Tea contains the amino acid L-theanine and seems to mitigate the negative aspects of caffeine, such as anxiety, increased blood pressure and diminished sleep quality, while improving upon the positive aspects. L-theanine is known to be safe and effective. Its ability to enhance attention, over and above that of caffeine alone, has been repeatedly verified.
Tea has become the number one choice of fluid intake next to water in the entire world and drinking tea is not only great for health, but is delicious and invigorating! The potential effects and benefits of tea on health have been touted for infusions made from the plant Camellia sinensis for over 4700 years; ever since its discovery was attributed to the legendary emperor, Shennong. The Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing claimed its taste and stimulative properties were useful for treating tumors, abscesses, bladder ailments, lethargy, among other conditions. The possible beneficial health effects of tea consumption have been suggested and supported by some studies, but others have found no beneficial effects. The studies contrast other claims, including antinutritional effects such as preventing absorption of iron and protein, usually attributed to tannin. The vast majority of studies have been of Green tea, however some studies have been made of the other types of tea derived from Camellia sinensis such as White tea, Oolong tea, and Black tea. Green tea has been claimed to be helpful for atherosclerosis, LDL cholesterol, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, liver disease, weight loss, neurodegenerative diseases, and even halitosis.
Tea can even help burn fat and calories. A recent scientific study supports green tea's ability to burn fat. A study from Obesity Research indicates that people who have been regular tea drinkers for more than 10 years showed lower body fat percentages compared with those who don't drink tea regularly.
Tea without milk has no calories. Using semi-skimmed milk adds around 13 calories per cup, but you also benefit from valuable minerals and calcium
Tea with milk provides 16% of daily calcium requirement in 4 cups
Sweetening tea with the natural sweetener called Xylitol (used in our frappe mixes is safe for diabetics, hypoglycemia, prevents tooth decay and has less carbohydrates and calories than sugar. This sweetener is fantastic! It taste like sugar, looks like sugar and has no aftertaste like other artificial substitutes.
Tea contains some zinc and folic acid
Tea with milk contains Vitamin B6, Riboflavin B2 and Thiamin B1
Tea is a source of the minerals manganese, essential for bone growth and body development, and potassium, vital for maintaining body fluid levels
The average cup of tea contains less than half the level of caffeine than coffee. One cup contains only 50mg per cup
Tea is a natural source of fluoride and delivers 45% of your daily requirement if you drink 3/4 cups per day
Fluoride helps prevent dental decay
Green and black teas are from the same plant, Camelia sinensis, and contain similar amounts of antioxidants and caffeine (see our caffeine chart).
Tea has antioxidants. Antioxidants fight your body's free radicals, the chemicals that are now believed to be linked to destroying cell DNA that leads to many types of cancer. Antioxidants help block cancer by preventing damage to cell DNA.
Green Tea also helps support a healthy cardiovascular system.
While Green Tea is no substitute for physical fitness, used in conjunction with regular exercise can aid in maintaining a healthy heart.
Studies have shown Green Tea reduces platelet aggregation (blockage), lowers cholesterol, and decreases blood pressure.
Green and white tea may fight colon cancer!
Black tea helps keep plaque from forming on your teeth.
Drinking tea can improve blood flow in your heart's arteries.
Green and black tea may prevent sun-induced skin cancer when taken orally.
Oolong tea helps burn calories! People who drank five cups each day burned about 87 extra calories, both while drinking and throughout the day.
According to a recent study, green tea may help fight skin cancer. Products with green tea could help treat and prevent skin disorders.
British research shows that female tea drinkers have stronger bones than non-tea drinkers.
Tea may protect against cancers including breast, lung, mouth, stomach, esophagus, prostate and pancreatic cancer.
It has been shown to fight cancer after development in lab studies.
Green tea boosts your metabolism to help you burn more calories.
Tea lowers your cholesterol.
Tea may reduce your risk of stroke.
It has been shown to sooth arthritis.
It may stave off signs of aging.
Tea adds liquid to your diet.
Physiological Effects - The calming effect of green tea may seem contradictory to the stimulatory property of tea's caffeine content but it can be explained by the action of L-theanine. This amino acid actually acts antagonistically against the stimulatory effects of caffeine on the nervous system. Research on human volunteers has demonstrated that L-theanine creates a sense of relaxation in approximately 30-40 minutes after ingestion via at least two different mechanisms. First, this amino acid directly stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness similar to what is achieved through meditation. Second, L-theanine is involved in the formation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA influences the levels of two other neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, producing the key relaxation effect. L-theanine is used in natural relaxation agents or capsules because it's free of the side effects commonly associated with other relaxing agents. There are scientific indications that L-Theanine also supports healthy blood pressure levels that are already within normal limits.
Alpha Brain Activity - The brain emits weak electrical impulses (brain waves) that can be measured on the surface of the head. The predominant frequency of electrical impulses correlates with different types of mental states and activities. Brain waves are classified into four categories (delta, theta, alpha, and beta)—each with an associated mental state. Delta is seen only in the deepest stages of sleep. Theta is seen in light sleep and drowsiness. Alpha is present in wakefulness where there is a relaxed and effortless alertness and Beta is seen in highly stressful situations and where there is difficulty in mental concentration and focus. It is well known that alpha brain waves are generated during a relaxed state and therefore alpha waves are used as an index of relaxation. Although theanine creates relaxation it does not shut down brain activity and there are no know side effects or interactions. Based on the alpha-wave study, a dose of 50 to 200 mg may provide a relaxation effect. No dosage of L-theanine is suggested for enhanced immune system functioning; however, volunteers in a pilot study consumed approximately 600 mL of tea a day.
L-theanine may help relieve stress by inducing a relaxing effect without drowsiness. L-theanine as been shown to promote the generation of alpha-brain waves, an index of relaxation. It may also boost natural resistance to microbial infections and perhaps even tumors. Researchers suggest further isolating and refining L-theanine from tea to use it as a drug to boost the infection defense of the body. Although limited, there is clinical evidence to support these claims.
L-theanine was approved in Japan in 1964 for unlimited use in all foods (including chocolates, soft drinks, herb teas), except infant foods. It also provides a unique umami (brothy or savory) taste and flavor to green tea infusion. L-theanine has been used in cosmetics to moisturize the skin.
L-theanine is enzymatically synthesized by Taiyo Kagaku Co. Ltd., Japan and is extensively marketed in over 50 food products (eg, chocolate, soft drinks, herb teas) in Japan. Thus far, it has not resulted in any reported adverse reactions.
A great tea packed with health benefits is Rooibos. It is a red herbal tea from South Africa that contains more antioxidants than green tea, is totally caffeine free, has more nutrients and is fantastic for the natural treatment of many ailments. See Rooibos Health Facts.
Did you know that you get much more nutrition, including fiber and amino acids, from Matcha green tea powder? Why? Because you mix the entire green tea leaf (powdered) into your beverage. Other teas are steeped and therefore do not provide natural fiber.
Starbucks is marketing their healthy and delicious Matcha green tea Frappuccino quite heavily. See the health benefits at our Matcha page. To learn how to save money and make Starbucks Frappe' at home see the Starbucks Matcha Frappe Recipe.