Happy Monday, friends! & I mean that! Some people loathe Monday's but here at Good Life Tea we celebrate the fresh start of a new week & the possibility for new opportunities!
Another thing people often do on Monday's is overload with caffeine to compensate for over tiredness or soften the blow of work. Coming off a long weekend out with friends or kids & just getting back into the swing of things at work can be tough & often times people think the answer to this problem is caffeine. While this can be a good jumpstart in the morning & while we are certainly not bashing caffeine, as many of our wonderful teas contain it, caffeine is often overused. Many individuals either drink their caffeine too late into the day, eat foods that unbeknownst to them, contain caffeine, or mistake certain kinds of teas for being low or caffeine free!
Let's start with those who drink their caffeine too late into the afternoon. No criticism here! I was one of them! I would drink my Roasted Yerba Mate or other drinks well into the afternoon thinking I needed that extra kick, then complain that I couldn't get to sleep at night or end up taking a sleep aid. It was a vicious circle. A common misconception & trick of caffeine is that 99% of the caffeine molecules we ingest make their way into our bloodstream over the course of 45 minutes. In 45 minutes I can drink at least 2 cups of tea, doubling my intake of caffeine as well! Furthermore I did not realize how long caffeine, mateine, or other caffeine derivatives remain in our systems. These molecules, while only taking 45 minutes to absorb into the system, can remain in your system up to 6 hours! That means even if you had your last cup of tea at 3:30, all that caffeine won't be out until as late as 9:30! I don't know about you but that's close to my bedtime! Also, as caffeine works in a way in which to block our adenosine receptors (sleep inducing molecules) in our brain, as the caffeine in our systems diminishes & these receptors are turned back on, we experience the classic caffeine crash. Another heinous side effect for 7 or 8 o'clock at night. For those of you that are drinking your tea or coffee past 2 or 3 in the afternoon, I recommend switching this to a caffeine free or decaf tea. This certainly helped me get to sleep easier while also keeping me feeling hydrated.
Another common, & sneaky, mistake people make with caffeine is ingesting it in unsuspecting foods. Caffeine does not just come in the form of your favorite liquids. Foods such as chocolate, puddings, hot cocoa, frozen yogurts or ice cream, nuts, chips, & hot fudge are just a few examples of foods that contain caffeine you may be consuming unconsciously. All of our late night snacks or desserts! Gosh darn it! This really surprised me & got me down as I enjoy a bit of dark chocolate after dinner as a treat to myself. I did some research & come to find out, a Hershey's special dark chocolate bar contains about 31 milligrams of caffeine, the same amount as a full can of Coca Cola! Who knew?!
One other duplicitous little caffeine culprit that I was a bit taken aback by was certain medications. Many PMS cramp treating drugs contain caffeine as it is a diuretic which helps to reduce bloating & relieve cramping. Ladies, caffeine in dark chocolate & our PMS medication?! We can't catch a break! Other medications include Excedrin and Bayer for headache relief. Caffeine can account for almost 40% of these drugs! This is a little less shocking as your headache may be caused from the caffeine crash we talked about & therefore this replenishment would serve to remedy your depletion. An important takeaway from this information is that by taking these medications, we are only furthering our caffeine intake & prolonging an inevitable headache to come. Better that we research into headache medications that do not contain caffeine & up our intake of water to flush it out of our system in a healthy way.
Lastly, the common mishap we see most here at the shop with tea & caffeine intake is the misconception that certain kinds of teas don't contain caffeine or have a lessened amount. On our website we make sure to highlight the caffeine levels of each tea on their respective pages, at the bottom, categorizing them as "none", "mild", "medium", "moderate", "high", & "very high" so our customers are aware of exactly what they are getting. In the shop we do have each tea labeled but we often encounter customers who are under the impression that certain types of teas, especially our white teas, are caffeine free. On the contrary, these teas are anywhere from mild/medium to strong on the caffeine spectrum. This could be confusion with our herbal or fruit teas which are in fact caffeine free. These teas, which aren't really tea as they are not made from the traditional tea leaves, are made from dehydrated fruits & herbs. They are an excellent substitute for your current before bed drink to ensure sleep! Our most popular tea, & one I have been partial to lately, is the Hot Cinnamon Spice. It is delectable before bed & we are fortunate enough to have a caffeine free, rooibos variety as well!
We hate to see our customers with a caffeine crash & we want to make sure you are aware of the causes & how to amend them! If you have any other takes, suggestions, or points of interest on this, please add them to the comments! We love hearing from you all! Hoping that your Monday's are filled with great opportunities & that you are off to a wonderful week! -- Kay-tea :)