Ways to boost your energy without coffee

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Suzy Cohen

We all experience fatigue or low energy at some point in our lives. Sometimes it is temporary — like after an all-nighter, or a bout with the flu.

Whatever the cause, fatigue is difficult to deal with. One common but overlooked reason for fatigue is a missed diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

Today, I’ll share my secrets for natural and effective ways to improve energy… without Starbucks.

B complex

A deficiency of the B vitamins harms your adrenal glands and is a frequent cause of fatigue. B Complex is profoundly useful to make neurotransmitters and generate ATP energy production via the Krebs cycle. You need B12 to support thyroid production and get rid of homocysteine.

Licorice root

This ancient herbal adaptogen (substances that improve your body’s ability to react to stress) doesn’t care how you got fatigued, it only seeks to fix your exhausted adrenal glands by increasing your energy and endurance. Because licorice stimulates the production of cortisol, it also boosts thyroid hormone. One cup of licorice root tea per day might be all you need.

But proceed with caution: using it for too long or taking too much may induce headaches and hypertension.


Also known as Indian ginseng, over just a few weeks of use this herb activates T4 to T3 thyroid conversion (good!), which improves energy and fat-burning capabilities. But ashwagandha should be taken at night, at least at first, because it causes drowsiness in many people.


Your body uses tyrosine, an amino acid, to make thyroid hormones that improve brain power and energy. Tyrosine is in many popular energy drinks and thyroid supplements.

Dosage varies greatly from person to person. Start with 75 to 100 mg. once or twice during daytime hours, or it can cause insomnia. You can always increase from there. You’ll know you’re getting too much if you feel shaky or get a racing heartbeat (similar to excessive caffeine).

Oat straw (Avena sativa)

Known best as an effective tonic for hemorrhoids, oat straw may gently support thyroid function, which in turn provides energy and fat-burning compounds.

It has a lot of natural calcium, which helps your muscles and bones. In animal studies, oat straw triggered release of luteinizing hormone (LH), which increases testosterone and impacts ovulation.


This amino acid makes acetylcholine, a memory compound. It invigorates you at a cellular level. Optimal effects may be seen in six to eight weeks.

Sound like a long time? It’s worth the wait to get the clarity and energy that occurs without the crash and burn of coffee and sweets.

Salads and greens

Eating steamed or sautéed greens is perfect and, of course, a salad a day keeps the doctor away! The green color of romaine lettuce, chard and collards comes from natural chlorophyll.

There are also supplements and powdered drink formulas that contain seaweeds or cereal grasses that also contain chlorophyll. This rapidly cleans your cells and creates energy.

Other alternatives

Still want more energy? There are coffee alternatives — such as teas (black or green), coffeeberry fruit extract, yerba mate shots and guayusa (gwhy-you-sa) drinks and teas — which all are stimulating, like coffee, but are a bit milder.

These are extra nice because each comes with its own specific set of herbal health benefits as well.

So give one or more of these alternatives a try, and soon you’ll be on your way to an energized day without relying on a $6 coffee drink to get you there!

This information is opinion only. It is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Consult with your doctor before using any new drug or supplement.

Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To contact her, visit www.SuzyCohen.com.