A little while ago I realised that caffeine was not my friend, I do not tolerate it, it gives me palpitations and generally makes me feel rubbish. I’m a sensitive soul! So I gave it up- cola, coffee and even chocolate had to go (although I will admit I struggle with chocolate at times), I will allow myself a couple of decaf teas a day but that’s it, boring huh?
So when I was asked to review Barleycup I wasn’t sure what it would taste like, coffee isn’t my favourite warm drink but I do enjoy a nice cappuccino, so was interested to see how a caffeine free drink could possibly match up to coffee.
In the latest research conducted by Barleycup it was found that after sugar and calories, caffeine is the next thing on the list of trends that people are cutting back on in 2015. Especially pregnant women who may have had many cups of coffee a day before pregnancy and know it is recommended they stick to two cups a day whilst making a new human.
The recommended daily amount of caffeine for healthy adults is 400mg, equivalent to around four or five cups of coffee a day. NHS guidelines recommend that pregnant women limit the amount of caffeine to 200mg – equivalent to two mugs of instant coffee.
Barleycup certainly seems like a good alternative, but what does it taste like? Well to me, remember I am not a coffee connoisseur, it tastes just like coffee… In fact in some ways it was nicer than coffee, it’s hard to explain, but as I am caffeine free it was a nice change to drink something that tastes just like coffee without worrying and it having no effect on my heart rate and mood. Because of that I think I might have over done it a bit and the whole jar was gone in two weeks, oops.
Because I wasn’t sure I was the best person to judge if Barleycup was actually a decent substitute I made a cup for my lovely Dad, we had actually run out of coffee so there wasn’t much choice either, and asked for his verdict. He decided it didn’t smell like coffee but easily passed as good replacement for coffee, and as a gentleman who drinks many cups of ‘real’ coffee a day I think he should know.
I will definitely be buying more Barleycup and will be making it part of my morning routine, and you can find it in Holland and Barrett and various websites including Amazon if you want to try it out for yourself.
Barleycup contains no added sugar and at only 10kcals a cup it is guilt free pleasure the whole family can enjoy. Made in moments by simply adding hot water, Barleycup is equally tasty on its own or with milk or dairy free alternatives – the choice is yours.
Barleycup’s nutritionist Helen Money has also given some good reasons to cut back on caffeine here-
“Sleep Better! A good night’s rest will help you feel better the next day. But for many people drinking a caffeinated drink in the few hours before you go to bed will keep you awake. If this is you, try a caffeine free alternative like Barleycup or herbal tea in the afternoon. Caffeine inhibits the activity of a neurotransmitter called adenosine, one of your brain’s natural tranquilizers, and as such reduces your ability to fall asleep.”
“Beat dehydration: Coffee and tea are both diuretic – which can lead to dehydration as these increase the amount you urinate and you can lose too much body fluid.
Caffeine usually doesn’t trigger dehydration until after you’ve had about 500 mg, so you should be safe if you stick to a cup or two of coffee a day – but try replacing those extra cups with a caffeine-free alternative such as Barleycup or herbal tea, to keep hydrated.”
“Stop your heart rate and blood pressure rising: Because caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and causes you to release more adrenaline, it increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Having a rapid heart rate can be dangerous, especially for those who have a heart condition or suffer from irregular heart rhythms. NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) guidelines recommend that people who suffer from hypertension should reduce consumption of caffeinated drinks and products.”
“Love your bladder: Not only is caffeine is a diuretic, which can lead to an increased frequency of urination, excess consumption of caffeine has been linked to exacerbation of stress incontinence or ‘leaky bladder’ – in both men and women.”
“Lift your mood and reduce anxiety: You know you’re addicted to caffeine when friends and family call you ‘grumpy’ before your first sip of coffee or you find yourself being short tempered when you skip your afternoon coffee fix. While studies have found that some caffeine can improve physical and mental performance, too much caffeine can negatively impact your mood and energy as caffeine causes increased stimulation in the brain and nervous system. For some people too much caffeine can exacerbate stress and depression because it interferes with the tranquillizing neurotransmitter chemical in the brain called adenosine, and because it acts as a stimulant triggering more stress hormones like adrenaline increasing your heart rate, these factors together can make you feel more anxious. Remember if you are going to cut down on caffeine – do so gradually as if you stop drinking coffee abruptly, you may experience irritability, fatigue and headaches.”
So in conclusion I think Barleycup is a great alternative to coffee if you choose to cut back or ditch the caffeine altogether! Do you think you could go caffeine free too or would it ruin your day?
*I was sent a jar of Barleycup for the purpose of this review.