6 Energy-Boosting Coffee Alternatives

Students: 50% pasta, 50% coffee. When you have 6 assignments, 4 exams and lectures from 9 to 5 all crashing down on you at the same time, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

This forces many students to work into the twilight hours. Being naturally diurnal creatures, it takes a bit more than will power to make it through the night, leading most students to resort to strong cups of coffee.

While mild to moderate doses of coffee are harmless, excessive coffee consumption can result in health defects including muscle spasms, anxiety and potentially osteoporosis. But don’t fear, there are coffee alternatives which deliver a similar punch of energy.


Extensively used in Asian medicine, ginseng has ventured into the Western World in recent years. Scientific studies reveal that ginseng’s active ingredient, ginsenocide, boosts metabolism by mimicking the body’s natural hormones. Ginseng is a root which is widely available in a variety of forms, the most practical of these being tea and supplements. So, why not swap that 3am double espresso for an energising mug of ginseng tea?

Coconut water

Jam-packed with electrolytes and sugar, coconut water is a trendy alternative to energy drinks – even the tennis star, John Isner, swears by it! If that wasn’t enough, coconut water contains more potassium, a vital element for recharging nerve cells, than bananas. Cartons of coconut water are available from most supermarkets and high-street health stores, so there’s no excuse for not giving it a go.

Ginkgo biloba

Originating in China, ginkgo biloba extract is derived from the leaves of the world’s oldest tree species. The powerful plant increases circulation resulting in a boost of energy, cognitive ability (including memory) and mood. You don’t have to venture to the far East to get your morning kick, ginkgo biloba is available in the West in the form of supplements, dried leaf powder and loose leaf tea.

Matcha tea

Matcha tea is a Japanese staple and a superfood in its own right. As depicted by the graph, a cup of matcha green tea heightens energy levels for much longer than coffee – up to 4 hours – and gradually wears off, preventing the crash experienced a short while after drinking coffee.

If that wasn’t enough of a reason to embrace matcha, it also helps to maintain correct blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Barley cup

Love the taste of coffee but not the caffeine crash it brings later on in the day? Barley cup is the perfect coffee alternative. It tastes a lot like coffee, is better for you and has a lot of benefits. It contains no additives and is entirely natural, made from chicory and barley wheat. It is high in fibre, low in calorie, gluten free and vegan. Why not give it a try?


Yes, you read that correctly. Not sparkly water, distilled water or water from the centre of a mountainous spring 2,000 miles away; just ordinary tap water. Dependant on your fat to muscle ratio, your body is comprised of roughly 50-70% water. The sheer quantity of water in the body means it is fundamental to nearly all cell processes.

Therefore, without enough water cell function slows down leaving you feeling fatigued. If you’re struggling to stay awake, it could be that all you need are a few glasses of water to ramp up your cell function and re-energise you rather than a caffeine hit.

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