A Healthier Way to Boost Energy Levels: The Best Energy Drink Alternatives
5 minutes to read

We’ve all been there: it’s the middle of the day, and we’re struggling to stay awake and productive. It’s been stressful at work, and going to bed late last night didn’t help. So, we turn to energy drinks because they are the only thing that can help us focus.

 

But are they really? (Hint: Nope!)

 

Most popular energy drinks contain excessive amounts of caffeine and refined sugar, which provide a quick energy boost, but at a huge cost. Too much caffeine can lead to jitters, anxiety, and insomnia, while too much refined sugar results in a crash and is terrible for your overall health. Not to mention the long-term effects, which can affect cardiovascular health, cause weight gain, diabetes, disrupt sleep, and more.

 

Luckily, it’s 2024, and there are plenty of energy drink alternatives that can give us the energy we need without sacrificing our health. These healthier options to replace energy drinks use ingredients that help your energy and your stress – plus some other pretty cool stuff, too. And they do it all without a bunch of caffeine, sugars and chemicals.

 

10 Healthy Energy Drink Alternatives 

Stress resilience is the key to unlocking your full potential: consistent energy, good mood, quality sleep, immunity – these are all things stress messes up. It follows, then, that the best way to boost energy without stimulant bombs is to help the body adapt to stress and let the rest come naturally. And there are some innovative products on the market that do just that.

 

Here are 10 of our favorite healthy replacements for energy drinks:

 

1. MTE (More Than Energy)

First, let us start by saying that MTE is not really an energy drink. It is a unique formulation of 13 adaptogens, nootropics and superfoods combined into a green supplement powder that supports your overall health, plus gives you a boost of energy. But not the caffeine kind – it’s a calm, even energy that’s sustained throughout the day.

 

MTE is not a quick fix – it’s a way to optimize your health to feel better, have more energy, curb stress, sleep better, and live the life you want. So, instead of using energy drinks to treat the symptoms (lack of energy), you can mix up your daily drink of MTE and optimize your health to avoid energy dips in the first place. 

 

The main star of MTE’s natural energy booster is theacrine, an alkaloid found in the kucha tea plant. Theacrine provides a sustained energy boost that has a duration of action longer than caffeine, but without the drawbacks, like jitters and anxiety. Green tea, ashwagandha and eleuthero support energy, too. And not through cortisol and adrenal activity. Our formula supports healthy dopamine function, reducing stress while providing an energy boost.

 

The other great thing about MTE is that it combines the incredible potential of theacrine with other healthy ingredients for well-rounded support. And this transformative energy drink powder contains virtually no caffeine or sugar. And, of course, no artificial stuff.

 

With MTE, you’re getting more than a calm, sustained energy boost, as this overall wellness companion can also help improve mood, focus, immunity, sleep, and other aspects of your health.

 

2. Vive Organic Energy + Immunity ® Wellness Shot

Vive Organic® is known for creating top-quality wellness shots that support a healthy immune system. You can use their Energy + Immunity Wellness Shot to overcome an occasional midday slump or as a part of your energize-for-the-day morning routine.

 

Keep in mind that this wellness shot contains 75 mg of caffeine from a green tea extract. So, it’s better than regular caffeine because it contains antioxidants from green tea that slow down the absorption of caffeine and provide a more sustained effect. But if you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may want to go for another option.

 

Vive Organic Energy + Immunity® combines a blend of organic roots and fruits, powerful nootropics, and adaptogens to help you get that natural wave of energy with no crash. In addition, these powerful ingredients help strengthen the immune system.

 

3. Keep a Consistent Exercise Routine

This might seem like a tired suggestion, and at first it appears to be a contradiction, but the science is there to support that regular exercise can actually reduce fatigue, help sleep, boost mood, and more. Some of the ways consistent exercise benefits your energy levels include:

 

  • Exercise strengthens your heart, boosts blood flow, and lowers blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. 
  • Regular physical activity promotes deeper, more restful sleep, leaving you feeling refreshed and energized throughout the day.
  • Exercise releases endorphins, the body's natural mood boosters, helping to combat stress, reactivity and low mood.
  • Physical activity enhances memory, focus, concentration, and overall cognitive function. As well, regular exercise promotes the growth of new brain cells and strengthens existing neural connections.
  • Exercise improves your body's ability to use oxygen, leading to more energy throughout the day. 

 

4. Prioritize Sleep

Everyone has their own unique circadian rhythm, and straying away from it is a huge culprit of feeling chronically fatigued. This can be especially difficult for people with night shift jobs. But sleep is absolutely key to waking up rested and ready to go, as well as for maintaining energy, focus and mood throughout the day.

Your chronotype is a way to describe where your circadian rhythm sits on the spectrum – being a night owl or an early riser is a real thing. The problem is when you fight your body’s natural rhythm. Night owls should get up later; early risers should go to bed earlier. Get on the same page as your body’s clock. Consistent sleep can transform the daily grind.

 

5. Magic Mind®

Magic Mind® is a wellness shot that combines the power of nootropics, adaptogens, and functional mushrooms. Like MTE, this energy drink alternative seeks to provide a more sustainable energy boost without jitters, anxiety, and other side effects of too much caffeine.

 

To do that, Magic Mind® uses matcha extract and lion’s mane mushrooms to extend your morning energy. It also contains other ingredients like turmeric, echinacea, ashwagandha, Bacopa monnieri, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D to provide additional benefits for your health. That includes more resilience to stress, reduced anxiety, improved focus, decreased inflammation, and immunity support.

 

6. Ginger Rescue ® Ginger Shots

Ginger Rescue® Ginger Shots by The Ginger People® are daily wellness shots that support your immunity, digestive system health, and steady energy levels. They combine the power of ginger, wild turmeric, apple juice, coconut cream, lemon juice, and black pepper into a healthy shot.

 

Although Ginger Rescue® Ginger Shots don’t have any caffeine, ginger has the ability to lower blood pressure and improve circulation. That can give you a quick caffeine-free energy boost. In addition, the kick you get from ginger and black pepper is enough to wake you up and help you focus.

 

The unique formulation of Ginger Rescue® Ginger Shots can aid digestion, support immunity, and reduce inflammation. However, we must mention that these shots contain 6g of added sugars. So, it’s best to choose another option from the list if you’re watching your sugar intake.

 

7. B-SYNC ON®

If you’re not into drinking something, especially in the morning, when some of us have less than zero appetite, B-SYNC ON® is a great replacement for a healthy energy drink. Created in capsule form, B-SYNC® refers to their ON product as “Wake Up Capsules”. They’re meant to be taken daily in the morning to give you an initial boost, and then support those energy levels throughout the day.

 

B-SYNC ON® uses a low dose of caffeine (only 60mg), vitamins B5 and B12, and zinc. Their capsule technology is designed so that there is a slow release over the day, which is how it offers even, level energy support throughout the day.

 

B-SYNC® has done its own clinical studies on their product, the results of which support long-term use:

 

  • After 1 month, people notice better mood, alertness and sleep quality.
  • After 3 months, people notice less stress and better sleep.
  • After 6 months, people notice more innate energy, and overall feeling better mentally and physically.

 

8. SYNAPSE Natural Nootropic Energy Drink®

Another conveniently-canned replacement for caffeinated energy drinks, SYNAPSE Natural Nootropic Energy Drink® is a caffeine-free, sugar-free and vegan energy drink that is designed to improve cognitive function, focus, and energy levels. It contains a number of natural ingredients that have been shown to have nootropic effects, such as: 

 

  • Huperzia serrata: protects nerve cells, improves brain function
  • Bacopa monnieri: enhances cognition, reduces stress
  • Alpha-GPC: improves memory, boosts energy
  • Creatine monohydrate: promotes brain function, improves cognitive performance
  • L-theanine: reduce stress, increase energy

 

SYNAPSE is only 25 calories a can. It doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors. Instead, it utilizes agave, pear and ginger for a crisp, light flavor. As a caffeine-free alternative to traditional energy drinks, you really can’t go wrong with nootropic stacks like this one.

 

9. LifeLab Vitamin D3 Supplement

Or just get outside more – and especially in the darker seasons. Many people don’t get enough vitamin D due to our society being largely sedentary, and diets that are packed with calories but scant on nutrition. But a healthy supplement powder would be an easy addition to your daily energy greens.

 

You’ve got to have enough vitamin D for your body to function correctly. It’s crucial for bone health, immune function, and cell growth and proliferation. Deficiencies are common and come with familiar symptoms: mood problems, fatigue, sleep problems, slow wound healing. These are signs your body doesn’t have the things it needs to get you through the day, inside or out.

 

It’s important to note that while there is a significant body of clinical evidence that vitamin D supplements significantly reduce fatigue and mood problems in people with chronic fatigue, deficiencies and nervous system disorders, there isn’t a tonne of evidence to say it matters one way or the other in healthy adults.

 

10. Have You Tried Just… Drinking More Water?

Available for the low price of FREE.99 if you don’t count your water bill, drinking water really might be the solution to many, many of our problems. That unquestionably includes energy and focus. Believe it or not, there’s clinical research everywhere dedicated to how water affects energy and metabolism:

 

  • Workouts: Even a 2% body weight reduction in water levels hampers physical performance, but people regularly lose 6-10% during a workout. Drink water before and after. And, no, your preworkout doesn’t count.
  • Cognition: Brain function can be impaired by mild dehydration – it takes only 1-3%.
  • Anxiety and Fatigue: Less than 2% body weight dehydration can increase feelings of stress and tiredness.

 

And we know there are many others – metabolism, kidney function, headaches, temperature regulation. Make sure you’re getting 64oz water a day, period, and add a liter or two to that if you’re a gym rat. Not only a clean alternative to energy drinks; it saves you money, too!

 

What’s the Problem with Energy Drinks?

So what exactly is the big deal about big bad energy drinks? Turns out it’s not just one or two minor things. According to CDC, chronic energy drink consumption can lead to:

 

  • Anxiety
  • Feeling nervous and jittery
  • Insomnia
  • Dehydration
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Heart complications

 

 Why? Quite a few reasons:

 

Sugar Bombs & Artificial Sweeteners

One of the reasons energy drinks are so bad is the excess amount of refined sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sugar consumption to nine teaspoons or 36 grams for men and six teaspoons or 25 grams for women.

 

Unfortunately, even a single can of energy drink can contain more than this recommended amount. For example, a 16 fl oz Red Bull has 49 g of sugar, which is nearly twice the daily amount of sugar recommended for women. 

 

Too much sugar in your diet can increase the risk of weight gain, tooth decay, skin problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and many other conditions. Plus, you wanna get real real about it – chronic high blood sugar, especially in people with metabolic conditions like diabetes, can wear out your kidneys, eventually contributing to kidney failure.

 

And if you're thinking a viable alternative to sugary energy drinks is a sugar-free or a low-sugar energy drink, there are still other problematic ingredients. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to a host of health issues, which you can learn more about in our article: Unreal Sugars Come with Unreal Health Risks.

 

For example, energy drinks are filled with caffeine. Although consuming a moderate amount of caffeine can help you stay awake and focused, energy drinks contain way more than you need. For example, a 16 fl oz can of Bang® has around 300 mg of caffeine. That’s almost at the 400 mg per day limit recommended by the FDA in a single serving!

 

Unfortunately, consuming this much caffeine in one sitting has several negative effects on your body. Firstly, caffeine is a stimulant that increases your heart rate and blood pressure. It also affects your brain, causing it to produce more cortisol (stress hormone). 

 

The combined stimulant effects of caffeine and increased cortisol levels can leave you feeling anxious and jittery. So, instead of helping you concentrate, energy drinks are more likely to overstimulate your brain and heart, preventing you from focusing on anything else other than your anxiety. Did you get an intense energy boost? Yes. Does it feel good? No.

 

And if you take energy drinks later in the day, the excessive amount of caffeine is likely to keep you up at night. That’s because higher cortisol levels affect melatonin production, impairing your ability to fall asleep. The problems can get so bad that some people develop insomnia.

 

Stimulant-Stimulated Health Risks

Consuming too much caffeine can also cause long-term side effects like heart problems, high blood pressure, chronic insomnia, anxiety disorders, digestive issues, and more.

 

In addition, some energy drinks contain guarana, a plant native to the Amazon whose seeds contain four times more caffeine than coffee beans. This adds to the stimulant effects of caffeine, which increases the chances of unwanted effects.

 

Another downside of caffeine is that your body gets used to its effects. So, you end up needing more and more until the side effects significantly outweigh the benefits. Caffeine (and sugar, too!) is a known addictive substance. You need more and more for the same effects over time, and if you drop it cold turkey, you will have withdrawal symptoms.

 

Lastly, the effect of energy drinks is only temporary. They are a quick fix – only treating the symptom and not addressing the underlying problem of why you might feel tired in the first place. Hence the crash that happens once the sugar and caffeine have run their course.

 

When you really look at it, energy drinks are not a good long-term solution. To really feel better - energetic, calm, content - we need these healthier, more sustainable alternatives. Wellness supplements like MTE®, Magic Mind® and others we discussed support against reasons why you’re tired, not just the fact that you’re tired.

 

Why Your Energy Levels Might Be Low

It’s not okay to feel tired every single day. We rely on coffee and energy drinks to give us a quick boost, but since they are only a quick fix, they’re not going to help you suss out what’s really going on with your chronic low energy. And even though a naturally-better-for-you energy booster can definitely help, there are also lifestyle factors that may be sabotaging your efforts to feel better.

 

Here are some reasons you may feel tired and unfocused all the time:

 

  • You are not drinking enough water
  • You are not getting enough sleep
  • Your diet is bad (you’re mostly eating heavily processed food)
  • You’re skipping breakfast
  • You don’t eat enough carbs, vitamins, or protein
  • You don’t take enough time to unwind
  • You are too stressed

 

Keep in mind that sometimes feeling fatigued can also be a result of a vitamin deficiency, hormonal imbalance, metabolic disorder, or thyroid problem. So, if you’re always tired even though your lifestyle habits are just fine, you should visit a doctor and get your blood checked to get to the bottom of your problem.

 

How to Boost Energy Levels Naturally

If you want to feel more energetic, instead of focusing on the symptoms (feeling tired), you can focus on the root cause (your lifestyle habits). That way, you’ll feel more energized throughout the day without seeking the help of coffee or energy drinks.

 

Here’s what you can do:

 

  • Eat smaller meals every three to four hours
  • Avoid processed foods, added sugars, alcohol, and tobacco
  • Make sure to eat your macros (protein, carbs, and fats)
  • Drink enough water
  • Try to get eight hours of sleep each night
  • Develop a relaxing bedtime routine without electronics
  • Learn how to deal with stress
  • Stay active 

 

How a Greens Powder Can Help Maintain Healthy Energy Levels 

Some people may follow all these steps to a T and still feel tired. It’s easy to say stress management will help you feel less tired, but what’s going to help you manage the stress in the first place? Not everyone is a yogi who likes to meditate. 

 

Adding a greens supplement drink into your daily routine can give you that little extra support you need to be the best version of yourself. Energy drinks are temporary; MTE® is long-term -- a sustainable substitute for highly-caffeinated beverage like those energy drinks, or even coffee.

 

For example, a scoop of MTE® in water, a smoothie, or your Athletic Greens® can help with energy levels, but also supports quality sleep at night, stress response, mood, focus, performance, and much more. To get the most benefits out of MTE®, you should take it daily. However, you can also use it as a replacement for energy drinks when you feel tired and need a healthy way to boost energy and focus. Discover the powerful MTE® formulation and all the ways it can benefit your health. You can also order MTE® and get your supply of this feel-good green powder that will help you achieve your full potential. 

Back to Blog

More articles you might like