Depending on the type and blend, drinking tea offers many benefits to our health. That’s according to science. So who are we to argue … Tea anyone?
Here are a few reasons why it’s good to add a cup of tea into your daily diet:
- The caffeine in tea may increase metabolism and make you feel energetic.
Several independent studies on tea consumption* have shown that it can temporarily increase metabolism, the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. Here are some of the findings:
- Most teas contain caffeine, and caffeine generally stimulates the thermogenesis in the body, which is the process of generating heat and, in turn, energy expenditure.
- In addition to a modest amount of caffeine, green tea contains polyphenol compounds that take its heat-generating effect beyond what you would get from drinking a cup of coffee. The polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) may help to slightly increase the metabolic rate or the amount of energy your body expends to fuel basic body processes.
- In another independent study, it was shown that green tea extract (50 mg caffeine and 90 mg epigallocatechin gallate) resulted in increases in energy expenditure and fat oxidationcompared to a placebo.
- Teas can provide antioxidant support.
Both green and black teas contain flavonoids, phytonutrients that help to fight oxidative stress in the body. These natural plant-based compounds help to support both brain and cardiovascular health.
- Green tea delivers several polyphenols such as flavanols, flavandiols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. Flavanols, including the catechins, may be responsible for many of the proposed benefits of green tea.
- Black tea, including Orange Pekoe, also contains polyphenols, including catechins, thearubigins, and theaflavins, which are thought to be responsible for many of its observed benefitsas an antioxidant. Black tea can provide an increased feeling of energy because of its caffeine. Black tea may deliver up to 2 times more caffeine than green tea, depending on the processing method and brew time. Theaflavins are a unique group of polyphenols that may support cardiovascular health.
Several independent studies* conducted in humans have shown antioxidant activity after consumption of green or black tea preparations. These include tea extracts and traditional beverage infusions.
- Drinking tea may have cardiovascular and heart health benefits.
When you consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, the heart health benefits you receive are in part due to flavanols. Along with berries, apples, and cocoa, tea contains flavanols that are linked to a healthy heart.
According to an independent study*, drinking green or black tea was found to have beneficial effects on blood pressure in people with elevated blood pressure values. Similar research* suggests that the catechins in tea polyphenols may also reduce blood cholesterol.
4.The caffeine in tea can help us feel refreshed and alert.
Caffeine is one source of the bitter flavour in tea and consuming it at levels found in many tea and coffee beverages has been found to improve alertness. Green, black, and white teas all contain L-Theanine, an amino acid that is said to improve cognitive performance and mood but does not have the stimulating effects of caffeine.
According to Alice Zhu, a member of the Dietetic Advisory Board in China, moderate caffeine consumption may be good for health. Green tea has less caffeine than black (green tea generally has less than 50 mg per 8-ounce cup, while a cup of black tea may have up to 90 mg or so, although amounts can vary).
“A moderate consumption** means a few hundred milligrams per day,” Alice writes. “So, you can rest assured: even for those who drink tea several times a day, their intake of caffeine remains in the ‘moderate’ range.”
- Tea is a great addition to your hydration needs.
People often wonder if drinking caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee will just make them more dehydrated. In reality, moderate amounts of caffeine will not deplete the water in your body.
While water should be your primary source of fluids, tea can complement your hydration needs and give you some variety, given its unique flavour.
While plain tea has no fat, sugar, and kilojoules, do watch out for some commercial tea drinks – large amounts of added sugar and high-fat dairy can rack up kilojoules quickly.