26 Morning Pick-Me-Ups That Aren't Coffee

26 Morning Pick-Me-Ups That Aren't Coffee

There are many liquid swaps for coffee, and you'll find that most of them will not only energize you, but they also carry along some health benefits of their own. While some of the following coffee alternatives do contain caffeine levels similar to that of a cup of joe, many more of them are lightly caffeinated if they're caffeinated at all.

Aloe Water

Aloe water is not only refreshing, but it also has tons of good effects, ranging from detoxification and alkalization of the body to providing high levels of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. This drink also has immunity-boosting qualities that may help you resist catching a cold. Drinking a glass of it in the morning can invigorate you.

Carob Powder

To begin with, carob tannins contain gallic acid, whose benefits include analgesic, antiseptic, and antioxidant qualities; it's also an anti-allergic, antibacterial, and antiviral agent. It's low in calories, caffeine-free, and has the carbohydrates your muscles and brain require to kick-start your day, which is why you should consider including it in your next morning smoothie.

Chai Tea

This Indian tea is rich in antioxidants and contains a plethora of spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, and ginger, and it's sure to awaken all of your senses in the morning. Chai's smooth, creamy flavor imitates the mouthfeel of a cup of coffee, but it doesn't have as much caffeine. 

Chlorophyll Shot

No, not booze. More like shots of healthful wheatgrass. This Chlorophyll-dense superfood is loaded with invigorating vitamins and minerals, and is packed with protein. Plus, it will boost your mood, is great for weight loss, and improves skin quality. Start out with one ounce per day and gradually advance to two ounces. If wheatgrass isn't your thing, green and protein smoothies are high in energy-boosters, offering the same effect as caffeine, but with healthier results. 

Coconut Water

Coconut water is Mother Nature's perfect drink.It has an abundance of electrolytes and micronutrients and is also low in both fat and sugar. By having some coconut water in the morning, you're helping to keep your body energized and hydrated.

Dandelion Tea

Dandelion tea has long been considered a great source of energy. The leaves and roots of dandelion plants contain vital micronutrients as well as the pigment beta-carotene, a known antioxidant which works to lower blood pressure and increase liver function.

Ginseng Tea

This tea is known to increase focus, aid concentration, and cure fatigue. Try this ginseng tea recipe first thing in the morning to wake up and stimulate your brain.

Green Smoothies

Supercharge your day with natural greens. Kale, spinach, and arugula smoothies help to alkalize your body and are chock-full of energy-boosting antioxidants. Blend a handful of leafy greens into your fruit smoothie or add a packet of dehydrated super greens to juice or water for an instant energy boost.

Green Tea

Green tea has seemingly endless benefits. Believe it or not, it has a significant amount of caffeine, but less than coffee, which is a plus for weaners. Don't like the taste of green tea? No problem. Add sweeteners like honey or even peppermint sticks to mask the taste. Other helpful caffeinated teas are chai, ginseng, and chamomile. Although you are still taking in caffeine, it's less overtime, which will ensure a successful detox experience. 


"Similar to yerba mate, guayusa is an all-natural energy supplement derived from a plant," says The Daily Meal special contributor Fabiana Santana. "Indigenous cultures in Ecuador and Colombia traditionally drank guayusa from a gourd as part of an early morning ritual. Guayusa has as much caffeine as coffee, but it is also rich in antioxidants and chlorogenic acids, which benefit the heart."

Hot Apple Cider

We've all heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but a glass of hot apple cider in the morning may prove to be a healthy habit as well. If you're looking for a way to get energy and stay healthy through the power of antioxidants and phytochemicals, try this hot apple cider recipe

Hot Chocolate

Make an irresistible cup of hot cocoa with raw or organic cacao powder. Cacao powder has a low level of caffeine and plenty of antioxidants. If you're sensitive to cow's milk, try adding one of these dairy alternatives into your morning cup of hot chocolate.


Kombucha has increased in popularity over the past few years, and this can be attributed to the fact that the digestion-friendly, fermented tea has many beneficial properties. High in B vitamins and iron (which help your body produce energy) but low in caffeine, kombucha may be your new favorite, fizzy way to start your morning.

Licorice Tea

The sweet-yet-spicy taste of licorice tea isn't quite as potent as Dubbel Zoute, but it will still wake you up and open your eyes. Licorice is known as being a tonic for the adrenals, so look to it in order to healthily increase your energy in the morning. 


As The Daily Meal's special contributor Nikkitha Bakshani says, "If you need a boost of energy, opt for maca powder." Not only does this cruciferous Andean herb provide energy, but it also helps with easing anxiety as well as increasing your metabolism and libido. Try adding it into a smoothie or a breakfast bowl.

Matcha Tea

This special form of green tea is steadily increasing in popularity in American tea and health circles. Matcha has caffeine to help you get going, and its l-theanine content allows you to feel alertly calm. This could help to prevent the scary experience of a midday crash and adrenal fatigue. You can incorporate this wonder tea into your diet in many ways.

Peppermint Tea

We have included peppermint tea on so many of our lists before for reasons including, but not limited to, its ability to help cure colds and to inspire weight-loss. This mildly stimulating tea helps your body's circulation, giving you a refreshed feeling to start the day.

Pomegranate Juice

Who doesn't enjoy a fresh cup of juice in the morning? Certain choices like pomegranate and prune are excellent sources of energy when avoiding caffeine altogether. Great for detoxing, these alternatives are quick grabs and a better choice to start the day.  Don't be afraid to explore these other pomegranate juice recipes too.

Protein Smoothie

If you're chronically feeling fatigued, your diet may be lacking in protein. The addition of 10 grams of protein to a smoothie can assist with carbohydrates efficiently being used as energy. If you're in need of a quick helping of protein, add some whey protein into a smoothie for an energy-boosting breakfast on the go. Or, consider throwing in a high-protein vegetable.

Prune Juice

Prune juice comes from prunes, which of course are dried plums. Whichever form of this member of the Prunus genus you choose to enjoy in the morning, know that its benefits include energy without an undesired, quick blood-sugar spike.

Quinoa Milk

This natural energy source (made from the complete protein-containing grain quinoa) is gluten-free and alkaline-forming. If you want to make your own quinoa milk, try this recipe.

Reishi Mushroom Tea

This mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) is a staple in traditional Chinese medicine and is known for its invigorating effects on the body. Additionally, it may prove beneficial in efforts to lose weight.

Schisandra Tea

You may not have heard of this unique tea before, but if you're truly looking to kick your java addiction this is a great swap. Schisandra berries are native to eastern Asia. They help detoxify the liver and promote a sense of well-being by balancing blood sugar, a fantastic feeling to start any day with.


It sounds almost too simple to be true, but water is the world's best energy drink. Dehydration will leave you feeling sluggish — a glass or two of water every few hours helps to sustain energy levels and increase metabolic reaction. Try making one of your eight to nine cups of water per day a detoxifying glass of warm water with lemon when you wake up.

Wheatgrass Shot

Wheatgrass is a sprouted green grass that has amazing health benefits. One of these benefits is increased energy levels. Just an ounce of wheatgrass provides the vitamin and mineral equivalent to over two pounds of fresh vegetables. It also contains energy-enhancing chlorophyll that can play an important role in cancer prevention. On top of all of that, wheatgrass can fight your cold and is said to be a surefire way to ease your hangover (a benefit you'll probably need on some mornings more than others).

Yerba Mate Tea

Yerba Mate is made from the leaves of a different South American holly tree than guayusa is, and it's a little lower in caffeine. The plant contains all the healthy properties generally associated with teas. Sweet-lovers can also rejoice in the satisfaction of this tea's often chocolatey taste. To learn more about Yerba Mate, click here.