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FAQ: Does tea actually contain more caffeine than coffee?

We all need a little boost now and then to stay focused and alert when it seems near impossible. But in the red-eyed hours of morning or those late afternoon power hours, which caffeine beverage will give you more go?

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FAQ: Does tea actually contain more caffeine than coffee?

A: No. Even though both coffee beans do not contain more caffeine than tea leaves when dry, brewed or espresso coffee contains more caffeine than brewed tea.

Information on caffeine content can be tough to navigate at the best of times, nevermind when your brain is already on overdrive. It varies widely from beverage to beverage, depending on preparation (brewed, steamed, etc.), amount used (typically more coffee grounds are used than tea leaves for a brewed beverage), variety of bean or leaf, and production methods such as roasting or fermentation. For a concise guide on the caffeine content in each type of coffee and tea, you can visit the Mayo Clinic’s study here.  If you’re interested in comparing brands of beverage, About.com provides information on a wide variety here. Specific information on our tea brands is also available on the Choice, Stash, and Yogi websites.

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Image: lifehacker.com

Even once you take in all of these numbers, there are three more stimulants at play in tea in addition to caffeine. Theophylleine, Theobromine and L-Theanine also interact with the central nervous system…

According to Authority Nutrition, “Theophylleine relaxes smooth muscles in the airway, making breathing easier while also stimulating both the rate and force contraction of the heart.”

Meanwhile, Theobromine also stimulates the heart, while lowering blood pressure and improving circulation at the same time. This compound acts as a diuretic as well.

L-theanine affects the levels of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain. When combined with caffeine, it has also been known to improve attention and general cognitive functions.

All of these compounds will have different reactivity depending on your metabolism as well. So, while both tea and coffee carry a cocktail of stimulants to keep your system running, the most effective way of gaging your body’s fine-tuned functions while you’re on the go is to be mindful along the way.

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