You’re on your third cup of tea this morning, yet you still feel lethargic, groggy, and just plain out of it. Could it be the tea causing your lack of energy or something else? Before we answer this question, let’s talk a little bit about how energy is created and how caffeine interacts with our bodies.
We’ll talk about how energy is created, the effects of caffeine, and what you can do to support your energy levels naturally.
How Does Energy Work?
Energy starts with the foods we eat. When we consume food, it's broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose is then carried to our cells. Inside our cells, tiny organelles called mitochondria transform the glucose into adenosine triphosphate or ATP. ATP is the molecule your cells need for energy.
Cellular energy is essential for carrying out cellular functions. Without cellular function, entire bodily systems can begin to break down, and you’ll also experience a decline in your energy levels.
Does Tea Cause Tiredness?
Tea itself does not cause tiredness or fatigue. However, the caffeine inside your tea could be the culprit.
Caffeine is a stimulant. Stimulants cause the release of certain hormones in our bodies, like cortisol and adrenaline. When you are drinking tea, the caffeine it contains works in your brain, triggering these hormones and increasing activity.
Caffeine also works to suppress the elements of your chemistry that cause you to become tired, like adenosine and melatonin. Caffeine can suppress your body’s ability to feel sleepy by binding to certain neurotransmitter receptors in your brain.
All this leads you to believe that caffeine won’t make you tired, but the side effects of caffeine can make you sleepy, which we’ll talk about in a moment.
Aside from caffeine, tea contains large amounts of a compound called l-theanine, which has a calming effect on the body that can make you feel relaxed or sleepy even though your tea may contain caffeine.
How Much Caffeine Does Tea Have?
You might be drinking herbal tea instead of coffee because you’ve heard it has more benefits. That’s true. Tea contains plant compounds like antioxidants and polyphenols, which can help support your overall health and wellness.
Different teas contain different amounts of caffeine. Here, we’ll look at three of the most popular teas and the amounts they contain.
Black tea contains about 45 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce cup. Black tea is rich in antioxidants and helps support gut health. It also contains plant flavonoids which can help support healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, although you won’t be able to repair high cholesterol simply by drinking black tea.
Made from the same plant as black tea and green tea but processed differently, white tea contains about 28 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce cup. White tea has a mild flavor and the most antioxidants compared to green and black tea because it is also the least processed.
The most popular tea for health benefits, green tea usually contains between 30 and 50 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce cup. Green tea has plenty of antioxidants and is thought to help digestion. Enjoying a cup of green tea after a meal may help you avoid indigestion and can help support digestive mobility.
Don’t confuse green tea with matcha. Although they’re both “green” and come from the same plant, they’re processed differently and have completely different flavor profiles.
Most other teas, like lavender tea, peppermint tea, or oolong tea, have minimal or no caffeine and are usually consumed for other reasons, like digestive support or to help you relax. If you’re looking for the best tea to support healthy energy levels, we’d recommend green tea or matcha.
Some teas, like chamomile, contain no caffeine. Chamomile also contains a compound called apigenin, which can cause feelings of relaxation in the body. This is why chamomile tea helps you transition from wakefulness to rest and is best consumed before bedtime.
Does Tea Typically Have More Caffeine Than Coffee?
No, tea usually has less caffeine than a standard cup of caffeinated coffee. An eight-ounce cup of coffee usually has about 100 milligrams of caffeine, compared to the amounts in the tea listed above. Some teas, like chamomile tea, are naturally caffeine-free.
How Does Caffeine Impact Your Body?
So how would a tea that contains caffeine make you tired? There are a few reasons why tea could be harming your energy levels.
When you drink caffeine (whether in tea, coffee, or an energy drink), half of the caffeine you consume remains in your system five hours after you’ve consumed it.
If you drink caffeine too close to bedtime, it could interfere with your nervous system and your ability to get a good night of sleep, which could leave you feeling tired.
Like many drugs, caffeine can cause you to build a tolerance, which means you’ll need more caffeine to achieve the same alert and awake effect you had before.
If you don’t increase the amount of caffeine you take, you’ll feel tired even after you drink your tea.
Caffeine Is a Diuretic
Drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages can cause you to lose hydration. One of the first and most noticeable symptoms of dehydration is fatigue.
It’s not the tea or the caffeine themselves that are leaving you feeling tired, but rather a combination of unfortunate side effects that are draining your energy and leaving you feeling lethargic.
How Can You Support Your Energy Levels During the Day?
Remember that energy starts with your mitochondria. With that in mind, let’s look at alternative ways to support your energy levels and feel more invigorated during the day.
Incorporate a Greens Powder
We all know we could be eating more greens, but if you don’t like green vegetables, that can be problematic. Also an issue-preparing food. If preparation and flavor are blocking you from the green veggies your body craves, let a greens powder do the heavy lifting.
L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens are available in three delicious flavors, containing nine greens and 30 superfoods in every scoop. Adding a scoop to your favorite drink (caffeinated or not) can help you fill in dietary gaps and supplement your diet with the vitamins and nutrients you need.
You’ll also get other health benefits thanks to ingredients like:
- Antioxidants. Nature’s very own health-supporting compounds, antioxidants help support your cells during exposure to free radicals, which can cause them to age prematurely.
- Probiotics and probiotics. Two powerful ingredients to support healthy digestion. Probiotics help replenish and restore the levels of healthy gut bacteria in your digestive tract, while prebiotics (a type of insoluble fiber) help feed them so they can thrive.
- M-Charge Complex. Our proprietary blend of ingredients helps support mitochondrial health. M-Charge contains four specific mitochondria-targeting ingredients that help support function, ATP (energy) production, performance, and lean muscle mass.
- Mushroom blend. Our blend of mushrooms helps support healthy cholesterol levels and regulates sodium in your body. They also help support healthy brain and cognitive function.
That’s a lot of benefits from one simple scoop of powder, which makes greens powder a no-brainer.
Drink Plenty of Water
Being dehydrated can cause you to feel fatigued. It may even interfere with your weight loss efforts because we can often mistake thirst for hunger. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, especially if you are drinking any type of caffeinated beverage (including any type of tea with caffeine).
Remember that caffeine can cause you to lose hydration, so increasing your water intake while you’re drinking caffeine is a good idea.
Get Plenty of Sleep
If you regularly miss sleep, you’ll experience daytime sleepiness. Not only do you need enough sleep, but you also need good sleep quality. Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, but if you are particularly active, you might need more.
Poor sleep will lead to feeling tired and relying more on caffeine during the day. If you experience occasional sleep problems, you can try a natural sleep aid, like bedtime tea or valerian root tea, to support better sleep.
While we’re talking sleep, it’s important to make sure you’re not overdoing it with naps. If you nap longer than 30 minutes per day, you could be robbing yourself of a better night of sleep. If you have problems sleeping often, brush up on your sleep hygiene.
Exercise, But Don’t Overexert
Getting enough exercise is essential to keeping your energy reserves stocked and sending your body the message that you need more power. Beyond its benefits for your blood pressure, supporting healthy blood sugar levels, and keeping your bones and muscles strong, it also helps build your sleep drive.
Your sleep drive is like a tank that fills during the day. As you stay awake and expend energy, your sleep drive grows, eventually causing you to feel sleepy and ready for bed. That can help you get better sleep, which can help support daytime energy levels.
It’s important to note that extreme exercise can have the opposite effect, leaving you feeling depleted and tired. A grueling workout is okay occasionally, but trying to do it daily will leave you feeling worn out. Another caveat: don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or it could interfere with your body’s ability to wind down naturally.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
Healthcare providers have been telling us for years that our diets are slowly killing us. The standard American diet is filled with highly processed convenience foods. These foods have been processed so much that the good ingredients (like vitamins, nutrients, and fibers) have been stripped away.
They’re usually replaced with trans fats and added sugar, ingredients that don’t have health benefits and can make us feel sick and tired.
Consuming added sugar can also have a spike and fall effect on your blood sugar levels, making you feel energized for a few minutes before sending your blood sugar levels crashing, leaving you feeling tired and foggy-headed.
Get off the bad diet train. Choose whole foods that have been minimally processed or not processed at all. Switch out refined carbohydrates like white bread and sugar or whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Give your body the ingredients it needs, and you’ll notice an uptake in your energy levels.
The Bottom Line
You don’t need to have your tea leaves read to understand that it isn’t your tea that is making you tired. It’s probably a natural decline in your mitochondrial function with age. If you’re relying on caffeinated teas to get your body moving, consider some alternatives, like supporting your energy levels where they start: inside your cells.
Remember that caffeine is a tool. Too much of it can lead to unwanted side effects that can leave you feeling tired. Focus on ways to support your energy naturally through diet, exercise, hydration, and adequate sleep. And while you’re at it, do something good for your body and your energy levels. Add a scoop of L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens powder to your health stack.
You’ll get benefits that help support your body and your energy levels. Over time, you’ll notice you feel more like you did when you were younger. Not bad for a delicious powder that packs the vitamins and nutrients your body needs and supports your body on so many levels.