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Margaret asked...

I started to have palpitations associated with drinking coffee...

I started to have palpitations associated with drinking coffee. I have switched to decaffeinated coffee and the situation has improved. However I have no adverse reaction when I drink tea which also has caffeine. Can you explain?

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The answer

Well done on your drive to reduce your caffeine intake, its very encouraging that you are feeling the benefit already. In regards to your question regarding why tea doesn’t seem to affect you the same way caffeinated coffee did tea does in fact contain slightly less caffeine than coffee, brewed black coffee contains between 95-200 mg caffeine in 237 mls liquid and brewed black tea contains 45-70 mg of caffeine per 237 mls or 8oz. Add to that the fact that by brewing tea the caffeine is thought to become even more diluted then a larger disparity between the caffeine content of coffee and tea becomes even greater.

Habits can play a part in this too, for example if you usually drank more coffee than tea then over time your body would have been receiving far more caffeine overall and if this still holds true while you have switched to decaffeinated coffee your overall caffeine intake will have dropped compared to the smaller amount you will be getting from tea. However if you tend to drink more tea than coffee and that intake of tea increases then unfortunately there is always the possibility that some of your symptoms could return. Should this happen there are some decaffeinated versions of tea that are available that you may like to consider too.

We are enclosing a link to an article from AXA-PPP on cutting out caffeine from the diet which you may find interesting to read as well:

Caffeine curfew FAQs

We do hope this has helped to answer your question , good luck with this too.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses