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Best Energy Drink Alternatives: 14 Substitutes You'll Love

Energy drinks have become a staple for way too many people seeking a quick boost in energy and alertness. However, the potential health risks associated with these beverages are the reason it might be a good idea to look for alternatives. From nutrient-packed smoothies to herbal teas, there are plenty of options that can provide sustained energy without the negative side effects. In this article, we’ll explore the best energy drink alternatives that can help you stay energized throughout the day.

Why It's Time to Cut the Energy Drinks

Before diving into the alternatives, it's important to understand why it’s time to cut the energy drinks.
Ironically, they might just be causing you to have less energy in the future.
The thing with energy drinks is they’re a bit like high-interest loans.
Temporarily you have more energy, but then there comes the crash. And with energy drinks, there are also long-term effects that can lead to other health issues (which your body then spends more energy on dealing with). Let’s take a quick look at some of them and their causes.

High Sugar Content

Most energy drinks are loaded with sugar, which can lead to a quick spike in energy followed by a sudden crash. Consuming excessive sugar can also contribute to weight gain, inflammation diabetes, and tons of other bodily disorders [1], such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Certain cancers
  • Dental issues

Excessive Caffeine

While caffeine can temporarily boost alertness, excessive consumption can lead to jitters, anxiety, insomnia, and increased heart rate. Over time, dependency on caffeine can also reduce its effectiveness, leading to the need for even higher doses. This means you’ll need more caffeine to hit 60-70% of your regular energy levels. 

Dependency on a drink that contains tons of harmful ingredients is not something we’d recommend. 

Artificial Ingredients

Many energy drinks contain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives that can have adverse effects on your health. These additives can cause allergic reactions and other health problems in sensitive individuals.

No/Low-sugar options usually include ingredients like Acesulfame K or Aspartame, which are also linked to bad gut microbiome and other side effects. [2]

Healthy Energy Drink Alternatives

Below we’ve walked you through a huge variety of healthy energy drink substitutes. 

Some are more healthy than others, but one thing is for sure: They’re all healthier than energy drinks, and often, even more cost-efficient. 

Our main advice would be if you are heavily dependent on high doses of caffeine to work your way down using healthier alternatives, and eventually to drop it completely so that your energy levels are more sustained through the day rather than a rollercoaster pattern. 


To keep things interesting we started with #14, and worked down to the #1 option. 

Let’s dive in. 

14. Sparkling Water

Sparkling water can be a refreshing and hydrating alternative to energy drinks. While it doesn't contain caffeine or added sugars, it provides the essential hydration your body needs to function efficiently. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, and difficulty concentrating, often prompting people to consume energy drinks.

One study, suggests that even slight dehydration such as a total body water loss of 1–2% can impair cognitive performance [3]

Meaning: Dehydration might be the reason you need energy drinks in the first place. 

Benefits of Sparkling Water:

  • Hydration: Proper hydration helps maintain energy levels and cognitive function.
  • Calorie-Free: Provides a refreshing taste without the calories or sugar of traditional energy drinks.
  • Digestive Aid: The carbonation in sparkling water can help with digestion and alleviate bloating.

Plus, a cold glass of sparkling water is often preferred by some to regular water, so we thought it deserved a spot on the list. 

13. Lemon and Salt Water

A simple mixture of lemon and salt added to water can act as a natural electrolyte drink. 

This hydrating beverage helps replenish lost minerals and maintain fluid balance in the body.

Electrolytes like Sodium or Potassium are essential for your body, and this is a quick and easy way to get them.  Plus, it’s tasty too. 

Benefits of Lemon and Salt Water:

  • Electrolyte Balance: Combines electrolytes like sodium from salt and potassium from lemon to help maintain fluid balance.
  • Boosts Energy: Provides a quick and natural energy lift without any artificial ingredients.
  • Supports Digestion: Lemon aids in digestion and helps detoxify the liver.

By starting your day with lemon and salt water, you can boost your hydration and energy levels, setting a solid foundation for the day ahead.

12. Coconut Water

Coconut water is a natural, hydrating beverage rich in electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and sodium. This makes it an excellent choice for maintaining fluid balance and supporting muscle function. [4]

Coconut water hydrates efficiently and replenishes electrolytes lost through sweat, making it an excellent post-workout drink. Its natural sugars provide a gentle energy lift without causing a crash. 

Additionally, being rich in potassium helps regulate blood pressure and supports heart health [5]

11. Chia Seed Water

Chia seed water is a simple yet effective energy-boosting drink. When chia seeds are soaked in water, they expand and form a gel-like consistency, which can help keep you hydrated and energised.

Benefits of Chia Seed Water:

  • Sustained Energy: Chia seeds provide a good mix of protein, fiber, and healthy fats that deliver sustained energy.
  • Hydration: The gel-like texture helps retain water, keeping you hydrated for longer periods.
  • Nutrient-Dense: Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and minerals like calcium and magnesium.

This might not be the right choice if you have a heavy caffeine dependency, but the health benefits are pretty solid. 

10. Ginseng Tea

Ginseng tea is made from the root of the ginseng plant and is known for its natural energy-boosting properties. It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to improve stamina and reduce fatigue.

Ginseng can enhance mental clarity and reduce stress[6], providing a balanced energy boost without the jittery feeling associated with caffeine.

 Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties support overall health and well-being.

9. Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea that contains probiotics, which can improve gut health and boost energy levels [7]. It’s slightly effervescent, with a tangy flavor, and offers various health benefits.

  • Probiotics: Supports gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.
  • Detoxification: Contains antioxidants that help detoxify the liver.
  • Natural Energy: The fermentation process produces small amounts of caffeine and B vitamins, which can provide a natural energy lift.

With its probiotic content and refreshing taste, kombucha is an excellent alternative to energy drinks.

8. Coffee

While coffee is a well-known source of caffeine, it offers more than just a quick energy boost. When consumed in moderation, coffee can provide a range of health benefits that make it a worthy addition to this list.

  • Improved Mental Alertness: Caffeine in coffee blocks adenosine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel tired, thereby increasing alertness.
  • Antioxidants: Coffee is rich in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Enhanced Physical Performance: Caffeine increases adrenaline levels, which can improve physical performance and endurance.

Coffee is versatile and can be enjoyed in various forms, such as espresso, cappuccino, or cold brew.

However, it’s essential to consume it in moderation to avoid potential side effects like increased heart rate, dependency, and insomnia. Dependency is pretty common with coffee users. It starts off with 1 or 2 cups and before you know it you’re having 8 heaped big spoons per day. So that’s something to look out for. 

But an alternative to energy drinks? 

It definitely deserves its spot on this list. 

Also, avoid those sugar-loaded coffees (Starbucks and Co.) as they’ll lead you to the same health issues as energy drinks. 

7. Black Tea

Black tea is another excellent alternative to energy drinks. It contains a moderate amount of caffeine, providing a gentle energy boost without the jitters associated with high-caffeine beverages. Additionally, black tea is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which offer various health benefits [8]

  • Moderate Caffeine Content: Provides a balanced energy boost that can improve alertness and concentration.
  • Antioxidant-Rich: Polyphenols in black tea help protect cells from oxidative damage and support overall health.
  • Heart Health: Some studies suggest that regular consumption of black tea can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Digestive Health: The tannins in black tea can have a soothing effect on the digestive system.

Whether enjoyed hot or iced, black tea can be a refreshing and health-boosting way to stay energized throughout the day. Note: If you are purchasing iced black tea, ensure it doesn’t contain sugar. 

6. Green Tea

Green tea is a fantastic alternative to energy drinks. Again, it contains a moderate amount of caffeine, providing a gentle energy boost without the jitters. Similar to black tea, green tea is also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage and support overall health.

  • Moderate Caffeine: Provides a steadier energy boost compared to energy drinks, avoiding sudden crashes.
  • Rich in Antioxidants: Contains catechins, which help protect cells from damage and support immune function.
  • Improves Brain Function: The combination of caffeine and L-theanine can enhance brain function, improving focus and cognitive performance.
  • Supports Weight Loss: Green tea has been linked to increased fat burning and improved metabolic rate, aiding in weight management.

Drinking a cup of green tea in the morning or early afternoon can provide sustained energy and numerous health benefits. Adding a slice of lemon or a teaspoon of honey can enhance the flavor. 

5. Yerba Mate

Yerba mate is a traditional South American beverage made from the leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis plant. It contains caffeine, theobromine, and other compounds that provide a balanced energy boost without the jitters often associated with coffee or energy drinks.

  • Natural Stimulant: Provides a smooth, long-lasting energy boost due to the combination of caffeine and theobromine.
  • Rich in Antioxidants: Contains polyphenols that protect cells from damage and reduce inflammation.
  • Improves Mental Focus: The blend of caffeine and theobromine enhances cognitive function and mental clarity.
  • Supports Weight Loss: May help increase fat oxidation and improve metabolic rate, aiding in weight management.

You can brew yerba mate using a traditional gourd and bombilla or use a tea bag. Adding honey, lemon, or mint can enhance the flavor.

4. Sleep

Though not a beverage, good sleep is one of the most effective ways to maintain high energy levels throughout the day. Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, poor concentration [9], and increased reliance on caffeine and energy drinks for a boost.

  • Impaired Cognitive Function: Lack of sleep negatively impacts attention, alertness, concentration, and problem-solving.
  • Increased Risk of Chronic Diseases: Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to various health issues such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and weakened immune function.
  • Mood Disorders: Poor sleep can contribute to mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
  • Hormonal Imbalance: Sleep regulates the release of hormones that control appetite, stress, and growth, impacting overall health and energy levels.

Prioritising quality sleep can reduce the need for energy drinks and lead to sustained, natural energy. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to optimize your energy and overall well-being.

And if you are looking for some supplements you can take to improve sleep, here are some good ones: 

P.S All of these are inside of Verve V80 

3. Beet Juice

Beet juice is a fantastic natural energy booster. It’s rich in nitrates, which can improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles [11], enhancing physical performance and stamina.

  • Boosts Exercise Performance: Nitrates in beet juice can enhance endurance and reduce fatigue during physical activities.
  • Supports Heart Health: Helps lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular function.
  • Rich in Antioxidants: Contains betalains, which have anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties.
  • Enhances Cognitive Function: Improved blood flow can support brain health and cognitive performance.

Drinking a glass of fresh beet juice before a workout can boost your performance and provide sustained energy throughout the day.You can also mix it with other vegetable or fruit juices for a nutrient-packed beverage.

2. Matcha

Matcha is a type of powdered green tea that offers a concentrated source of nutrients and caffeine. Unlike traditional green tea, matcha involves consuming the whole tea leaf, which provides higher levels of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

  • High Antioxidant Content: Contains more catechins than regular green tea, which help fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
  • Balanced Energy: Provides a steady energy lift due to the combination of caffeine and L-theanine, promoting alertness without the crash.
  • Enhances Mood and Focus: L-theanine promotes relaxation without drowsiness, enhancing cognitive function and mood.
  • Supports Detoxification: Chlorophyll in matcha helps detoxify the body by removing toxins.

You can whisk matcha powder with hot water to make a traditional matcha tea or add it to smoothies, lattes, or baked goods for an extra nutrient boost. 

1. Greens Powder

Greens powders are a convenient and nutrient-dense way to boost your energy levels naturally. These powders typically contain a blend of various green vegetables, superfoods, and other beneficial ingredients, such as spirulina, spinach, kelp, kale, wheatgrass, barley grass, and broccoli.

  • Nutrient-Dense: Provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in one convenient scoop.
  • Natural Energy Boost: The combination of nutrient-rich greens supports sustained energy without the crash associated with energy drinks.
  • Detoxifying Properties: Ingredients like spirulina and wheatgrass help detoxify the body and support liver function.
  • Supports Overall Health: Contributes to improved digestion, enhanced immune function, and better cognitive performance.
Verve V80 is the best greens powder on the market. 

With 80 meticulously selected ingredients and over 200 science-backed health benefits, it stands out as a comprehensive health supplement.

Unlike other greens powders, Verve V80 is transparent about its ingredients and dosages, ensuring you know exactly what you’re consuming. Plus, it’s 20% more cost-effective than the closest competitor and tastes great, thanks to real fruit infusions. Mixing a scoop of Verve V80 with water, juice, or a smoothie can provide a nutrient-packed, delicious way to boost your energy and overall health.

Learn More About Verve V80

What Else Could Be Causing Your Low Energy? 

If you find yourself relying on energy drinks to get through the day, it’s worth considering other factors that might be contributing to your low energy levels. Here are a few key areas to explore:

1. Diet

What you eat plays a significant role in your energy levels. Digestion is an energy-intensive process, and consuming large, heavy meals can leave you feeling sluggish. Intermittent fasting, which involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, can help manage this. By reducing the frequency and size of meals, your body can allocate more energy elsewhere, potentially leading to sustained energy levels throughout the day.

Tips for a Diet that Boosts Energy:

  • Opt for smaller, nutrient-dense meals.
  • Focus on whole, unprocessed foods.
  • Consider intermittent fasting to give your digestive system a break and maintain steady energy.

2. Gut Health

The health of your gut has a profound impact on your overall energy. An imbalance in gut bacteria can lead to poor nutrient absorption, affecting your energy levels. Incorporating probiotics into your diet can help maintain a healthy gut flora, improving digestion and boosting your energy.

Probiotic-Rich Foods:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Probiotic supplements including Verve V80 

By supporting your gut health with probiotics, you can enhance nutrient absorption and maintain consistent energy levels.

3. Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Mental health plays a crucial role in how energised you feel. Stress, anxiety, and depression can drain your energy, making it harder to stay motivated and alert. These conditions can also affect your sleep quality, further compounding the problem.

Ways to Manage Stress and Boost Energy:

  • Practice mindfulness and meditation.
  • Engage in regular physical activity.
  • Seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional.
  • Consider natural remedies like herbal teas or supplements known for their calming effects.

Meet The Best Greens Powder - Verve V80

Verve bottle surrounded by kale rosemary and citrus

Verve V80 is the best greens powder because not only is it the most nutrient-dense drink on the market with over 80 ingredients and 200+ health benefits, it’s also 100% transparent which other greens aren’t. 

This means you don’t have to rely on blind trust, but instead know how much of each ingredient you’re getting. 

bottle filled with fruit
And what are the ingredients? 

Well, here are a few highlights that can give you a boost: 

  1. 100% NRV of vitamin intake
  2. 15-100% NRV Mineral boost 
  3. 100% Probiotics NRV
  4. Ashwagandha for better sleep and stress reduction
  5. Panax Ginseng for mental fatigue
  6. Reishi and Shiitake Mushrooms
  7. Superfoods like Spirulina, Kale, Kelp, Broccoli, Spinach, Wheatgrass, Barley Grass and more
Yep… It’s loaded with goodness that your body loves.
  • Transparent ingredients and dosages
  • 80 powerful ingredients
  • 200+ health benefits
  • Delicious taste with real fruit infusions
  • 20% more cost-effective than closest competitors 

Want to try it out?

 Learn more about Verve V80 here.

Summary 

We hope this detailed guide on energy drink alternatives helps you find healthier options that work for you. Remember, your journey to better health starts with making informed choices that benefit both your body and mind. Cheers to sustained energy and well-being!

  1. Greens Powder
  2. Green Tea
  3. Beet Juice
  4. Sleep 
  5. Yerba Mate
  6. Matcha 
  7. Black Tea
  8. Coffee
  9. Kombucha
  10. Ginseng Tea
  11. Chia Seed Water
  12. Coconut Water
  13. Lemon and Salt Water
  14. Sparkling Water

These energy drink alternatives offer numerous health benefits, from hydration to improved mental clarity and sustained energy. By incorporating these beverages into your daily routine, you can enjoy a natural energy boost without the adverse effects associated with traditional energy drinks.

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