associated with the fight or flight response. This means that your body becomes ready to respond quickly in dangerous situations, and you become more anxious. All of this can cause you to feel jittery. Not to mention that excessive caffeine consumption can cause hormonal imbalances.

    Coffee can also cause many unpleasant symptoms such as insomnia, high blood pressure, and muscle breakdown. This is why many people are seeking coffee alternatives that will not make them feel shaky and agitated. 

    But what can you drink instead of coffee if you have an early morning or need to power through a late-night study session? Luckily, there are lots of alternative beverages that are as effective as coffee but have fewer side effects. Here’s a list of beverages you should try if you want to cut down on coffee consumption.



    FUL® Sparkling Spirulina Drinks 

    If you drink coffee as an energy booster, try FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks. Made from natural ingredients with a healthy splash of spirulina extract, this beverage provides you with all the health benefits of spirulina while leaving you feeling energised, hydrated, and refreshed. It’s also sugar-free and low in calories, making it suitable for people who want to cut down on their sugar consumption and stay fit.

     Spirulina is a superfood that has an amazing nutritional profile and potent antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, which have made it one of the most popular dietary supplements. Additionally, spirulina contains essential vitamins like vitamins B1, B2 and minerals such as potassium, iron, magnesium, and manganese which help you meet your daily nutrient intake requirements and give you plenty of energy without making you feel jittery.

    Furthermore, studies have found that consuming spirulina helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and blood pressure. One downside of spirulina powder and tablets is their off-putting taste and smell. However, this disadvantage is eliminated in FUL® drinks, as they contain a proprietary spirulina extract instead of powdered spirulina. Plus, FUL® sparkling drinks come in convenient bottles and cans, so you can take them with you wherever you go without spending extra time to make your beverage. They are an excellent option to get a boost of energy and refreshment in the summer.


    Try Sparkling Spirulina Drink


    Chicory Coffee

    Chicory is a flowering plant that you might have come across in salads. But its root can be roasted, ground, and brewed just like coffee beans, which makes chicory coffee a tasty hot beverage that tastes similar to coffee but doesn’t contain caffeine. Chicory contains a lot of inulin, which is a soluble fibre that contributes to the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. This means that chicory coffee can help improve digestion and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Additionally, chicory can promote bile production in the gallbladder, which can improve fat digestion. This beverage is also easy to prepare, all you need to do is brew roasted and pre-ground chicory like regular ground coffee. 


    However, keep in mind that chicory root can cause digestive distress such as bloating and gas in some people, so it’s important to start with lower amounts if you want to substitute coffee for chicory. There is not enough research to prove whether chicory root is safe for breastfeeding and pregnant women, so they should avoid consuming it.




    It’s not a secret that tea contains caffeine, but unlike coffee, the amount of caffeine found in tea is too small to cause any side effects. It’s also a comfort drink for those who want to ease the coffee withdrawal process and still get an energy boost. 


    Green tea has the most health benefits among all tea types because it’s minimally processed. Green tea is also associated with a lower risk of different types of cancer, such as bladder, lung, pancreatic, breast, stomach, and colorectal cancers. 



    Matcha Latte

    Matcha is made from tea leaves that have been grounded up into a fine powder, which is why matcha contains twice as many benefits as green tea, which is usually made by steeping whole tea leaves. Matcha also contains caffeine, but it won’t make you anxious or shaky because the caffeine you consume with matcha is released more slowly throughout the day. Additionally, if you drink matcha instead of coffee, you will be less likely to experience a caffeine crash. 


    Besides caffeine, matcha also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps with mental relaxation but doesn’t cause drowsiness. Green tea has also been shown to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and reduce weight and body fat, which adds to the health benefits of matcha. Matcha is also a powerful antioxidant source that contains ten times more antioxidants than regular green tea.



    Coconut Water

    Coconut water has loads of health benefits and can be a great alternative to coffee. This beverage will make you feel more energetic without causing a caffeine crash afterwards. It is also packed with vital nutrients and electrolytes, which are crucial for maintaining fluid balance in the body. Interestingly, coconut water contains more electrolytes than most sports drinks, making it an excellent natural hydrating and energising drink. Coconut water has been shown to regulate blood pressure and improve kidney function.



    Apple Cider Vinegar

    Apple cider vinegar is produced by fermenting crushed apples using yeast and bacteria. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that this sour liquid is very beneficial for your health. Apple cider vinegar contains potassium and enzymes, which have been shown to increase energy levels. Plus, amino acids found in apple cider vinegar help to relieve fatigue and exercise-induced muscle pain.


    It also contains amino acids that counteract the effects of lactic acid build-up, helping to relieve muscle pain and fatigue. Next time you are looking for a healthy energy drink, try swapping coffee for a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with a glass of water. Remember that you must dilute apple cider vinegar with water before consumption because you can burn your mouth and throat.



    Golden Milk

    Golden milk is made by mixing non-dairy milk with spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger. Other popular additions to this warm beverage include black pepper, cardamom, vanilla, and honey. The beverage got its nickname because of its yellow colour. Golden milk helps to relieve inflammation, improve cognition and mood and prevent cell degeneration. Turmeric, the key component of golden milk, is responsible for making you feel more energetic and preventing lethargy by increasing the levels of growth hormone in the brain. Some studies have found that drinking golden milk can have a positive impact on mental health and memory and help improve bone density.



    Lemon Water

    Lemon water is another healthy option to have instead of coffee. This calorie and caffeine-free drink is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a vital antioxidant that helps to maintain a healthy immune system function and protect your skin from ultraviolet damage. Vitamin C also boosts collagen creation, which improves the quality of skin, tendon, and ligament structure. You can add other fruits and veggies such as cucumbers and watermelon and herbs such as mint and basil to lemon water for an extra boost of flavour. Lemon water is also a great option to help start your water habit since most people don’t drink enough water daily. 



    Yerba Mate

    Yerba mate is a naturally caffeinated herbal tea produced from dried leaves of the South American holly tree, Ilex paraguariensis. One cup of yerba tea contains almost 80 mg of caffeine, while one cup of coffee contains about 95 mg. With this said, yerba tea is a great coffee alternative if you don’t want to exclude caffeine from your morning rituals. Yerba mate tea also contains theobromine - a natural stimulant also found in chocolate. 


    Just like coffee, yerba mate is loaded with polyphenols, which lend the beverage its antioxidative and antibacterial properties. In fact, some studies have shown that yerba tea has a higher antioxidant content than green tea. It also contains vitamins and minerals such as thiamine, riboflavin, iron, phosphorous, vitamin C, vitamin E, and calcium.

    Rooibos Tea

    Rooibos, or red tea, originated from South Africa. This drink is caffeine-free and packed with different antioxidants. However, keep in mind that red tea is low in tannin antioxidants which can potentially interfere with iron absorption. Unlike other teas, over-steeping red tea doesn’t make the drink taste more bitter. Instead, the taste of this tea is characterised as fruity and sweet.


    Scientific studies on rooibos tea benefits are limited, however, it is being evaluated for lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer. 



    Chai Tea

    Chai tea is a variety of black tea mixed with strong herbs and spices. It doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee, but numerous studies have found that black tea consumption can increase alertness. Just like other tea types, black tea is full of antioxidants. The beverage has been linked with decreased risk of heart disease, but more studies are needed. 




    Kombucha is a delicious fermented black tea. The fermentation process produces healthy bacteria known as probiotics, but also acetic acid and antioxidants — all of these compounds have been studied for potential health benefits. Kombucha’s caffeine profile is lower than coffee’s, which makes this drink perfect for those who want a gentle energy boost.


    Animal studies have found that drinking kombucha can improve immune system function and help maintain cholesterol and blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. However, very few studies have been done on humans.




    Healthy fruits and vegetables found in smoothies can naturally boost your energy levels, making smoothies great alternatives to coffee for energy. Smoothies also help you reach your target number of fruit and vegetable servings every day. This is a significant benefit, as many people fail to consume the necessary amount of fruits and vegetables. 


    You can also add protein to the smoothie mix to make the drink more filling. Smoothies are a healthy and easy breakfast option that can provide you with vital vitamins and minerals, fibre, protein, antioxidants, and carbohydrates.



    Homemade Hot Cocoa

    Many people think of hot cocoa as a nighttime drink that helps with relaxation and better sleep, but in fact, hot cocoa can also be a great coffee substitute.


    One cup of hot cocoa in the morning will give your body a boost of potent antioxidants, and it can even improve your mood (however, more research is needed on this). Cocoa contains a lot of magnesium - a mineral that promotes muscle relaxation, so this beverage can help improve the digestive system function as well.

    Roasted Dandelion Root

    Dandelion root can be roasted and brewed to create a delicious caffeine-free drink that will provide you with probiotics, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Given its high nutritional density, this coffee alternative can have a lot of health benefits. It tastes similar to coffee but has no bitterness, so it’s a great option to satisfy your taste buds whenever you crave regular coffee.



    Barley Coffee

    If you own an espresso machine and don’t want it to go to waste when you get rid of coffee, try drinking coffee made from barley or orzo. These are Italian caffeine-free coffee substitutes produced by roasting and grinding barley grains. Barley coffee tastes slightly bitter and earthy, but it’s a good drink to try if you want to swap coffee out for another beverage from time to time or don’t want to quit coffee cold turkey. Barley contains a lot of vitamins B and E as well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Barley coffee likely won’t give you a significant energy boost, but its potassium content can help to restore electrolyte levels in the body.



    Masala Chai

    Masala chai is a strongly flavoured black tea that is usually mixed with hot milk before consumption. It is made with numerous spices such as cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. It contains a small amount of caffeine, just like any other black tea, but it won’t make you anxious, unlike coffee. Masala tea is also known to improve heart health and digestion, maintain blood sugar levels, and aid with nausea and weight loss.



    Nut and Seed Milk

    Nut and seed milk is a nutrient-dense beverage that will give you a great morning start. This drink will help to maintain your blood sugar at a healthy level, reduce inflammation, and contribute to normal nervous system functioning. Extracted from almonds, poppy, and pumpkin seeds, this milk contains vital minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium, as well as protein and fibre.



    Roasted Fig Coffee

    Fig coffee is another healthy alternative to regular coffee that you should consider. This alkaline drink is full of minerals like iron and potassium and vitamins A and E. It’s caffeine, dairy, gluten, and processed sugar-free, which makes it an excellent addition to any type of diet.


    Capomo Coffee

    Capomo, or Maya tree nut seed, comes from capomo trees and originates in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. It doesn’t contain any caffeine or alkaloids, but it’s loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, fibre, and minerals, including potassium, iron, and calcium. Capomo seeds can help balance your blood sugar levels and improve serotonin production, which can boost mood and cognition. Additionally, capromo has anti-inflammatory properties and contains 19 of the 20 vital amino acids. These amino acids have many health benefits, including boosting the immune system, building muscle, repairing cells, and carrying oxygen throughout the body.



    What is the healthiest alternative to coffee?

    Plain tea is the healthiest alternative to coffee. It contains less caffeine than coffee but can still increase your energy levels without leaving you feeling anxious or jittery.

    What can I replace coffee with for energy?

    Sparkling spirulina drinks by FUL® are a great alternative for those who drink coffee as a wake-up drink. This bottled beverage can provide you with many health benefits that coffee doesn’t have and give you a healthy energy boost without the side effects.

    Is it better to not drink coffee?

    Some people experience side effects after drinking coffee since it’s really easy to overdo it on this drink. This can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, headaches, digestive distress, hormonal imbalances, and muscle breakdown. Thus, it’s a good idea to look into switching coffee out for a healthier alternative.

    What is a good coffee substitute without caffeine?

    The best caffeine-free coffee alternatives include sparkling spirulina drinks by FUL®, chicory coffee, roasted dandelion root, golden milk, lemon water, barley coffee, red tea, hot cocoa, and roasted fig coffee.

    What is a better substitute for coffee?

    Besides coffee, there are many other caffeinated drinks that will make you feel energised without experiencing caffeine side effects. You can try switching coffee for matcha tea, yerba mate, kombucha, black tea, or masala tea.

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    • I love FUL, I’ve just received my drinks and they are delicious.

      Tyreese Francis on
    • I love coffee but all the anxiety and caffeine rush made me look for alternatives. I was so relieved once I found FUL. Now I drink only decaf for the taste and all the caffeine cravings are gone!

      Dylan Goodman on
    • As a coffee maniac, FUL is so far the best alternative that helped me to cut back on coffee. Wherever I need a caffeine boost, FUL drinks save me.

      Hollie Roche on

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