Tea is undeniably a gift from the gods. Once our human ancestors realized that brewing some dried leaves and hot water together would create a beverage that soothes both body and soul, there was no stopping the proliferation of tea drinking by different cultures across the land and seas.
Enter the Masala Chai – which literally translates to “spiced tea”. Most of us enjoy a cup of regular black or green tea as a nightcap before bed, but have you ever tried Masala Chai as a bedtime drink? Sure, this steaming, spicy, and tasty brew definitely has a heavenly quality, but will it be relaxing enough to get you into a deep slumber?
Above is a brief explanation, read on for details on achieving sleep after drinking Masala chai.
Is Chai tea before bed a good idea?
Chai tea is a full-bodied, aromatic tea with an incredible, complex taste thanks to adding spices such as cardamom, fennel seeds, ginger, and cloves. These spice mixes are responsible for the warming sensation that spreads from your chest to the rest of your body when you drink chai tea.
So if you’re thinking of drinking chai tea before bed, this warming sensation can be useful in helping your body calm down and focus, helping you get to a state of relaxation so that you can go to sleep better.
Is there a lot of caffeine in Masala Chai?
Let’s first establish that Chai tea contains caffeine, just like other regular teas. However, it’s commonly known that the caffeine content in tea is one-quarter that of a regular cup of coffee. What this means is while the caffeine content in Masala Chai isn’t exactly enough to perk you up and rev your engines like a cup of joe can, it is still there.
However, here’s some good news: research has shown that the caffeine content in Masala Chai is notably lower than that of regular black tea, thanks to the tannin content found in Masala Chai. Tannin is a compound that is known to reduce the rate at which your body absorbs caffeine into your system.
With that said, Masala Chai does give you a slight energy buzz, because of the spices brewed in it. So if you’re planning on having a late-night cup of chai tea, it could be a good idea to have it at least 3 hours before your bedtime so that your body has time to wind down from the spice-induced buzz of Masala Chai.
Is it OK to drink chai tea every day?
Yes! It is perfectly fine to drink chai tea every day. In fact, in many cultures in India and Asia, chai tea is a much-loved daily brew for millions of people who live in the region.
Chai tea is a good tea for weight loss and promotes general inner well-being thanks to the nutritious compounds found in the spices that make it up.
You can use either cow’s milk or soy milk to prepare chai tea. These milks are high in protein, which is a nutrient that is essential to keeping your muscles and bones strong. Protein also reduces the feeling of hunger and helps you to feel fuller faster, thus helping you to avoid overeating throughout the day.
Chai tea’s combination of many different spices offers a multitude of benefits for the body. For example, let’s take cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, turmeric, and fennel seeds – which are common spices found in most masala chai recipes.
Cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar and adds natural sweetness to foods. This reduces the use of sugar, which can be bad for those who are diabetic or those who are at risk for heart disease.
Ginger has been used as a natural treatment for stomach issues, nausea, and diarrhea for thousands of years.
Black pepper increases your body’s levels of digestive enzymes that are required to break down food effectively. This supports good digestion and better overall health for your body.
Turmeric is a superfood that reduces inflammation. The compound curcumin which is found in turmeric, targets and reduces inflammation both in the body and in the brain. Inflammation in the brain leads to problems such as Alzheimer’s, and clinical depression, while inflammation in the body causes joint pain and swelling. Arthritis sufferers stand to gain plenty of benefits from the regular consumption of turmeric in their diet.
Fennel seeds are rich in powerful antioxidants such as limonene, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid. Antioxidants are anti-inflammatory compounds that help to combat free radicals, which can accelerate premature aging in the body.
What are some good alternative bedtime drinks?
Chai tea may contain less caffeine than regular black tea (half the amount, in fact), however, the potent combination of spices that are mixed into the tea leaves can cause a slight buzz that might be too much for those who aren’t used to it.
If you’re planning on drinking chai tea as a regular nightcap, and this tea is new to you, try to start with drinking it at least 3 to 4 hours before your bedtime. This allows your body to adjust to the spice kick, and creates a routine that helps you wind down and relax with the warm and cozy feeling of a gentle, radiant heat that only Masala chai can provide.
And if you’re looking for alternative bedtime drinks, here are some of the best ones to have before you sleep.
Hot chocolate is great as a bedtime drink, with its creamy, milky, and chocolatey taste. Kids and adults all over the world love hot chocolate, especially if it is the last drink they have before going to bed.
Chamomile tea is a relaxing blend of daisy-like flowers that has been proven to reduce the effects of anxiety in the body. Chamomile tea has been used for generations as a relaxing drink and is especially popular as a bedtime drink.
Green tea is another popular bedtime drink. It contains Theanine, a sleep-inducing compound that reduces stress hormones and dials down neuron movement in your brain, helping you relax and wind down.
Photo altered by dejittr.com | Photo attribution: Taisiia Stupak