Coffee versus Tea

Empty toothpaste tube As I move through a working week, I see that I do well without coffee consumption on Monday and Tuesday (a shot of espresso after lunch doesn’t count), but starting from Wednesday I simply need coffee. It is the drink that the day must start with.

I have also been noticing that with coffee you get a real boost of energy at the outset, but it fades away after about an hour of work. You can fuel yourself up with another cup, but the more cups you take in, the more energy gets drained after the initial effect of energizing is gone. I’ve also observed this to be the case with energy drinks. In fact, I remember reading some time ago that while energy drinks really do mobilize one energetically, the energy resources that are being used are those that are normally being saved for extraordinary situations — an internal emergency ration that each of us has. When it is consistently being used up, by the end of each week I just feel like that empty toothpaste tube I threw away this morning (picture above).

So I have been experimenting on myself, replacing coffee with tea (strong black tea; no cream, no sugar) when possible. It has worked just the way I wanted it to. I still get energized, but not so quickly drained of the energy I receive.

Today in Guy Brown’s The Energy of Life: The Science of What Makes Our Minds and Bodies Work book I read that “chronic coffee use” can actually be a cause of “stress, tiredness, and sleep disruption”. He suggests replacing coffee with team, cola drinks, and chocolate (p. 155). And I’ve been doing just that! I love chocolate and Coke, and I also like black tea. I still love a good cup of morning coffee and quality espresso shot after a good meal. It only seems that depending on that cup (sometimes with a couple extra shots in it too) is just not right. After a few days of heavy caffeine intake, the irritativeness and stress do pile up, and hurt the work productivity.

I know it’s easier for me to switch to tea, because I’m Russian, and been drinking warm tea since six months of age (no kidding). If you haven’t tried it, give it a shot. Maybe it’ll work for you too.

6 thoughts on “Coffee versus Tea”

  1. I really recommend Yerba Mate. It’s a special kind of tea from Argentina (or Paraguay… I don’t really remember). I’ll just say that it works great for me.

  2. Better still is green tea. And I would refrain from Coke or energy drinks. The former is bad for enamel, while the latter is bad all over (had a really poor experience with Red Bull).

  3. Karol, Peter, thank you for your input. Yes, green tea is good. I find it especially enjoyable in the afternoon and evening hours though. I like plain black, earl grey or lady grey in the morning.

  4. After shifting from 3 big meals a day to 6 mid-sized meals a day, I found my fatigue levels dropped, I am NEVER hungry to the point of having to eat badly, and I consume much less coffee.

    I do drink green tea throughout the entire day, perhaps 4 small cups.

    It’s much better for you, and it’s nice to be able to eat twice as frequently and feel much better. 🙂

  5. Oh yes, tea, tea, tea! Ron is spot on…smaller meals more often are the best and a steady flow of whatever caffeinated beverage you use is usually the best option.

    I enjoy sipping 3-4 cups of tea throughout the day. Black tea in the morning and green or white tea throughout the day before meals.

    I gave up soda about 6 weeks ago for the third time. This time I don’t miss it a bit now that I am drinking tea so much.

    It’s just about time for another cup of green 🙂

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