You can prepare Chaga mushrooms in several ways—one of those is to turn the Chaga product into tea. Since some people do not like caffeine—while others take tea to enjoy the caffeine kick—there have been many questions about Chaga mushrooms and caffeine.
Does Chaga contain caffeine that can affect my sleep negatively if I take it at night? Will Chaga give me the same kick I get in the morning when I take coffee? These are some of the questions new Chaga users ask.
This detailed guide will answer these questions. Read on to understand the active ingredients in Chaga better.
Why the Interest About Caffeine in Chaga?
Inonotus obliquus, commonly known as Chaga mushroom, is a parasitic black fungus that has been a vital part of Nordic folk medicine and healthcare for centuries.
It is believed that Finland had a strict coffee ratio during the Second World War. As a result, the whole country switched to brewed Chaga as a replacement as it has a similar taste to coffee.
Chaga tea tastes like everyday coffee. In traditional medicine, people would grind Chaga mushroom into a fine powder which they would then brew. It was very popular as the resulting beverage closely resembled tea or coffee.
Currently, the mushroom is available as a health supplement, but many people still prefer using the mushroom to make tea and other infused beverages. Herbal teas containing Chaga extracts are also popular alternatives.
Irrespective of how you use Chaga powder, this mushroom beverage closely resembles coffee. This often attracts people who enjoy caffeine, while it might push away some, especially if they are apprehensive about caffeine.
Also, since caffeine causes sleep problems, some people may want to know if they can take Chaga before bed and still enjoy a restful sleep. Below, we will examine whether Chaga will keep you awake.
How Do You Make Chaga Tea?
Many people are switching to herbal teas in today's world of eating clean and green. Even though many prefer green tea, Chaga tea is slowly gaining popularity as one of the healthiest drinks.
Chaga tea is made from the mushroom itself. You can attempt to forage for Chaga in winter, up in the forests of North America, Russia, Siberia, and Europe.
But rather than stepping out into the unfamiliar terrain, the easiest way to make Chaga mushroom tea is to add Chaga powder to a pot of water. You can use a daily dose of approximately 2000 mg (2 g) or about one teaspoon.
Read More: Learn more about Chaga mushroom dosage.
Bring the pot to a simmer and leave it for a minimum of 15 minutes. Once done, you can strain and serve the tea hot. You can sweeten it with maple syrup or honey.
Brewing Chaga mushroom tea is a simple way to extract the healing compounds of this versatile mushroom.
Chaga mushroom has a slightly earthy and bitter taste, much like coffee. Likewise, it also has a particular smoothness to it. You can, however, use a sweetener like brown sugar to make the tea tastier. The amount of sweetener you add to your tea will depend on the taste you have in mind. Also, you may want to consider your health status—for example, if you have diabetes, you may want to use less sweetener.
Read More: See how Chaga fights diabetes.
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Does Chaga Tea Have Natural Caffeine?
So now, coming back to what's on our minds: does Chaga have caffeine in it? Also, do you get that caffeine kick when you drink Chaga tea?
Unlike other teas, Chaga mushroom tea does not contain caffeine. Chaga mushrooms are naturally caffeine-free, and because the tea is made from the mushroom itself, it does not contain caffeine. Therefore, drinking Chaga tea at night does not mean you will struggle to fall asleep.
The Chaga tea taste is one of the things that could make you think that powdered Chaga from birch trees or Chaga extract carries caffeine in it. However, considering how Chaga mushrooms grow, drinking Chaga powder in tea does not put caffeine in your body.
Read More: See how Chaga tea promotes weight loss.
However,you can add caffeine to Chaga tea by preparing it with regular caffeine-containing tea bags or by adding a pinch of coffee powder.
Even more, some Chaga tea comes prepackaged with added caffeine. Therefore, when purchasing your Chaga powder, you must check the ingredients to confirm whether the mushroom powder has caffeine.
Then what exactly is this hoopla around Chaga and caffeine?
Even though Chaga does not contain caffeine, it can give you an energy boost similar to caffeine. The mushroom is most well-known for this.
In animal studies(1), scientists have found that mice who were given Chaga mushroom fatigued less quickly and had longer physical endurance than those who were not.
Results of another study(2)have shown that Chaga mushroom helps boost the concentration of a molecule known as AMPK (or AMP-activated protein kinase). This is the key regulator of energy balance in the body. According to the researchers, this could be the reason for Chaga's excellent energy-boosting capabilities.
Read More: Do you forage for Chaga to use in your tea? Learn how to identify Chaga in the wild.
Can You Drink Chaga Tea At Night?
Yes, because Chaga does not naturally have caffeine and will not keep you awake. Instead, it has adaptogenic properties that can help your body adapt to stress and calm down, resulting in a night of restful sleep.
You can drink Chaga at any time of the day, but make sure your Chaga tea does not have added caffeine. You should drink the tea in the morning or early afternoon if you add caffeine.
One of the best functional mushrooms, you can take the ground Chaga at night for its numerous health benefits. As noted above, you won't have to worry about losing sleep.
Chaga is a unique beverage free of caffeine, yet it provides incredible benefits like an energy boost in the morning. It can also help you breeze through a long day at work without the caffeine addiction.
If you are trying to cut down your caffeine intake or looking for a natural energy booster, Chaga tea can give you all that and more. Look for natural Chaga tea, without added caffeine, to get all the benefits of this power-packed functional mushroom without staying up at night.
Have you used Chaga before? What was the experience you got with the mushroom? Let us know in the comment section.
- Effect of Inonotus Obliquus Polysaccharides on physical fatigue in mice, (1)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254627215301266
- AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Plays an Important Evolutionary Conserved Role in the Regulation of Glucose Metabolism in Fish Skeletal Muscle Cells (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22359576/