Recently, I was introduced to Korean ginseng tea to drink in the morning instead of coffee. The argument was that it would provide better energy generating effects and has long-term positive outcomes in areas of stress reduction, mental functioning, heart health, and blood sugar management. What I learned is that ginseng contains several steroid compounds that are similar to sex hormones that our body uses to generate energy, or our metabolism. Its effect is anabolic in nature using processes to buildup the body’s functions resulting in more positive sustaining energy and resistance to the ill effects of stress and physical activity. It also is high in the chemical element germanium. Germanium is an organic detoxifier that helps cleanse the blood and remove hydrogen from our bodies (a good thing) resulting in a reduction in the amount of oxygen we need. That is why you will see ginseng in athletic performance-enhancing products. On the other hand, caffeine is a catabolic, which means it builds energy in the body by breaking down stored nutrients. Over time, this can run you down. Not to mention the crash you experience when it wears off.
Now that I know these differences between Korean ginseng tea and coffee, I suspect I will be having fewer espressos in my day.