Coffee & Tea
December 19, 2022

21 Best Alternatives to Coffee For a Caffeine Boost

You might be looking for alternatives considering the taste, health benefits, or maybe just for variety. Caffeinated alternatives to coffee include kombucha, matcha, and energy drinks. I personally think that coffee is healthy enough and can be tasty for anyone depending on the preparation.

Joana Regulacion
Table of Contents:

I can’t imagine a world without coffee. Unfortunately, not everyone shares my love for this caffeinated drink 😔. Read on and check out our list of coffee alternatives for caffeine lovers who have sensitive stomachs, or nerves, or just want to cut back.

Caffeinated alternatives to coffee include kombucha, matcha, and energy drinks.

While caffeine in low doses is not bad for you. And whatever your reasons are, replacing coffee with something which causes greater caloric surplus…er…And is definitely NOT a healthy alternative.

You might assume that any coffee alternative with caffeine is healthier than actual coffee— but that’s not the case. For example, some people would rather have tea or other organic beverages for their antioxidant properties. But does it give you enough of a boost?

Now, coffee itself is already a healthy drink, even iced coffee has particular health benefits. But anything in excess will always pose a threat to our health.

Best Caffeinated Alternatives to Coffee

Not everyone loves the bitter taste of coffee. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why they are in search of a caffeine alternative to coffee to boost them up in the morning.

Here is a list of the 21 best alternatives to coffee for a caffeine boost.

Let’s start with a few carbonated drinks. Some people might prefer something fizzy: “I don't like coffee but I need caffeine!” Here are a few drinks with caffeine other than coffee.

1. Coca-Cola

Serving size: 12 oz

Caffeine (mg): 34

Calories: 139

You can get 34mg of caffeine in a regular can of coke. If the reason why you're skipping the average cup of joe is that you’re looking for some sweetness, you can def chug down coca-cola. This can give you some energy just like coffee would —minus the bitter taste. 

But soda in the morning, isn’t that sacrilegious or something? Plus, it might not be the healthiest option. 

Even drinking just one or two colas per day can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 20%. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excess fat are all linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

The consumption of colas and other sugary beverages has been linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

2. Pepsi

Serving size: 12 oz

Caffeine (mg): 35-38

Calories: 150

Of course, talking about sodas we can’t NOT mention Coca-Cola’s biggest competitor: Pepsi. For every 12-ounce can of Pepsi, you’ll have around 35-38 mg of caffeine.

So if you are looking for something sweet, this can be another option for you.

Pepsi has slightly more sugar, calories, and caffeine compared to coke. It has a bit of that citrusy tang that makes it taste crisp and delicious. 

But like its competitor, I won’t advise you to make a habit of drinking Pepsi every day. It just has so much sugar!

Drinking it every day can be pretty detrimental to your health. Too many soft drinks in your diet can lead to chronic health problems ranging from obesity to diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. 

Uh oh.

Well, maybe I could get away with a diet soda. 😉 

3. Diet Mountain Dew

Serving size: 12 oz

Caffeine (mg): 54

Calories: 0

Diet Mountain Dew has 54 mg of caffeine for every 12 ounces aaand…ZERO CALORIES!

People say it tasted almost exactly like the real thing. Some even claimed that it tasted better than Diet Mountain Dew. Others think the Diet Mountain Dew had a stronger chemical aftertaste.

You might consider Diet Mountain Dew as a healthier option. However, it still has some really bad side effects like the ones below: 👇

  • Gut health may be jeopardized
  • Tooth enamel erodes
  • Headaches are possible
  • Could reduce bone density

4. Pepsi Zero Sugar

Serving size: 12 oz

Caffeine (mg):  69

Calories: 0

Zero Sugar Pepsi has fewer calories that the regular one and has even more caffeine at 69mg. 

Despite the fact that diet soda contains no calories, sugar, or fat, diet Pepsi is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In fact, just one serving of an artificially sweetened beverage per day is associated with an 8- 13% increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Diet soda's artificial sweeteners and other chemicals are safe for most people, and there is no credible evidence that these ingredients cause cancer.

Some diet sodas are even enriched with vitamins and minerals. But still, diet soda isn't a health drink or a magic weight-loss potion.

5. Mountain Zevia

Serving size: 12 oz.

Caffeine (mg): 55

Calories: 0

Mountain Zevia has a bold citrus flavor. This might be a preferred option if you think Pepsi and Coke are too sweet. It has 55mg worth of caffeine for every 12 ounces, so you can still wake up when you need to.

Zevia should be relatively “healthier” cause it is sweetened with stevia rather than sugar or artificial sweeteners.

However, if consumed in excess, stevia can cause blood sugar problems and even mutagenic DNA damage. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stevia consumption should be limited to two drinks per day.


But then some people need more caffeine than others. This is where energy drinks come in. 

Caffeine, added sugars, other additives, and legal stimulants such as guarana, taurine, and L-carnitine are commonly found in energy drinks.

These stimulants (legal, of course) can boost alertness, attention, and energy while also raising blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate.

6. Red Bull

Serving size: 8.4 oz.

Caffeine (mg): 80

Calories: 46

Red bull has Caffeine, B-complex vitamins, Sugars and Taurine.

Taurine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the human body. It is present in the daily diet and is involved in a lot of biological processes.

It’s great for pre-workout especially if you have it about an hour before your hit the gym.

However, several previous studies have found that energy drinks can have a significant impact on heart rhythm and blood pressure. Because energy drinks have a lot of sugar, long-term use may have an impact on the body's metabolism. 

This could affect cholesterol, blood sugars, and weight. If you’re not careful, all those crunches could be in vain.

7. Monster

Serving size: 16 oz.

Caffeine (mg): 160

Calories: 42

Monster energy drink has 160 mg of caffeine in every 16-ounce can. It’s one of the ways to get caffeine without coffee —lots of it.

Monster Energy isn't exactly healthy because of its high sugar and calorie content. It’s pretty high in caffeine and sugar. So it is not the best drink to include in your daily diet unless you regularly exercise.

Like Red Bull or other energy drinks, you should probably limit yourself to one can of Monster per day.  All that synthetic caffeine, sugar, and other unnecessary ingredients can cause you more harm than good.

If you’re not careful, it could cause restlessness which might be counterproductive if you are planning to stay up for an all-nighter.

8. Clif Shot

Serving size: 1.2 oz

Caffeine (mg): 100

Calories: 110

Clif Shot is packed with 100 mg of caffeine in a 1.2-ounce pack. 

This is quite perfect for a pretty quick boost especially if you don’t have the time to grab yourself a cup of coffee. It’s not bad tasting either, surprisingly. I actually thought it was going to be like cough syrup.

It’s pretty easy to open and easy to carry if you ever need some energy going to the gym from work perhaps. 

However, don’t be fooled by the size or go crazy with it because it also packs 110 calories per shot.

9. Redline Max 300 7-Hour Energy Boost

Serving size: 2.5 oz

Caffeine (mg): 300

Calories: 6

Redline Max 300 comes in 2.5 oz and claims to have amino acids, vitamins, electrolytes, and beta-alanine. At 300 mg of caffeine per can, it’s safe to say it packs a punch. 👊

Like the Clif Shot, it’s pretty small and can be consumed in a gulp or two. Perfect if you’re on the go.

One of their claims is that you won’t be expecting any sugar-induced crash. This is because sugar is at 0g. That’s going to be a plus for a lot of people, I guess?

Even though it is sugar-free, some people claim Redline is still tasty. It still isn't particularly a fantastic energy drink, but it is extremely potent. 👀

Not a fan of the sweet stuff? Or maybe you’re looking for something less hardcore than energy drinks?

If you want something flavorless to rest your tastebuds, here are a few caffeinated water drinks you can try.

It’s definitely healthy, right? Or is it? 🤨

10. Water Joe

Serving size: 20 Oz

Caffeine (mg): 70

Calories: 0

Water Joe has 70mg of caffeine in every 20-ounce bottle. I wouldn’t have thought I could wake up with just water. 

But is it really healthy?

Most people think that since you’re drinking (technically) water, it’s going to be hydrating. But then, any form of caffeine is a diuretic. Yes, it has 0 calories, but tea and coffee without sugar or milk only have 1 or 2 calories. 

However, if you aren’t a fan of strong bitter flavors, then this is one of the good caffeine substitutes for coffee. Caffeinated water is likely safe for healthy adults as long as you don’t exceed 400 mg of caffeine per day.

11. Phocus Caffeinated Sparkling Water

Serving size: 11.9 oz

Caffeine (mg): 75

Calories: 0

If you want some variety with your flavored water, you can try Phocus caffeinated sparkling water. It has 0 calories like Water Joe but is not as boring.

Phocus is a lightly carbonated, lightly caffeinated drink. It claims to give you a boost without the crash. They claim to harvest caffeine from green tea and l-theanine.

You can enjoy Phocus in the following flavors:

  • Mixed Berry
  • Cucumber
  • Cola
  • Grapefruit
  • Yuzu
  • Lime
  • Natural
  • Cherry Cola
  • Root Beer
  • Peach
  • Crisp Apple
  • Blood Orange
  • Mint

Phocus was developed as a healthier alternative to sugary sodas and energy drinks. The idea is for you to be able to drink water while still receiving caffeine. It was created to give drinkers the same energy boost as an eight-ounce cup of coffee.

But honestly, I’m not sure if it's enough coffee alternatives for caffeine —or if it can wake you up.

Other options you might like for your daily energy boost are juice drinks and bottled tea. Some are made of fruits, roots, or herbs.

12. Rishi Sparkling Botanicals & Tea

Serving size: 7.9 Ounces

Caffeine (mg): 40mg

Calories: 5-15

Rishi's Sparkling Botanicals contain no added sugar. The only sugars are derived from the fermentation of real fruits and herbs. If you are thinking about how to get caffeine without coffee, here it is.

Rishi has 40mg of caffeine in every can.

The flavor profiles range from 5 to 15 calories per serving. It also has 1-4 grams of total carbohydrates and 0-2 grams of total sugars.

Rishi comes in different flavors:

  • Black Lemon
  • Dandelion Ginger
  • Grapefruit Quince
  • Patagonia Maqui
  • Schisandra Berry
  • Turmeric Saffron

13. Health-Ade Plus Energy Kombucha

Serving size: 16 oz.

Caffeine (mg): 120

Calories: 70

Health-Ade Plus Energy Kombucha has living probiotics, detoxifying acids, and natural antioxidants. It’s one of the pretty intriguing non-coffee caffeine drinks.

Kombucha has a pretty interesting taste. Do you remember Kombucha girl on TikTok?

Probiotics are live bacteria that have been shown to benefit gut health.

When consumed, probiotics contribute to a diverse microbiome. This aids in the overall balance of your body.

As for the sugar, each standard serving of kombucha has 12 to 17 grams of sugar, with 10 to 13 grams of added sugar. 

Like other drinks, don’t go crazy on Kombucha, though. It has been reported to cause some side effects like stomach problems, yeast infections, nausea, vomiting, and allergic reactions.

There are cases of toxicity of the liver and inflammation blamed on kombucha consumption which led to jaundice and even death. 

14. FUL® Sparkling Spirulina Drinks

Serving size: 1.9 oz

Caffeine (mg): 0

Calories: 30

FUL comes in flavors of White Peach, Lime & Mint, and Lemon & Ginger. It only has 30 calories per can.

This sparkling spirulina drink claims to have an all-natural formulation. It contains antioxidants such as chlorophyll and phycocyanin, calcium, iron, Vitamin C, B1 and B2, magnesium, potassium, and plant-based protein.

These B vitamins give you energy when caffeine is absent.

But their selling point is Spirulina. Spirulina contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for immune system health, such as vitamins E, C, and B6. 

Spirulina increases the production of white blood cells and antibodies. This helps your body fight viruses and bacteria.

Spirulina is generally safe, but it has been linked to a few inconvenient side effects. This includes headaches, muscle pain, sweating, and insomnia in a small number of users. Spirulina can also cause allergic reactions in some people.

Not much of a tea person?

Some people would prefer tea or cacao in their morning drink. This is probably closest in taste to coffee. But still less aggressive in caffeine compared to his brother “joe.”

15. Lipton Decaffeinated Black Tea

Serving size: per bag

Caffeine (mg): less than 5

Calories: 0

Lipton Decaffeinated Black Tea has a very low caffeine content and 0 calories. Lipton® Black Teas are decaffeinated naturally, retaining the majority of the flavonoids as well as the pure, clean, classic tea flavor.

Orange pekoe and pekoe-cut black tea leaves are used exclusively for this decaf tea.

Taking the caffeine out of tea doesn't affect its nutritional value and antioxidant content. It's the same tea as before— but without the stimulants.

The downside? It definitely won’t provide you with the same level of energy and stamina as a regular tea —or coffee for that matter. 💤

16. Firebelly Tea: No Ordinary Joe

Serving size: 1.9 oz.

Caffeine (mg): 200

Calories: 0

No Ordinary Joe is one of the variations of Firebelly Tea. It’s a combination of dandelion, roasted mate, liquorice root, cocoa shell, and roasted chicory.

No Ordinary Joe is meant to replace your morning coffee —healthily and subtly.

This tea brand uses natural ingredients with no additives or chemicals. It comes in sustainable, compostable packaging and is sold entirely online. 

If you want, you can order the tea at home and have it shipped directly to you. It’s just going to really cost you a bit of money though.

17. Cuzen Home Matcha System

Serving size: N/A

Caffeine (mg): 19–44 mg/gram

Calories: 3

The matcha leaf Cuzen brings you has less caffeine. Both coffee and matcha have minimal calories and a bitter taste. Though they're both caffeinated drinks, coffee contains more caffeine than matcha per serving.

If you are someone who is inclined to like grind and brew coffee makers, you might also love the idea of the Cuzen Home Matcha System. So it’s not just about a caffeine alternative to coffee, but a whole shift in your beverage routine.

They have blends and single-origin matcha leaves you can choose from. 

So if you are looking for the same amount of boost for a similar noteworthy experience, you can try this Cuzen.

18. nuJo

Serving size: 8 oz

Caffeine (mg): 0

Calories: 10

nuJo is a roasted root beverage. It is 100% organic, caffeine-free, and gluten-free, with a cupful of health benefits that is delicious hot, or iced. 

nuJo called their product a “prebiotic superfood.” they made this coffee alternative from organic orange peel, organic allspice, organic clove, organic chicory root, organic quinoa, and organic MCT coconut oil.

As for the flavor, it is full, with a mellow, soothing, and a hint of spice. Not bad for a caffeine replacement.

With this drink, MCT oil is used to be a viable energy source instead of caffeine. Fats are broken down in the liver to be used as fuel or stored as body fat.

MCTs can be used as an immediate source of energy because they enter your cells without being broken down.

19. Teeccino

Serving size: 10 oz

Caffeine (mg): 0

Calories: 25

Teeccino is designed to brew and taste like coffee without having a single drop of caffeine. It also has only 25 calories per serving.

Being a coffee look-alike, you can even use Teeccino on a French press, drip coffee maker, or filter cone. It’s a pretty interesting caffeine replacement.

But can you get a boost from this drink?

The easily absorbable potassium in brewed Teeccino contributes to the energy boost that people perceive as simply being energized without a jolt.

Teeccino can even help athletes recover their energy after workouts because the potassium in it restores electrolyte balance.

It comes in different flavors like macadamia note, dark chocolate, and even mango.

But would zero caffeine really give us the boost we need?

Shrooms! Who knew this can be an alternative to coffee?

Because coffee beans are filtered out during the brewing process, only a trace of soluble fiber remains in the finished beverage. However, the addition of dried and milled mushroom powder to mushroom coffee significantly increases the fiber content. This will promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and contribute to your healthy gut flora.


Serving size: n/a

Caffeine (mg): 30

Calories: 20

MUD\WTR has a distinct flavor. It's a chai-cocoa blend with a cinnamon-rich mocha flavor, a hint of ginger, and a very earthy aftertaste.

This drink is pretty Insta-famous. It is made of organic ingredients like masala chai, turmeric, sea salt, cacao, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. It also has several types of mushrooms like Chaga, cordyceps, lion's mane, and reishi.

So if you like something earthy, a little chocolatey, and a little spicy, this drink is for you. Just like the Cuzen Matcha set, MUD\WTR also sells a starter kit that comes with a frother. 

Probably the only reason for getting into this alternative is the supposed health benefits. Because the taste…well… its earthiness is at the level of…mud.

It’s one of the coffee alternatives with caffeine from the masala chai. But I’m not sure if that’s much of a booster.

21. Guayakí Yerba Mate

Serving size: 7.9 oz

Caffeine (mg): 40mg

Calories: 5

Guayaki yerba mate is a stimulant beverage that has 40 mg of caffeine and 5 calories for every 7.9 ounces. But unlike others contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polyphenols, and amino acids in addition to caffeine.

Guayaki yerba mate should be nutritious with a variety of health benefits. Your central nervous system is stimulated by yerba mate.

Healthy adults who drink yerba mate on occasion are unlikely to be at risk. Some studies, however, suggest that people who consume large amounts of yerba mate over a long period may be at an increased risk of certain types of cancer.

To be fair, anything that is too much is bad. 

If you can’t tolerate caffeine, you can check out my short list of zero-caffeine coffee alternatives below. 👇

Honorable mentions: Zero-Caffeine coffee alternatives

  • Anthony’s Chicory Root Granules

Anthony's Organic Roasted Chicory Root Granules is caffeine-free and is only at 5 calories per serving.

Anthony's Instant Chicory Root is a caffeine-free alternative to coffee made from the chicory plant's roots. These roots are roasted and ground into a fine powder, making them ideal if you still want an instant coffee-like beverage.

As for the flavor, ground chicory root tastes a lot like ground coffee beans. Its intense flavor is described as warm, nutty, woody, and earthy.

The real question is: does it give you energy? Well, I’m not so convinced, because chicory doesn't give you instant energy like coffee does. But it does help improve your immunity, digestive function, and overall health. 

Serving size: 8 oz

Caffeine (mg): 0

Calories: 5

  • Renude Chagaccino

Renude Chagaccino has 0 calories and 0 caffeine. It is one of the more healthy caffeine alternatives.

It’s another coffee alternative that lets you mimic the coffee experience. I can see you can prepare it like iced coffee too.

It’s made of wild foraged Chaga, organic Peruvian cacao, organic Ceylon cinnamon, and monk fruit sweetener. 

So how does it give you energy without the caffeine?

One of the benefits of Chaga mushrooms is that they may help increase the concentration of a molecule called AMPK. This is a critical component of the body's energy pathways. Scientists hypothesize that this is a factor in Chaga's incredible energy-boosting abilities.

Serving size: n/a

Caffeine (mg): 0

Calories: 0

  • Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mix

Four Sigmatic is a blend of regular ground coffee and powdered mushrooms. It’s also another one on this list that contains Chaga.

Each cup contains 350mg of organic, wild-harvested Chaga. Chaga is extremely high in antioxidants and is one of the most antioxidant-dense foods on the planet!

It also has Lion’s mane mushrooms. A lion's mane mushroom supplement can help you feel calmer and less anxious. This is pretty great if you are prone to feeling anxious or stressed.

In terms of energy, Lion's Mane is a stimulant of physical energy production within the body. They claim that this can be used as a pre-workout coffee. 

Serving size: 8 oz

Caffeine (mg): 50

Calories: 0

  • Wooden Spoon Herbs Herbal Coffee 

Herbal coffee by Wooden Spoon has 0 calories and 0 caffeine.

It is made of organic mesquite pod, organic dandelion root, organic maca root, organic burdock root, organic cinnamon bark, and organic reishi fruiting body extract.

Wooden Spoon claims that it is more than just a caffeine-free alternative. It's made from caffeine-free prebiotic roots, adaptogenic mushrooms, and seeds.

Ideally, all of these should promote optimal well-being and focused energy.

Now it does come with a California Proposition 65 Warning.

Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians of significant chemical exposures that cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. 

Serving size: n/a

Caffeine (mg): 0

Calories: 20

What’s Your Best Substitute for Coffee?

There are plenty of coffee alternatives, including teas, chocolate milk, and other functional or fermented concoctions. They’re also pretty delicious in their own way.

You might be looking for coffee caffeine alternatives considering the taste, health benefits, or maybe just for variety.

In the end, I don’t think there’s any coffee substitute that can truly match coffee. But it’s good to experiment and find what works best for you. 

About the author
Joana Regulacion
Joana is an engaging content writer and dynamic virtual assistant. ✍️ She helps business owners and entrepreneurs deliver a clear message to everyone and attract and engage the perfect audience. She is a proud wife, mom, and animal lover.‍ She believes that her love for learning new things is her key to writing engaging content.

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