You are a tea/coffee lover. You love that caffeine boost in the morning to wake you up, you require another cup to get you through those tough days and also to relax in the evening. But after having so much information about the disadvantages of these beverages on your health, you are in a dilemma whether to let go of your sweet cup or to keep it going.
Here are a few suggestions for the right way to have tea/coffee without any worry, guilt, or bad effects on your gut.
When not to have tea or coffee:
1. First thing in the morning
Tea/coffee should never be the first thing to go into the stomach after waking up. Why? Imagine that you are sitting by the window, watching the birds outside and relaxing, and suddenly, someone barges into your house, pulls you on your feet, plays loud music, and makes you dance. How would you feel? That’s exactly what your body feels when you wake it up with a jerk – tea/coffee. “Oh my God! I can’t start my day without it.” Relax. Don’t be disheartened. It is easier than it sounds.
Start the day with a small meal. Best options are nuts like almonds or raisins that are soaked overnight, a simple fruit like banana or a light snack. Your first meal should be easy to digest. This will gently wake up your metabolism and signal the brain to warm up for the day. Just like that trainer who is absolutely strict about stretching before you get on the treadmill. After a gap of 10 to 15 minutes you can have your first cup of the day. If you have a little more patience, you can also take your breakfast and then have the first cup.
Benefits: The small meal adequately fuels the body for a new day and acts as a buffer to tackle the immediate surge of energy of the tea/coffee. You feel fresh and ready.
2. As a meal during the day
Do not try to replace a main meal with a cup of tea or coffee just because you are on the go. Always have your meals on time. You can have it after one or two hours post your meal. If you go without proper nutritious food for a longer period of time, the body will be deprived of the fuel it needs to function optimally.
The lasting effect of tea/coffee keeps you feeling full when you are actually hungry. It creates an illusion and suppresses hunger as long as it can. After the effect scales down, you suddenly feel very hungry and now you are the most vulnerable to snack on the next thing that is available. You are most likely to grab chips, oily stuff, and junk food. Whatever resolutions you make for health will fail and you will fall off your diet.
3. Last thing before you go to bed
Never ever have any caffeine-drink before you go to bed. It will completely disrupt your sleep-cycle, keep you awake till late in the night and leave you fatigued the next day. It is recommended that you should not have any such beverage after the sunset because it takes about 5 hours for the caffeine effect to go away, melatonin to be released, and revive the sleep cycle.
When to have tea or coffee?
The best time to have tea or coffee or any caffeine-based drink is in the morning 10 to 15 minutes after your first meal. You can also have it during the day after your breakfast, mid-meal and 1-2 hours post lunch. Ideally, the last cup should come by four or five in the evening. But, if you want, you can extend it up to 7 pm or at least 6 hours before bedtime.
What is the best kind of tea/coffee?
The best kind is really the one you like, the one that is local and belongs to your native culture. So, if you live in an area where there is a tradition of having black tea, then black tea is the best for you. If it is green tea, then green tea is the best for you. So, your choice of tea or coffee should be based upon where you live, what is the climate, the culture, and traditions.
There is no such thing as “the healthiest tea/coffee in the world,” especially for goals like weight loss, weight management, building strength, and improving digestion. The preparation should also be traditional, with or without milk, with or without sugar. Please avoid “sugar free” supplements. If you like your coffee to be sweet, then have it with actual sugar, whatever form of sugar you like – white or brown. Please regulate the total amount of sugar you consume in a day according to your health conditions.
The Bottom Line
It is absolutely alright to have two to three cups of tea/coffee in a day with sugar if you follow these suggestions religiously. Don’t start or end your day with a caffeine beverage. Do not replace a main meal with it. If you follow these things mindfully, you won’t get any bad effects. You can safely relish it without any worries.