GOING CAFFEINE FREE
Coffee and tea are two of the world’s beverages of choice, and while many people understand that coffee contains caffeine and it is consumed for its stimulatory effects, it’s important to note that tea also contains caffeine.
The caffeine component found in the camellia sinensis plant contains varying degrees of caffeine, depending on how and when the plant is harvested and processed. Dependent on the growing techniques and treatments that the tea leaves undergo, they are then classified as white tea, green tea, yellow tea, oolong tea, black tea or matcha tea, all of which are caffeinated but to varying levels.
Consuming caffeine can become habitual and should be done in moderation, however, caffeine consumption is not one-size-fits-all. The amount of caffeine a person can tolerate before symptoms start to occur will be affected by factors including the person’s body weight, metabolism, medications they may be taking, how much food has been eaten before the caffeine, and the type of caffeine consumed. The caffeine from chocolate and soft drink will affect you differently to the caffeine found in tea, and there can be some benefits to consuming caffeinated teas. The caffeine from tea is released at a slower rate by the body than the caffeine from coffee, offering a more balanced, longer lasting release. This offers a gentle and uplifting effect, rather than a more acute spike and drop in energy levels.
The high levels of antioxidants found in tea can also help to slow the absorption of caffeine resulting in a gentle release into the system and a longer period of alertness. The greatest effect on the final caffeine content of tea is directly related to water temperature and length of brewing time – the longer you brew the tea and the higher the water temperature, the higher the caffeine content of the end product.
It is important to be cautious when consuming caffeine. Having larger amounts of caffeine in your diet on a regular basis may cause short-term issues including muscle twitching, increased heart rate, and stimulation of the nervous system, which can lead to anxiety in some people. It can also affect sleep patterns and can cause shorter periods of deep sleep, which leaves you feeling tired on waking.
The good news is that there are plenty of tea blends that do not contain any caffeine. There are a variety of herbal tisanes, which offer a caffeine free option and give your body a break from caffeine, while you still get to enjoy a hot beverage.