Thursday, 30 September 2010

Am I a morning person?

Alex asked in the comments to my post on what to drink with breakfast whether I was a morning person, in that I don't necessarily need a big caffeine kick to start my day.

I would probably have to say yes, I am a 'morning person'... I would much rather be up early getting things done than staying up late to do them... But that said, I also acknowledge that I *do* rely heavily on tea-sourced caffeine to get me through the day, more than I ever did before my son was born!

(image courtesy of wikipedia)

I used to think that caffeine was evil, back in my hippy-herbal-tea-only days; it supposedly dehydrated you, tanned your insides and kept you awake at night. I have fortunately moved on since then, particular since discovering the many, many wonders of loose-leaf, high-quality C. sinensis. I try not to overdose on caffeine, but it is extremely difficult to determine how much caffeine is in any particular tea; the safest thing to say is that all tea made from Camellia sinensis leaves will contain caffeine regardless of whether it is white, green, black, wulong or pu'erh.

This article by Nigel Melican explains some of the factors that influence caffeine content of tea, and why it is so complicated to quantify; it gets a lot of mentions (I am sure I have linked to it before) but that's just because it is so damn good. You should read it if you haven't already. And then have another cup of tea... that's what I'm going to do!


  1. I need to incorporate some of Nigel's post into my article on the caffeine content of tea; I think his post is actually significantly more thorough that mine!!!

    It's interesting how there are a lot of implicit (and explicit) "caffeine is bad" messages in our society. I think the key is many things in life are bad if you have too much of them, and just about everything is harmless in low enough a concentration.

    It is interesting though that some people are particularly sensitive to caffeine. I recently read that people with a tendency towards hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) often react particularly badly to caffeine; it can cause a rise and then crash in blood sugar levels which can leave the person feel awful. I think I may have experienced that at times--especially when drinking coffee when my blood sugar is relatively low. I've often noticed that caffeinated coffee can make me "crash" shortly after drinking it, whereas tea rarely has that effect, and maybe that is one possible explanation? And maybe in turn, this tendency of certain people to be more sensitive to caffeine explains why there are some people who aggressively write / advocate about caffeine being "bad".

  2. The one time I drank some coffee, as an experiment, I reacted SO badly to it, partly because I had it on an empty stomach with very low blaod sugar (also I wasn't into caffeinated tea at that time so my body had nothing to prepare it for the experience either!). I have never cared to repeat the experiment. It made a memorable impression on my friend who was there at the time!

    Do you know if coffee contains anything that 'buffers' the effect of the caffeine in the same way that theanine does in tea?

  3. With tea fluoride is a larger concern. Try to limit your tea intake to no more than a liter a day. If you can prepare tea with water that has no fluoride content.


Thanks for taking the time to comment... I appreciate it!


Related Posts with Thumbnails