Five Multitasking Coffee Alternatives to Try This Summer

2 weeks ago 15

Coffee’s out, and seemingly anything else is in. 

Across the wellness category, functional beverages have taken over. Sexy water, achieved by adding powders and tinctures to drinks, has taken over TikTok. Protein powders and beverages have been the gym-sets go-tos. Now people are looking for alternatives to coffee, particularly ones that provide additional benefits aside from energy — think lower caffeine for a jitter-free experience or mushroom blends for a brain boost.

“The modern consumer wants [their beverages] to work harder for them,” says Karen Danudjaja, founder of superfood-infused beverage brand Blume. “Functional ingredients are being incorporated into everything.”

Danudjaja says this interest in better-for-you coffee alternatives boomed during the pandemic and has remained strong.

“People spent all this time investing at home: home barista equipment and frothers and espresso machines and developing a home ritual and spending all this time thinking about their health,” she says. “That doesn’t just go away and [in] the post-pandemic world, people care about their wellness. They want to get more for their money.”

While many are looking for multifunctional energy products, some are also seeking alternatives to help them cut back on coffee.

“People are often looking for the same energy boost that coffee provides, while limiting overall caffeine intake,” says Courtney Pelitera, a registered dietician specializing in sports and wellness nutrition, adding that green tea, matcha and mushroom coffees are popular alternatives right now.

However, moderate amounts of coffee are safe and healthy, according to experts.

“Coffee itself has been well studied and when drank in moderation (one to two cups per day) can provide many health benefits including preventing cardiovascular disease, reducing risk of colon cancer, reducing risk of Parkinson’s disease, and reduction in stroke risk,” Pelitera says.

With functionality and caffeine intake top of mind, here’s a look at five multitasking coffee alternatives to try this summer.

Saint James Iced Tea, $36 for 12-pack

Saint James is the hot new iced tea brand on the scene, founded by AriZona Iced Tea cofounder John Ferolito. The brand has positioned itself as a clean, all-natural alternative to what’s on the market, employing plant-based sweeteners over sugar and removing unnecessary additives.

Blume Salted Caramel Blend, $25

Blume has taken a superfood approach to its lineup of coffee alternatives. Its Salted Caramel Blend employs maca for its mood-boosting benefits; schisandra for its energy, stress and libido support; pink Himalayan salt to restore electrolytes, and dates for a natural sweetener.

Vuum, $36 for eight-pack

Sick of protein powders and ultra-creamy pre-made drinks? Vuum is the answer. The brand, which launched in December, combines energy-boosting ingredients like guarana seed and green tea for 135 milligrams of caffeine with 10 grams of pea protein in fruity sparkling beverages. Flavors include white peach citrus ginger, berries and strawberry tangerine.

Mud/Wtr Original, $50

Mud/Wtr’s hero blend combines energy- and brain-supporting mushrooms, including lion’s mane, cordyceps, chaga and reishi, with herbs and cacao for a jitter-free experience. A serving of the powder, which should be mixed with hot water, features 35 milligrams of caffeine compared to the 95 milligrams in a typical cup of coffee.

G.O.A.T. Fuel, $36 for 12-pack

G.O.A.T. Fuel isn’t for the consumer looking to limit their caffeine intake, but rather the gym rat looking to enhance their pre-workout fuel with some additional ingredients. While it has 200 milligrams of caffeine, the drink employs electrolytes for hydration and cordyceps for additional energy and immune support. Plus it comes in a slew of fun flavors like gummy bear, blueberry lemonade and candy.

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