For most of us, a jolt of energy in the morning is a necessity. While coffee tends to be the most popular choice, there are plenty of other drinks out there that give you that buzz — some via a caffeine kick, and others that give you energy in non-caffeinated ways. Here are five sips to try instead of that cup of joe.
Matcha is powdered Japanese green tea. Its flavor is quite unique — it has the earthiness that's typically found in green tea, but also has a nice balance of sweet, bitter flavors as well. While the amount of caffeine in matcha is considerably less than a cup of coffee, it still has enough to give you a gentle caffeine kick. The powder can be whisked into hot water to make a tea or latte, blended into a shake or smoothie, or even transformed into a wholesome, breakfast-friendly twist on crème brûlée.
Read more: It's Time to Try Matcha
2. Licorice Tea
Licorice tea is an herbal, non-caffeinated tea made from licorice root. Even without the caffeine, however, it's been shown to naturally boost energy levels while also reducing stress and anxiety. Its flavor is sweet and, of course, licorice-forward.
This is another caffeine-free drink that's a natural energy booster. Wheatgrass also happens to be full of essential vitamins and nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin C. It can be found in fresh and powdered form, but it should be noted that its flavor can best be described as "grassy," which might not be for everyone. Try adding it to your smoothie or blending it with another fruit juice if you'd rather not drink it on its own.
Read more: Get Your Daily Dose! Wheatgrass
4. Chaga Mushoom Tea
Used in traditional Chinese medicine, chaga mushrooms grow wild on birch trees and are said to provide a number of health benefits — naturally boosting your energy without caffeine or other stimulants is one of them. It tastes woodsy and earthy with just a hint of vanilla and is most commonly brewed with hot water to make a tea.
5. Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is an herbal tea made from the dried leaves and twigs of the plant of the same name. It's hugely popular in parts of South America, where it's sipped out of a traditional mug called a gourd. It contains about the same level of caffeine as coffee does, but has the added benefit of being full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Its flavor is a bit like a mix between green tea and coffee — it's a little bitter and woody, but can be flavored with lemon or sweetened.
Related: 6 Ways Tea Can Change Your Mood
Did we miss yours? What's your morning drink of choice?