I drink tea and coffee primarily for their stimulant effects rather then as thirst quenchers.
I decided as a quick early morning "jump start "to make a cup of tea the night before and drink it cold soon after I woke up. (Yes I know it sounds horrible and it also tasted horrible)
But it didn’t seem to have any effect on how alert or awakened I felt.
Reverting back to hot tea first thing in the morning it seemed to have an almost instantaneous result, waking me up, making me feel alert and energised.
Does it being hot cause the caffeine to enter my system more rapidly ?
Does the hot fluid itself wake me up, by say enlargening my blood vessels ?
Or could it be purely psychological, association of ideas maybe ?
I’ve noticed that when I’ve drank cola drinks containing caffeine they don’t seem to perk me up any, though this could be because of the actual amount of caffeine they contain.
I really don’t know.
And I wonder would putting hot spices in a drink like Chilli sauce have a stimulant effect ?
I’ll experiment with that one when my stomachs feeling strong early o’clock.
So whats the Dope on this and do others get any benefit out of cold caffeine containing drinks.
I can’t imagine that the temperature of a drink makes any difference to caffeine absorption. No matter how hot or cold your drink is, it’ll quickly reach body temperature soon after it reaches your stomach.
The stimulating effect of a drink (at least physiologically) is just due to how much caffeine or other stimulants are present. For comparison, a strong cup of coffee can have 200 mg of caffeine, a strong cup of tea has 120 mg, and 12 oz of typical soft drinks are more around 40 mg. More here.
Tea or coffee that you prepare yourself has highly variable caffeine content, though, depending on what sort you used and how you prepared it. So in your personal case, you might have simply made a seriously weak-ass cup of tea last night (or perhaps the caffeine degraded overnight?).
Or, as you say, it could be something psychological. Your morning ritual can be very effective at telling your body “time to wake up now”.
Personally if I really need to wake up fast I go for something iced which I can drink quickly, instead of sipping on something slowly as it cools over the course of half and hour.
You could also try hot decaffinated tea to see if that has an effect.
If you are really concerned about time, a high quality thermos will keep things warm for a surprisingly long time. You might find that if you filled one with boiling tea the night before, you might find it’s still warm enough to give you the psychological effect.
I’d WAG that it’s just time. You can’t just glug a hot drink like you can a cold one. You have to linger over it a bit. This gives you a bit more time to wake up. Add the psychological effect of having a morning ritual that puts you in the “awake” mindset, and I think you have accounted for the effect.