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It’s raining! It’s pouring! This old gal wishes she was snoring! But there’s work to be done and tea to be consumed.

And it better be caffeinated!

Caffeine is a naturally occurring alkaloid compound found in more than 60 types of trees, plants and nuts. And this bitter substance is definitely found in tea and coffee!

In people, it stimulantes the central nervous system, which is why it makes us feel more “awake” and energetic. It’s also a diuretic, helping to flush excess salt and water from your system. But it can also interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, increase blood pressure and heart , as well as increase stomach acid which leads to heart burn.

Too much caffeine can have nasty side effects:

  • Restlessness and shakiness
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid or abnormal heart rhythm
  • Dehydration
  • Anxiety
  • Dependency

The caffeine kick is highest within 1 hour of consumption and may last from 1 to 6 hours, depending on your tolerance. The recommended maximum is 200 mg per day. An 8 oz. cup of tea contains 40-60 mg, where an 8 oz cup of coffee contains 95-200 mg. Go tea grannies! It’s important to remember that the longer the tea steeps, the higher the concentration of caffeine.

But since death before decaf really isn’t a viable option, decaf teas or caffeine-free teas are your best bet!

Decaffeinated tea is mostly decaffeinated, but about 2% remain after it is processed, and involves some pretty complex chemistry. Before you turn to the all-popular “Life Hack” to “home decaffeinate” your own tea, you should know it’s a myth. The popular theory was that you could decaffeinate tea by pouring boiling water over your bag and steep for 20-45 seconds. Toss that tea and use the bag with fresh boiling water to make your cuppa. It was a promised quick-fix to remove caffeine while retaining the health benefits of antioxidants. Science has shown that not only does it not remove caffeine, but it can significantly reduce the antioxidants. So home washing really is a wash-out!

Caffeine-free teas are just that – caffeine-free! They do not use tea leaves, but instead create tasty tisanes are made with fruit, nuts, flowers, and leaves from other plants (e.g., blackberry leaves). Another option is rooibos tea, which has a sweet and earthy flavour.

Too much caffeine can be too much of a good thing, but it’s a good thing there are a few tasty options so you can keep sipping warming goodness all day long. Just maybe not right before bed because you’ll have to, you know, if the night!

I do not have to urinate. I am master of my own bladder….Drat!

Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

Happy Monday!