As most of my followers know, I try to vary my caffeine intake on a regular basis.
My reason for doing this is to avoid becoming dependent upon the stimulating effect of caffeine and maintain healthy hormone levels. Even though a small dose of caffeine has many benefits for the mind and body, it also raises cortisol, contributing to anxiety, fatigue, and more serious hormonal issues.
My main method of ensuring that I don’t always consume the same significant dose of caffeine is to pick different beverages and preparation methods.
During my recovery week from the gym, I have black or green tea instead of coffee. On weekends I may only have one shot of espresso instead of a large mug full of coffee.
Even though these adjustments or substitutions are easy enough for me to pick, the caffeine content of different drinks is not always well known.
For example, whenever I mention to a group of people that I sometimes choose tea instead of coffee, at least one person will mention that tea has more caffeine than coffee – and believe it or not, this is true! Tea leaves have more caffeine, per weight, than coffee beans. However, far less leaf material is used in the steeping of tea than ground coffee beans for coffee. Also, the tea leaves retain most of their caffeine while the coffee beans release almost all of theirs into the coffee.
Due to these confusions, I thought I’d post a short and simple list detailing the caffeine content of common drinks.
Black Coffee (8oz) 100-200mg
Latte or Mocha (8oz) 65-175mg
Espresso (1oz) 47-75mg
Black Tea (8oz) 14-70mg
Green Tea (8oz) 24-45mg
Iced Tea (8oz) 11-47mg
Decaffeinated Coffee (8oz) 2-12mg
Decaffeinated Black Tea (8oz) 0-12mg
Herbal Tea (8oz) 0-5mg
Of course, this is merely a list of healthy drinks that contain caffeine. Most soft drinks will contain 20 to 100mg per 20 ounces and energy drinks can have up to 350mg per 16 ounces!
So, adjust your beverage choice according to your activity level, sleep quality, and severity of current stresses. Coffee and tea have many health benefits, but as with everything else, there are unhealthy levels of consumption!