5 Alternative Sources of Caffeine
Wake up. Roll out of bed. Head straight to the coffee machine. It’s a common tale across households in Australia, where caffeine and coffee are often used interchangeably. But there are so many other natural, alternative sources of caffeine (up to 60 plant species, in fact).
So, what is this miracle liquid, anyway? Caffeine is a natural stimulant that speeds up the messages between the brain and the body. You’ll find it in cacao beans, tea leaves, coffee beans and more. So, grab a cuppa as we jump into 5 alternative sources of caffeine.
Do you reach for the chocolate block straight after dinner? Well, not so fast if you’re a restless sleeper. Chocolate is derived from the fruit of the cocoa tree, grown in tropical regions near the equator. Then it undergoes processing, turning it into the sweet treat we know and love.
The amount of caffeine in chocolate varies depending on the product, with a standard 50g bar of milk chocolate containing 10 mg of caffeine. The darker the chocolate, the higher the caffeine.
Interestingly, white chocolate contains zero caffeine, because it only contains the cocoa butter (not the cocoa solids).
Green tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant (which interestingly, is the same plant that black tea comes from, the processing methods are just different).
Green tea is one of the world’s most popular drinks (behind H2O, of course). It has roughly 20 – 50g of caffeine in the average cup (around 220ml). But caffeine aside, green tea also comes with a whole range of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
If you’ve ever travelled to South America – particularly Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay – you’ve no doubt sat down to a cup of Yerba Mate. And if you drink it like the locals do, your cup will be brimming with tea leaves as you slurp up the infused liquid with a straw.
Yerba Mate contains around 40 – 80mg of caffeine in the average cup (around 220ml). Like green tea, Yerba Mate is where caffeine meets nutrition and vitality – full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
We often see guarana plastered on the side of energy drink cans – in big, bold letters that wake you up just by looking at them.
Guarana is a climbing plant native to the Amazon rainforest, and up to 70% of the guarana production today is for use in soft drinks and energy drinks. And while these options aren’t known for their nutritional content – guarana itself is rich in health-giving bioactive compounds.
Caffeine-wise? Guarana rules the roost. The seeds themselves are said to contain four to six times more caffeine than coffee! ***do we mention the the side effects***???
Last but not least, Guayusa (why-you-sa). An ancient herb from a type of Holly Tree (Ilex guayusa) in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Here, the Kichwa tribes pick, dry and brew the leaves each morning – an essential part of their culture, livelihood and connection.
Guayusa contains around up to 100mg of caffeine per cup, but unlike coffee, this releases slowly over 4 – 6 hours. But more than that, it contains 15 amino acids and is rich in Vitamin D and C, magnesium, potassium and zinc – working to increase focus, energy, mood, concentration, immunity and digestion.
At Ayusa tea, we are one of the first Australian suppliers of Guayusa tea, with three incredible blends,for you to try.
- Pure Guayusa for a subtle, smooth and full-bodied flavour
- Guayusa and Cinnamon Myrtle for an added cinnamon aroma
- Guayusa and Anise Myrtle for a subtle licorice flavour
With every purchase, we donate $1 to the Ecuadorian Foundation Conciencia Amazonica so they can continue sharing Guayusa with the world.