Skip to main content

BlissMark may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Ditch the coffee: Caffeine-free ways to boost your energy

Caffeine is America’s stimulant of choice. According to one study, a whopping 85 percent of the U.S. population consumes at least one caffeinated beverage per day, with 96 percent of those beverages being coffee, tea, or soft drinks like soda or energy drinks.

Coffee, not surprisingly, is the leader of the pack. According to the National Coffee Association, coffee consumption is rising, with 7 in 10 people drinking coffee once a week and 62 percent doing so every day. Another study found that rising numbers of adolescents are consuming caffeinated energy drinks.

While caffeine, for the large part, is safe to consume, it can have unwanted side effects, including addiction. Looking for an alternative to that morning cup of joe or three? We’ve researched the best foods and beverages to boost energy, no caffeine required.

A woman drinking kombucha
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Health effects of caffeine

Not all caffeinated beverages are created equal, and some have much more caffeine per serving than others. Coffee leads the pack with 95 milligrams per 8 ounces, and the average energy drink isn’t far behind at 70 milligrams. Tea and soda have much less caffeine, consisting of 26 and 20 milligrams per 8 ounces, respectively.

While caffeine is a tried-and-true source of energy, irritating and potentially serious side effects can occur. Several of these effects are especially strong for pregnant women, which is why caffeine is off-limits for expectant mothers. Potential health risks and side effects of caffeine include:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Jitters
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat
  • Dehydration
  • Gout flareups
  • Hot flashes in menopausal women
  • Delayed fetal growth
  • Reduction in female fertility
  • Loss of pregnancy

If you’re pregnant or simply looking to cut down on your coffee intake, there are a variety of alternative sources of energy that won’t leave you with espresso jitters.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Caffeine-free energy-boosting foods

Energy boosts don’t only come from that liquid gold we call caffeine. Some of the greatest sources of energy are foods that are rich in carbohydrates and vitamins, which work together to give your brain and body a much-needed jolt.

  • Bananas: Vitamin B6 is the go-to vitamin to put some extra pep in your step. It accelerates the process that transforms carbs and protein into glucose, which your body uses for energy. Bananas are a great source of this vitamin, as well as carbohydrates and, of course, potassium.
  • Eggs: The incredible egg is full of protein that provides sustained energy all through the day. Eggs are also rich in the amino acid leucine, which helps your body produce and manage energy more effectively.
  • Beans and brown rice: There are two main components that determine how much energy you’ll get from any given food: complex carbohydrates and fiber. Unlike simple carbs like sugar and refined starches, complex carbs break down slowly over time, so you won’t experience a sugar crash. Beans, brown rice, legumes like peanuts and chickpeas, and sweet potatoes all contain filling complex carbs and fiber.
Woman with a smoothie
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Caffeine-free energy-boosting beverages

If you really can’t let go of that energy drink or cup of coffee, there are other drinks that provide a more natural, consistent energy boost.

  • Water: Hydration is critical for mood and energy, among many other things, so it’s important to drink plenty of water to keep your body going strong. Experts recommend drinking eight ounces per day to keep your body in tip-top shape.
  • Kombucha: This super drink, made from fermented tea, improves gut health and overall energy. It does contain small amounts of caffeine, but only in trace amounts that are similar to what is found in decaf coffee.
  • Smoothies: Not all smoothies are created equal, and drinks with added sugar will leave you hungry and tired just an hour or two later. Fill up your smoothie with a scoop of chia seeds for extra protein or oats for extra fiber.

No single food or beverage will provide the same short-term energy burst as a caffeinated or sugary beverage. However, if you keep these foods and drinks on hand, you’ll find yourself with day-long energy that keeps you from running to the coffee pot every morning.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

Editors' Recommendations

Scott Harris
Scott Harris is a freelance writer based near Washington, DC, with more than a decade of experience covering health…
4 delicious natural energy drinks you can make at home
Woman pouring green smoothie into a cup

When that afternoon slump hits, it can be hard to have the energy to focus on anything. Everyone needs a little boost now and then. But store-bought energy drinks are chock full of sugar, caffeine, and other harmful additives. Luckily, you don’t need to run out to the nearest convenience store for an energy shot to get hours of drive. Homemade energy drinks can naturally restore your electrolytes and give you a boost when you need it the most. The next time you’re feeling tired and lethargic, try out one of these four natural energy drinks for a quick boost.

Orange Wheatgrass Smoothie Recipe
Wheatgrass is one of the healthiest ingredients you can include in a natural energy drink. It’s high in manganese, folate, and vitamins A and C, which help revitalize your body and jumpstart your day. Check out this sweet recipe from Blender Babes.
1 orange or 2 tangerines, peeled
1/2 banana, frozen
1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh wheatgrass or 1/4 tsp wheatgrass powder
1/4 cup water or coconut water
1/2 cup ice
This simple recipe takes only about five minutes to make and produces one to two servings of smoothie. You can make your own substitutions to personalize this beverage and create a beverage that you’ll love to drink every day. To make this smoothie, add all the ingredients into the blender. Make sure the lid is on tight, and then blend until the mixture is smooth.
Sunrise Energy Drink
Start your morning with a little extra punch with this great recipe from SparkRecipes. This energy drink is full of omega-3, vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber, bromelain, and so much more. Plus, the gorgeous, vibrant orange color of the drink is totally Instagram-worthy.
12 medium-sized baby carrots
12 seedless red grapes
1 cup diced pineapple
1 tbsp flaxseeds
4 oz low sugar orange juice
4 oz water
To make a single serving of this delicious energy drink, start by adding all the ingredients to a blender. If you like a slushier consistency to your smoothies, you can add ice to the recipe. Combine until the mixture is thoroughly blended. Then, pour into a glass and enjoy the extra lift.

Read more
Can your late-night snack be ruining your sleep?
late night snack sleep man fridge

Everyone gets a little peckish now and then, and the late-night hours are no exception. The evening isn’t always the ideal timing for a snack, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world either.

But what you eat is more important than when. And when snacking happens in close proximity to bedtime, it’s important that your food doesn’t interfere with your sleep.

Read more
TikTok gross out. Videos by fast food workers may cure your craving for junk
Bacon cheeseburger and French fries

Ever wondered how your favorite fast-food meals are made? You may end up regretting that question.

Recently, fast-food workers have flocked to TikTok to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at their daily lives. The videos have illuminated some unpleasant truths about the food preparation process that many fast-food customers would be happier not knowing. Here are some videos from six of the most popular national chains. But beware — these TikToks may make you a home cooking convert once and for all.

Read more