Photo: Rachel Johnson

Kick the coffee habit with these 6 energizing herbal drinks.

Rochelle Bilow
May 17, 2017

If you avoid caffeine, the phrase “Wake up and smell the coffee,” likely doesn’t get you up and at ‘em every morning. But those who skip java or black and green teas still sometimes need a little extra pep in their step. These herbal and plant-based beverages provide all-natural energy without the caffeine crash. Bottoms up!

Cristina Dini

Ginger tea

Spicy, fiery, and tear-inducing hot in concentrated quantities, ginger is the ultimate energizing drink. It can be potent, but it pairs well with honey or maple syrup—a little sweetness goes a long way in balancing the heat. As a bonus, ginger soothes digestive unease and stomach aches. Prepared ginger tea is widely available; the tea bags are filled with dried and ground ginger root. If you want to make it yourself, simply boil ginger peel with water until it has reached your desired strength. Strain, discard the peel, and sip. There is plenty of flavor in the peels, so save the actual fresh root for stir-fries and baking projects.

Maca smoothie

Hailing from the Andes mountains in Peru, maca has been consumed as an energizing supplement for centuries. An adaptogenic, it is said to boost stamina and, over time, alter the body chemistry to better handle the stresses of daily life. Maca is most often sold as a ground powder (it comes from a root) that’s largely tasteless. It blends well into smoothies, or could even be stirred into oatmeal.

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Coconut-orange juice

Coconut water is detoxifying (it’ll help you shake a hangover, for one). Orange juice is refreshing and energizing. Put the two together, and you’ve got a beachy drink that’ll boost your mood sans caffeine. Combine equal parts coconut water and low-sugar o.j, and shake to combine. Add a teaspoon of coconut cream for a frothy, “slushie-like” texture.

J.L.Bulcao

Acai smoothie bowl

Acai berries are a super food that really delivers. It’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and heart-healthy. It also helps balance energy levels. Your best bet is blending frozen acai berries with banana for sweetness, greens for an added detox boost, and flavor enhancers, like ginger and lemon.

Photo: Dusko Almosa/Getty Images

Hot lemon water

Don’t underestimate the power of h2O. Hot water helps “flush” out your pipes first thing in the morning, which will help you shake off that sluggish “just woke up” feeling. Fresh lemon has a bright, refreshing flavor. Cut it with honey if you prefer.

Ashwagandha tincture

While ashwagandha won’t deliver an instantaneous surge of energy, when taken over a months-long period it works to remove stress stored in your body, and better equip your mind for overall emotional wellness. How will this help you stop hitting snooze? Restless sleep and anxiety-induced insomnia are what keep us from feeling fully rested. Fix that issue, and you’ve fixed your can’t-get-out-of-bed problem. Ashwagandha is often sold as a concentrated tincture (alcohol that has been infused with a plant, herb, or root). To administer it, place the prescribed dosage in a couple ounces of water and shoot it. You can also find alcohol-free tinctures, or ashwagandha in tea form.