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Going Caffeine-Free? Try These 7 Energizing Herbal Alternatives & Lifestyle Tips

Published on January 10, 2024


By Kristen Boye BS, Natural Health

Kristen Boye

Kristen Boye is a natural health expert, writer, copywriter, and editor. Kristen was raised on an organic farm in British Columbia which inspired her life’s work. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Health, is a Certified Natural Foods Chef, co-owner of a medicinal herb farm, and is a natural foods and children’s health advocate. Kristen lives with her husband and two children on their medicinal herb farm in Western North Carolina.

https://www.holisticwritingconcepts.com
Going Caffeine-Free? Try These 7 Energizing Herbal Alternatives & Lifestyle Tips
Going Caffeine-Free? Try These 7 Energizing Herbal Alternatives & Lifestyle Tips

Going caffeine-free can offer many benefits, from improved natural energy to better adrenal function, and more.

However, giving up caffeine is a challenging thing to stick with! Especially if you’re weaning yourself off strong coffee or tea or have trouble getting enough sleep.

Fortunately, various herbs and lifestyle practices can help take the edge off going caffeine-free while helping support energy levels.

Here, we dive into seven energizing, caffeine-free herbal drinks and lifestyle alternatives to help you stick with your caffeine-free resolutions.

The Benefits of Going Caffeine-Free

No matter how we dress it up with fancy labels, foamy milks, or even studies showing its potential benefits, the truth is caffeine is a stimulant drug.

Yes, there are much worse stimulants out there, and people have enjoyed caffeine for generations from various plants.

However, if you’re struggling with your health, are pregnant or nursing, or just don’t like the way you feel when you consume caffeine, it could be time to give it up—or reduce your portions.

If you’re reading this article, you probably already have a reason for giving up caffeine. 

However, since a little extra motivation never hurts, we’ll review some of the benefits of giving up caffeine based on research. 

Some of these benefits may include: REF#3323 REF#3324 REF#3325 REF#3326 REF#3327 REF#3328 REF#3329

  • Improved heart function
  • Better sleep
  • More stable emotional well-being
  • Optimal absorption of nutrients otherwise hindered by caffeine, such as iron, calcium, and B vitamins
  • Improved energy 
  • Optimal hormonal function in women
  • Less anxiety
  • Better pregnancy and birth outcomes (caffeine crosses the placental barrier)
  • Fewer headaches
  • Better collagen production and function

It’s important to note that caffeine affects everyone differently, with some people being more tolerant than others based on genetics, their current state of health, and many other factors.

Some people also benefit from caffeine, so check with your healthcare practitioner for individual recommendations.

7 Energizing Caffeine-Free Herbal Elixirs and Lifestyle Alternatives

These caffeine-free drinks and herbal elixirs can be made fully decaffeinated or low-caffeine, depending on your preference.

We’ve chosen recipes that support energy by including herbal adaptogens, a group of herbs that promote sustained energy via their effects on adrenal function.

Our adrenals mediate our stress response and dozens of other bodily functions, all of which affect energy, stress levels, and stamina.

We’ve also included a few simple lifestyle/self-care practices to help take the edge off caffeine withdrawal and provide a natural energy boost when you need it.

1. Decaf Chaga Latte

If you’re giving up coffee, this is the caffeine-free drink/herbal elixir to try!

Chaga is a type of traditional mushroom used extensively in traditional Russian and European herbalism. 

Its rich brown color resembles coffee when ground and lends an earthy flavor to lattes, cappuccinos, and other coffee drinks.

Chaga has adaptogenic qualities and may help support: REF#3330 REF#3331 REF#3332 REF#3333

  • Cell function, via its antioxidants
  • Gut microbiome function and diversity
  • Inflammatory response
  • Immune function
  • Metabolic function
  • Liver function
  • Normal Cholesterol

Here’s how to make a decaf or low-caf chaga latte.

Decaf or Low-Caf Chaga Latte

Ingredients:

    • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon powdered Chaga
    • The recommended amount for 1 cup of your favorite coffee substitute to taste
  • It’s okay to use decaf coffee. You’ll just add the Chaga like you would sugar.
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (cow’s milk, goat’s milk, oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk)
  • Natural sweetener to taste

How to Make:

    1. If using a powdered coffee alternative, like Dandy, mix the Chaga powder directly into that powder. 
  • If using decaf or half-caff coffee, add the chaga to your mug.
  1. Add hot water to instant coffee alternatives, or brew your decaf or half-caff like normal.
  2. Heat or steam the milk.
  3. Combine everything, add sweetener if desired, and stir well.

Note all Chaga powders are slightly different. If you find it’s not mixing well, try the following:

  • Blend everything together with an immersion blender
  • Heat the chaga with the milk and use a foamer to mix it in well

You can also make a pure Chaga latte by skipping the addition of the coffee substitute or coffee. 

For a mocha-like flavor, feel free to dress it up with spices or a little fair-trade cocoa or cacao.

2. Increase Natural Light Exposure

If you’re giving up caffeine in the mornings, getting natural morning light is essential to your success.

Studies have shown that exposure to bright morning light positively impacts the circadian rhythm (also known as your sleep cycle) and can help lift your mood, which will boost energy levels.

You don’t need a lot of morning light to reap its benefits. Studies have shown even just five minutes can make a world of difference.REF#3334

So grab your favorite caffeine-free hot drink and catch some rays on the porch or while walking briskly.

3. Decaf Green Tea with Nettles and/or Feverfew

Green Tea is well-known for its health benefits and has about half to a third of the caffeine of coffee or traditional black tea.

For these reasons, many people use Green Tea as a coffee or black tea alternative.

This recipe can be customized to include adaptogenic and nutrient-rich Nettles and/or Feverfew, which studies have shown may help reduce occasional headaches.REF#3335 REF#3336

If you need extra energy and support, add the Nettles. If you’re struggling with caffeine headaches, add Feverfew—alone or in addition to the Nettles.

Decaf Green Tea with Nettles and/or Feverfew

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Green Tea, decaffeinated Green Tea, or half-caf and half-decaf
  • 1 teaspoon Nettles and/or Feverfew
  • Natural sweetener (optional)

How to Make:

  1. Combine Green Tea with Nettles and/or Feverfew in a teapot or tea ball.
  2. Pour boiling water (or nearly boiling water, depending on who you ask) over the herbs.
  3. Let steep for 3-8 minutes.
  4. Remove loose tea and herbs and add sweetener if desired.

This is a basic caffeine-free or low-caff drink recipe on which to customize your favorite decaf or low-caff green tea blend.

Other complementary herbs and ingredients in Green Tea include:

  • Lemon balm
  • Citrus zest
  • Cinnamon
  • Red clover
  • Nettles
  • Lemongrass
  • Mint
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger

4. Spicy Golden Milk Latte

Golden Milk, an infusion of Turmeric with milk and spices, is a staple beverage in Ayurveda.

It’s also a great caffeine-free coffee alternative and can satisfy cravings for desserts and other sweets.

However, if you’re looking for a Golden Milk recipe that will energize and fire you up, consider adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to your traditional recipe.

Spicy peppers like cayenne have been shown to release feel-good endorphins REF#3337 that can help take the edge off your caffeine or sweet cravings.

See Traditional Golden Milk Recipe with Gaia Herbs Golden Milk for step-by-step instructions, then add a pinch (or two) of cayenne for some extra oomph.

5. Try These Invigorating Essential Oils

Aromatherapy is an excellent tool for giving up or reducing caffeine intake.

Essential oils are widely available, affordable, and can be used discreetly whenever you need extra support.

  • Peppermint is an invigorating essential oil that may also help with headaches
  • Basil is a favorite for going caffeine-free
  • Citrus essential oils are known for their uplifting nature
  • Lavender can help reduce stress
  • Cinnamon and Cardamom may help with coffee cravings
  • Rosemary may help with focus

Essential oils can be diffused, dropped onto a tissue, and stored in your pocket, or inhaled straight from the bottle to help with energy and cravings.

6. Warming Ginger Tea with Hibiscus and Honey

Ginger is one of the spices that creates the most warm and cozy feelings within body and mind, like receiving a big hug from a loved one. 

Perhaps this is why it is the most-consumed spice in the world!

Fresh Ginger is easy to find and can be made into an energizing, uplifting, and warming tea in just a few minutes.

Research has shown antioxidants in Ginger may support various aspects of health, including:

  • Metabolic function
  • Digestion
  • Immune function
  • Inflammatory response

It also may help with minor aches and pains, occasional headaches REF#3338—like those from caffeine withdrawal, and occasional nausea.

In this recipe, we combine fresh Ginger with soothing, floral Hibiscus and energy-boosting honey for a beautiful ruby-red caffeine-free drink you’ll come back to again and again.

Ginger Tea with Hibiscus and Honey

Ingredients:

  • Half-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 organic Hibiscus tea bag or 1-3 teaspoons loose Hibiscus
  • 1-2 teaspoons raw honey, or sweetener or choice, to taste

How to Make:

  1. Combine a half-inch piece of freshly grated ginger with one tea bag of organic Hibiscus tea (or 1-3 teaspoons of loose Hibiscus flowers).
  2. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the blend.
  3. Let infuse for at least 5 minutes or up to 15 minutes.
  4. Add honey or sweetener of choice.

This Ginger tea is energizing, warming, and uplifting and can be enjoyed any time of day.

7. Make Time for More Sleep Than Usual

This may not seem like a remarkable tip.

However, when you’re eliminating or cutting back on caffeine, you’ll naturally feel more tired, and no caffeine-free elixir or product can trump the energy-enhancing benefits of getting enough sleep.

Experts recommend adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. However, you may want to err on the side of more while your body adjusts to ending or reducing its reliance on caffeine.

Chances are, you may have been tired for quite some time but not noticed because of the caffeine. If you need extra zzzs, permit yourself to make time and space for that.

Certain herbs can provide temporary support if you’re having trouble adjusting to your new sleep needs.

Some examples include:*

These herbs can be taken as a tea, tincture, or capsule before bed. Ask your healthcare practitioner about the right herbs and dosing schedule for you.

Looking for More Caffeine-free Inspiration?

We are here to support you! Get more advice and yummy caffeine-free recipes in:

REFERENCES:

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  • 8. , "Bioactivities and Health Benefits of Mushrooms Mainly from China", Molecules. 8 8. , "Bioactivities and Health Benefits of Mushrooms Mainly from China", Molecules.
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