Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Mexico & Central America (
-   -   Coca tea Caffinated (

afields Jul 8th, 2004 05:37 PM

Coca tea Caffinated
I plan on drinking Coca Tea in Cuzco because I am allergic to Sulfa and have been told not to take Diamox (SP?)

Is it caffinated or will it in anyway keep me up at night? I drink coffee in the morning but any caffeine after 2 p.m. keeps me up at night.

birder57 Jul 11th, 2004 11:24 AM

Afields: I went to Cusco in June and drank two cups of the coca tea. If I had drunk only one, I might not have had to go to the bathroom so frequently as I did!! The tea is probably naturally caffeinated, but I have no way of knowing this for sure. The Diamox that I took had no ill effect on me, but I only took it once. I had really no problem with altitude at all beyond a bad headache the first day. I would recommend when you arrive to drink the tea, then see how things go. Cusco is GREAT. You will find yourself approached by lots of young people trying to sell you things, and saying "I am George Washington" or Tom Cruise, etc. It is so cute. Annoying but cute...I strongly recommend eating at Inka Inn on the square--great food. We ate there 3 times.

Where are you staying? Are you going to Machu Picchu?

ncanavan Jul 12th, 2004 06:30 AM

There may be trace amounts of caffeine, but the stimulent effect is coming from coca alkaloids. This effect is short lived and should not pose a problem. For coffee drinkers like me, the coca tea is not much of a kick. To combat altitude headaches and fatigue I chewed the leaf, which produces a much greater effect. But again, a few minutes after you spit out the leaves the effect fades.
Sleeping problems are far more likely to result from the altitude. I was in Peru for 10 days and never fully acclimated.
As for Diamox - the drug must be taken for at least two days to have any effect on altitude sickness.

SandyMerm Aug 13th, 2004 01:03 PM

The coca tea is a diuretic so the caffeine is probably the least of your worries. One really common side-effect of the altitude itself is sleeplessness, so be prepared, it is not because of the tea.

ParrotMom Aug 13th, 2004 01:15 PM

Coca tea is brewed from the leaves that produce speeds up your heart rate and counteracts the "headache:".. The Incas feed the leaves to their children to quiet them. When we went to Cuzco in 1988on the train to Machu Picchu my huband had one of these severe headaches...he took a cup of tea...whamo....he was hanging out the train to take Cocaine addicts who die of an overdose die because they've speeded up their heart.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:05 PM.