Thursday, April 5, 2007

Caffeine: Teacher, mother, secret lover

Since I've started paying more attention to my diet and my body's signals, I've realized how much caffeine affects me. I've always been pretty sensitive to it; if I have a cup of tea two days in a row, and not on the third day, I will get a headache. I never drink caffeinated coffee unless it's the first day of serious jet lag.

I'm now realizing the other effects of caffeine. First, to the list of Starbuck's transgressions, I must add that their decaf is not always decaf. I saw in a news broadcast a few years ago that samples of their decaf had about 75% of the caffeine of their regular coffee. I thought they would have remedied this, but two experiences with their decaf in the past 2 weeks have shown me that I need to stay away from their coffee entirely.

When I have caffeine (even at the level of a cup of black tea), I feel jittery, my stomach churns, and I get a blood sugar crash along with serious cravings for white flour a few hours later. I think the cravings are to put something in my stomach to mop up the caffeine. I've never noticed that about the cravings before. Maybe it's because I used to have cravings all the time.

By the way, it's easy to decaffeinate regular tea. Just put a little boiling water over the bag, brew it for 1 minute, pour that water out, and then brew the tea as normal. It won't eradicate every bit of the caffeine, but most of the caffeine leaches out within the first minute of brewing.


Theresa said...

You should try white tea--the flavour is similar to green, with less of that grassy taste to it. Plus, it has 15 mg of caffeine per cup (40 for black and 20 for green). And I hear it's really cleansing and has heaps of antioxidants.

I just drink it cus it tastes good.

Amy said...

Thanks, Theresa! I have some white tea at home but haven't broken it out in a while.