Don’t succumb to caffeine craziness

Don’t succumb to caffeine craziness

Orange-Spiced Chai Tea

Orange-Spiced Chai Tea
Sometimes when we hit that afternoon slump, many of us look for a source of caffeine to provide an extra energy boost.

In moderation, caffeine can actually be beneficial to health. It not only increases energy and mental alertness, but also contains antioxidants to help combat disease-promoting free radicals.

The key is not to overdo it because too much caffeine can have negative side effects such as irritability, jitters, abnormal heart rhythms, headaches and impaired sleep patterns.

To put it into perspective, one 10-ounce cup of coffee contains between 100 and 200 milligrams of caffeine, a 12-ounce can of soda about 20 to 50 milligrams of caffeine, and an 8-ounce cup of tea about 30 to 40 milligrams of caffeine.

If you have one of each on a daily basis, the numbers certainly add up! Staying between 200 to 300 milligrams daily is a healthy guideline for the average adult.

Orange-Spiced Chai Tea

Makes 4 servings

• 4 cups water

• 6 cloves

• 4 cinnamon sticks

• 1 teaspoon cardamom, ground

• 4 black tea bags

• 1 orange peel

• 1 cup skim milk

• 3 tablespoons honey

In a saucepan over medium heat, add the water, cloves, cinnamon sticks and cardamom. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and cover.

Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid, return it to the pan and re-heat.

Add the black tea bags and let them steep for a few minutes.

Add the orange peels, milk, and honey. Stir to combine.

Pour into mugs and serve.

Nutrition information per serving: 69 calories, 0.1 gram fat, 16 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 32.5 milligrams sodium, 0 grams fiber

Emily DelConte, Kali Garges, Amy King, Kelly Markiewicz and Meghan Martorana write this column and are registered dietitians at EVOLUTION — Nutrition Counseling by Dietitians in Bristol, East Greenwich, Newport and Providence. They adapt the recipes from public domain or copyright-free recipes.