Cutting back on caffeine? Here are 5 alternatives to coffee

Steph Arnaldo
Cutting back on caffeine? Here are 5 alternatives to coffee
Need a boost of energy even without coffee? Here are 5 tasty, healthy substitutes that'll help you get through the day!

MANILA, Philippines – We’re sorry to have to ask, but is it finally time for you to ease up on your daily overdose of caffeine? 

Maybe your caffeine highs have been giving you the worst of crashes lately, or maybe that daily 3-cup habit is the culprit behind your unexplained nervous system jitters, tummy troubles, or splitting headaches. Whatever the reason, maybe coffee’s 95 mg of caffeine hasn’t been working so much in your favor anymore.

If you’re slowly weaning from coffee and in search of other energy-boosting options that are lower in caffeine but still also good for you (goodbye energy drinks and sugary sodas), here are 5 tasty coffee alternatives that’ll still get that mid-day slump taken care of.

Green Tea

The earthy, light, and fresh green tea is a popular suggestion to the “ayoko na muna mag-kape” statement – why? Aside from being antioxidant-rich, green tea has around 35 mg of caffeine in an 8 oz serving, making it a gentler yet still effective wake-me-upper.

The centuries-old Japanese staple hailed as one of the world’s “healthiest drinks” has catechins called EGCG, natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and free radicals in the body. This makes it good for the heart’s blood vessels and the brain’s too, waking up its working-memory area.

It is also said to help stabilize blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and increase one’s metabolic rate. At this point, what else can’t it do? Have your cup with a squeeze of lemon for a dose of vitamin C and a spoonful of honey for some natural sweetness and an extra sugar kick.

Black Tea

Strong, full-bodied, and robust, the fragrant black tea is most known for being the wind beneath your favorite tea beverages’ wings: Assam, English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and Chai. 

An 8 oz cup of black tea usually has about 47 mg of caffeine in it, while a 6 oz cup has around 35.6 mg. Energy aside, it also carries catechins, theaflavins and thearubigins, antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body, and flavanoids, which benefit your heart health, just like in wine, veggies, and fruits.

Taste too strong for you? Feel free to enjoy your English Breakfast the English way – with a dash of milk and a spoonful of sugar. Once you go black, we doubt you’ll ever go back.

Lemon Water

Because when life gives you lemons – why not turn it into water? Water alone is a good energy booster (because you may just be lethargic due to dehydration), but paired with lemon? Even better. 

The caffeine-free lemon water – water mixed with fresh lemon slices and juice – helps to cleanse your body from toxins and to aid digestion by breaking down stomach acids. This helps fight off that sluggish, post-meal feeling, while also protecting cells from damage, due to high vitamin C levels.

Lemon water also boasts of phytonutrients, anti-inflammatory antioxidant properties that help boost your immunity. Plus, it’s easy to have every day – just pour yourself a refreshing glass with every meal! 

Dark chocolate 

Bet we had you at “chocolate.”

Dark chocolate, the least processed of all chocolates, has the highest cacao content, giving it its famous bittersweet, richer, and stronger cacao flavor. The higher the cacao content, the more bitter, and the more caffeine it has. 

100 grams of dark chocolate usually has about 43 mg of caffeine, while 28.4 grams has about 12.2 mg. A whole bar usually has 69.7 mg – still less than coffee, but a good amount. 

Not only is it delish, but dark chocolate is also packed with flavanols, antioxidants that help repair the body’s cells and improve blood flow to the heart and brain. It helps with blood pressure and can also aid brain function, making it a popular study snack.

When shopping, look for bars with higher cacao content and less amount of sugar and calories – the purer, the better. Dark chocolate also makes for a good hot cocoa drink!

Apples and apple cider vinegar

The answer to why apple slices were my most common study snack growing up isn’t just because of its addicting, loud crunch – this fiber-filled fruit packs 13 grams of simple sugars, giving the body and brain a much-needed natural energy boost. 

For apples in its liquid form, try apple cider vinegar, apple juice that’s fermented, producing acetic acid, which gives it its distinctly sour taste. 

The best way to ingest ACV is 1-2 tablespoons mixed in cold water, with 1-2 tablespoons of honey or your preferred natural sweetener. Some like to take it like tea, served warm and comforting. 

Apple cider vinegar’s polyphenol levels helps curb cell damage, lower cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and increase satiety – preventing you from over-eating and wasting your energy on digestion. Also: It’s caffeine- and almost calorie-free.

Its amino acids also help release any lactic acid build-up from fatigued muscles and any stress tension. Plus, we’re sure its lip-pursing taste and nose-wrinkling smell will keep those senses wide and awake (Apologies to your officemates in advance.) –

Looking for healthier alternatives? Use this Shopee promo code

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.


Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.