Caffeine Love - Is Green Tea OK When I'm Saying Goodbye to Coffee?
April 4, 2015
Andrea was working hard to take care of herself. She was balancing her blood sugar spikes and dips by eating more protein and fat at each meal. She was also trying to restore her tired adrenals from all the recent stress from job demands and emotional challenges at home.
One thing she was doing was striving to reduce and let go off coffee. Andrea was a HUGE coffee lover. Years ago she could never imagine going off coffee. But now, after all the work she had put into her dietary habits and lifestyle changes (more rest and play in her life) she had a desire for deeper healing…she was ready to make the move to let go of coffee.
Here is what she asked me followed by my response:
Even though I will miss my true love – coffee- I am wondering what you think about caffeine in other forms like chocolate, yerba mate, and green and black teas? Will these interfere with healing and restoring my adrenals?
Missing my coffee crutch,
Coffee is a sweet love for many….I get that it is HUGE to let go of this energy source in your life. Congrats for making the effort to serve the longer term goal of restoring your adrenal health.
Regarding green tea, my perspective is that if you have a good source (making sure the tea does not contain fluoride, lead, etc), then it can be a very beneficial drink due to several components contained within the green tea.
There are antioxidants (which help clean up free-radicals), polyphenols (which help to increase gut bacteria by serving as a pre-biotic), and other vitamins and nutrients.
The stimulating effects from the caffeine in green tea are very mild and gentle in nature compared to other caffeinated beverages. If one drinks a moderate amount of green tea with a whole-foods diet then I do not think it will lead to deeper imbalances.
One of the best green teas is Matcha green tea . Matcha, in particular, is rich with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. Matcha does have caffeine content, but in about a half teaspoon of matcha powder there is only about 35 mg of caffeine as compared to 80-120 mg typically found in 1 teaspoon of coffee (grounds).
There is a powerful antioxidant that is especially present in Matcha. It is called catechins. The catechins bond with the caffeine molecules, resulting in a much slower release of caffeine into the blood stream.
Matcha also has a good amount of fiber present in the powder, so this may also help to stabilize blood sugar by not striking the adrenals with incoming caffeine. It's a "time released" action of sorts. This is beneficial because if the adrenals are still taking a hit while the blood sugar is still in the process of becoming regulated, drinking matcha green tea will not be an issue because of its modulating effects against its own caffeine content.
Overall, keep in mind that part of healing the adrenals is about restoration and rest. Literal rest along with rest from caffeine pushes are essential for deep adrenal restoration. Getting into a relaxed state as much as possible is key for healing (especially with deeper stages of adrenal exhaustion) and letting go of caffeine is huge in helping this shift.
Regarding other caffeine sources during your adrenal healing protocol (dark chocolate, kombucha, yerba matte)…I think a little would be okay if I you are seeing success with the dietary and lifestyle protocols that have been implemented over time in consultation with your health advisor.
What about you? What are your thoughts about caffeine? Please share your thoughts below...I'd love to hear what you think...