Pouring a cup of coffee is how many of us start our day, but there are just as many tea drinkers out there. Tea is consumed in almost 80% of U.S. households and the most widely consumed beverage in the world. As nutritious and delicious as tea is, there’s a concern for some about the healthy caffeine content. As long as you follow certain rules, choosing tea can help you consume caffeine in healthy ways.
1. Limit Your Caffeine Intake to 400mg Daily
Caffeine puts a pep in your step at the start of your day, but the FDA says caffeine intake over 400mg per day can be dangerous. Fortunately, if you want to consume caffeine in healthy ways, tea might be a safer choice than energy drinks, soda, and even coffee. It would take 9 or 10 cups of tea a day to reach the 400mg upper limit compared to just 4 servings of coffee or less than 4 energy drinks.
2. Support Healthy Caffeine Intake with the Right Brewing Methods
Though tea is a healthy caffeine source, the brewing method you choose can impact the caffeine content. Powdered tea is higher in caffeine than loose leaf tea and increasing the water temperature and brewing time will raise the caffeine content as well. If you’re trying to consume caffeine in healthy ways, stick to shorter brewing times with loose leaf versus powdered tea.
3. Remember That Healthy Caffeine Intake Stops at 3pm
Caffeine is a natural substance, but it is also a stimulant, so you need to strive for healthy caffeine intake. Drinking caffeine 6 hours before bed can decrease your total sleep time by one hour. If you want to achieve the recommended 7 to 8 hours a night while still getting up in time for work, you should stop drinking tea after 3 or 4pm. Even though tea is a great way to consume caffeine in healthy ways, it does contribute to your total daily intake so you may want to avoid soda in the afternoon as well.
4. Add Healthy Ingredients to Boost the Benefits
The type of tea you drink determines will affect your healthy caffeine intake. White tea has the lowest caffeine content followed by green tea than black tea. The higher the ratio of tea leaves to water, the higher the caffeine content but you don’t necessarily have to add more water to dilute it. Add lemon juice for flavor or unflavored collagen powder to give your tea a boost of protein. Spices like cinnamon offer flavor and health benefits but may not affect the caffeine content of the tea.
Regardless of its caffeine content, tea is still a natural beverage that delivers powerful antioxidants and an array of other health benefits. That being said, it’s important to consume caffeine in healthy ways, including tea. Be smart about how much you drink, how you drink it and enjoy healthy caffeine intake as a positive part of your daily routine.