For millions of people, coffee is an intrinsic part of starting the day out right. There’s a reason for all the “Death Before Decaf” and “Talk to Me when I’ve Had My Coffee” t-shirts and mugs. Coffee provides that burst of caffeine to give you energy for the long day ahead. With all the variety of types and flavors out there, there’s a coffee drink for anyone.
Sometimes, though, we may have to cut down on the coffee. Maybe coffee doesn’t make your stomach sit well, no matter how much you love it. Or maybe you’re looking to cut down on the caffeinated drink for other health-related reasons.
Whatever the case, you don’t have to worry about losing out on that important energy your coffee usually provides. Below, we’ve listed ten delicious coffee substitutes that will keep you going throughout the day.
Why to Make the Switch from Coffee
There has been a lot of debate over the years about whether coffee is good or bad for you. While we have since moved on from the theory that “coffee stunts your growth” and found a surprising amount of health benefits to drinking coffee, there are still a number of reasons why some people should make the switch from coffee.
For some, coffee just doesn’t sit well with their digestive tracts, an unfortunate occurrence if they genuinely enjoy the coffee flavor and effects. Coffee can also lead to cases of insomnia and induce cravings for sweets, neither of which are beneficial to your overall health. Coffee can also trigger anxiety in some people.
And then, of course, there’s the fact that caffeine is highly addictive, and coffee has a lot of it.
If you suffer from any of the above symptoms or are just looking to make a change to your caffeine-dependence, it may be the time to make the switch from coffee.
Luckily, there are plenty of coffee substitutes available that will make quitting coffee much more bearable.
Many of the below listed alternatives have caffeine as well, but typically in smaller amounts. Others are nutritious and provide energy in a more natural way. If you just can’t seem to let go of that good coffee taste, there are still plenty of substitutes that mimic the coffee flavor almost perfectly.
10 Coffee Substitutes You’ll Absolutely Love
We know, we know. Your love for coffee runs deep. But sometimes a change is required. Before wallowing in despair of your coffee-void existence, try out some of these tasty and healthy coffee substitutes that are sure to brighten and awaken your day.
1. Green Tea
Green tea is a terrific alternaative for those looking to make a switch from coffee. Offering just a little less caffeine than your typical cup of coffee, it will still give you your morning boost.
It’s also a lot healthier—green tea is chalk full of antioxidants and disease-fighting ingredients. There’s even evidence to suggest it fights against cancer.
Green tea is tasty and easy to find at your local coffee shop, or to make yourself at home.
2. Black Tea
Not a green tea fan? Give black teas a try.
Black tea typically contains almost as much caffeine as coffee, unless in its decaffeinated state. Popular black teas include English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and their derivatives.
Black teas can be dressed up in much the same way as coffee, providing the perfect base to add cream and sugar. These teas also make excellent lattes. London Fogs, essentially an Earl Grey latte, are particularly popular.
3. Wheatgrass Juice
Wheatgrass juice offers an awesome blend of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that make it a great source of natural energy.
The main controversy around this coffee substitute revolves around its taste—while some like it well enough, others abhor it. The pure nutritional value of wheatgrass juice cannot be denied, however.
If you don’t like the taste of wheatgrass juice enough to take the traditional shot of it, you can also try adding it to a smoothie or protein shake.
Caffeine is great but it can lead to a mid-afternoon slump or crash. Rather than reach for the second cup o’ joe, try waking yourself up with some zesty lemon water.
Either plop a few lemon wedges into your water or add some lemon juice and lemon zest. The refreshing drink will wake up your senses and give you a second wind.
Chai offers probably one of the closest substitutes to coffee we have on this list. Though Chai also falls under the category of black tea, this tea has such a distinct flavor and spice to it that the tea and its latte form have taken on a huge life of their own.
Chai lattes are one of the most common beverages for non-coffee drinkers to order. The rich milky base combined with the spicy tea provides a great alternative to coffee with a similar texture.
Chai tea lattes are just as adaptable to adding special flavors to as coffee, and it provides an excellent way to cut down on caffeine.
Be aware of how much sugar is in your chai tea latte, though—these drinks tend to have a great deal of it.
6. Nourishing Smoothies
Smoothies are another great way to start your day off right and get energy from natural and healthy sources.
Greens-based smoothies are a great way to get in your daily dose of vegetables while soaking up all their nutrients and energy-giving properties. Great ingredients to include are spinach, kale, and barley greens paired with your favorite fruits for some natural sugar.
Smoothies featuring nuts are another great way to go. Nuts provide a good amount of protein for long, sustainable energy.
7. Yerba Maté
Yerba Maté contains a great amount of caffeine that creates the same energy-buzz effect of coffee.
Similar to tea, this South American drink is made by steeping the leaves and twigs of the Yerba Maté plant.
It should be noted that the taste of Yerba Maté tends to be bitter, so it might not be the best alternative for you if you like things on the sweeter side.
8. Mushroom Elixir
This is a bit of a weird one, but bear with us. Made by Four Sigmatic, their variety of mushroom elixirs are made with chaga mushroom powder. While mushroom powder may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a good coffee substitute, Four Sigmatic’s mushroom elixirs actually taste a surprising amount like real coffee, offering an earthy taste.
The mushroom elixirs also offer a good number of antioxidants and other nutrients.
Teeccino is another great alternative for coffee lovers who are unwilling to part with the taste. Made primarily of Carob, barley, chicory, and other seeds and nuts, this coffee substitute is tasty and also low-calorie.
Teecino doesn’t disappoint in flavor, and it’s great if you prefer things on the sweeter side. One eight-ounce cup is only 12 calories, so you don’t have to worry about this drink if you’re on a diet.
It comes in a variety of warm and classic flavors, adding an element of fun and spice to the coffee substitute.
10. Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate juice is commonly referred to as a “super food,” and for good reason. Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, making them a perfect source of natural energy if you’re trying to stay away from traditional sources of caffeine.
Pomegranate juice on its own is plenty tasty, though this juice can also be easily incorporated into or added to a variety of other beverages. Whether you add it to a smoothie or some fizzy water, this juice is sure to give you the energy boost you need to make it through the day.
Energy That Will Last You the Whole Day
For many of us, our working day is a long one. While it’s great if you can make it through the day just on your natural amount of energy, still many more of us need a jolt to wake up in the morning or a little pick-me-up in the afternoon.
The coffee substitutes we’ve listed above offer a great way to escape your daily cup of coffee. Many of them are healthy alternatives, while others just plain taste good. So, whether you’re looking to make the switch from coffee or you were never really a coffee person in the first place, you’ll find all the energy you need to make it through your day with any of the options above.
So, grab your tea/smoothie/juice/mushroom elixir, and enjoy an energetic and productive day!