The Buzz on Caffeine – Can I Get My Morning Kick From Tea?
Ever wondered how on earth anyone makes it through a morning without downing a jug of espresso (here’s looking at you, mamas)? Seen someone opt for tea over coffee and given them a look like they’ve just ridden down Sheikh Zayed Road on a horse? If the answer is yes, then I get it. Yup, up until a year ago I had spent 20+ years of my life as a bona fide coffee junkie. Before midday I had inhaled at least 4 or 5 espressos and could sniff out the mankiest of macchiato’s within a 5 mile radius. Iced Mocha-Frappe-Woppa-Affagato? HIT ME UP! Espresso Martini? GET DOWN MY GULLET!
But here’s the interesting thing, did you know that after water, Tea is the most consumed beverage IN THE ENTIRE WORLD?! That is an insane amount of people choosing tea over coffee. And having made the switch myself, I can honestly see why.
Allow me to get technical for a minute and let’s look at the effect of caffeine on the body; Caffeine is a Central Nervous System stimulant which increases heart rate and blood flow temporarily making you feel more alert and energetic. So that’s a good thing right? Well yes, but we all know what too much of a good thing can lead to (no, not that!) and the side effects can include anxiety, sleeplessness, headaches and jitters (Source: Alexandra Parket – The Biting Truth).
So just how much caffeine is ‘safe’ and how much does the average cup of joe have? The Mayo Clinic recommends no more than 400mg daily, and you can expect around 95 mg in a cup of coffee. BUT, and it’s a BIG but, this amount varies between different coffee drinks, and can range from almost zero to over 500mg. In comparison a Black or Green tea has about 30-50mg caffeine.
But WHY would I replace my high caffeine cuppa with a lower-caffeine tea then I hear you cry! HOW will I get the same buzz from a brew after my puppy has kept me awake all night howling? Give me one good reason to ditch my morning cuppa in favour of tea!
I’ll do better than that, I’ll give you 5:
- Tea is formulated to deliver a more subtle and steadier, yet powerful energy boost (you get the pick-me-up without the midday crash or jitters!). With coffee Caffeine is released immediately into the blood stream (hence the immediate feeling of alertness) but the downside to this is the resulting crash – what goes up must come down right? The caffeine in Tea on the other hand is released more slowly due to it’s chemical composition, so you get the gradual pick-me-up without the low of a coffee crash.
- Green & Black Teas contain the amino acid L-Theanine which naturally aids in relaxation and helps reduce anxiety WITHOUT making you sleepy.
- Tea packs a serious health punch – it contains antioxidants and different types may prevent serious illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
- Coffee drinks can be too acidic on the stomach leaving you with indigestion and heartburn.
- Tea contains less caffeine than coffee (see above on why that’s a good thing)
So now you’re ready to make the switch, just how do you choose the right replacement? The answer to this depends on how much coffee you drink currently.
If you’re drinking 4 or more cups of coffee daily, you’ll probably want to opt for a Matcha tea which offers high caffeine with the added boost of a high L-Theanine content.
Black teas such as Assam, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Earl Grey and Oolong Teas are good for the more moderate coffee drinkers whilst Green teas offer a more milder flavor.
The possibilities are literally endless, but you’ll need to experiment to find the right fit for your lifestyle. Here at BRW we are confident we have the right blend for you, and we won’t hold it against you if you still need to sneak in a cheeky espresso whilst you transition…
Creative Director, BRW Crew
BRW Blend Replacement Recommendations: