Don’t get us wrong — we love our coffee. But our already-taxed adrenals? Not so much. Sure, coffee can increase energy, boost performance, and improve productivity. But, one too many sips can lead to heightened anxiety, stress, irritability, and even disrupted sleep. So, to help keep you cool, calm, and collected, we’re sharing the best stress-busting drinks to try in place of your caffeine-filled cup of joe. Jitter-free energy is coming your way! And for all you coffee devotees — we’re not saying you have to give up coffee in its entirety! But… it might be a good idea to slow down and switch it up. Read on to find out why.
RELATED: 10 Energy-Boosting Caffeine Alternatives For an Energized Morning
Caffeine & Stress: What You Need to Know
Of the nearly 33% of Americans experiencing extreme amounts of stress, around 75% report experiencing stress that harms both mental and physical health. While a little stress can be healthy, this amount of stress is far from ideal — clearly, we have some stress management to do! But, as a caffeine-obsessed society, we’re actually doing the opposite. Yep, rather than lower our stress, we inadvertently add fuel to the fire and stress our body even more with excessive caffeine intake.
As we mentioned, we’re big (big) coffee lovers. But, we also acknowledge the not-so-savory side effects that arise as a result of excessive or increased caffeine intake. Have you ever wondered how caffeine results in reduced drowsiness and increased feelings of wakefulness? Here’s what you need to know.
When caffeine enters our body, it stimulates our nervous system and affects our hormones. Essentially, it blocks our adenosine receptors (reducing feelings of drowsiness) while boosting our cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine levels. Simply put, you’re blocking the hormones that calm the body while stimulating the hormones that make you… well, stimulated. Ah yes, this explains why we feel more energetic and alert! In moderate amounts, this can be beneficial. But if you’re constantly consuming coffee or caffeine, imagine what this does to your body (hint: you’re putting your adrenals into overdrive). Put it this way — by tricking your body into thinking you’re not tired, you’re keeping your body in a chronic state of stress.
As we know, chronic stress is not so great for our health. Elevated cortisol can lead to anxiety, weight gain, burnout, irritability, and other chronic health conditions. Is this going to occur from one cup of coffee per day? Probably not. And of course, everybody is different — some people may be more or less caffeine-sensitive than others. But, generally speaking, excessive caffeine may increase stress and anxiety.
So, why not swap your coffee for a stress-busting drink? Aside from being incredibly tasty and nutritious, these drinks contain properties that naturally lower stress while offering an all-natural energy boost. The best part? They’re caffeine-free!
Ahead, we’re sharing the yummiest stress-reducing store-bought drinks along with some easy-prep DIY recipes that will give you a stimulant-free buzz!
10 Store-Bought Stress-Busting Drinks to Try Instead of Coffee
#1 Dandy Blend
This caffeine-free herbal coffee alternative is made with a blend of all-natural ingredients, including roasted dandelion and chicory root. It has a similar smooth and bitter taste to coffee, minus the jitters and stimulants! Aside from its rich antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Dandelion root also has a beneficial effect on the liver where it supports digestion and helps cleanse the body of impurities. Plus, it contains the soluble fiber inulin, which helps regulate blood sugar and cortisol levels.
Enjoy it warm with a splash of your favorite coffee creamer or cold in place of an iced coffee or latte!
For a yummy stress-reducing latte, try this homemade blend:
- 1-2 tsp Dandy blend
- ½ tsp Maca powder
- 1 cup of full-fat non-dairy milk of choice
- 1 tsp honey (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Dash of cinnamon
Heat the cup of non-dairy milk, then blend the remaining ingredients together in a high-speed blender. Pour into a mug and enjoy!
#2 Coffig Coffee Alternative
Thanks to Coffig, it’s totally possible to have a steady stream of focus and all-natural energy without caffeine. No heartburn, no caffeine-induced anxiety, no mid-afternoon energy crash. Just like its name suggests, Coffig is a fruit-based coffee alternative made from black figs! It’s dairy-free, plant-based, 100% organic, and free from caffeine and artificial ingredients. With a similar body and heartiness to coffee, it makes a tasty antioxidant-rich morning beverage alternative.
Figs are high in potassium and low in sodium, nutrients that help reduce blood pressure and lower stress. They’re also rich in dietary fiber and prebiotics that support gut health and manage blood sugar — two factors directly linked to mood and energy! Packed with vitamins and nutrients, enjoy this superfood beverage hot or cold. Brew it as you would coffee or purchase Coffig in tea form for a convenient on-the-go option!
#3 Four Sigmatic Golden Latte
This warming herbal blend is like a stress-reducing hug in a mug. It comes in convenient pre-portioned packets for a no-fuss drink made in minutes. Simply combine it with hot water or your favorite steamed milk!
As for the benefits, it’s made with a caffeine-free blend of anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric and ginger. Aside from lowering inflammation, research shows curcumin (the active compound found in turmeric) helps improve memory and mood. Turns out you can get all of the brain-boosting benefits without caffeine, after all! And it also comes with a stress-reducing adaptogenic blend of tulsi and turkey tail.
So, pour a cup and sip that stress away! And if you’re looking for an extra boost of energy, pair it with their Think Elixir made with Lions Mane and Rhodiola.
#4 Harmless Harvest Coconut Water
You may know coconut water as a sweet and refreshing post-workout beverage, but it’s more than that! Aside from helping you rehydrate, this electrolyte-rich beverage is also one of the best natural energy boosters. Coconut water contains natural minerals and antioxidants — such as magnesium and vitamin C — needed for energy metabolism and production. Without these nutrients, we can’t convert our food into energy! Plus, raw coconut water like Harmless Harvest helps keep your blood sugar under control, thereby reducing stress and streamlining steady energy.
Enjoy it plain as a post-workout refresher, or use it as the base in a smoothie made with berries, greens, chia seeds, and an optional scoop of protein!
RELATED: How to Make an Electrolyte Drink to Boost Hydration
#5 Rasa Herbal Coffee
A functional coffee alternative designed to support your energy, mood, and overall health. Rasa Coffee is an herbal coffee blend made with 3100 mg of stress-busting adaptogens per serving, including herbs like ashwagandha, reishi, Chaga, and Shatavari. In addition to reducing stress, this botanical-rich blend contains Rhodiola and cordyceps, energy-boosting herbs known to improve endurance and stamina while also boosting energy at a cellular level. The best part? Rasa mimics the rich and roasty taste of traditional coffee and comes in a variety of yummy flavors like Spicy Rose Cacao or a full-bodied Bold blend.
#6 Blume Beetroot Blend
This functional latte blend is made with four simple superfood ingredients: organic beets, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves! It’s one of our favorite stress-busting drinks when we’re looking for an all-natural energy boost made with wholesome ingredients.
Give Blume’s Beetroot Latte a try for a warming and stress-busting blend. Alternatively, picking up a yummy cold-pressed juice made with fresh beets is a delicious and nutritious way to get the same energy-boosting benefits! If you’re able to customize your order (or make your own), try a blend of beets, spinach, lemon, ginger, and a little apple!
#7 Teeccino Chicory Coffee Alternative
Similar to dandelion, chicory is high in inulin, a prebiotic fiber that feeds your gut microbiome, thereby improving nutrient absorption. And while this is key for healthy digestion, it turns out it’s essential for energy production too! According to research, healthy gut microbiota aids the production of B Vitamins, essential nutrients needed for energy metabolism.
Plus, this nutrient-rich herb contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties that (unlike coffee) keep your cortisol levels in check! And with endless flavors to choose from (like Chocolate Mint, Almond Amaretto, and Chocolate Raspberry), coffee will be a distant afterthought!!
#8 Sol-ti SuperAde Chlorophyll Beverage
This alkalizing, antioxidant-rich, cooling beverage will have you sipping your way to good health and all-natural energy. While it’s not the same as sipping on a warming cup of coffee, it does provide you with a rejuvenating boost! The star ingredient? Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the nutrient responsible for the green pigment of plants, which is why this nutrient-rich beverage is a deep, cleansing green. Chlorophyll absorbs the energy from the sun and turns it into usable energy for plants — and according to research, it may similarly benefit humans!
Studies believe the energy-boosting benefits of chlorophyll-containing foods are due to the fact that it has a similar chemical structure to hemoglobin. Therefore, chlorophyll is thought of as a natural “blood builder.” While more research is needed, it’s a healthy and tasty alternative to coffee that proves to be energizing! Plus, it tastes like lemonade without the artificial ingredients and additives. And who doesn’t love lemonade?
#9 Pressed Juicery Green Juice
This ready-to-go beverage is made with superfood greens (like spinach, kale, and parsley) that are rich in potassium and iron — two nutrients needed to boost energy and reduce fatigue — sounds like a great pre-workout choice! To get the stress-reducing benefits of store-bought green juice, look for a blend low in sugar like Pressed Juice Greens mix. Opting for a veggie-predominant juice will help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent a sugar crash!
#10 Sunwink Cacao Clarity Elixir
Think hot chocolate’s energizing, stress-busting cousin that’s free from added sugar and made with adaptogenic ingredients. This chocolatey Cacao Clarity blend is rich, creamy, ultra-satisfying, and makes one of the best stress-busting drinks when you’re looking for something sweet. Made with reishi, lion’s mane, and maca, support mental clarity, build all-day stamina and remain balanced and clear with every sip.
And if you want to switch it up with something light and refreshing, we’ve got you covered. Bust stress and fight fatigue with Sunwink’s fizzy herbal tonics. Flavors like Lemon Rose, Detox Ginger, and Hibiscus Mint boost your mood while calming your mind and body.
3 Stress-Busting Energy Drinks to Make At Home (That are Caffeine-Free!)
Have extra time to spare? Skip the coffee and whip up a homemade energy-boosting blend! These yummy beverages are rich in nutrients and will help provide you with a steady stream of stress-free energy!
Golden Milk Latte
This Creamy Turmeric Milk Latte is an easy-prep nourishing option that packs a serious nutrient-rich punch. Enjoy it with your favorite non-dairy milk in place of your morning cup of joe!
- 1 cup oat milk, or milk of choice
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground ginger
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Drizzle of honey
Step #1: Add the milk to a saucepan over medium heat. Once warm, add the rest of the ingredients and whisk.
Step #2: Pour into a mug and enjoy!
This FitOn PRO AM Energizing Smoothie is the perfect way to fuel your day. It’s packed with magnesium-rich almonds and potassium-rich bananas for a punch of natural energy that is satiating and satisfying.
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 handful ice cubes
- Cacao nibs, to decorate
- Pumpkin seeds, chopped, to decorate
- Hemp seeds, to decorate
Step #1:Add all ingredients minus the cacao nibs, pumpkin, and hemp seeds to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
Step #2: Pour into a glass and top with the pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of hemp seeds, and cacao nibs.
Step #3: Enjoy!
Homemade Cold-Pressed Juice
Make your own green juice for an all-natural boost that’s low in calories and rich in energizing nutrients. Green veggies like spinach and kale are full of nutrients — like chlorophyll, iron, and B-vitamins — that play a key role in energy production and metabolism.
Try juicing this yummy blend: 1 cucumber, 1 cup of spinach, 1 handful of parsley, 1 lemon, 1 inch of fresh ginger, 1-2 kale leaves, and 3-4 celery stalks. If you need a little sweetness, add ½ of a green apple!
Fuel Up With All-Natural Energy
Yes, we love our coffee. But with so many energizing options to choose from, taking a break can help soothe your adrenals and bring your body back to balance! Give these tasty stress-busting drinks a try, or whip up your own blend at home. Get ready to power through the day — steady energy is coming your way!