Tea contains a total of 4 stimulants that affect our brain. These stimulants namely caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, L-theanine have very interesting effects.
- Caffeine: It is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world. Tea although provides a moderate amount of caffeine in comparison to coffee. Caffeine reduces drowsiness, stimulates the nervous system and increases vigilance. Caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine in the brain that promotes sleepiness.
- Theophylline and Theobromine: Theophylline is able to stimulate the rate and force of heart contractions, it relaxes smooth muscles in the airway and makes treating easier. Theobromine helps to reduce blood pressure by stimulating the heart and improving blood flow. Although it has a mild diuretic effect. But the net amount of these substances in tea is quite low thus their net effect on the body is considered to be negligible. They both are organic compounds that are related to caffeine.
- L-theanine: It is a type of amino acid found in tea plants, it can also enter the brain by crossing the blood-brain barrier. L-theanine is responsible for the mild buss that tea generates because it increases the formation of alpha waves in the brain that are associated with alert relaxation. L-theanine also affects the GABA and dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain and when it is combined with caffeine, it can improve brain function.
People who are sensitive to high amounts of caffeine like in coffee can switch to tea. It is a better choice than coffee for people who need to be alert and concentrate for long hours. It helps you relax, keeps you focused and also you get to avoid that excessively weird kind of feeling that comes after drinking coffee. Both tea and coffee have stimulant effects but the nature of their effects is different. If you want to get that sudden kick of energy then go for coffee and if you prefer a smooth and gentle stimulant then go for tea.
- The polyphenols in tea help to fight cancer and reduce inflammation. Green tea has EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) which reduces the formation of free radicals and prevents cell damage.
- Tea has less caffeine in comparison to coffee which acts as a stimulant to improve mood, reaction time, memory and brain function. L- theanine increases dopamine levels.
- Green tea helps to boost metabolic rate thus resulting in fat burning.
- Tea helps to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disease like dementia as the bioactive compounds of green tea have brain-protective effects.
- Catechins in green tea suppress the growth of oral bacteria and benefit oral health.
- It helps to protect against heart diseases and cancer, so its consumption directly helps one to live longer.
Make green tea a regular part of your life because it will help you to elevate your mood, lower the risk of chronic diseases and also will help you to lose weight.