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There are days when we all need some caffeine. A hangover so severe it feels life-threatening, a late night up with a sick child or an important day to get through are all reasons to put the kettle on. Caffeine gets a bad rap, but it can be a great pick-you-up.
But wait, you ask, why would I want caffeine in any other form when life-saving tea and blood-warming coffees are so amazing? Well, tea and coffee can stain your teeth, give you bad breath and prevent you drinking any water. Plus, if you like a Starbucks or two and can't drink it without sugar, you could be walloping on loads of extra weight. Here are some new caffeinated alternatives to tea and coffee.
A piece of jewellery can now keep you going through the afternoon slump. Joule works like a nicotine patch to release caffeine through the skin. One patch contains 65 mg of caffeine and releases the good stuff over a four hour stretch. It's the equivalent of a medium cup of coffee. The inventors says it's better than coffee though because it releases caffeine slowly avoiding crashes and withdrawal jitters, not to mention constant wee breaks.
Coffee flour derived from part-baked green caffeine beans is ready to go!
Dr Daniel Perlman of Brandeis University has patented the coffee flour. He says it contains 2.5% caffeine by weight, and therefore 4 grams in a baked product is the equivalent of drinking a coffee. He claims that consumers won't get a jolt of caffeine like coffee drinkers do because it's a natural caffeine food source rather than chemically purified or synthesised. Therefore it offers sustained release and longer term stimulation.
AND! The beans retain chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that's destroyed in the coffee roasting process. Imagine that, a healthy caffeinated muffin. Hands up who's now starving hungry?
Caffeinated chewing gum, by Wrigley's no less, contains 40 mg of caffeine which is about half a cup of coffee. Don't expect it to taste minty fresh though because caffeinated chewing gum tastes medicinal, according to the makers. It's for caffeine purposes only. They say:
'If you come at this as a piece of gum that you chew for enjoyment it's not going to deliver on that.'
Sounds, well, horrible, and it's twice the price of normal gum, but who can put a price tag on staying awake when it's needed?
Caffeine has a difficult reputation, but when it's consumed in a careful way it can be pretty useful. Overconsumption of caffeine leads to the shakes, sleepless nights and potentially raised blood pressure.
Minimise your intake if you, and drink plenty of water to make sure you remain hydrated. Tea and coffee are not the best drinks in the world for upping your liquid quota, but they are at least liquid.
You're probably dehydrated if you have headaches, tiredness and feel hungry - all of which will probably make you want more caffeine. Try some water instead, with a fresh caffeinated muffin on the side.