Coffee: the saving grace of college kids everywhere. Whether you drink it black or indulge in a Mocha Maple Frappe from Starbucks, coffee is something that people often have everyday. However, maybe we shouldn't. Don't get me wrong - I love a good cup of joe. But if you consider the fact that caffeine is an addictive drug that can cause withdrawal symptoms and even panic attacks, then alternatives to coffee start to look a whole lot more appealing.

Try switching out your usual cuppa for one of these energy sources instead. You'll get the same boost before your morning class, but without the dreaded afternoon crash.

1. Matcha

green tea, cream, matcha, tea, soup
Daniela Karpenos

This energizing green tea boosts your metabolism while giving you the additional benefits of antioxidants and L-theanine, an amino acid that helps to lower anxiety. One cup of it contains 35mg of caffeine, which is a third of the caffeine found in coffee. Try it in an iced latte, or a green pie, if you're feeling brave.

2. Apples

sweet, juice, apple
Kristine Mahan

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but can it ward off cravings for a cup of coffee? Apples contain upwards of 13 grams of sugar, which gives you a natural energy boost as the sugar is slowly released throughout the body. Try this cinnamon apple and peanut butter quinoa for an energy-filled breakfast.

3. Spark Energy Drink

If you're one of those people that can't skimp on the caffeine, then check out spark energy drinks. These flavored powders pack in 120mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to (or more than) your average cup of coffee. The difference? You also get an extra boost of vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins B-12 and C, in every packet.

4. Yerba Mate

This herbal tea hails from South America, and it's made by drying holly leaves in wood smoke. Fans of the tea praise its clean energy boost, although the 85mg of caffeine per cup certainly helps, too.

5. Almond Butter Oat Protein Balls

coconut, cookie, candy, sweet, truffle, chocolate
Kristi Cook

Protein isn't considered to be your typical energy booster, but it has been shown to improve sleep quality and prevent sugar crashes. Try munching on these protein balls in the morning to keep your energy up all day.

6. Coconut Water

ice, soda
Gabby Phi

This trendy drink is more than a pretty face. Coconut water packs 569 milligrams of potassium, an electrolyte that aids in muscle contraction and generating energy. It's the perfect afternoon pick me up when you're falling asleep in math class.

7. V8 + Energy Drink

This energy drink contains 80mg of caffeine, which is just slightly less than your usual cuppa. However, unlike coffee, it's also a source of vitamins and contains one serving of fruit and veg. Try it in a variety of flavors, including baked apple cinnamon and strawberry lemonade.

8. Black Tea

hot chocolate, chocolate, cream, cappuccino, tea, milk, espresso, coffee
Julie Lau

Black tea contains less than half the caffeine of coffee, which makes it ideal for people that are trying to ween themselves off of drinking too much coffee. You get a smaller energy boost, but minus the scary side effects.

While these alternatives to coffee are less addicting than a cup of joe, I'm pleased to inform my fellow coffee-lovers that java contains some health benefits too. Coffee has been proven to increase circulation, which helps carry more oxygen to your muscles when you workout. It can also help prevent muscle pain before and after your gym sesh.

Feel free to cheat on your love affair with coffee every once in a while by trying these alternatives, but don't feel guilty for coming back; the occasional cup of coffee is good for you.