Are there natural alternatives to caffeine?

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics

There are natural alternatives to caffeine that also contain stimulants. Chocolate and cocoa contain theobromine. Green tea and Mâché tea also contain caffeine. There are grain beverages which taste like coffee but contain no stimulants. These are made from roasted barley. Herbal teas can be a good substitute for caffeinated beverages.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There’s no doubt about it, caffeine is effective for boosting energy and alertness. And don’t get confused, when found in coffee and teas it is 100% natural. The problem is when it’s added to places it shouldn’t be, such as in energy drinks and diet pills. In products like these, you get super-doses of caffeine that can leave you jittery, agitated, and irritable. Too much of this over time can leave you hooked and result in withdrawal symptoms such as headache and stomach issues.

To put it in perspective, one shot of espresso has about 65 mg of caffeine, but an energy drink can have up to 280 mg. That’s a huge difference. So if you want to get caffeine from natural sources, in moderation, I don’t have a problem with it. But stay away from those souped-up energy drinks.

For a natural energy-boosting alternative to caffeine, try a small all-fruit smoothie when you hit your mid afternoon slump. The simple sugars in the fruits will provide you with an immediate source of energy to get you through the afternoon. For an added bonus, add a shot of wheatgrass. This superfood is full of antioxidants and stimulates the metabolism. You can get a shot at your local health food store or juice bar for a few dollars, or purchase the supplement in powder or pill form.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.