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Can Tea Cause Leg Cramps

With The Start Of Coffee Fest 2014 In New York City It’s Important To Be Mindful Of The Hazards Of Too Much Caffeine

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The coffee hit is an essential start to the day for millions of people around the world each morning.

Australians spent almost $800 million on over 2 billion cups of coffee last year–and thats just the start of the caffeine habit.

But like all drugs, overuse of caffeine has risks. According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand, a regular flat white could have as much as 282mg of caffeine in one serving. Studies show more than 400mg per day can put a person at risk of adverse effects.

So with your double shot in the morning and your Coke with lunch, you may be doing more damage to your body than you realize.

Here are 20 dangers of partial and total caffeine overdose, in order from the first symptoms to be exhibited to the severe, later stage ones.

1. Increased Heartbeat Caffeine acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system, increasing your heart rate. This can be expected as soon as 15 minutes after ingesting.Energy drinks: health risks and toxicity

2. Heartburn/RefluxCaffeine has been shown to relax the esophagus, contributing to gastroesophageal reflux. This can either cause or exacerbate heartburn in susceptible individuals.

Birth Control Pills Interacts With Black Tea

The body breaks down the caffeine in black tea to get rid of it. Birth control pills can decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. Taking black tea along with birth control pills can cause jitteriness, headache, fast heartbeat, and other side effects.Some birth control pills include ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel , ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone , and others.

You’re Not Sleeping Well

While it’s true that some teas are formulated for easy, restful sleep, otherslike black teas, for exampleusually contain more caffeine than others.

Studies show that 200 milligrams of caffeine up to six or more hours before bedtime could have a negative impact on your sleep quality because of the way caffeine inhibits melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. Of course, it depends on the person, metabolism, and how much caffeine you’re consuming from other sources as well.

Tea might not be the only source to blame. If you’re drinking more than three cups of tea per day and still getting adequate sources of caffeine elsewhere, there’s more of a chance your sleep will be impacted.

If you’re going to drink as many as three cups of tea per day, you’ll want to make sure that’s your only caffeine source for the day. Otherwise, you might find yourself tossing and turning.

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Can Caffeine Cause Leg Cramps At Night

Caffeine is a drug found naturally in tea and coffee that stimulates the nervous system and can lead to feeling anxious and irritable. In 2000, experts linked caffeine to joint diseases, and people who consume more than 400 mg a day are at risk of painful withdrawal symptoms. More than half of adults between 25 and 39 get their caffeine fix daily from coffee, according to the National Coffee Association. In 2006, Americans spent $2 billion on tea, says the Tea Association.

Tea Linked To Muscle Cramps

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Q: I wonder whether some additive to Earl Grey tea might cause muscle pain and cramping. I am a yoga teacher with a generally mobile body. During the past couple of years, I have suffered worsening muscle pain, cramping and restricted movement. Medicine, acupuncture, physical therapy and massage all failed to provide lasting improvement.

When a recent flulike episode caused me stomach distress, I gave up my two cups of Earl Grey with breakfast and switched to regular orange pekoe tea. Within two weeks, all symptoms were gone and mobility was restored.

I am still drinking tea and have made no other conscious changes, so it seems that the Earl Grey tea is somehow the cause of my problems. What is there in Earl Grey that could set up this reaction?

A: A doctor in Austria published a case report on a 44-year-old man who developed severe muscle cramps in his feet and legs after he started drinking a lot of Earl Grey tea . The patient also had muscle twitching, but all the tests on the work-up were normal. When he stopped the Earl Grey tea, his symptoms also disappeared.

Earl Grey tea is flavored with bergamot oil, from the citrus fruit bergamot. It contains a compound called bergapten that can block potassium channels. Potassium flow in and out of the cells is crucial for muscle function, and this presumably explains why too much Earl Grey tea could cause muscle cramps.

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Have Your Cuppa But Go Easy On The Earl Grey

MEDICAL MATTERS: According to legend, the first cup of tea was made by accident. In 2737 BC a servant of the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung boiled up a pot of water when some leaves from a nearby tea tree fluttered into the boiling water and the attractions of the mixture were quickly recognised.

Centuries later William Gladstone extolled the virtues of tea when he said: “If you are depressed it will cheer you if you are excited, it will calm you”.

I have to admit to being fond of more than the odd cup. Not the usual, thickly made, heavily milked variety of the building site, but rather a well-diluted brew of Earl Grey, lightly milked.

Patients are used to seeing a mug beside my prescription pad and stethoscope as I write this column a cup of “camellia sinensis” is cooling nicely beside me. I suspect the only reason I do not drink even more is that I like to sip it slowly, unbothered by the gradual cooling.

Which may be just as well, having read a case report in the Lancet titled: “Earl Grey Tea Intoxication”. An Austrian doctor describes the case of a 44-year-old man who suffered muscle cramps.

He was extensively tested for all manner of diseases by his doctor all tests were normal.

Convinced that it was the change of tea, he decided to stop drinking Earl Grey and reverted to pure black tea again. One week later, his symptoms had completely disappeared.

Since tumours need to generate blood vessels to feed their growth, this effect literally starves cancers to death.

Caffeine And Muscle Cramps

Caffeine may induce muscle twitching and cramps when you consume an excess amount of it. Other factors involved in muscle cramps include hot weather, loss of fluids or nutrients in the body and your body’s condition. You may experience muscle fatigue if you aren’t properly conditioned and the muscles cannot contract and tighten more effectively during exercise. Your muscle’s oxygen supply may deplete, leading to spasms. Your spinal cord reflexes are altered and continue to stimulate the muscle to keep contracting. Your caffeine intake may contribute to the cramping caused by these factors.

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Blood Flow Oxygen And Leg Cramps Are Connected

Cramps come from changes in the flow of blood and supply of oxygen in the blood.

Cramps come from changes in the flow of blood and supply of oxygen in the blood.

The muscle itself needs oxygen and the proper blood flow, said Candace Pernsteiner, a physical therapist at Marshfield Clinic. If youre using the muscle too much, youre using up its oxygen supply as well as supply of energy. As a result, you are burning it out. If the muscle is starved for oxygen, then youll get a cramp.

Main causes of cramps include dehydration, muscle overuse and muscle strain or trauma. The blood supply is compromised when you dont have enough fluids in your muscles.

Cramps also can come from repeating a particular motion for a very long time, such as running. You also can get leg cramps from standing in place for long periods of time.

Description Of The Night

Leg Cramps: 7 Causes and 7 Cures

The usual pain intensity of night-time calf cramp rated on a 100 mm visual analogue scale ranged 29 mm to 100 mm . There was no statistically significant difference in usual pain intensity of night-time calf cramp between men and women , or between younger and older people . 26% of participants reported a known family history of night-time leg cramps.

Of the 74 participants who could recall when cramps typically begin, 45 recalled usually being asleep when cramps begin. Seventy one participants reported that cramp could affect either leg. Cramps were mostly reported to occur at irregular times throughout the night , during the middle of sleeping time , within two hours of rising in the morning , before falling asleep and within two hours of first falling asleep . Two participants were unsure of cramp timing. Calf-muscle soreness or tenderness in the days following cramp was reported to occur sometimes by 32 participants, most of the time or always by 25 participants and never or rarely by 22 participants. People who most of the time or always experienced pain during the days following cramp were more likely than people who never, rarely or sometimes experienced pain during the days following cramp to have experienced more intensely painful night-time calf cramp , but were no older or younger .

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You’re Feeling Dependent On Caffeine

Love how caffeine makes you feel? Most of us do, but if you start feeling absolutely dependent on caffeine, it might be a subtle sign that you are drinking too much tea, too often and too regularly.

Caffeinefrom either tea or coffeeis great in the short-term, but regular indulgence can cause caffeine dependence, which is punctuated by frustrating symptoms of withdrawal. As mentioned above, someone experiencing caffeine withdrawal might deal with headaches, fatigue, and general irritability.

To avoid falling victim to caffeine dependence or caffeine withdrawal, you may want to break up your tea drinking schedule to allow your body some breaks. After all, the longer you regularly rely on caffeine, the harder it will be to break that dependency. In fact, the symptoms might even get worse the stronger the dependency.

How To Prevent Leg Cramps

If youre prone to leg cramps at night, these 6 tips can help to stop cramps from happening again:

  • A lot of uphill walking/running or stair-climbing shortens the back muscles and the muscles and tendons at the back of the legs, making them more likely to cramp later. Focus attention on stretching these muscle groups after a hilly workout.
  • Go for a deep-tissue therapeutic massage with an experienced practitioner. Ask her/him to teach you the techniques for the muscle groups in the legs and feet, so that you can work the knots out before they become disabling cramps.
  • Loosen the bedcovers so that they dont press your feet down and shorten the muscles of your arches, encouraging them to cramp.
  • Drink when you feel thirsty, especially after exercise. Dont overdo it. Tea, coffee, smoothies, fruit, and vegetables all contribute to your daily fluid needs.
  • Eat a variety of potassium- and magnesium-rich foods every day. Good choices: black beans, kidney beans, nuts and seeds, potatoes, sweet potatoes, leafy greens , bananas, and other fruit.
  • Stay flexible with a regular stretching. Here are two common stretches:
  • Basic calf stretch

    Heres how to do it:

    • Stand with your palms placed against a wall, with arms stretched out
    • Step back with leg of affected calf
    • Lean forward on the other leg and push against the wall
    • You should feel a stretch in your calf muscle and the back of the leg.

    Towel stretch

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    Readers Share Stories About Tea And Trouble:

    J.L.G. confirms a link between tea and leg cramps:

    My severe leg cramps were definitely attributable to green tea. I stopped drinking it and they went away. I drink a lot of black tea and it does not cause me any cramping problems.

    This comes from Bill the Psychiatrist, MD:

    My wifes leg cramps are due to drinking tea . And a cup of hot chocolate at bedtime helps her because the calcium and magnesium also cause muscle cramps to disappear. Night legcramps is a common condition.

    I found that Earl Grey tea was making my asthma a lot worse. Stopped drinking it and got better within a few days.

    Donna adds:

    Although I have never had a problem with Earl Grey tea, I discovered that I had a sensitivity to chamomile tea. The stomach cramps that I was experiencing went away immediately after discontinuing my daily cup of chamomile.

    S.J.H. also writes about Earl Gray Tea:

    I had been experiencing leg pain for some time and read your article about Earl Grey tea my favorite. I stopped drinking Earl Grey and the pain immediately went away and has not come back. Thanks!

    If you want to learn more about the book Donna found so helpful, here is a link.

    Too Much Tea Leads To Nighttime Foot Cramps

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      Q.I read on your website that Earl Grey tea can cause muscle cramps. I had been having muscle cramps for months, and they were getting worse and worse. I drank Earl Grey tea all day long at work.

      After reading about the connection, I stopped drinking it, and guess what? The cramping stopped.

      I would NEVER have imagined that Earl Grey tea would cause cramps in my feet so bad that I would have to get up at night to try to walk them off. Since I stopped drinking it, the cramping is completely gone.

      A.We first heard about a problem with Earl Grey tea from a yoga instructor in 2006. She complained about muscle pains and cramping and discovered by accident that her Earl Grey tea was responsible. With black tea the discomfort faded.

      We found a similar case report from Austria . A 44-year-old man had been drinking nearly a gallon of Earl Grey tea daily. He developed muscle cramps, muscle twitches, blurred vision and pins and needles in his fingers and feet. When he switched to plain black tea, the symptoms disappeared within a week.

      The scientist who reported this case pointed out that the flavoring in Earl Grey tea is bergamot oil, which can block the movement of potassium in muscles. This leads to muscle cramps and twitches.

      Q.I came off lansoprazole more than a year ago after taking it for four years for stomachaches. I stopped because I was suffering with muscle pains and couldnt sleep.

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      Home Remedies For Leg Cramps

      Leg cramps can strike out of the blue and cause excruciating pain. It can last for less than a minute or torture you for much longer. Many people suffer from leg cramps primarily at night.

      It occurs due to involuntary contractions or spasms of the muscles in your legs. It can affect the calf muscles, thigh muscles and even involve the hamstrings and quadriceps.

      Leg cramps can attack anyone including both children and adults, but pregnant women and the elderly may be more prone to it.

      You are also more likely to suffer from lower leg cramps if you do exercises that rely heavily on the leg muscles, such as recreational running, weight training using the legs or sports that require a lot of running.

      Other risk factors include nutritional deficiencies, muscle fatigue, dehydration, alcoholism, kidney failure, thyroid issues, Type 2 diabetes, vascular disease, being overweight, imbalance of electrolytes, circulatory problems, hormonal imbalance, neural disorders and restless legs syndrome.

      Leg cramps can be very painful and often occur suddenly, but they may give warning signs like tingling and twitching of the muscles before you feel the abrupt pain. Other symptoms include swelling and soreness in the affected area. Also, when having the cramp, you may not be able to move your leg.

      If you experience leg cramps, you can alleviate the pain and even prevent the problem with some lifestyle changes and home remedies.

      Here are the top 10 home remedies for leg cramps.

      Naturally Relieve Leg Cramps With Herbs

      Chiropractic EconomicsAugust 21, 2013

      Leg cramps occur when muscles in your calves, hamstrings, or quadriceps involuntarily contractresulting in pain and tightness. Also called a charley horse, these cramps can have a variety of causes, such as dehydration repeatedly using a muscle sitting in an uncomfortable position doing extensive exercise having an electrolyte, hormonal, or fluid imbalance straining due to a mineral deficiency or inadequate stretching having a nerve or muscle disease being obese having an insufficient amount of magnesium or calcium in your bloodstream or having bad circulation in your legs.

      Leg cramps can occur at any age and last one to several minutes. One person may feel sore spots or tenderness while someone else might have intense pain and be unable to move the cramped leg.

      You can typically avoid cramps with good bodily care. However, it may be good to consider trying the following herbs for leg cramps. Heres a partial list of herbs that can be consumed directly or added as nutritional supplements.

      • Black cohosh is an herb with antispasmodic properties that can relax your muscles.
      • Bromelain, a digestive enzyme in pineapple, is used by your body to stop inflammation. It appears to reduce swelling and expedite healing.
      • Butchers broom, also called box holly, is a natural anti-inflammatory herb. This herb is believed to increase the flow of lymphatic fluid.

      Karen Appold is a medical writer in Lehigh Valley, PA.

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      You Have An Iron Deficiency

      In addition to the tannins in tea binding to carbs and protein, tannins also bind to iron. But it’s not necessarily a good thing, especially if you already have an iron deficiency. When tannins bind to iron in your body, they keep that iron from making its way to your digestive tract, where your body would normally absorb the iron. This can lead to an iron deficiency, or exacerbate an already existing one.

      According to research, the tannins in tea are more likely to bind to plant-based iron, so vegetarians and vegans are more likely to wind up with an iron deficiency, especially if consuming too much tea.

      If you follow a veggie or vegan diet, you may want to lower your tea consumption.

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