Designed by Claire Jones for the Noun Project

Designed by Claire Jones for the Noun Project

Regardless of where you fall on the “is coffee good or bad for you” debate, there will come a workday when you can barely keep your head up at your desk, and coffee is not an option. Maybe you’ve already had two or three cups with no real effect, or maybe you’ve been trying to quit but still haven’t found a good alternative yet.

As part of Fast Company‘s “Coffee Week” coverage, Lisa Evans offers a number (6 in all) of other options. Here’s a few of our favorites: 

Green Tea: This beverage has become known as the healthiest coffee alternative thanks to its high concentration of antioxidants and its link to lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Green tea does contain caffeine, but a smaller amount than your regular cup of coffee, so you don’t end up with the same jittery side effects. Not only can green tea boost mental alertness, studies show it can also make you smarter. One recent study published in the journal Psychopharmacology found green tea is effective at improving memory and cognition.

Eat Some Chocolate and Have a Laugh: That cute cat video your aunt emailed you may be just what you need when you feel a dip in energy. Researchers from the University of Warwick showed boosting employee happiness by offering chocolate and showing stand-up comedy videos improved productivity by 12%…

Raise the Heat in the Office: That chill you feel in the office may be causing your productivity to drop along with your temperature. Cornell University researchers found employees working in offices with low temperatures (of 68 degrees) committed 44% more errors and were less than half as productive than employees working in a warm office (of 77 degrees). When the body’s temperature drops, it uses up energy to stay warm. This leaves the brain with less energy to concentrate or to be creative. If you can’t raise the office temperature, be sure to pack a sweater or get a space heater.

And if what you’re really jonesing for are the sweet, soothing sounds of a coffee shop while you work, there’s always Coffitivity.


  • Ron R G

    All good ideas but I need my coffee.

  • kuala

    can`t we have both ? 😉

  • Charles Messinger

    Use the Breath too!

    Put the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Then inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat for a total of four breaths.

    From here: 🙂

  • Jonathan Patterson

    Sugar free Red Bull is my vice!

  • alaa

    fruits at work really helps

  • Max_Freedom

    The statement regarding temperature is very accurate.
    It’s 66 degrees in our I.T. office, with AC blasting, even when it’s well below zero outside in the middle of winter.
    It makes focus nearly impossible, and your whole body is stiff.
    Typing is physically difficult when my fingers/arms are frozen.
    Blankets/space heaters are common in the entire building, including in the summer.

    • Dammacx

      I think I would be the exception to this rule, I am one of those people that is always warm and seem to be more productive and alert if there is a bit of a chill in the air. I agree a cold AC blowing on your back is not good and will make you stiff but a nice cool office keeps me awake while warm makes me sleepy. But for sure going to try the Green Tea, not a huge coffee person anyway so shouldn’t be a hard switch.

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