11 Coffee Substitutes to Boost Your Energy

There’s nothing like waking up to your morning cup o’ Joe. So many of us need a taste of that sweet nectar before we can even think of shaving or putting on our faces. It’s not just part of our routine, it’s become something we can’t do without — an integral part of our ability to function as normal, responsible adults.

We cannot be held responsible for what might happen or what we might do if we don’t get our fix. Snap at our kids for asking what there is for breakfast? Sure. Fall asleep at our desk? Of course. Eat someone else’s lunch at work by accident, even though you never brought your lunch? (You were too tired because of no coffee.) Who hasn’t?

Here’s the thing, though.

All that coffee isn’t great for you. Caffeine is a drug known to contribute to mood disorders, sleep disorders, and anxiety disorders. If your body is accustomed to having caffeine regularly, the withdrawal symptoms can be pretty nasty, with headaches, irritability, and sleep issues all being common side effects of kicking a coffee habit. We won’t even touch on the health effects of all the sugar and cream that many people put in their cups.

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Here, then, are 11 substitutes for coffee that will help you get on with your day without the need for caffeine. Unlike coffee, withdrawal symptoms from these will most likely not cause you to punch your boss in the face. I’m not talking about just having decaf, either. Because then, what’s the point?


Roasting and brewing roots is a great way to a coffee-like taste and the energy boost you need to get going. Chicory and dandelion roots have a great mix of minerals and vitamins that provide you with the energy you used to get from caffeine. In the case of dandelion, it’s also good incentive to make sure to pull them out right at the root when you’re working in your yard. Dandelion can also help with any, ahem, digestive issues, since it’s considered a mild laxative, too.

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Herbal Tea

While there may be a little bit of caffeine in some herbal teas, there still isn’t the amount that you’d find in coffee. The minerals found in the herbs used for these teas provide an extra boost. As well, certain teas, such as green tea, can provide strong antioxidants to provide extra health benefits. Many herbal teas are also great at aiding the digestive process, which is a euphemism for keeping you regular, which is a euphemism for pooping.

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Wheat Grass

Kick your day in the grass. Wheat grass juice is a super healthy way to replace your morning coffee and provide a host of other health benefits. Nutrients in wheat grass include vitamins A, C, and E, plus iron and magnesium. Many health-conscious people take a shot of wheat grass every morning to get their day started. Wheat grass will also help your bowel move regularly, like just about everything else on this list.

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Mix up a morning treat with almond milk and a green superfood like spinach. You can add fruit as well for some sweet flavoring. Spinach packs vitamin B5 which will give you that morning boost. Also green poops.

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Teeccino is the brand name for a line of herbal coffees. They taste very much like regular coffee, but are brewed with barley and chicory nuts. Teeccino coffee can also be flavored in many different ways, making it a favorite for those looking to stop their coffee addiction.

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Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranates are another “super-food.” They pack a lot of nutritional power, such as vitamins C and D, in a weird-looking package. Pomegranate juice has a sweet flavor with a tang to it. It can give a great boost to a fruit juice mixture. Make sure to make use of the seeds of a pomegranate too, as they are a great source of fiber. Low fiber counts can lead to fatigue, among other serious health issues.

Pomegranate juice is also known to ease constipation. There does seem to be a theme developing here, doesn’t there?

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Carob Powder

Carob is a pulpy substance with a naturally sweet flavor. Before it’s ground into a powder, it’s dried and roasted. It has a similar texture to chocolate, and its sweet taste is a great substitute for it as well. Carob powder is extremely versatile. There’s so much you can do with it. You can use it instead of chocolate chips, put it in a smoothie, make a hot beverage with milk, even bake it into cakes and other baked goods.

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Licorice Tea

I’ve never understood the popularity of licorice candy. It’s rubbery, the flavor is boring, and it gets stuck in your teeth all too easily. If it wasn’t for the fact that it can be used as a straw to suck up other sugary treats, it would have no redeeming qualities, whatsoever.

Licorice root, however, has a shocking amount of redeeming qualities. It’s widely used in Ayurveda medicine, which dates back to prehistoric times. In fact, licorice is used in Ayurveda for rejuvenation. Hence why it’s a great substitute for coffee. Licorice is also believed to be an anti-inflammatory, can help with bronchial disorders, can ease PMS and increase low blood pressure. You could even sip the tea through a licorice straw, if you’d like.

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Flaxseed is another amazing food. It has vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, which provide energy and help lower cholesterol levels. It also has protein, which provides an energy boost as well. Remember how we talked about smoothies? Flaxseed is a great addition to any smoothie.

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Rooibos is an African legume. It’s been gaining popularity stateside for some time now, with Starbucks starting to serve it, along with many independent coffee shops. Rooibos tea sets itself apart from herbal teas because it’s much heartier. It looks a lot more like coffee than many other teas as well, so the illusion can go deeper when you’re trying to ditch the coffee.

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Prune Juice

It’s not just for your grandmother anymore! Pooping has been a bit of theme in this article, and helping you poop is probably prune juice’s best-known benefit. Aside from making your magazine time more enjoyable, it also helps keep your electrolytes at their proper levels. This helps increase energy and stamina. The flavor of prune juice isn’t for everyone, though (and might not be for anyone) so mix it with some fruit juice or even some water to dilute it. It’s always nice to be able to keep your coffee substitute down.

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So what have we learned here? Yes, we’ve learned that many coffee substitutes also help you poop. The bonus with that is it you have some when you wake up, you’ll probably have an excuse for an extended “reading break” at work around mid-morning. Good times. We’ve also learned that while coffee works well by inhibiting the sensors in your brain that cause tiredness, it’s actually much healthier to keep your energy up by boosting the nutrients that give you energy and stamina. Don’t forget your reading materials.

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