How to Feel More Awake Without Coffee

Masthead Image
how to feel more awake
Author Name: Mia Barnes
Date: Wednesday January 31, 2024

Body + Mind is reader-supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through some of the links on our site. 

Many people live for their morning cup of cold brew. But, if coffee is out of the picture, you aren’t relegated to feeling like a zombie for the first half of the day. There are several alternatives — with and without caffeine — that will give you the energy boost you need to survive your 8 AM algebra class. Here’s how to feel more awake. 


Do some gentle walking or even jumping jacks to get your blood pumping. Exercising boosts the flow of oxygen in your body, increases hormones that wake you up and spurs your muscle cells to produce more mitochondria — also known as the powerhouse of the cell. 

Translation? You’ll be wide awake in no time. 

Have a Cold Shower

It’s near impossible to feel sleepy when you’re doused in chilled water. For some people, a cold shower — perhaps coupled with some energizing soap scents, like grapefruit or mint — can break them out of an early morning haze. 

Drink a Caffeinated Beverage

If you can’t have coffee but still want a buzz, try one of these caffeinated alternatives:

  • Tea: Green and black tea are both made from the same plant, known as Camellia sinensis, which contains caffeine. Matcha is made by pulverizing the leaves into a fine powder and mixing them with hot water or milk. Tea has varying caffeine levels depending on how you grow, harvest and brew the leaves. 
  • Yerba mate: This drink made from Ilex paraguariensis leaves packs a punch, and is highly popular in South America. It’s similar to tea. You can get it in regular or sparkling varieties, and there are versions with or without sugar. 
  • Hot chocolate: Did you know even a cozy cup of cocoa has caffeine? It’s not nearly as strong, but Theobroma cacao — the cocoa tree — produces the same feel-good chemical as tea, coffee and yerba mate. So, drink up and perk up!

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

You’ll want to pair your morning brew with a high-powered meal to kickstart the day. Try a balanced breakfast with a mix of protein, fat and carbs to help you feel full and give you energy. For example: 

  • Eggs, avocado and toast
  • Fruit, granola and nuts
  • Chia pudding, peanut butter on toast and a frittata made with spinach and pepper

Take it easy on short-acting carbs like refined sugar and syrup. They give you an energy spike, but it doesn’t last long, so you should only eat these sugary foods alongside a more substantial meal. 

Take a Nap

Another tip for how to feel more awake is to stop fighting sleep. If you’re still tired by the time afternoon rolls around, go ahead and take a much-needed siesta. It can be good for you! As long as you keep your nap short and sweet, it can serve as a healthy pick-me-up to beat the after-lunch slump. 

Get Good Sleep

If you find yourself very tired on a regular basis, consider how you’re sleeping at night. Good sleep is about more than getting a certain number of hours of shut-eye. You also need to make it through the night without frequent interruptions. 

Your habits play a role in how you sleep. Are you browsing Facebook late at night? Bright, blue light signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up, and so does anxiously scrolling to see if your friends went on vacation without you. So, stop using your phone well before you need to fall asleep. 

Exercising or drinking caffeine too close to bedtime can also keep you awake. Caffeine’s effects last up to six hours, so finish drinking your tea by early afternoon. Wind down for a while after an intense workout so you can transition to feeling sleepy. 

If you’re still exhausted after a full night’s sleep, something else may be going on. Certain sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy and sleep apnea, can cause you to wake up repeatedly overnight and feel very tired during the day. See a doctor if you’re concerned you might have a sleep disorder. 

How to Feel More Awake

Giving up coffee can be tough, but there are excellent alternatives you can try to get your morning off to a good start. By incorporating exercise, a healthy breakfast and maybe some good, old-fashioned caffeine in the form of a different beverage, you’ll feel more awake and alert throughout the day. 

Previous ArticleHow To Make Your Banana Bread Recipe Healthy and Delicious Next ArticleHelpful Tips on How to Apply Foundation With a Brush
Subscribe CTA Image

Subscribers get even more tailored tips & deets delivered directly to their inboxes!