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Why Does Caffeine + Milk Do This To Me?

Discussion in 'Milk' started by rob, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. rob

    rob Member

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    Being a stereotypical Brit, I've always loved a cup of tea. However, with the odd flare up of eczema on my hands, wrists and forearms, a few spots now and then and a diagnosis of Crohn's in my colon a few years back, I have experimented with eliminating various things. Milk/dairy being one.

    Now, here's what I don't understand...

    When I have my usual black tea with milk, it REALLY relaxes me. If I'm tense and my head is sore, I get quick relief. My mental clarity improves hugely, I can focus again and be productive.

    However, when I just have black tea I don't get these effects at all and I'm left tense and scatter brained. If I then go back to putting milk in my tea later in the day, the level of relaxation I feel is incredible.

    Obviously, it's not for lack of caffeine and it's not the sugars either – I've tried with no success in sweetening black tea.

    The size and immediacy of the cognitive benefits are strange to me. Does milk really relax any else like this?
     
  2. pauljacob

    pauljacob Member

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    It's the L-tryptophan in the milk. Your body changes L-tryptophan into a brain chemical called serotonin. Serotonin helps control your mood and sleep.
     
  3. redsun

    redsun Member

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    Huh... I think you stumbled on the wrong forum. Serotonin does the exact opposite of improving mood and sleep. Too much will increase aggression and irritability and put you in a sour mood, and it can cause overexcitation and worsen sleep.

    The minerals, especially calcium and phosphorus in the milk, can be reducing stress hormones like PTH. The riboflavin is also good at degrading noradrenaline and serotonin through MAO-A which can also play a part.
     
  4. pauljacob

    pauljacob Member

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    And you think a little milk in a cup of tea is too much? :rolleyes:
     
  5. redsun

    redsun Member

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    My point was serotonin does not have these beneficial effects. It would not be responsible for the OP's positive effects regardless of the quantity.
     
  6. Vinero

    Vinero Member

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    Does cheese have the same drug-like effect on you as milk?
     
  7. pauljacob

    pauljacob Member

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  8. OP
    rob

    rob Member

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    Many thanks to everyone for their input.

    @Vinero No, strangely, cheese doesn't do anything for me, which I also guess discounts it being a calcium-phosphorous thing.

    Something I have noticed is that my usual whole milk in tea is far more relaxing than skimmed variants, so their might be something in the fat-soluble nutrition.

    Other than that I suppose it could be psychological, similar to the relaxation people get from eating comfort food.
     
  9. pauljacob

    pauljacob Member

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    For me the L-tryptophan in Cheese works as a sleeping aid. I usually take a thick slice of sharp Cheddar cheese or Mozzarella when I want to sleep deep, and I take them before dinner as they work better on an empty stomach.
     
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