From coffee to tea: Miserable or miraculous?

Ever wonder what life would be like if you changed your usual coffee routine? Unimaginable for some—I know. The reality is that most of us prefer coffee as a primary source of caffeine, whether it be at work or school. You might be wondering, why not tea?

Barry Prichard, Associate Com Writer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and self-proclaimed coffee lover, ventured outside his weekly regimen to take on this challenge. With a brave face, he traded in his Americano (four shots of espresso) for caffeinated Passion Fruit Tea for one week.

On day one, Prichard was asked to reflect on his mental and physical reaction to ditching coffee. One word: exhausted. While his cravings for coffee seemed unbearable at first, things shifted as time went on.

“After drinking tea for a few days I felt more focused, I slept better and I wasn’t as groggy throughout the day,” said Prichard. “To be honest, the break from my routine was the hardest part.”

Interestingly enough, Prichard drank the same amount of tea as he ordinarily would coffee, which means he was running on less caffeine than usual.

“If you drank 16oz of coffee, you’d have to drink 32oz of tea to consume the same amount of caffeine,” said Grace Derocha, RD, registered dietician at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Tea is usually not as fast-acting, but there’s also usually less of a crash.”

Don’t worry, coffee lovers. There’s no need to switch over to tea if you’re drinking your daily Joe in moderation and avoiding heaping amounts of sugars and creamers. Tea and coffee each have antioxidant properties, but they’re also diuretics—so it’s important to drink water throughout the day with both.

Surprisingly, the experiment may have turned my Americano-loving coworker into an occasional tea-drinker.

“I could see myself starting my mornings with coffee but drinking tea as an alternative later in the day,” said Prichard. “All I can compare it to is the difference in the way you feel eating a hamburger versus a salad.”

So fellow coffee-lovers, think you’ll give drinking tea a shot? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo credit: Lil Moo Creations (feature), Devin Burks, A Healthier Michigan (inset)

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  1. Living in Canada for four years, I actually became addicted to my two o’clock tea. However, I switched to Cops coffee and drink my four cups in the morning and water the rest of the day. On occasion I will have tea, but find it to be bitter.

  2. I love drinking my 1 to 2 cups of coffee in the morning, but I love my teas (especially green tea and herbal tea) in the afternoon. (I tend to drink the un-caffeinated stuff more than the caffeinated/decaf stuff). It’s wonderful especially on cool Michigan days like today. For a while, I did just do tea (especially when I was pregnant) and I did find that I had way more energy. It’s nice to see that I wasn’t the only person who had this effect. Great article. Thank you!

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