April 29, 2021 6 min read
Decaf coffee can keep you awake as much as caffeinated coffee, according to one study. But no other info on the Web backed that study up.
An Web search for articles on whether decaf tea keeps you awake found nothing. And herbal tea that contains no caffeine, especially chamomile, can help you sleep like a baby. You may have heard of Sleepy Time tea? It is chamomile.
But the problem in coffee and sleeplessness may not be the caffeine at all. An article titled The Great Decaf Mython The Guardian website says even decaf coffee can keep you awake :
A study suggests caffeine is not responsible for coffee's stimulant effects and that even decaf can increase blood pressure or interrupt sleep patterns for occasional drinkers.
The study into the effects of coffee found that blood pressure and nervous system activity increased when occasional coffee drinkers had a triple espresso, regardless of whether it contained caffeine.
However, those who drank coffee regularly appeared to be protected against at least some of these effects, probably because they had grown to tolerate it.
Though decaf tea hasn't been found to keep people awake, it, too, has stimulating compounds other than caffeine, including theobromine and theophylline. But the relaxing L-theanine in tea may cancel out the stimulating effects of the two theos, the effect of which is negligible anyway.
The nutritional value remains in coffee after the decaffeination process.
According to Healthline.com :
Theophylline and theobromine are both related to caffeine and belong to a class of organic compounds called xanthines.
They both have several physiological effects on the body.
Theophylline relaxes smooth muscles in the airway, making breathing easier while also stimulating both the rate and force of heart contractions.
Theobromine can also stimulate the heart, but it does have a mild diuretic effect and improves blood flow around the body, leading to a net reduction in blood pressure.
The amounts of these substances in a cup of tea are very small though, so their net effect on the body is probably negligible.
Some of the caffeine you ingest is metabolized into theophylline and theobromine, so every time you consume caffeine you will indirectly increase your levels of these two caffeine metabolites.
In humans, L-theanine increases the formation of brain waves called alpha waves, which are associated with alert relaxation. This is perhaps the main reason for the different, milder buzz that tea generates.
In addition, scientific studies have found that L-theanine may help ward off cancer and reduce high blood pressure.
The decaffeination process removes about 97% of the caffeine in coffee and tea. There really is a negligible amount after the beans and leaves undergo decaffeination.
That study mentioned in The Guardian does not explain why decaf coffee was found to cause lack of sleep. It is well known that some people fall asleep after caffeinatedcoffee, especially if they have built up a tolerance.
People who work the day shift are advised to stop taking caffeine after the early to mid-afternoon. The half life of caffeine is about 5 to 8 hours, depending on body metabolism, weight, etc.
That much caffeine may interfere with sleep. It depends on what you are used to.
If you work the night shift, you need to time your caffeine consumption accordingly.
If you use caffeine wisely and not too soon before sleep, you can still get a good night's sleep.
The many benefits of coffee include:
Of course, you might not want to fill up on coffee and lattes and other caffeinated liquids, but you still want that caffeine. Try Viter Energy Mints with both caffeine and B vitamins. The tasty mints perk you up and refresh your breath.
Each has 40 mg of caffeine in a sugar-free mint, equal to about one-quarter of a mug of coffee. You can take one mint per half-hour or hour to get a steady stream of caffeine into your bloodstream, or four in quick succession to equal about one mug of java.
If you want to avoid the stimulating effects of the caffeine in coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, etc., don't consume them. But it appears that most experts agree that decaf coffee and tea won't keep you awake.
I'm not sure whether the study mentioned in that Guardian has a kernel of truth. Maybe some people should avoid decaf near bedtime.
But as for me, I have a cup of caffeinated coffee around 6 p.m. every night, and sleeping is no problem.
June 24, 2021 3 min read
Erectile dysfunction. In combination, those are two of the ugliest words known to man. But can caffeine help you get it up?
Science hasn't found the definitive answer to this question, but one study concluded that fewer men who consume caffeine have problems performing. The study said:
Caffeine intake reduced the odds of prevalent ED, especially an intake equivalent to approximately 2-3 daily cups of coffee (170-375 mg/day). This reduction was also observed among overweight/obese and hypertensive, but not among diabetic men. Yet, these associations are warranted to be investigated in prospective studies
June 22, 2021 4 min read
Many breastfeeding mothers wonder if it's OK to take caffeine. In fact, many nursing mothers just avoid caffeine in case it would keep their babies fussy, jittery and awake.
The answer is yes, you can take caffeine while breastfeeding, as long as you don't go over about 300 mg a day.
It's an important question because caffeine is in so many products, and taking coffee, tea, or soda is such a common ritual.
And breastfeeding mothers may be tempted to take caffeinated products because they are deprived of sleep by their newborns' odd sleep schedule.