Bring on midterm season! But first, put that shaky hand down. Coffee may be giving you intense jitters and somersaulting stomachs, so maybe after your fourth cup of the day, it’s about time to try something new. Whichever one it is, we’re here to get you ready with energy sources that aren’t going to break your diet. These coffee alternatives will help you kick your coffee addiction to the curb while still satisfying your caffeine cravings.

1. Matcha


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Matcha is a super tea. It comes in powdered form which means you’re having the actual crushed up leaves and absorbing its high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, fibre, and minerals.

This green tea on steroids usually has 68 mg of caffeine per serving — comparable to half a cup of coffee — so you can still get through your readings without waking up with desk marks on your face. Even better, matcha gives you a calm awakening instead of a burst of short-lived energy (with a spoonful of anxiety to boot).

2. Dark Chocolate


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An energy boost and a treat all in one. This one-square-a-day prescription is one you won’t want to forget. Go for a good quality chocolate bar that is 70 percent cacao or higher – this means less sugar and more cacao, which helps with preventing a sugar crash getting between you and your essay.

The benefits don’t stop at that heavenly chocolate taste in your mouth. You’ll also get boosts of antioxidants, have better cholesterol maintenance, lowered blood pressure, and other mind-stimulating powers. Go on, get your fix.

3. Walnuts


Photo by Christin Urso

Walnuts are your all natural energy bites because of their protein and Omega-3 fatty acid content. Not only do walnuts improve brain health and counter stress, but they also support your immune system. The person sniffling in the library won’t be you this time.

4. Orange Kale Smoothie


Photo by Yonatan Soler

Blend up the perfect pick-me-up before hitting the books. Oranges and all other citrus fruits elevate serotonin and decrease norepinephrine levels in your body, simultaneously making you happier and less stressed. Learn how to incorporate more citrus into your day and reap the rewards.

Don’t skip out on the kale — it’s not just there to make your drink look Insta-worthy. Packed with a dense collection of vitamins, kale helps brain function throughout the day and strengthens your memory, so you don’t have to rely on shoddy exam advice.

5. Ginseng Tea


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Ginseng tea is here to de-stress you both physically and mentally, sip by sip. This is due to the natural ginsenoside chemical content in the root. Ladies, you’ll also appreciate its anti-cramping properties during that lovely time of the month.

You can also mix it up with mint as it is both beneficial to digestion and cognitive improvements, such as memory. You’ll even have a minty-fresh breath ready when that cutie sits down beside you in the library.

6. Coconut Oil


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Coconut oil has medium-chain triglycerides, making them good saturated fat. You probably didn’t even know that existed but they actually provide you with energy instead of piling up in your body.

Grab a jar of cold-pressed virgin coconut oil and spread it on toast in place of butter, mix into your water to feel its boost, or use it in your baking and cooking. Eat a coconut oil-inspired breakfast, or get super hype and have it with dark chocolate. Get ready to salivate.

7. Awake Bars


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Tired of plain ol’ dark chocolate? TREAT YO SELF. Your hardworking self deserves it. Walk yourself down to the campus store or any cafeteria register to pick up an Awake caffeinated chocolate bar.

Like the name suggests, this chocolate bar is there to reward you and keep you alert. You’ll be killing it even after your break.


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By now, I would hope that you have a killer list of alternatives to your daily, tremor-inducing addiction. It’s about time you expand your horizons.