Coffee swaps: Why you should lower your coffee intake

Photo of Yerba Mate
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About this time of the year, my caffeine intake usually goes up. Assignments and other expectations can make for especially draining and long days. Usually, I’d turn to a cup of coffee to get me through a day that drags on. While it often helps me push through, I’ve found that it comes with side effects. Instead of energetic, I end up feeling nervous and jittery with a racing heart and a headache. With 112 milligrams of caffeine per 8 fluid ounces, coffee might be a nice boost, but sometimes the side effects of too much can do more harm than good. 

As we finish the semester at home, it might be tempting to turn to a cup of coffee. However, having a cup might not be worth the jittery energy that often comes with consuming such a potent drink. Consider switching up your caffeine intake with an alternative drink for energy. Here’s a list of drinks to replace your coffee intake and protect your well-being through the end of the semester.

Green or black tea 

Teas are usually my first choice coffee swap because they are so easy to make. Choose a loose-leaf and add your favorite herbs and spices. Green tea contains 25 milligrams per 8 fluid ounces, while black tea contains 42 milligrams per 8 fliod ounces. Though lower in caffeine, it’ll provide just enough energy for you to feel awake rather than anxious. 


If you’re not already drinking it, you won’t regret trying it. This fermented drink is made from sweetened black or green tea. People drink it for the antioxidants and probiotics, but you’ll find that it can also boost your energy. Caffeine level varies per batch, but one bottle of KeVita Master Brew Kombucha contains 76 milligrams per 15.2 fluid ounces.

Yerba mate

This herbal tea is packed with vitamins that will make you feel good and energized. Its caffeine is relatively low at 40 milligrams per 8 fluid ounces, so it won’t make you feel jittery. You can make it home, or buy a premade can at the store. 


Although it doesn’t have any caffeine, drinking plenty of water throughout the day can increase your energy. The more water you drink, the better your body and mind will operate. When all else fails, drink a cup of water and push through naturally.

So, take a break from coffee and try one of these “coffee swaps.”

Contact Sera Smith at [email protected].