When you think of caffeine, your mind probably goes to coffee. You're not to blame, though; in this day and age, it's everywhere. However, when it's something you're having almost every day, it can get old pretty fast. Here are five caffeine alternatives that are just as effective as a good ol' cuppa joe.  

1. Yerba Mate

One of the hidden gems of the caffeine world is Yerba Mate tea. It has the caffeine strength of coffee but without the annoying jitters. It's also full of antioxidants that are vital to keeping your body healthy and energized

My favorite brand of yerba mate is Guayaki. They have both unsweetened and sweetened teas, some sparkling and some still. They also offer energy shots in tangerine or berry if you're constantly on-the-go. For anyone who would rather make their own tea at home, they sell looseleaf tea and teabags online and at some wholesale stores. All teas are organic and super energizing. 

2. Matcha

Athena Huynh

Now, I know what you're thinking: matcha is too "trendy" for you and you would never stoop so low. Before you go scrolling ahead to the next option, know that not all matcha has to be a perfectly-frothed green drink with beautifully-drawn latte art like you see on Instagram. 

Matcha has a specific powdery consistency that is perfect for smoothies, pancakes, ice cream, and even macarons. However, for the sake of its caffeine content and benefits, I would stick to the least concentrated of its uses (lattes, teas and smoothies) to optimize your energy.

3. (Specific) Protein Bars

I've spent years trying to find a decent protein bar to snack on when I'm fighting midday hunger. Recently, I made an unexpected discovery: some protein bars actually have caffeine content. 

One brand of protein bars was actually created with the sole purpose of giving you energy through the combination of superfoods, vitamins, protein, and caffeine. Redd Chocolate Energy Bars use Yerba Mate tea (see #1) leaves in their bars. Flavors range from Mint to Salted Caramel. 

Clif has also incorporated caffeine into their bars. Two of their flavors, Cool Mint Chocolate and Peanut Toffee Buzz, contain Green Tea extract and therefore, according to their ingredients list, have over 40mg of caffeine each. This may be minimal, but it's enough to give you an energy boost for your midday power lecture.

4. Caffeinated Waters

Yes, caffeinated water exists, and it actually tastes like water. One brand, Water Joe, is sold at all of my university cafes and dining halls. The trend is spreading, and there are several other brands marketing the same "caffeinated water" idea, such as Kick2O and Avitae. Even the infamous sweetener-free Hint water now comes as Hint Kick, with a full 90 mg of caffeine to get you through your all-nighter.

5. Chewable Coffee

If you're open to trying something a little more adventurous than just tea or energy bars, try Go Cubes Chewable Coffee. Two of these gummy cubes have enough caffeine to keep you awake for 4-6 hours. They also come in three flavors: Mocha, Latte, and Pure Drip, and they taste like your favorite coffee shop delicacies. Store a pack of these in your bag to save yourself a trip and tons of cash. 

There is so much more out there than we think. Through just a little online searching, looking in my local grocery stores, and word-of-mouth, I realized that there's a lot more out there than just your average brew. Stay energized, kids.