Struggling to cut the caffeine? There is a healthier alternative…
Fatigue and even sheer exhaustion are challenges mums and mums-to-be commonly face. It can make us grumpy, impatient with the kids and generally miserable. The temptation to reach for another caffeine hit is always there.
There are a few reasons why this isn’t always the healthiest idea.
1. Research suggests excess caffeine consumption in first trimester can increase the risk of miscarriage.
2. Caffeine crosses the placenta and excess consumption has also been linked with lower birth weight in babies.
3. While only a very small amount of the caffeine that a breastfeeding mum consumes passes into the breast milk (about 1%) it takes a newborn baby up to 80 hours to eliminate just half the amount that they receive! Babies with excess caffeine in their system can display symptoms such as colic, poor sleep and jitteriness. A vicious cycle for mums who are already tired!
Obviously the definition of ‘excess’ is not cut-and-dry but generally it is advisable to limit intake to no more than 200mg per day (which is the equivalent of roughly one espresso shot, two lungo coffee pods or four teaspoons of instant coffee).
So what is an exhausted mum to do?
You can reduce the caffeine intake in the drinks you already consume by using decaffeinated versions or by changing your brew. For example, brewing tea for less time can reduce the caffeine content by as much as half and instant coffee is significantly lower in caffeine than brewed coffee.
Or sub your coffee with a healthy drink such as kombucha, unsweetened coconut water or better yet, water. Fatigue is often a significant indicator of dehydration.
Before you roll your eyes and mutter ‘boring!!’ under your breath, there is another option!
Brewed Cocoa is a natural product made from ground cocoa beans. It offers a high antioxidant value, mineral benefits and natural energy from its theobromine content. There is a common misconception that chocolate (cacao) contains caffeine, likely based on the confusion between the similar alkaloids: caffeine and theobromine. The two stimulants are related and have similar structures, but possess different properties and effects. Theobromine is mild, has a slow onset, is long-lasting and non-addictive whereas caffeine is intense, fast acting, short lived and addictive.
Is theobromine safe in pregnancy/breastfeeding?
Enjoyed in moderation brewed cocoa (containing the naturally occuring stimulant theobromine) is safe. It has a vasodilator effect (a blood vessel widener) on the body and in the case of low blood pressure excess consumption should be avoided. Studies have shown it could possibly reduce the risk of pre eclampsia, although evidence around this is inconclusive. Theobromine is generally not an issue for breastfed babies unless mum is consuming it in very large amounts.
Crio Brü Australia is the only company in Australia selling brewed cocoa. It has a rich chocolatey aroma and tastes bitter like a 90% chocolate bar. As with coffee, milk and sweetener can be added for taste as desired.
How is Crio Brü brewed?
It is very easy to make. A slow brew using a french press is the most popular way. If you are like me and upgraded your french press to a coffee machine (yep love my coffee!) you can brew it in an all-in-one appliance such as the Thermomix.
Just add 50g of Crio Brü with 800 – 900g of water to the bowl.
Heat at 90 degrees on speed 2 for 10 mins. Blend for 10 secs on speed 5. Then strain and drink!
If you are keen to find out more about Crio Brü or purchase your own preferred blend head here, you can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For our full medical disclaimer and terms please visit this page.