Tea was first used as a medicinal drink in China in the 1500s where it was said to heal wounds, control bleeding, aid digestion and improve mental health. And today, 500 years later, we’re still reaping these rewards.
In more recent years, drinking tea has been discovered to assist with an abundance of other health ailments as well. That includes boosting mood and productivity.
Although it’s something tea drinkers have known for a long time, science is catching up and there are studies to back these health benefits. Researchers have found that drinking tea lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and drinking at least half a cup of green tea a day is said to lower the risk of developing dementia and depression.
So how does it work?
Tea is loaded with antioxidants, along with catechins, plant polyphenols, and phytochemicals that have been found to fight diseases such as cancer, and boost the metabolism, and of course, impacts your brain health.
One of the common antioxidants include epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is believed to improve attention and make people feel calm.
Theanine is an amino acid in tea that triggers alpha waves in the brain, and similar to EGCG, it creates a feeling of relaxation and reducing stress. On the other hand, caffeine in tea increases your reaction time and alertness, but because there isn’t as much caffeine in tea as you’ll find in coffee you don’t end up crashing from the high afterwards. The theanine helps to counteract that stimulation, decreasing stress and lowering blood pressure.
It’s this magic combination that keeps your concentration up and helps you to combat fatigue at the same time. And it’s precisely for this reason that monks drink tea before they meditate!
Does it matter which tea?
All tea has health benefits, but they vary, so it depends on what you’re looking for. When it comes to boosting productivity and enhancing your mood, Matcha tea is one of the most effective. This tea is grown in Japan and China primarily and is a type of green tea that reduces the amount of stress you have in your body and gives you sustained energy.
Another type of green tea is Yerba Mate, which keeps you energised and focused and can improve your mood. To beat stress, Valerian tea is a game changer, as well as Ginger tea, which makes you warm and relaxes the mind. Lemongrass tea reduces anxiety and stress levels, and Turmeric tea has been increasing in popularity in recent years as a mood-booster and it can help fight symptoms of depression.
Essentially, there are many types of wellness tea that can help boost your mood and productivity. Whatever choice you make, replacing your usual morning coffee with a cuppa tea instead is a great way to boost your day.