Aug 04 2016 In Ask the Herbalist By Kenneth Roberts
Can You Feel the Caffeine Difference in Tea Versus Coffee?
Consuming caffeine is undoubtedly the most popular way to jump start our day, get a boost of energy, and even sustain ourselves throughout. Many of our customers seek out tea as an alternative to coffee. Often times it is because the caffeine in coffee can be too strong and create nervous issues. Sometimes they just want to reduce their coffee consumption and have a replacement for an afternoon pick-me-up. So why can some people not handle the caffeine from coffee but are just fine with tea?
In general, tea has about half the amount of caffeine than what’s in coffee; however, what most do not realize is that all caffeines are not created equal. There are many phytochemicals classified as caffeine. Those who drink both coffee and tea can usually tell they feel a bit different when drinking one or the other.
In coffee there are five different phytochemicals classified as caffeine. All five of those phytochemicals affect your nervous system and can cause jitters, nausea and racing heart. The specific caffeines in coffee metabolize very quickly in the body; coffee generally gives a rapid spike in energy followed by a heavy crash as it burns off.
Tea (camellia sinensis) on the other hand has three phytochemicals classified as caffeines, and they support and stimulate the endocrine system. Those three phytochemicals in tea stimulate the adrenal gland, adenoids and thyroid, which is one way tea helps increase metabolism. This is also why tea has a mood elevating effect as it wakes your body up. The caffeine in tea is buffered by theanine which metabolizes the caffeine much slower and evenly in the body, resulting in a longer, sustained energy level.
The beverage you choose can produce different results, so the next time you think you need a caffeine boost, decide whether you want a fast ride or a gentle enhancing of your energy with some great health benefits to boot.
Photo courtesy of Maxine Moore, Side Hustle Stories Photography (http://www.sidehustlestories.net)