Friday 30 December 2011

Contemplating caffeine

I love tea.  Really really love it.  It's the first thing that passes my lips in the morning, it makes me feel comforted and soothed, to me it's (to use a revolting cliché) a hug in a mug.  And I drink quite a lot of it.  Anything from 3-4 mugs a day to sometimes clear of 10.

There's never been a reason for me to give up tea.  I won't say caffeine here because the only significant source of caffeine I take in is tea.  I don't drink colas and very rarely have coffee (not a great fan of the taste, though the smell can be glorious).  Why should I give up tea?  What measurable detrimental effect does it have on me, vs. the enjoyment I get from drinking it?  I actually have no idea.

I accidentally gave up tea once, when I started at university.  Moving from an environment where tea was drunk several times a day, by the pot, at home to one where it wasn't around and available and quite often made by someone else, I had to go out of my way to have tea.  I'd bought bags and milk and there was a kettle in the halls kitchen, but I just didn't get around to making any.  That lasted for about a week, over which I had increasing headaches, crankiness and crabbiness to the point where I was pretty much a total bitch to everyone.  Then I had a cup of tea at the weekend and it all got better.  The penny dropped and I got back to drinking tea several times a day.

So, back to the detrimental effects... I don't know that I'm suffering any because I've never known any differently.  You know when you've been ill for a few days and then you get better and you realise how rotten you'd been feeling by how great you feel now?  Well, that could be it.  Maybe I could feel better than I do now.  I'm not saying I don't feel good, but what if it might be that I could feel great?  Wouldn't that be something?  Something worth a few weeks (at least) off tea to find out?


  1. Welcome to caffeine withdrawal. Speaking personally, I need two weeks to get over it. After that it's fine. Any major difference... meh to be honest. Since a cup a day is supposedly good for you and anything in moderation won't generally kill you, I'm going to keep this vice :)

  2. The health benefits far outweigh the benefits, so total abstinence is not the way to go. If you're worried about the amount of caffeine, replace the evening cuppa(s) with a good de-caff. The only one I've found (so far) that uses no chemicals in the decaf process, and tastes good (when fresh) is Clipper Organic decaf. I'm sleeping better since I switched to it after 6pm.

    As tea is a diuretic, it's important to drink lots of non-caffeine drinks (i.e. water) which you tend to do anyway.

    The most compelling argument for keeping black tea in your diet is that you enjoy it so much. You're giving up alcohol for 2012 so now is not the time to deprive yourself of the simple pleasure of a nice cup of tea.