Coffee and tea options during Caffeine Awareness Month

Caffeine Awareness Month (NTV News)

It's Caffeine Awareness Month and according to the national institute of health, at least 80 percent of the adult population consumes caffeine in amounts large enough to have an effect on the brain.

Keeping this in mind, many may want that caffeine jolt in the morning, but some of us may just want a delicious beverage without the added caffeine.

Barista's Daily Grind says ordering a decaf coffee is the easiest way to cut caffeine without sacrificing taste.

"And that does come in most coffee shops available as a decaf espresso and as a decaf drip brew so both of those options are probably the easiest place to start," said Barista's Daily Grind owner, Jasmin McGinnis.

She also suggests tea.

"A lot of people don't realize that an average cup of tea is only around 45 to 75 milligrams of caffeine, so a very light option," said McGinnis. "The lightest being your fruit based teas and then moving into your green teas, and your black teas have the most caffeine."

If you are looking for a morning jolt, McGinnis says there are many misconceptions about caffeine content.

"A lot of people assume that a shot of espresso is going to have more caffeine than a cup of coffee but that just isn't true," said McGinnis. "An average shot of espresso has 40 milligrams of caffeine but the way that its extracted is where you get the caffeine boost. So, it's going to hit your blood stream faster and wake you up quicker but it also means it's going to run out of your system faster."

She says a traditional cup of black coffee has about 100 more milligrams of caffeine, bringing its total to 140 milligrams.

"A lot of people also assume a dark roast coffee is going to have more caffeine than a light roast but that also is not true," said McGinnis. "The longer you roast a coffee bean, the more you're going to extract less of that caffeine. So, a light roast is the way to go if you're really looking to wake up in the morning."

Finally, McGinnis says its important to note that those trendy cold brew coffees contain a very high level of caffeine.

"It's five pounds of coffee that are steeped in a cold water bath for 12 to 16 hours," said McGinnis. "Every additional hour that that cold brew sits in its cold water bath, the caffeine level doubles."

So, whether you're looking to wake up with a jolt, or avoid caffeine all together, they recommend speaking with your local barista to find the perfect drink for you.

Other things to be aware of according to Cami Wells a dietician from the University of Nebraska Extension office, is the amount of coffee that is recommended per day by the FDA. She says about 300 to 400 milligrams is ok, which is about 3 - 4 cups (8oz.). Beyond that amount you could experience side effects.

"Certainly for some people if htye have too much it could cause them to feel a little jittery, anxiety and it can also interfere with sleep, so that's certainly a big deal," she says.

But it's not all bad for you. Wells says that that drinking caffeine also has its benefits, "It does increase your mental alertness, it improves your short term memory, so it can give you that little boost that you need to get you going throughout the day."

She says women who may be pregant or individuals who have heart problems should consult with their doctor as to how much is appropriate for them.

"Certainly pregnant women want to be extra careful when they are consuming caffeine, certainly folks who have heart attacks or a history of heart disease, they really want to talk that over with their physician before consuming very much caffeine," she says.

Coffee is no the only beverage that contains caffeine, Wells says that beverages such as soda, energy drinks, tea contain caffeine and even some medications, so it is always important to check the labels.

For individulas dealing with diabetes, she says it's ok to drink the 3- 4 cups, but definitely talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

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