If you are like me, caffeine may sometimes seem like your saviour to get you through those extra long days at work. Unfortunately, caffeine in large doses is not good for you and it is quite easy to have one too many coffees in the day. I found out the hard way by relying on caffeine constantly to get me through long work shifts and then started getting heart palpitations. When I went to the doctors, we originally didn’t know it was caffeine, until we started eliminating other factors. More details about how much caffeine you can have can be found here in this article by Authority Nutrition.
At this point, things had to change. I was stupidly told to go cold turkey with caffeine, which I can’t stress enough was such a bad idea! I had the worst migraine ever for 3 days and the paracetamol and ibuprofen didn’t make the pain stop. Instead, you should consider phasing caffeine out or at least, cutting back on it.
I have been drinking decaf hot drinks now for over 3 years now and the range of products and choice has become huge, especially if you are a tea drinker. In some places you can get things like Earl Grey and English Breakfast as decaf, which is nice if, like me, you liked the taste of different teas – not just the fact that it has caffeine in it.
Today, I’m going to offer you the next step, the caffeine free options. I think it is good to intersperse your day with decaf and caffeine free drinks, because it takes a lot to cut out caffeine from your diet completely, but you can cut down!
The four products that I have suggested below are all things I drink and enjoy. They might not be to everyones taste but you never know unless you try!
I didn’t really drink any form of herbal teas until I had to cut down on caffeine. Out of the many I have tried, peppermint tea is still one of my favourites, as it has a freshness in taste that is rarely beaten in other similar drinks. The tea in the picture is from Marks and Spencers, but Tesco also do a great own brand version.
You can also go completely organic and do a Pizza Express approach, which is to put fresh mint leaves in hot water for a few minutes and it tastes very good.
Whittard’s Dream Time
I actually started drinking this awhile ago, but I just started to drink it more when I cut down on other things. This is a bit more for the sweet tooth drinker, but it is just a relaxing warm drink which is great when you get home from work or before you go to bed. You pretty much add 4 teaspoons of the powder and then add hot water, and voila! Your drink is ready.
Whittard do other powdered drinks but this is by far my favourite one.
The Flowering tea
This is a drink I tend to have as a treat, as it is not the cheapest of teas. If you have never had one before, you basically place a flowering tea bulb in a large glass (tall and wide ideal) and pour hot water over it. Wait about 10 minutes and a flower and leaves will emerge and grow from the bulb! The taste of these teas tends to be quite light and I find them quite relaxing to drink. You can also pour hot water over the same bulb several times in one sitting without needing to use a new one. I was lucky enough to be given some but they can be bought online or in specialist tea shops.
The Caffeine free coffee
I was pleasantly surprised with this one, as I didn’t expect it to taste anything like coffee but its not bad. I bought Yannoh’s Instant Vanilla, which is made from roasted wheats and vanilla. You basically add a heaped teaspoon with hot water and then add milk (if you drink white coffee). I like it because it is lighter than coffee, but still has the warmth and comfort you get from having a hot drink. If you are intrigued I’d try it. I bought mine from Whole Foods but I think there are lots of places that sell it. It isn’t cheap against coffee (I paid around £5 in store), but unless you are drinking this constantly each day, it should last you a month or so.
So, I hope that’s some food for thought! I noticed a massive difference in how I felt, how much easier I found it to sleep and how less tense I got when I cut down on my caffeine intake. I was actually shocked at how many things were affected by it, so I highly recommend trying some of the drinks above, to give your body a rest from caffeine.
Also, you may think that work would be too hard without caffeine, but in actual fact, once your body gets used to it not being there, it doesn’t become reliant on it as much.
Have a great caffeine free day and hope you get that well deserved rest your body has been waiting for!
Written by Nicola Smith