menu iconknow your dna logosearch icon
Ditch Your Cup of Joe and Try MUD WTR Caffeine Alternative
Updated on January 31, 2024
Back to top
back to top icon
Ditch Your Cup of Joe and Try MUD WTR Caffeine Alternative
KnowYourDNA is reader-supported. This means we may receive a commission when you buy something from one of the links on this page.

Coffee is one of the most widely-consumed beverages on the planet — and for good reason. It keeps us alert, focused, and productive. 

Personally, I love to start with a cup of coffee because it brightens my day. 

However, a cup or two of joe daily can cause anxiety, jitters, and insomnia for some. Caffeine-sensitive folks and those who don’t like the taste of coffee but need the boost can try MUD WTR instead.

Ditch Your Cup of Joe and Try MUD WTR Caffeine Alternative 9

MUD WTR is a popular coffee substitute that promises to provide all the health benefits of coffee without the drawbacks.

MUD WTR is 100% vegan and has no dairy-based sweeteners and creamers, unlike other coffee substitutes.

Let’s take an in-depth look at it — including its benefits, ingredients, and cost.

Quick Facts on MUD WTR Coffee Alternative

  • Has 1/7th the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee
  • Combines black tea, herbs, spices, medicinal mushrooms, and superfoods 
  • Boosts energy, increases focus and attention, and improves immune function

What is MUD WTR?

MUD WTR is a coffee alternative that gives you energy and helps you focus without anxiety and jitters.

The founder, Shane Heath, was a former silicon valley designer. He created MUD WTR after tiring of the negative effects of coffee. Like many, Shane enjoyed his daily cup or two of coffee. 

But eventually, he noticed he became anxious and restless from his caffeine habit. He felt his coffee addiction was controlling him.

During an extended trip to India, Shane discovered Masala chai tea, a popular beverage that combines black tea with milk and spices. 

When he returned home, he ditched the coffee and started drinking Masala chai instead. Shane began experimenting by adding different ingredients like turmeric, cacao, and medicinal mushrooms to his chai. 

In May 2018, he finally found the formula he liked and began selling MUD WTR online. 

MUD WTR Rise Morning Ritual

MUD WTR :rise is a powdered drink that can change up your morning routine. It’s intended to replace your morning cup of coffee.

Ditch Your Cup of Joe and Try MUD WTR Caffeine Alternative 10

MUD WTR Morning Ritual contains:

  • Black tea
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Medicinal mushrooms
  • Superfoods 

They designed the blend to improve focus and attention, boost immunity, and increase your energy levels. 

MUD WTR Rest Evening Ritual

MUD WTR :rest (also known as Evening Ritual) is a caffeine-free blend of herbs, adaptogens, and mushrooms.

The company designed it to support relaxation, calmness, and better sleep. 

Ditch Your Cup of Joe and Try MUD WTR Caffeine Alternative 11

The ingredients include:

  • Rooibos chai
  • Reishi mushrooms
  • Valerian root
  • Turmeric
  • Ashwagandha
  • Turkey tail
  • Lucuma
  • Passionflower
  • Cinnamon
  • Chamomile

Ashwagandha helps lower cortisol and stress and improves sleep quality1. Valerian root and passionflower also reduce anxiety and promote good quality sleep2, 3. 

What’s Inside MUD WTR? (Ingredients)

MUD WTR contains a variety of herbs, spices, mushrooms, and superfoods combined with Masala chai. The result is a fine golden brown powder. 

Ditch Your Cup of Joe and Try MUD WTR Caffeine Alternative 12

All MUD WTR ingredients are U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified organic. This ensures quality and purity. 


Cacao seeds are used to make cocoa products and chocolate. Cacao has many unique health benefits, such as:  

  • The polyphenols in cacao act as powerful antioxidants. They help protect the heart, blood vessels, and brain from damaging free radicals.4 
  • Cacao boosts blood flow throughout the body, including the brain. It also improves your mood, learning, and memory.6 
  • It’s rich in magnesium, copper, iron, and calcium. Magnesium helps with energy production and maintaining healthy blood pressure.7 

What it tastes like: Cacao gives MUD WTR a slight chocolatey flavor. It helps offset the earthy bitterness of the turmeric and mushrooms.


Chaga is a medicinal mushroom with amazing benefits. It can treat different ailments including:

  • Heart disease 
  • Diabetes
  • Immune system disorders

It also has the following benefits:

  • Powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties 
  • Potentially lowers blood sugar
  • Boosts energy levels
  • Improves immune function.9,19  


Cinnamon is a popular spice used in cuisines around the world. Some of its benefits include:

  • Potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects 
  • Potentially lowers your blood sugar.11,12 
  • Improves the brain’s ability to use glucose, its main fuel source
  • Protects the brain from free radicals that damage neurons13

What it tastes like: The cinnamon in MUD WTR has a noticeable sweetness that balances the bitter notes. 


Traditional Chinese medicine uses the cordyceps mushroom or the caterpillar fungus to improve stamina and increase libido. It also claims to:

  • Boost energy levels by increasing ATP — the cells’ energy currency. 
  • Improve athletic performance by helping muscles use oxygen more efficiently.15,16 
  • Protects the mitochondria (the cells’ power plants) and maintains their health.17 

Himalayan Salt

Salt is incredibly important for nerve communication, muscle function, and brain function.17 

Himalayan salt contains higher levels of important minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium compared to regular table salt.18 

Himalayan salt also enhances the flavor profile of MUD WTR.

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s mane is a mushroom and is used throughout traditional medicine systems throughout Asia for its benefits, such as:

  • Boosting levels of nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF helps the brain create new neurons, which is key for learning and memory. 
  • Protecting neurons from oxidative stress.19,20 
  • Improving concentration and reducing anxiety.21 
  • Improving brain function, especially in older people with cognitive impairment.22 It also shows potential in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.23 

Masala Chai

Masala chai is a popular drink in India created in the early 19th century. It’s made by boiling black tea with a variety of herbs and spices. 

The masala chai in MUD WTR is made with organic ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper. Here is what each ingredient contributes:

  • Black tea - Supplies the small amount of caffeine found in MUD WTR. It also contains L-theanine, a compound that helps reduce anxiety. 
  • L-theanine - Boosts the effectiveness of caffeine and helps take some of the edge off.24,25 
  • Black pepper - Helps improve the absorption and effectiveness of the active compounds in turmeric.26 
  • Ginger and cloves - These two are a powerful antioxidant duo that fights free radicals, lowers inflammation, and boosts immunity.27,28

What it tastes like: It gives MUD WTR a spicy sweetness that pairs well with the other flavors. 

Reishi mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms are another staple of traditional Chinese medicine. They:

  • Have potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects, 
  • Increase levels of important immune cells that help fight infections and cancer;29 and help restore immune function when you’re under stress.30 


Turmeric is an incredible spice with numerous health benefits. It: 

  • Is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. The active component of turmeric, curcumin, helps reduce inflammation in the brain — a major cause of brain fog.31
  • Boosts levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). It’s a molecule that plays an important role in learning and memory.32
  • Is also great for improving mood and reducing anxiety.33,34  

Does MUD WTR Have Caffeine and Sugar?

MUD WTR contains a small amount of caffeine. The label doesn’t state the exact amount. It just says that it contains 1/7th the amount found in a regular cup of coffee. 

According to the U.S.D.A. FoodCentral, the average cup of coffee has 93.5 mg of caffeine. So MUD WTR possibly contains 13.3 mg per 8-oz serving.

However, caffeine levels in coffee can vary depending on the type of bean, the roast, and the way it's brewed.35,36 So there’s no telling for sure.

MUD WTR does not contain any sugar or artificial sweeteners. However, you can add MUD WTR Creamer or MUD WTR Sweetener to sweeten your drink.

Ditch Your Cup of Joe and Try MUD WTR Caffeine Alternative 13

MUD WTR Creamer contains: 

  • Coconut milk
  • MCT oil powder (medium chain triglycerides)
  • Acacia fiber
  • Tapioca maltodextrin

MUD WTR Sweetener contains just coconut sugar and lucuma. Lucuma is a fruit found in South America. You can replace sugar with this natural sweetener.

Ditch Your Cup of Joe and Try MUD WTR Caffeine Alternative 14

Lucuma is a low-glycemic food, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar levels. Eating low-glycemic foods is one of many ways you can get an energy boost without coffee. 

Here’s a MUD WTR recipe you can try: Create a “mud latte” by blending MUD WTR powder with the Creamer and your choice of milk.

How Much Does MUD WTR Cost?

MUD WTR Mushroom Coffee

MUD WTR Rise and Rest cost the same. Although prices may vary depending on serving size and how you wish to purchase your products.

Here are the prices if you buy MUD WTR on-demand:

  • 30-gram serving — $50
  • 90-gram serving — $125
  • 15 mud sachet box — $30

You can get an additional 20% discount if you subscribe to MUD WTR. This lowers the price to $40 for 30 grams, $100 for 90 grams, and $24 for a box of 15 mud sachets. 

A MUD WTR subscription includes free U.S. shipping and hassle-free delivery. You can have orders delivered every 30, 60, and 90 days.

MUD WTR Ritual Starter Kit

The company also offers two starter kits — one each for Rise and Rest. They cost $60 on-demand or $40 on a monthly subscription.

Ditch Your Cup of Joe and Try MUD WTR Caffeine Alternative 15

The starter kit includes:

  • A tin of MUD WTR (30 servings) 
  • A USB rechargeable frother
  • A free guidebookStickers
  • One sampler each of their creamer and sweetener

MUD WTR Creamer & Sweetener

MUD WTR creamer and sweeteners are priced at:

  • 30-gram serving — $25 on-demand or per month
  • 90-gram serving — $50 on-demand or $40 per month
  • 15 creamer sachet box — $25 on-demand or $20 per month

My MUD WTR Review — Pros & Cons

For years, I was a daily coffee drinker. I loved everything about it — the taste, the smell, the ritual. I would spend hours researching the best brewing methods, roasts, and beans. 

But eventually, my relationship with coffee turned sour. I became constantly wired. My sleep began to suffer. I found myself anxious for no reason.

Ditch Your Cup of Joe and Try MUD WTR Caffeine Alternative 16

I tried decaf but it just wasn’t the same. Eventually, I quit cold turkey. I then began looking for coffee alternatives. 

So when MUD WTR appeared on my radar, I was eager to try it. 

Things I Like About MUD WTR Coffee

1. It provides natural energy and focus without the drawbacks of coffee

While it’s certainly not as strong as coffee, it does give you a nice, smooth buzz. I experienced better focus and concentration than I would drinking a regular cup of black or green tea. I also noticed more energy during my workouts. 

Most importantly, I didn’t experience anxiety or afternoon crashes. MUD WTR also didn’t impact my sleep negatively.

2. It’s easy to make and requires little cleanup

Making a mug of MUD WTR is simple. All you need to do is heat up some water, add the hot water to a mug with a tablespoon of MUD WTR, and mix it all together. That’s it. 

You don’t have to worry about cleanup like you would when brewing coffee at home. 

3. All of the ingredients are organic and high-quality

MUD WTR uses only high-quality organic ingredients. 

For example, MUD WTR uses Ceylon cinnamon instead of the cheaper and sweeter alternative, Cassia. Cassia has high levels of coumarin, which may potentially damage the liver., making Ceylon the safer choice. 

 While this adds to the cost of the product, it’s healthier in the long run.  

4. The taste is savory and complex 

I actually enjoyed the bitter, earthy taste, which others sometimes complain about. I looked forward to drinking it every morning.

The cacao really stood out among all the flavors and reminded me of hot chocolate. The subtle spiciness of the ginger and cardamom balanced the sweetness of the cinnamon perfectly. However, if earthy, natural, or bitter flavors aren’t your thing, you may not enjoy the taste of MUD WTR as much as I did. 

Things I Don’t Like About MUD WTR Coffee

1. The powder settles quickly and requires frequent stirring

While some of the ingredients mix well with water, the cacao, cinnamon, and mushrooms don’t mix very well. Instead, they settle at the bottom of your mug or glass and form a sludge. 

This is where the word “mud” in MUD WTR comes from. Because of this, you need to repeatedly stir or mix the settled components using a handheld frother.  

2. It can be more expensive than making your own coffee or tea

With a subscription, the daily cost per serving for MUD WTR comes out to $1.33 ($1.50 if you purchase it without a subscription). Making your coffee or tea at home would generally be much cheaper.

However, you get all of the additional benefits of the mushroom blend, cacao, and turmeric when you use MUD WTR, which may just outweigh the financial aspect of it.

Healthy Coffee Alternatives to Stay Awake

Coffee is well-known for its health and energy-boosting benefits. Sadly, not everyone enjoys drinking coffee or is able to tolerate its side effects.

In high concentrations, caffeine can make you feel jittery and restless. It also causes

  • Dizziness
  • Fast heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety

Thankfully, you can substitute coffee with healthier options like MUD WTR and Neuro Gum. These products contain very little caffeine — enough to give you a productive jolt.MUD WTR is an excellent choice if you don’t want to give up your coffee-drinking experience. But if you want your ‘coffee fix’ in pill form, we suggest trying Neuro Gum instead.

Updated on January 31, 2024
Minus IconPlus Icon
27 sources cited
Updated on January 31, 2024
  1. Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study” Cureus
  2. Valerian for Sleep: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” American Journal of Medicine
  3. A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality” Phytotherapy Research
  4. The Health Effects of Chocolate and Cocoa: A Systematic Review” Nutrients
  5. Effect of Cocoa and Cocoa Products on Cognitive Performance in Young Adults” Nutrients
  6. Effects of chocolate on cognitive function and mood: a systematic review” Nutrition Reviews
  7. Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease” Antioxidants and Redox Signaling
  8. The pharmacological potential and possible molecular mechanisms of action of Inonotus obliquus from preclinical studies” Phytotherapy Research
  9. Effect of Inonotus Obliquus Polysaccharides on physical fatigue in mice”  Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  10. Inhibitory effect of chaga mushroom extract on compound 48/80-induced anaphylactic shock and IgE production in mice” International Immunopharmacology
  11. Cinnamon and health” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
  12. Efficacy and safety of cinnamon in type 2 diabetes mellitus and pre-diabetes patients: A meta-analysis and meta-regression” Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice
  13. Cinnamon: Mystic powers of a minute ingredient” Pharmacognosy Research
  14. CordyMax Cs-4 improves steady-state bioenergy status in mouse liver” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 
  15. Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial and assessment of fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis (Cs-4) in enhancing aerobic capacity and respiratory function of the healthy elderly volunteers” The Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine
  16. Protective effects on mitochondria and anti-aging activity of polysaccharides from cultivated fruiting bodies of Cordyceps militaris” The American Journal of Chinese Medicine
  17. The importance of salt in the athlete's diet” Current Sports Medicine Reports
  18. An Analysis of the Mineral Composition of Pink Salt Available in Australia” Foods
  19. Structures, biological activities, and industrial applications of the polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus (Lion's Mane) mushroom: A review” International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
  20. Dietary Supplementation of Lion's Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), and Spatial Memory in Wild-Type Mice” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
  21. Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake” Biomedical Research 
  22. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial” Phytotherapy Research 
  23. Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  24. Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial” Nutrients
  25. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness” Nutritional Neuroscience
  26. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers” Planta Medica.
Cristine Santander
Cristine Santander
Content Contributor
Cristine Santander is a content writer for KnowYourDNA. She has a B.S. in Psychology and enjoys writing about health and wellness.
Back to top icon