Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tea and Caffeine

Do you ever wonder why you don't get a "buzz" from tea like you experience from coffee? The amino acid L-Theanine, which promotes physical relaxation without drowsiness, is found in tea and counterbalances the caffeine. L-Theanine also supports cardiovascular heath and provides important antioxidant properties (Polyphenolic antioxidants) that combat a wide array of neurological diseases. The amount of caffeine in tea can be influenced by numerous factors such as the amount of time the tea is steeped or the quantity of tea used per cup but in general a cup of tea has about half the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. If you want to limit your caffeine intake but cannot find your favorite tea in decaffeinated form you may want to try this natural caffeine reducer:
1. Brew/steep your tea as usual or based upon the instructions that accompany the tea.
2. After brewing the tea discard it. Yes, pour it down the drain. Most of the caffeine in the tea will be released in the first brewing of the tea.
3. Brew the tea a second time- this is the tea you will drink.

Caffeine Content of Tea and Coffee per 8 ounce cup(source: Linus Pauling Institute)
Green Tea: 9-50 mg of caffeine
Black Tea: 42-72 mg of caffeine
Coffee: 72-130 mg of caffeine

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