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How To Enjoy Green Tea By Reducing Caffeine In It

How To Enjoy Green Tea By Reducing Caffeine In It

Green tea originates from China and Japan and has been drunk there for hundreds of years, valued for its taste as much as for its health benefits.  One thing that leads people to hesitate before diving into that cup of green tea is that they are afraid of the amount of caffeine it contains.  There are, however, ways to reduce this while still enjoying your favorite drink!

A Look at Caffeinated Drinks

To give you an idea of where green tea stands in regard to caffeine, it is good to compare it to other caffeinated drinks. You might be surprised at how much of a difference there is!

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So here’s where green tea stands in relation to other kinds of teas as well as coffee and cola:

  • Green tea (1 cup) = 25mg (though this can vary)
  • Black tea (1 cup) = 16-25 mg
  • White tea (1 cup) = 6-25mg
  • Coffee (1 cup) = 100-150mg
  • Cola (1 can) = 30-60mg

Generally speaking, green tea is going to give you less caffeine than colas and coffees or coffee-based drinks. But it might come as a surprise to learn that even different brands of green tea can have a different caffeine content.  For instance, Stash Green Tea clocks in at only 7.6mg per cup, but Lipton more than doubles that amount at 16.4 mg and Peet’s is even stronger at 33.4 mg.

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Tips for Cutting Down on Caffeine in Green Tea

If you are really concerned about the amount of caffeine in your green tea, there are some ways that you can cut down on it without sacrificing quality or flavor. Here are some general ideas:

  • Read your labels.  As noted above, the brand you buy can make a big difference in regard to green tea caffeine levels.
  • Keep L-theanine in mind.  Green tea is a rich source of L-theanine. Why is this important?  This amino acid acts as caffeine antagonist: in other words, rather than revving up your central nervous system like caffeine does, L-theanine calms it down, thus counter-acting the caffeine’s affects. This is probably why green tea drinkers report feeling energized but not jittery after their morning cup. Drinking your green tea while it is hot means that the L-theanine will have more of an effect.
  • Know the type of tea you are drinking. Brand names are not the only issue here.  It is also good to know what type of green tea your are drinking.  Teas like matcha and gyokura green teas are highest in caffeine, while hougicha tea ranks near the bottom. Again, reading your labels can help you decide which type of green tea to opt for.
  • Another good way to reduce the caffeine in your tea is to infuse the leaves for around 45 seconds, throw that water out, then start again with a fresh cup of hot water.  This second infusion will not have as much caffeine as the first.
  • Consider buying a good decaffeinated green tea. On average, this will have between 4 and 10mg of caffeine per serving. But be careful: read the label to make sure that your green tea has been de-caffeinated naturally through effervescence, of the use of carbonated water.  Otherwise, it might have been decaffeinated with a chemical solvent called ethyl acetate — and this is not something you want to be drinking up.

Keep in Mind that Caffeine’s Not all Bad!

Before you get too wild about cutting down on the caffeine in green tea, though, keep in mind that it is not the scapegoat that many doctors once thought it was.  It used to be that physicians would recommend cutting caffeine out of the diet for a wide variety of medical conditions, but later research has proven that this is not always the best thing to do.

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As a matter of fact, there are some definite health benefits to caffeine: it has been shown to help protect the neurons of the brain from serious degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and it has also shown to be protective against certain forms of cancer, particularly of the breast, bladder and colon. Catechins — the best known of which is EGCG — have been shown to boost the metabolism and make it easier for the body to burn fat. Studies have also shown that it can help prevent heart disease. In short, there are some great reasons to consider allowing at least some caffeine into your diet: 300mg is the recommended daily allowance for an adult; this drops down to 200mg daily for pregnant women.

Tea and Coffee Infographic

To get a better visual on the comparisons between coffee and tea in regard to caffeine — as well as the health benefits it can bring you — check out the infographic below from courtesy of Greatist.com:

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Why-Coffee-and-Tea-are-Amazing-for-You

    So whether you are trying to cut down on caffeine or simply enjoy one of the healthiest drinks on the planet, green tea is something you should definitely try to work into your daily routine!

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    Brian Wu

    Health Writer, Author

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    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

    “For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

    Primal Therapy

    Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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    How it Started

    “During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

    It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

    “I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

    Delving deeper

    Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

    Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

    Some Methods To Practice Screaming

    If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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    • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
    • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
    • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
    • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

    After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

    Scream Sing

    Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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    • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
    • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
    • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
    • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
    • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
    • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
    • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

    If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

    Scream into a pillow

    Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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    Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

    Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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