Tea, Sugar & Cream: Coffee Additives & Alternatives

Tea, Sugar & Cream: What to Put in Your Cup?

SUMMARY: Much like coffee, many Muslims also love their tea. But is the caffeine in tea a concern during Ramadan? This article talks about how, just like coffee, you should limit to no more than 300mg of caffeine per day. The biggest concern with consuming tea is the sugar than many people add to their cups. Simple steps such as finding alternate replacements can go a long way!

 

Coffee and tea are a great way to stay hydrated in Ramadan, as long as you are keeping in mind daily caffeine maximum consumption limits. Many teas have caffeine in them, in which case the same guidelines pertaining to limiting caffeine intake to 300mg daily apply. However, there is often a much higher caffeine content in coffee than tea.

For example, an 8-ounce cup of coffee may contain 75-100mg of caffeine, whereas an 8-ounce cup of tea may only contain 15 mg (oolong tea), 30 mg (green tea) or 50mg (black tea). Thus, tea can also be enjoyed in Ramadan in moderation.

Naturally sweet fruity teas are often a great substitute for sugary drinks, too!

Caution: Sugar in your coffee and tea

Many coffee and tea drinkers are at risk for sabotaging their health goals in Ramadan due to excessive amounts of added sugar. Added sugars can lead to increased weight gain and poor control of blood sugar levels.

Added sugars are also bad for your teeth and need to be carefully consumed in moderation. The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises against consuming more than a maximum of 25 grams of added sugar (approximately 6 teaspoons) per day. (8)

In Ramadan, it is wise to ensure that your calories consumed are coming from nutritious food sources as your feeding window is limited. Click HERE to learn more about hydration and fuelling yourself right by downloading our free Healthy Eating Ramadan Checklist!

Get Your Ramadan Checklist!

Added sugar contains neither nutrients nor vitamins, so there is no reason to be consuming it in Ramadan. Dietitian Noura Sheikhalzoor strongly advises against consuming sugar-sweetened beverages in Ramadan.

Fortunately, one of the easiest ways to cut out added sugar is to remove the sugar in your tea and coffee and sweeten with stevia or honey, instead. These naturally occurring sweetening options are significantly better options compared to added sugar. Stevia is a plant-based and calorie-free natural sugar replacement. Honey has beneficial nutrients and contains healing properties.

If you’re consuming coffee or tea this Ramadan, commit to trying alternative sugar replacements for effective weight management. Ensure that your coffee consumption is ALSO supported by a healthy meal plan while fasting for optimal energy!

Enjoy your coffee as part of a holistic healthy Ramadan lifestyle! Luckily, we’ve got you covered!

The Ramadan Reset eBook is your complete solution to healthy eating, exercise, sleep, coffee and so much more in Ramadan! With 90 dietitian-created recipes, full fasting fitness schedules for ALL levels, your Ramadan will never be the same! Click HERE to learn more!

References

  1. Eddy, N. B., & Downs, A. W. (1928). Tolerance and cross-tolerance in the human subject to the diuretic effect of caffeine, theobromine and theophylline. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 33(2), 167-174.
  2. Armstrong, L. E., Pumerantz, A. C., Roti, M. W., Judelson, D. A., Watson, G., Dias, J. C., … & Kellogg, M. (2005). Fluid, electrolyte, and renal indices of hydration during 11 days of controlled caffeine consumption. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 15(3), 252-265.
  3. Maughan, R. J., Watson, P., Cordery, P. A., Walsh, N. P., Oliver, S. J., Dolci, A., … & Galloway, S. D. (2016). A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 103(3), 717-723.
  4. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017, April 14). Caffeine content for coffee, tea, soda and more. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/
  5. Armstrong LE, Casa DJ, Maresh CM, Gaino MS. Caffeine, fluid-electrolyte balance, temperature regulation, and exercise-heat tolerance. Exerc Sport Sci Rev, 2007;35(3):135-40.
  6. Killer, S. C., Blannin, A. K., & Jeukendrup, A. E. (2014). No evidence of dehydration with moderate daily coffee intake: a counterbalanced cross-over study in a free-living population. PloS one, 9(1), e84154.
  7. Passmore, A. P., Kondowe, G. B., & Johnston, G. D. (1987). Renal and cardiovascular effects of caffeine: a dose–response study. Clinical science, 72(6), 749-756.
  8. Lindmier C. (2015, March 4). WHO calls on countries to reduce sugars intake among adults and children. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/
Does coffee dehydrate you in Ramadan?
3 Comments
  • Fatima Bhyat
    Posted at 07:34h, 28 May Reply

    What are the effects of adding cream to my coffee? Will it still have the same hydrating qualities?
    Is xylitol a good substitute for sugar, I don’t see it mentioned in your video or articles.

    • Admin
      Posted at 02:26h, 31 May Reply

      Salam Fatima! Great question – I actually answered this one over on this article: https://ramadanreset.com/coffee/is-coffee-a-diuretic/ (I will add it to this article as well inshaAllah!)

      The hydrating qualities of a drink is charted on the Beverage hydration index. In the hydration diagram on the link above, you can see that skimmed milk and full-fat milk actually had a higher beverage hydration index score for fluid retention than water. To quote from the study: “Ingested drinks with a high energy content, whether in the form of carbohydrate, fat, protein, or alcohol, will empty from the stomach more slowly than energy-free drinks and will thus potentially reduce or delay the diuresis that follows in comparison with the ingestion of a bolus of still water (11, 18).”

      Does coffee with milk (eg. Dhood Patti) or cream make your coffee more hydrating? Further research is required to fully answer this question. However, the higher energy content from milk is beneficial for your body. Keep in mind that the quantity of cream or milk is going to be very minuscule so if there is an effect it would be tiny! Also, cream is a source of saturated fat which needs to be controlled in moderation in the diet. For weight loss or maintenance purposes (if you’d be interested at all) I can also recommend unsweetened almond milk in your coffee! Hope this helps!

    • Admin
      Posted at 02:31h, 31 May Reply

      In terms of Xylitol, it is a sugar alcohol, and like all other sugar alcohols, it is a sweetener that has laxative properties. With excessive consumption, you might experience diarrhoea, bloating or gas. Xylitol is a unique sugar alcohol as it may be good for your teeth, however! But the reason I don’t mention it is a) further research is required to determine the long-term effects of sugar alcohols and in large quantities and b) because of the potential bloating and gas issues and c) stevia and honey are better options because they don’t have the same consequences!

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