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National Caffeine Awareness Month - Are You In The Know?

10.03.2016

March is here and so is National Caffeine Awareness Month and you may be surprised at how much you don’t know or underestimated the effects of caffeine.

Do you drink more than 4 cups of coffee per day? Do you drink several cups of tea and a number of soft drinks each day? Do you find that you can become irritable, depressed or disorientated after drinking caffeinated drinks? If you don’t have your usual caffeine drinks, do you find that you experience headaches, drowsiness or insomnia?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then according to the Caffeine Awareness Association, you may well be addicted to caffeine.

Having a cup of tea or coffee is a ritual that is deeply embedded for the majority of us, and has become unconscious behaviour rather than behaviour we may question. This consistent unconscious choice may make alternative options seem difficult to envisage, but Caffeine Awareness Month presents an opportunity to think differently about your daily caffeine intake and the prospect of trading it in for healthier alternatives. After all, caffeine is an artificial stimulant that can be skipped altogether. Having some fresh air, a good night’s sleep and a diet based on real foods is all that is needed in order to feel fully alert and productive.

We have a range of drink suggestions for you to get into the habit of making instead of your usual cuppa or shot of coffee! Simply click here to view the recipe list.

 

What affect does caffeine have on the body?

Caffeine causes your muscles to tighten, heart rate to increase and your pupils to dilate. It is likely that caffeine with compromise your sleeping pattern – no matter what time of day it is consumed. Caffeine also affects the ability of the nerves in your brain to take in a chemical call adenosine, which causes sleepiness. Caffeine has a half-life of approximately 6 hours, this means that if you were to consume a cup of coffee at 4pm that contains 200mg of caffeine, there will still be 100mg of caffeine in your system at 10pm, affecting your ability to fall into a deep and restful sleep.

 

How is tea and coffee decaffeinated?

Some tea and coffee will claim to be ‘naturally decaffeinated’. However, there is nothing natural about this process, nor is it entirely decaffeinated. The most common method used is through methylene chloride, this is due to the tea and coffee retaining the majority of its flavour. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved the use of this method, however, it is a completely unnatural process, and so should therefore be taken into consideration when consuming these products.

 

Do decaffeinated drinks pose any risks?

Many people consume decaffeinated drinks due to a sensitivity of caffeine. It is commonly perceived that decaffeinated drinks are caffeine free when in fact they are legally able to contain up to 3% of the original caffeine content. This percentage of caffeine means that the drink can still have the same effects on the body, including heart burn, stimulation of the nervous system and a brief boost in blood pressure. 

 

Would you like to find out more about our Power Up & Motivate With Positive Nutrition Workplace Wellbeing Initiatives? If so call Anna on 07778 218009 or email Anna to arrange an informal chat.



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