Caffeine Absorption Into the Body
Caffeine, once consumed orally, travels through your body until it enters your stomach and small intestine. Those areas are easiest for absorption into your bloodstream, and in a “path of least resistance” way, it absorbs through there. As it is a stimulant, caffeine promotes more blood-flow through your body, which can make you feel more alert, awake, happy, and jittery.
Caffeine and Theanine
Tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant, which is naturally caffeinated. The unique thing about camellia sinensis is that it also has a chemical known as theanine in it, which is a natural relaxant. The relationship between the stimulant caffeine, and the relaxant theanine is an extremely unique one. In this plant, caffeine and theanine are chemically bonded together, which makes for caffeine absorption in tea also extremely unique.
This particular chemical bond makes the caffeine absorb gradually. In other beverages such as coffee or cola, your body feels the peak of the effects after about fifteen minutes to half an hour, and you crash very shortly thereafter. In tea, you feel the peak of the effects after, on average, half an hour to fourty five minutes, and you have potential to feel the effects as much as three hours thereafter. There is generally very little to no “crash” in tea.
Certain people feel the effects of the chemical bond differently. Some feel the effects of the relaxant more, where some other people feel the effects of the stimulant more. The effects of this chemical bond have not been aggressively studied, and at the moment, there are no conclusive standard effects on the body.
How Much Caffeine is in Tea?
Since there are thousands of different variables in tea, from bush, to production, to preparation, there is no easy answer to this; however, here are the findings of a department of nutritional services. These results are found when steeping a consistent amount of leaf in 250ml of water, at an identical temperature and for an identical amount of time.
Black tea: 23-110mg
Oolong tea: 12-55mg
Green tea: 8-36mg
White tea: 6-25mg
These results are fairly commonly accepted as valid; however, do not take them as an absolute truth. There are other studies done which indicate that white tea can be even higher in caffeine content than most other black teas, because certain types of white teas are only made from buds of the plant, which, the study suggests, contain the most amount of caffeine. Matcha teas and Gyokuro teas, prized green teas, are widely known to have the most caffeine content of any teas, and the caffeine content, can rival that of a cup of coffee. Again, take the findings as a guideline rather than a truth, and do research into specific tea’s caffeine content if it is a concern.
Health Benefits of Caffeine in Tea
Studies have suggested the following findings:
1. Caffeine and its gentle release into the body can act as a gentle stimulant to the heart, which can promote cardiovascular health.
2. Research is slowly finding that caffeine may minimize adverse cognitive effects associated with aging, including reducing risk of Alzheimer’s.
3.Caffeine increases response of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, and epinephrine, which all are associated with making you feel good.
4.Caffeine may reduce the risk of developing cancer, and delay the effects of onsetting cancer.