Yes, coffee provides that quick jolt of energy that saves you from a midday slump, but it's not the only way to get your caffeine fix.
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There are a tasty variety of different snacks (think: bars, protein shakes and gummies) that pack caffeine and prevent you from burning out before that 5 o'clock deadline — without staining your t-shirt before noon.
We tapped three registered dietitians to share the best caffeine snacks for on-the-go noshing. So when you're not in the mood for a cup of joe, try these energy snacks that'll send that midday crash packing.
Go for caffeinated snacks earlier in your day: While they may help conquer your sweets craving, the caffeine content can affect your sleep if you eat these too close to bedtime, says dietitian Gabrielle Mancella, RDN.
1. PROBAR Bolt Organic Energy Chews
Nutrition facts per 4-5 chews: 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbs (0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar), 0 grams of protein
PROBAR Bolt Organic Energy Chews pack essential vitamins and provide 20 milligrams of caffeine from yerba mate tea.
"These are great snacks to try if you're looking to eat something small before and during a workout," Mancella says. "They also contain vitamins C and B, so you don't have to worry about not meeting the recommended daily allowances for these nutrients."
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $23.68 for a pack of 12
2. Awake Caffeinated Chocolate Energy Bites
Nutrition facts per serving: 80 calories, 4.5 grams of fat (2.5 grams of saturated fat), 10 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbs (0 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar), <1 gram of protein
Easily satisfy your sweet tooth and get an energy boost with these bite-sized treats that contain half the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Awake chocolates come in mouth-watering flavors including Caramel, Dark Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $29.42 for a count of 50
3. Viter Energy Wintergreen Caffeinated Mints
Nutrition facts per 1 piece: 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, <1 gram of carbs (0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar), 0 grams of protein
No coffee breath here. These pick-me-up mints, which have 40 milligrams of caffeine, are great for stashing in your purse, car or desk drawer.
"Two pieces have as much caffeine as one cup of brewed coffee, letting you consume the right amount of caffeine you need with no crash or jitters," Mancella says.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $19.99 for a pack of 6
4. Jimmy! Boosted Clean Protein Bars
Nutrition facts per 1 bar: 250 calories, 10 grams of fat (4.5 grams of saturated fat), 250 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbs (1 gram of fiber, 7 grams of sugar), 19 grams of protein
Even your go-to protein bars can offer energy. "The Wake & Focus flavor contains natural guarana caffeine to give you a steady boost throughout the day without crashing later on in the day," Mancella says. Plus, the 19 grams of soy and whey protein keeps you fuller longer.
"These bars are excellent snacks to include if you're looking for a little caffeine boost as well as some nourishment to hold you over until lunch," Mancella says.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $29.99 for a pack of 12
5. Slate High-Protein Chocolate Milk
Nutrition facts per 1 can: 130 calories, 0.5 grams of fat (0 grams of saturated fat), 140 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbs (1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar), 17 grams of protein
Prefer chocolate milk to coffee? Lauren Manaker, RD, suggests this portable beverage, which contains real espresso.
"This is a shelf-stable chocolate milk infused with real espresso that provides 150 milligrams of caffeine per can," Manaker says. "Slate milk is also made with ultra-filtered dairy milk, so it's bursting with protein (17 grams per can) without being loaded with sugar."
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $35.99 for a pack of 12
6. Verb Caffeinated Energy Bars
Nutrition facts per 1 bar: 45 calories, 7 grams of fat (0.5 grams of saturated fat), 5 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbs (4 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar), 5 grams of protein
"You get 100 milligrams of caffeine from green tea in each bar, which is a little higher than the typical cup of brewed coffee," Amy Gorin, RDN, says. "The bar is made with rolled oats and puffed brown rice, so you get a good amount of filling fiber."
And because this bar is also a good source of satiating protein, it'll help keep those pesky midday cravings at bay longer.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $39.97 per 12-count bag
7. Tea Squares Caffeinated Energy Bites
Nutrition facts per 4 bites: 100 calories, 6 grams of fat (2.5 grams of saturated fat), 15 milligrams of sodium, 8 grams of carbs (<1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar), 4 grams of protein
"Four pieces of these energy bites offer 30 milligrams of caffeine — the equivalent of a half-cup of tea," Gorin says. The caffeine comes from black tea powder, which can help improve attention and alertness, according to an April 2011 study published in Appetite.
These bites are made with whole-food ingredients, including puffed millet, almonds and pumpkin seeds, so you won't be eating processed ingredients that tend to be higher in added sugars, Gorin says.
Buy it: Teasquares.com; Price: $19.99 for a pack of 12
8. Pocket Latte Cream + Sugar Coffee Bar
Nutrition facts per 1 bar: 150 calories, 10 grams of fat (5 grams of saturated fat), 45 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of carbs (0 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar), 1 gram of protein
Avoid spilling your coffee by eating it instead. Gorin says this bar provides the same helpful boost of caffeine as a cup of coffee, but without the added splattering on your shirt.
Unlike your standard brew, however, this pick contains added sugar and should be eaten in moderation. "Try not to make this an everyday treat, since it's essentially a caffeinated candy bar," Gorin says.
Buy it: Pocketlatte.com; Price: $23.88 for a pack of 12
9. Better Than Coffee Energy Bars
Nutrition facts per 1 bar: 110 calories, 6 grams of fat (3 grams of saturated fat), 0 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of carbs (4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar), 5 grams of protein
Each one of these energy bars contains 100 milligrams of caffeine from guarana and chocolate, which keeps your brain alert and your taste buds happy, Gorin says.
These bars do more than keep you alert; they also provide some essential nutrients. "Each bar is a good source of both fiber and protein, to help keep you fuller for longer," Gorin says. "You also get some good-for-you fats from the sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds."
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $23.99 for a pack of 12
10. Good Day Chocolate Caffeine Energy Supplement With Caffeine
Nutrition facts per 4 pieces: 60 calories, 3 grams of fat (2 grams of saturated fat), 0 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbs (<1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar), 0 grams of protein
These chocolate bites are a great way to overcome that annoying midday crash, as they contain up to 20 milligrams of caffeine per piece and are nothing short of delicious, Manaker says.
"These tasty little chocolates give an extra energy boost via the green tea," Manaker says. "Plus, the packaging is small enough to keep in your bag, and they are much easier to eat instead of waiting for your caffeine fix at your local coffee shop."
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $3.49 per pack