Coffee vs. green tea? Challenge accepted.
Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world, and coffee remains its biggest source. Like any typically burned out and overworked workaholic, that steaming aromatic goodness is my holy grail of beverages. Brewing two cups of black dark roast has become routine. And while I harbor much gratitude for those caffeinated, liquified beans, drinking it always came with a twang of guilt. After all, the caffeine content of a single cup can range from 30 to 300 mg, but the average cup is somewhere within 90 to 100 mg. That’s a whole lot of caffeine to swig on a daily basis.
In addition, studies have shown that consuming too much caffeine can lead to jitteriness, anxiety, heart palpitations, and may even exacerbate panic attacks. Such a high dosage of caffeine has been proven to disrupt sleep significantly, and have direct correlation to high blood pressure. So when on my last doctor’s visit, I was informed I had slightly elevated blood pressure, I knew it was time to make some alterations.
However, I wasn’t ready to fully commit to abandoning caffeine altogether; I needed some sort of stimulant to get me through the day if I didn’t want to hit the dreaded afternoon slump.
Enter green tea
Having heard about the miraculous effects of switching from coffee to green tea, I decided to give it a shot for a week to see what changes would ensue. While dedicating myself to a month would probably be more informative, even a week sounded like torture to this professed coffee addict. In order to have the experiment be as accurate as possible, I decided I would maintain six hours of sleep a night with no significant changes to my eating patterns.
The first thing I noticed on Day 1 was the type of alertness drinking green tea brought about; while coffee gave me an intensive kickstart to the day, green tea was more of a steady calmness. Though it seemed to take a bit longer to sink it, I did feel less “jittery” and found that I was still dosed with energy—just in a different way. Considering that I was drinking around 30 mg of caffeine compared to the standard 90 (about one-third of a cup of coffee), this was understandable. But, I was feeling rather groggy by the time 3 p.m. hit and got a pretty bad headache (which is one of the signs you’re probably drinking too much caffeine). The caffeine effects lasted about six hours.