9 crazy ways to get a caffeine fix without coffee

The Best Ways to Wake Up Without Coffee
The Best Ways to Wake Up Without Coffee

If you're like me, the occasional coffee is all it takes to get a boost of energy on a particularly drowsy morning.

But for those who need a little extra caffeine help, there are other ways to get that buzz.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most adults can safely consume about 400 milligrams, or four cups of coffee, in a day. More than that and you risk raising your heart rate, not to mention feeling jittery and irritable.

Here are the crazy real ways you can get your coffee fix without ever taking a sip.

Pills: Usually available in 100 mg and 200 mg varieties, or the rough equivalent of 1-2 8-oz. cups of coffee.

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N0-Doz caffeine pills, with 200 mg of caffeine per pill, cost $9.99 for a 60-pill bottle. Pill form versions of caffeine are the most heavily tested of all alternative caffeine options, but it's important to take them only at the suggested dosages. They can be dangerous if taken incorrectly.

Vape pens: Caffeine vaporizers contain 2 mg per puff; a typical serving adds up to 20-40 mg, or about the same as a can of cola.

a young caucasian woman  with a ...
a young caucasian woman with a ...


If inhaling caffeine is more your speed, expect to get about two milligrams a puff out of a caffeine vaporizer. The typical serving will add up to 20-40 milligrams of caffeine — the equivalent of a can of cola — and those made by Eagle Energy Vapor will set you back about $24.99 for a set of 3. So far, the FDA hasn't made a ruling on whether inhaling caffeine is safe.

Patches: Most caffeine patches have about 60 mg of caffeine, or a little more than half a cup of strong coffee.

Caffeine patches such as Spot On, which cost $18.00 for 24 patches, can send the stimulant into your blood stream in a matter of minutes. Each patch contains 60 milligrams of caffeine — roughly the same as a little more than half a cup of coffee — so it's probably best not to overdo it, like the science fair judge from the 2007 Disney movie "Meet the Robinsons."

Caffeinated soap: The average bar packs 2,400 mg of caffeine, but experts estimate it would take 4 hours for anywhere between 4 and 42 mg (less than half a cup of coffee) to enter the bloodstream.

While leaving a patch on your skin may be a good way to get caffeine into the bloodstream, there's also this incredulous concept: caffeinated soap. Yes, caffeinated soap can give you a buzz — it just depends on how long you spend lathering up.

A bar like this one, which goes for $7.00, contains 2,400 milligrams of caffeine, which enters the blood stream through the skin. But, as the Guardian reports, it would take 4 hours for just 4-42 milligrams to get in, about the same as a bottle of cola.

Caffeinated chocolate: A bar contains about 100 mg of caffeine, or about the same as a strong cup of coffee.

Want to stick to ingesting your caffeine? There's a chocolate bar for that.

Products like Awake Caffeinated Chocolate ($5.58 per bar) can pack a punch. The price may be a little steep, but it's a good excuse to indulge in your sweet tooth. Each bar contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine, or the equivalent of a strong 8-oz. cup of coffee.

Coffee gummy candies: Each candy packs 50 mg of caffeine, or about a half-cup of coffee's worth.

Nootrobox, the "Birchbox for cognitive pharmaceuticals," recently launched an Indiegogo campaign for its caffeinated gummy bites. Each cube contains 50 milligrams of caffeine — the caffeine equivalent of about half a cup of strong coffee — and a bottle of 50 cubes will cost you $32 during the campaign.

Caffeinated gum: About 40 mg of caffeine per piece; roughly the same amount as a 16-oz. bottle of cola.

Caffeinated gum also works to get a slight boost of energy. Gums like Jolt Energy Gum, which starts at $20.30 for a 12-pack, contain about 40 milligrams of caffeine per piece, or about the same amount of caffeine as a 16-oz. bottle of cola.

Caffeinated hot sauce: Douse your hot wings with 12 mg of caffeine per teaspoon.

And if eating caffeinated candies is too sweet for you, it might be worth cranking up the heat with caffeinated hot sauce. This one, called DoubleKick costs $9.00 per 8-0z. bottle, and each teaspoon contains 12 milligrams of caffeine, so dousing your wings in three teaspoons of the stuff would mean you'd be ingesting the equivalent of a 16-oz. bottle of cola.

Just...please don't mess with powdered caffeine. A teaspoon packs the same caffeine content as about 47 cups of coffee.

On September 1, the FDA sent warning letters to distributors of bulk pure powdered caffeine, saying that it's difficult for consumers to measure out safe doses of caffeine: A teaspoon of contains about 4,706 milligrams of caffeine. Before the FDA's letter, a bag of the stuff (roughly 500 grams) would've cost you $30 and provided you with about the same amount of caffeine as a whopping 15,625 cans of cola.

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Originally published