Coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks. Today, however, you have plenty of coffee alternatives.
Some coffee alternatives taste better than coffee. Others are packed with vitamins, minerals, and superfoods. Some energize you without side effects, while others calm you down.
Whether you’re looking for a morning superfood shake, an all-in-one meal replacement, or just something different than coffee, you have plenty of options.
We ranked today’s best coffee alternatives. Here’s what we found.
We tested, tasted, ranked, and rated today’s trendiest coffee alternatives. Some rose to the top, while others sunk.
After hundreds of hours of research and deliberation on our editorial team, here’s how we ranked today’s best coffee alternatives:
Featuring a blend of unique ingredients like turmeric, ashwagandha, and mushroom extract, OMYUM SuperNatural is advertised as a coffee alternative and weight loss supplement.
By taking one scoop of OMYUM SuperNatural daily, you can boost daily energy by igniting the fire within yourself using natural, side effect-free ingredients. These ingredients specifically fight back against “broken fat” within your body – the type of fat that’s difficult to remove with diet and exercise alone.
The secret to OMYUM SuperNatural’s success is the use of a type of chocolate – cacao – linked to powerful antioxidant effects and fat burning. This cacao gives OMYUM SuperNatural a rich, creamy flavor while also supporting its fat burning, energy-boosting effects.
Overall, OMYUM SuperNatural aims to be the ultimate weight loss aid and energy booster available today. In testing, we found it largely lives up to the hype.
MUD/WTR may not sound appetizing (it’s pronounced “mud water”), but it has the highest quality ingredient blend on our list. In fact, the ingredients are very similar to our top-ranked option, OMYUM SuperNatural, and include a combination of cacao, mushroom extracts, turmeric, and cinnamon.
By mixing MUD/WTR with water and taking it daily, you can support energy, stress response, athletic performance, and overall health and wellness.
With 35mg of caffeine per serving (found naturally in cacao), MUD/WTR won’t give you a buzz like coffee, but it can boost energy nonetheless. Each serving contains a significant dose of popular and proven mushrooms like lion’s mane, cordyceps, chaga, and reishi – all of which are backed by centuries of use in traditional medicine.
Most importantly, MUD/WTR tastes great. It may not have the sweetness of a hot chocolate, but it has a rich, chocolate taste while being creamy and mixable. Some describe it as “earthy hot chocolate.” It’s easily one of the world’s best coffee alternatives.
Vyvamind is one of the few coffee alternatives that comes in a capsule – not a powder. Each serving of Vyvamind (also known as NSV-313) contains a blend of ingredients designed to stimulant mental activity with minimal side effects.
If you’re primarily interested in coffee alternatives for their effects, then Vyvamind may be the right choice for you. By taking two capsules of Vyvamind each morning, you can prepare your mind for high-performance situations throughout the day.
The makers of Vyvamind specifically advertise their formula to students, programmers, traders, and anyone else who needs to stay “locked in” all day long. Taking Vyvamind can deliver a rapid boost to brainpower, increased motivation and drive, and unparalleled focus and clarity, among other benefits.
To deliver these effects, Vyvamind uses a blend of proven ingredients, including L-theanine, L-tyrosine, citicoline, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Each serving also contains a small amount (75mg) of caffeine.
Golden Bliss Superfood
Turmeric is one of the best coffee alternatives available today, and Golden Bliss Superfood is one of the best turmeric supplements. Many people take the USDA Organic certified supplement daily to support stress response, appetite control, energy, inflammation, hormone balance, and sleep.
Made by Earth Echo, Golden Superfood Bliss is creamy and delicious. It’s also one of the few coffee alternatives on our list you can take at night or during the day. There’s no caffeine whatsoever.
Just mix a scoop of Golden Bliss Superfood with almond milk, regular milk, or water, then stir until it’s creamy and frothy. You can make it a nighttime ritual. Or, you can start your day with a morning detox drink.
NativePath Matcha Collagen Latte
Matcha Collagen Latte from NativePath provides a jitter-free energy boost while being frothy, creamy, and delicious. Featuring 50mg of caffeine per serving, Matcha Collagen Latte gently boosts energy while flooding your body with natural antioxidants.
By taking one scoop of Matcha Collagen Latte daily, you can purportedly boost energy, curb cravings, and improve metabolism without jitters or heart palpitations. And, at $39.99 for 20 servings, it’s one of the best-value coffee alternatives on our list.
Key ingredients in NativePath’s Matcha Collagen Latte include MCT oil powder, hydrolyzed bovine collagen, and organic matcha green tea powder. The formula has natural flavors and monk fruit extract for sweetness.
SkinnyFit Detox Energizing Tea Blend
SkinnyFit’s Detox is an energizing tea blend and superfood tea available in multiple flavors. By taking the tea daily, you can support weight loss, help reduce bloating, and increase energy, according to SkinnyFit.
To achieve these effects, Detox Energizing Tea Blend contains 13 superfoods, including fibers, energy boosters, plants, and herbs. And, unlike other “skinny teas,” there are no natural laxatives. Each serving contains a blend of matcha, yerba mate, oolong tea, hibiscus, goji berry, and other proven ingredients.
If you want your coffee alternative to be a tea, then SkinnyFit Detox could be the right choice. It’s a flavorful tea designed to target specific effects. Just steep one tea bag in 8oz of hot water for 5 to 7 minutes, then drink it once or twice daily to kickstart metabolism and enjoy real anti-bloating results.
VitaCup provides a range of standard coffee products, including coffee pods, instant coffee, and ground coffee. However, the company recently launched VitaCup Shroom Fuel, a mushroom drink mix designed as a coffee alternative.
Featuring a blend of cacao, maca, B vitamins, lion’s mane, and chaga, VitaCup Shroom Fuel is powered by plants and designed to boost energy naturally without overloading you with caffeine. Plus, it comes in convenient, single-serving packets. Just dump each pre-measured packet into the beverage of your choice, then drink it daily.
Another perk of VitaCup is its USDA Organic certification status – something we don’t see with all coffee alternatives. Plus, the formula was custom-designed by VitaCup’s registered dietitian (RD) to support physical and cognitive health.
VitaCup Shroom Fuel is also priced at a reasonable rate, costing around $35 for 24 sticks. You can replace a cup of coffee for around $1 per day while enjoying quality, organic ingredients.
Chicory Root Powder
Chicory root powder is the only coffee alternative on our list that isn’t a brand. You can buy bulk chicory root powder from natural health food stores or online retailers, mixing it at home to create your own coffee alternative.
When mixed with a beverage, roasted chicory root tastes like a bitter version of coffee. Manufacturers roast the roots to create a type of instant coffee. You can enjoy it hot or cold, and chicory is naturally caffeine-free.
Chicory root has surged in popularity in recent years. However, it traces its roots back to the 1800s, when citizens of France used it as a coffee alternative during a shortage. In fact, some believe chicory was used by ancient Egyptians as a natural energy booster.
Chicory is so similar to coffee, in fact, that it’s often used as a coffee extender. It has a bold, rich, and nutty flavor without caffeine. You could easily add ground, roasted chicory root to your existing coffee grounds to make a half-and-half blend.
We like the chicory root powder option because you have the freedom to add whatever you like. You can add cacao and turmeric powder, for example, or MCT powder to create your own morning superfood beverage.
How We Ranked
All coffee alternatives claim to deliver the benefits of coffee without the downsides. Some live up to the hype, while others are glorified hot chocolate.
To separate the best and worst coffee alternatives, we used the following ranking factors:
Science-Backed Ingredients: Do the ingredients genuinely help boost energy? Are they backed by scientific evidence? Have they been studied in double-blind, placebo-controlled trials published in peer-reviewed medical journals? The best coffee alternatives contain science-backed ingredients proven to work as advertised.
Taste: Most people drink coffee because they like the taste of coffee (and because it wakes them up). Generally, you want coffee alternatives to taste good as well. Each member of our editorial team tested and ranked the coffee alternatives above based on flavor. Some were creamy, chocolatey, and delicious. Others were bitter, artificially super-sweet, or unpleasant. Obviously, we didn’t consider taste when ranking capsulated coffee alternative supplements like Vyvamind.
Mixability & Texture: Most coffee alternatives come in the form of a powder. You mix that powder with water, milk, a milk alternative, or any other beverage of your choice. Some powders are easy to mix, while others form unpleasant clumps. We personally tested each of the coffee alternatives above for their mixability and texture.
Advertised Benefits: Even the best coffee alternative won’t help you lose 15lbs in a week without diet or exercise. It’s also illegal for supplement companies to advertise their products as a way to treat, cure, or prevent disease. Some coffee alternative companies go overboard advertising their benefits. We preferred supplements that were open and honest with how they worked, what they did, and the science behind them. We were wary of supplements that advertised unrealistic effects.
Energy Without Jitters: Many people like coffee alternatives because they can boost energy without jitters. Instead of overloading their bodies with caffeine and all its side effects, they can boost energy with plant-based antioxidants and mushroom extracts. Some coffee alternatives significantly increased energy without jitters, while others had little to no effect on energy.
Ease of Use: Some of the coffee alternatives above are harder to prepare than others. Some are easy: just pour a packet of powder into water and drink it. Others require you to froth, grind roots, or follow a multi-step recipe. We considered ease of use in our rankings, as most want a coffee alternative that’s easy to prepare and easy to drink daily.
Organic Certification: When you’re condensing herbs and plants into concentrated forms, you’re also concentrating any toxins within those herbs and plants. That’s why organic certification is important for many supplements – including coffee alternatives. Top-rated options like MUD/WTR contain exclusively USDA-certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and kosher ingredients. The more organic certifications a supplement has, the fewer toxins should be entering your body.
Ingredient & Dosage Transparency: Some supplements disclose all ingredients and dosages upfront, while others are more opaque. With MUD/WTR, for example, we know there’s 0.75g of masala chai, 1.9g of cacao, and 0.56g of lion’s mane mushroom extract per serving, making it easy to see exactly what you’re putting into your body. With other supplements (including some that didn’t make our ranking above), they use proprietary formulas with hidden ingredients and dosages.
Fair Pricing: Some people want to pay $100 for a one-month supply of a coffee alternative supplement. Others want to pay $10. Both budgets are fine. We weren’t biased towards one price point; however, we wanted our readers to get good value regardless of budget. We analyzed each coffee alternative to verify it had fair, competitive pricing. If you’re paying a lot, you should get a lot. If you’re on a tight budget, you shouldn’t need to compromise on quality or safety.
Customer Reviews & Review Aggregator Scores: We tested each of the coffee alternatives above. However, we understand people have different preferences. That’s why we considered customer reviews and review aggregator scores in our rankings. Some of the best coffee alternatives have tens of thousands of five-star reviews, for example. MUD/WTR has an average score of 4.5 stars out of 5 based on 37,400+ reviews on the official website. Other products have similarly impressive ratings.
What Are Coffee Alternatives?
Coffee alternatives aim to provide many of the same benefits of coffee – but without the side effects.
To achieve these coffee-like effects, coffee alternative supplements work in different ways. Some contain vitamins and minerals. Others are hot chocolate-like blends of cacao, turmeric, and MCT powder.
Typically, coffee alternatives use a lower dose of caffeine – or no caffeine at all – instead of the high doses found in coffee. Some coffee alternatives only contain natural caffeine from green tea and cacao, for example. Others contain 0mg of caffeine.
The average cup of coffee contains around 125mg of caffeine. In comparison, the coffee alternatives listed above typically contain 0mg to 30mg of caffeine per serving. It’s enough to give you a small boost to energy – but not enough to leave you jittery and unfocused.
How Do Coffee Alternatives Work?
Coffee alternatives work in different ways to replicate the effects of coffee.
Here are some of the effects you could expect after taking a coffee alternative:
Adaptogenic herbs and plants to support stress response. Many herbs, plants, and mushroom extracts are considered adaptogens, which means they help your body respond to physical and cognitive stressors. Stress can sap energy, leaving you tired and unfocused. By managing stress response, you could experience a significant boost to energy without caffeine.
Inflammation supporting ingredients to support healthy inflammation and boost energy. High levels of inflammation can reduce energy throughout your body. When your body is inflamed, your immune system is working hard to combat injury or illness. High inflammation, like high stress, can sap energy and leave you tired. Many of the best coffee alternatives contain proven inflammation supporting ingredients – including natural antioxidants like curcumin and cacao – to fight inflammation throughout the body.
Plant-based ingredients with natural caffeine to boost energy. Caffeine is a natural energy booster. Caffeine isn’t evil: it’s a proven way to boost energy and support weight loss. However, too much caffeine can leave you jittery. That’s why many top-rated coffee alternatives contain plant-based ingredients with natural caffeine. They contain green tea and cacao, for example, both of which have natural caffeine – but at much lower doses than coffee.
Complementary nootropic ingredients to support blood flow, mental energy, focus, and more. Some coffee alternatives also contain complementary nootropic ingredients to boost cognition and mental energy. If you take coffee primarily for its cognition boosting effects, then you might want a coffee alternative with similar cognition boosting ingredients. Some of the best coffee alternatives contain MCT powder, amino acids, mushroom extracts, and other ingredients shown to support blood flow, mental energy, and overall focus.
Low-caffeine or caffeine-free ingredients to boost energy without jitters, restlessness, anxiety, or other side effects. Yes, caffeine can boost energy and has been proven to work. However, caffeine can also increase the risk of side effects like anxiety, restlessness, and jitters. Your body can grow more accustomed to caffeine over time, leading to withdrawal symptoms when you quit. Coffee alternatives typically contain zero or low caffeine, helping to support energy without downsides.
Natural sweeteners or flavors for a rich, creamy, chocolate-y taste. Some of the best coffee alternatives contain natural sweeteners – like monk fruit – or other ingredients to make them taste rich, creamy, and frothy. Many people like coffee because of the flavor and the ritual. A good coffee alternative replicates this ritual with delicious flavor without the downsides of caffeine.
Ultimately, good coffee alternatives make you feel smarter and more energized without the downsides. If you’re sick of jitters and restless nights, then a coffee alternative could be the right choice.
Top 10 Science Backed Coffee Alternative Ingredients
Across all of our coffee alternatives above, some ingredients repeatedly rise to the top. Cacao, turmeric, matcha, and mushroom extracts, for example, have been shown to boost natural energy without the downsides.
Here are some of the most popular coffee alternative ingredients and the science behind them.
Cacao: Cacao is one of the most popular coffee alternative supplement ingredients on our list above. Cacao has been linked to energy, weight loss, and other effects. It’s chocolate before it has been processed, refined, and mixed with sugar and fats. A 2011 review found cacao was rich with antioxidants and flavonoids to help promote antioxidant effects throughout the body. Cacao also adds a rich, chocolate-y flavor to the coffee alternatives above.
Matcha & Green Tea: Matcha and green tea are some of the best coffee alternatives available today. Packed with natural antioxidants, matcha and green tea can boost energy, support inflammation and weight loss, and provide you with a smaller dose of caffeine. One of the biggest benefits of green tea is that it contains natural L-theanine, an amino acid shown to limit the negative side effects of caffeine – like jitters and restlessness. Matcha is simply an ultra-concentrated form of green tea. As the Cleveland Clinic explains, green tea is packed with natural antioxidants like EGCG linked to health effects throughout the body.
Turmeric: Like cacao, turmeric delivers active effects while also adding flavor to the formula. Turmeric is a spice rich with natural antioxidants like curcumin. In a 2017 meta-analysis, researchers found curcumin could help with inflammation, diabetes, anxiety, arthritis, high cholesterol, and more. The only downside of turmeric is that it works best when combined with black pepper extract, which is why many of the turmeric coffee alternatives above (including Golden Superfood Bliss) contain black pepper extract, enhancing bioavailability by 2,000%.
Chai: Chai is typically a blend of black tea with spices. If you’re looking for a flavorful coffee alternative you can drink each morning, then chai could be the right choice. Typically flavored with cardamom, clove, cinnamon, and ginger, chai contains roughly half the amount of caffeine as coffee. It gives you a kick while tasting different than coffee.
Yerba Mate: Found in many energy drinks and coffee alternatives, yerba bate is a type of herb made from the dried leaves of the South American holly tree. If you want lower caffeine in your coffee alternative, then yerba mate isn’t a good option; it contains roughly the same amount of caffeine per cup as a cup of coffee (some yerba mate even contains more caffeine). However, many people like yerba mate because it contains vitamin, minerals, nutrients, and natural antioxidants.
Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Cordyceps, and Other Mushrooms: Many of the best coffee alternatives above contain mushroom extracts. Some contain lion’s mane, chaga, reishi, or cordyceps, for example. Others contain multiple mushroom extracts. Mushrooms are packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They also contain adaptogenic ingredients like beta glucans linked to healthy inflammation and stress response. There’s a reason mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional medicine: they’ve been repeatedly connected to various effects throughout the body.
Vitamins B6 and Vitamin B12: If you want vitamins to boost your energy, then start with vitamins B6 and B12. Both vitamins are linked to cellular energy, and they play a crucial role in supporting the mitochondria of your cells. However, many of us are deficient in one or both vitamins. That’s why taking a B6 or B12 supplement could significantly boost energy. Some of the coffee alternatives above contain vitamins B6 and B12, giving you a caffeine-like boost to energy to keep you active all day long.
Chicory: Chicory is one of the most unique coffee alternatives on our list. It’s also the oldest coffee substitute. Used since ancient Egyptian times, chicory tastes like coffee but contains zero caffeine. It’s made by roasting and condensing the roots of the chicory plant. If you’re sensitive to caffeine but want to enjoy a coffee-like ritual each morning, then chicory could be an ideal alternative. Studies have even connected chicory to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Another recent study connected chicory to gut health, suggesting it has prebiotic effects to fuel your gut bacteria.
MCT Powder: If you want a coffee alternative to boost energy, then MCT powder could help. Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) powder is one of the most popular supplements available today. Some take it daily for weight loss. Others take it for energy, endurance, or appetite control. Some mix it with coffee, while others take it as part of a smoothie. However you take it, MCT oil and MCT powder have been proven to work across multiple studies.
Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha has been used for centuries for its adaptogenic effects. Studies show it can help with stress response, helping your body respond to physical and cognitive stressors. In a 2012 study, researchers found ashwagandha reduced stress and anxiety in a group of 64 adults experiencing chronic stress. adults took 300mg of ashwagandha twice daily, then experienced a significant reduction in stress and anxiety. Today, many coffee alternatives contain ashwagandha to help support your body’s response to natural stressors.
Ginger: Some people add ginger to coffee to create a super coffee. A 2015 study, in fact, found ginger and coffee complemented each other to deliver anti-inflammatory effects. Both ginger and coffee are rich with natural molecules to neutralize free radicals throughout the body. Ginger is also backed by centuries of use on its own as a type of traditional medicine.
Cardamom: Some coffee alternatives contain cardamom, a type of spice. A 2017 study found cardamom supplementation prevented obesity, improved blood sugar control, and helped with inflammation and oxidative stress in a group of obese rats. Other small studies have indicated similar effects for humans.
Who Should Consider Coffee Alternatives?
Coffee alternatives could be the right choice for some people.
According to Forbes, citing a range of diet and nutrition experts, people with high blood pressure, anxiety, a high risk of bone fracture, or other health and wellness issues could consider taking coffee alternatives.
Here are some of the people who could benefit from coffee alternatives:
- Anyone who dislikes the taste of coffee.
- Someone who experiences jitters, restlessness, anxiety, and other symptoms after taking coffee or caffeine.
- People with a sensitive bladder.
- People with high blood pressure.
- Anyone who is sensitive to caffeine.
- People with anxiety or other mental health conditions.
- Those with digestive issues – like heartburn or IBS.
- People who are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
- People taking medications that could interact with caffeine (including certain diabetes medications or stimulant drugs).
- People with an increased risk of bone fracture (caffeine can reduce the absorption of calcium).
Maybe you don’t like the taste of coffee but want to boost energy each morning. Or, maybe there are health reasons. Whatever the situation, you could enjoy powerful effects with coffee alternatives.
FAQs About Coffee Alternatives
Our experts get plenty of questions about coffee alternatives and how they work. Here are some of our answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Q: What’s the best coffee alternative?
A: The best coffee alternative is OMYUM SuperNatural, MUD/WTR, Vyvamind, or Golden Bliss Superfood, all of which scored top rankings on our list.
Q: What do coffee alternatives taste like?
A: Some coffee alternatives taste like chocolate. Others taste like herbal tea. Some taste sweet, while others taste bitter and earthy. Out of all of the coffee alternatives above, none taste like coffee; they all have different flavor profiles.
Q: Can coffee alternatives help with weight loss?
A: Good coffee alternative supplements can support weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and exercise routine. Some supplements contain ingredients specifically to suppress appetite, boost fat burning, and support weight loss in other ways.
Q: What’s the best coffee alternative for fat burning?
A: Golden Bliss Superfood, MUD/WTR, and NativePath Matcha Collagen Latte are three of the best coffee alternative supplements for fat burning. The supplements all contain ingredients specifically to boost metabolism, increase fat burning, and support your weight loss goals.
Q: Should I stop taking coffee?
A: Coffee has been shown to support health in some studies, although others find it increases anxiety, heartrate, jitters, and restlessness. When taken in normal doses (say, 1 to 3 cups per day), coffee does not appear unhealthy. However, many are switching away from coffee for various reasons.
Q: How much coffee is too much coffee?
A: Most experts recommend fewer than 300mg to 400mg of caffeine per day – or about 3 to 4 small cups of coffee. However, a single Grande coffee from Starbucks contains 310mg of caffeine – exceeding your daily dose with a single 16oz cup.
Q: Who should consider coffee alternatives?
A: People who don’t like coffee, people with anxiety, and people with high blood pressure may want to consider coffee alternatives. Coffee alternatives are also popular with those who have digestive issues, anyone who enjoys the ritual of coffee but not the taste, and those taking specific medications that interact with caffeine.
Q: What are coffee alternatives?
A: Coffee alternatives are beverages, supplements, powders, and other products designed to replicate the effects of coffee without actually containing coffee.
Q: How do coffee alternatives work?
A: Coffee alternatives typically contain plant extracts, vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other ingredients to support energy, healthy inflammation, and other effects throughout the body.
Q: What is a good alternative to coffee?
A: A good alternative to coffee is turmeric, chai, or chicory root – or any of the top-ranked coffee alternatives on our list above.
Q: What can I drink to wake up instead of coffee?
A: Drinking yerba mate, green tea, matcha, or chai can help you wake up in the morning without actually containing coffee.
Q: What tastes like coffee but isn’t coffee?
A: Many compare the taste of chicory root to coffee. It’s like coffee without the caffeine. In fact, some use chicory root to extend coffee, adding ground chicory root to ground coffee. Like coffee, chicory root has a rich and robust flavor.
Coffee alternatives have never been more popular.
Today, there are many coffee alternatives on the market proven to support weight loss, fat burning, appetite control, and overall health and wellness.
Whether looking for a creamy, chocolate-y dessert-like alternative to coffee or a superfood beverage to take each morning, you can find a range of coffee alternatives on our list above. Check our list to find the best coffee alternatives available today.
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