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Subject: Tea has failed me rss

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Billy McBoatface
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I like tea. For almost the last 10 years I've been having a cup every day, sometimes two. I never thought much about it.

For the last year I've had an energy level problem. Not always, but most days I've noticed big periods with no energy, sometimes to the point where I almost fall asleep. This has made work difficult. Last week I noticed that I tend to get these after I have tea (but also sometimes at times of the day when I haven't had any tea). I did a web search, found out that caffeine does make some people drowsy, including people with ADHD (which I don't think I have), people with weak adrenal glands (which has minor symptoms that match me, so I might have that), and sometimes just because it's the way you are. Just to see what would happen I decided to stop drinking tea. Saturday afternoon was my last cup.

The result? Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I felt really tired. Like usual for the past year. Maybe even worse.

But yesterday and today? Wow. I feel great! No urge to close my eyes at all during the day, no times when I'm just too damn tired to get work done. Very nice. And this is on the typical sleep pattern for me, which is 5 or 6 hours a night (on the low side I know but until the past year I never had trouble from it). Last night I got only 5 hours and today I'm as peppy as can be.

Now it could be just a coincidence. It could be psychosomatic/placebo effect. Some things don't make sense, like if I can't handle caffeine then why was I able to drink tea for 8 or 9 years with no bad effects. Who knows what's going on here. But as long as I keep feeling as good as I have for the past two days, I'm not touching caffeine at all except the occasional chocolate. It's just a huge relief to get through the day without the urge to take a nap.

Anybody else ever see anything like this?
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Paul DeStefano
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wmshub wrote:

Anybody else ever see anything like this?


no.
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Rudy
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I love me some tea but I try not to drink a cup everyday. I usually just have a couple of cups of water in the morning and that's it. A few years ago I found myself being really tired at work so I decided to stop eating garbage for lunch. It took my body a week or two to get used to it but eventually my energy level shot through the roof. I've also noticed that if I eat and any food after 8:00PM I will be exhausted the next day.
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howl hollow howl
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Good for you. I can appreciate how tough it can be, both getting off the caffeine and the ritual itself.

wmshub wrote:
caffeine does make some people drowsy, including people with ADHD (which I don't think I have)

I have ADD, and started drinking caffeine after the "H" phased out. It was and continues to be a life-changer for me. I'm able to keep my focus on tasks (although external stimulations are still a problem; I suspect caffeine actually *heightens* that effect), and it keeps me awake (I used to regularly fall asleep in class, meetings, driving, etc.). I still have ~32 oz of coffee a day.
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Jeff Timothy
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Caffeine... It increases the blood flow to the brain helping you stay alert and awake BUT... Truth is, and studies have shown this, what is in fact happening is that if you consume caffeine regularly your brain becomes dependant on it to increase blood flow to NORMAL levels. So the moment you stop, your blood vessels constrict and blood flow is reduced to lower than normal levels. Hence the reason why many people get head aches and become grumpy if they don't get their morning brew. After being off it for enough time, the brain returns to normal. While tea has less caffeine than coffee, it's enough to make a difference if you drink it regularly. The odd drink shouldn't have negative effects. I like a cup of tea every 2 or 3 days. In fact, I think I'm gonna have one now... Earl Grey anyone?

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wmshub wrote:
...And this is on the typical sleep pattern for me, which is 5 or 6 hours a night (on the low side I know but until the past year I never had trouble from it). Last night I got only 5 hours and today I'm as peppy as can be.
Sounds like we're going to need to address that coke habit next.
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Ross G.
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While you do develop tolerance to caffeine, it has to do with adenosine, not blood flow. In fact, caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, so when you stop using it the blood vessels in your brain dilate. The headache you feel from caffeine withdrawal is because of too much blood in your brain, not too little.

As to the OP, a lot of stimulants have significantly different effects depending on brain chemistry (the classic example being the stimulant Ritalin calming those with ADHD). If you find the effects unpleasant, definitely stay away from it.
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Scott A. Reed
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I have a mixed bag of results when it comes to caffiene. I drink one or two quarts of french press coffee per day, usually before 12 p.m. Usually this makes me alert and detail-focused on the work that I am doing. Sometimes I also have tea or espresso in the afternoon, and these can wear me down and make me want to get a nap.
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CHAPEL
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wmshub wrote:


Anybody else ever see anything like this?


Give up caffeine? Heck no. But I agree, giving up tea is a good idea, as it doesn't have enough caffeine. Make it a double shot of coffee, or a Mt. Dew. You were just doing it wrong.
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Carlee Dise
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Maybe age. I used to drink tons of caffeine with no problem and in the past year or so it started affecting me like it is you. I'd get really tired during the day but then couldn't sleep at night.

I've cut way back and now I am more alert during the day and sleep better at night.
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Amy Wiles
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soblue

Republic of Tea makes some good decaf teas. You might want to check them out.

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J Boyes
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I cut out caffeine about two years ago, and sleep a lot better as a result. I save it for special occasions now, like late night gaming. It is nice because it has a real effect when I need it to now.
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Andy Andersen
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Quit the tea. Rum and diet caffeine coke. You'll never remember why you wanted tea. And you won't caredevil
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Joe Gola
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Now I wonder if I should cut back on the tea myself. I've been drinking three cups a day since high school, and I also struggle with low-energy patches during the day. I also found out a few years ago that I have low adrenal whatever. Hmmm....
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The Zen Hamster
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wmshub wrote:

Anybody else ever see anything like this?


Oh yes. I had to give up coffee recently. After I got over the headaches I got crushing fatigue. I was napping at 9am, it was that bad. I made sure to keep up with my vitamins, especially B12. It took a while but my body adapted and now I almost never nap in the afternoon.

Try adding B12 to your morning ritual, and give it time. Your body will be much happier in the long run without the tea.
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The Elder
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JeffTimothy wrote:
While tea has less caffeine than coffee, it's enough to make a difference if you drink it regularly.


In general that may be true but caffeine content in tea is hugely dependent upon steeping time. A strong cup of tea may have more than 100 mg of caffeine and this matches or exceeds espressos or percolators. Another source I read an extract of quoted black tea at 30 - 67 mg / cup with instant coffee from 47 - 68 mg per cup, the low end of the tea scale was for one of those flavoured teas so I don't think that value is particularly valid as the amount of tea leaf used was reduced.

Tea also contains theobromine and trace amounts of theophylline, both of which are central nervous stimulants.

Edit: rounded a decimal wrongly the first time.
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The Elder
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hamsterzen wrote:
Oh yes. I had to give up coffee recently. After I got over the headaches I got crushing fatigue. I was napping at 9am, it was that bad. I made sure to keep up with my vitamins, especially B12. It took a while but my body adapted and now I almost never nap in the afternoon.


While not directed specifically at The Zen Hamster, B complex vitamins are often popularly "prescribed" for those with stress or nervous disorders (possibly because of B12's effect on the nervous system). Many of these formulations have an advice box noting that people shouldn't take the tablets at night as they may have a stimulating effect that prevents sleep. But the amount of B12 required in a diet is extremely low. Only vegan's, pernicious anaemiacs, those with extremely poor dietary habits, heavy drinkers or those on certain medications are likely to benefit from B12 supplementation. The body doesn't lose much in day or even a month, you can't store it up past your body's normal amount since it's water soluble so you'll just urinate any excess. Good news is that the only harm that's likely to be done by it is to your wallet.

The sugar many/most people add to tea and coffee has all sorts of nasty effects on insulin levels, the resulting spike of which depletes blood sugar and does lead to fatigue. The same thing is found with many breakfast foods which are so magnificently full of sugar. It's this "GI" effect that sees many people then reach for the coffee or tea in the late morning. Skipping breakfast is immense silliness. A good low GI food and plenty of calories at breakfast will prevent fatigue during the day.

Caffeine even taken early in the day can have a disruptive effect upon that night's sleep which naturally translates to fatigue the next day.

Lack of adequate food, exercise and especially good sleep and too much stress (I guess a lot of which comes from work, money, relationship, health worries) are the things which are typically responsible for day time naps (apart from the siesta which is largely lost due to air conditioning and excessive travel time to get home).
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The Zen Hamster
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The Elder wrote:
But the amount of B12 required in a diet is extremely low.


And yet many people have a B12 deficiency, which is why it's often part of a standard blood test. As you said, it's a stimulant. For someone suffering from fatigue issues, it can help.

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Billy McBoatface
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The Elder wrote:
JeffTimothy wrote:
While tea has less caffeine than coffee, it's enough to make a difference if you drink it regularly.


In general that may be true but caffeine content in tea is hugely dependent upon steeping time. A strong cup of tea may have more than 100 mg of caffeine and this matches or exceeds espressos or percolators.
Aha. This may be part of my problem. I steep my tea like crazy - start with a big mug of boiling water, add the tea bag, then never take it out. So I probably was getting as much caffeine from my tea as was possible.

I think I may look around for decaf teas. I really miss having a nice hot and bitter drink in the afternoon. But today again I'm wide awake at work, so I'm not going to go back.
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Joe Gola
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The Elder wrote:
In general that may be true but caffeine content in tea is hugely dependent upon steeping time.

Huh, that's the opposite of something I heard—that most of the caffeine is released very quickly, and that if you re-use tea bags/leaves there likely won't be much caffeine in the second cup of tea. Which is not to say you're wrong, just that there's conflicting information out there.

You certainly get a lot more tannin if you steep the tea for a long time, though.

For what it's worth, I use loose tea leaves, not tea dust in a bag (black, not oolong or green), and no milk or sugar. Steeping time four minutes, give or take depending on the tea. I highly recommend this approach.

Addendum: I am experiencing a major energy crash at this moment, thought it might have something to do with sugary marinara sauce at lunch.
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Amy Wiles
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For black tea, steep time must equal three minutes! No more! No less!

(Also, water must be boiling, and loose leaves are best.)

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Billy McBoatface
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Gola wrote:
Addendum: I am experiencing a major energy crash at this moment, thought it might have something to do with sugary marinara sauce at lunch.
You really should try having no tea for a week. Obviously for most people caffeine doesn't do any harm, but for me it's great to be away from it. Today I've got so much energy I feel like I'm on amphetamines or something. Last night 5 hours sleep again (I was up late getting things done!), and today I feel wide awake and full of energy. Even better than I felt yesterday or the day before.

I suspect that this is actually "normal" for me, but I've been so lethargic in the past year that in comparison it seems great.

Edit: And yes, people who know me will probably agree, I always do have lots of nervous energy. I'm one of those people who will wiggle their foot as they sit in a chair. So lots of energy is how I naturally am and like to be.
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wmshub wrote:
The Elder wrote:
JeffTimothy wrote:
While tea has less caffeine than coffee, it's enough to make a difference if you drink it regularly.


In general that may be true but caffeine content in tea is hugely dependent upon steeping time. A strong cup of tea may have more than 100 mg of caffeine and this matches or exceeds espressos or percolators.
Aha. This may be part of my problem. I steep my tea like crazy - start with a big mug of boiling water, add the tea bag, then never take it out. So I probably was getting as much caffeine from my tea as was possible.

I think I may look around for decaf teas. I really miss having a nice hot and bitter drink in the afternoon. But today again I'm wide awake at work, so I'm not going to go back.

Numi makes a really nice line of (admittedly expensive) tasty herbal infusions. I really like their Rooibos Chai.
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