Monday, December 30, 2013

Tame Your Coffee Habit and Feel Better

Transitioning from coffee to tea may help you sleep better, feel calmer and stay hydrated.

Cup of tea

Do you find yourself no longer enjoying coffee and wishing you could cut back? Perhaps you feel "synthetic" from the highs and lows of caffeine or wonder what life would be like without relying on a drink to get you through the day.

Transitioning from coffee to tea may be the answer. Tea can still give you a caffeine lift, just not as much. The American Medical Association defines moderate consumption of caffeine from coffee as 250 milligrams per day. Regular brewed coffee has 95-200 mg of caffeine per cup, so it doesn’t many cups to exceed moderation.

Black and green teas contain much less caffeine per cup: 14-61 mg for black and 24-40 mg for green. Swapping out teas for coffee can dramatically reduce your caffeine intake.

Reducing your total caffeine intake offers enticing benefits:

  • Better sleep
  • Calmer nerves
  • Improved hydration

If cutting back on coffee isn’t your cup of tea, so to speak, you might try a different approach. Try to enjoy your coffee more and it may take less to satisfy you. Here are some ideas for making coffee more enjoyable:

  • Engage your senses (aroma, taste, appearance)
  • Pause and take a true break for coffee
  • Drink coffee with a friend
  • Drink from your favorite mug or teacup

Remember that moderating caffeine is possible while still having your favorite beverages. Choose the better beverage for you by experimenting with tea or making the most of fewer cups of coffee.

By Jessica Reber, dietetic intern, and Debra Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

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