According to a latest research published in the 'Nutritional Neuroscience,' drinking tea not only keeps the brain ticking, but also reduces tiredness and increases alertness, thereby improving the performance.
Researchers from the Unilever Research and Development, Colworth House, Sharnbrook, Bedford, UK and Unilever Food and Health Research Institute, Unilever R&D Vlaardingen, The Netherlands, have claimed that natural ingredients found in tea can improve brainpower and increase alertness. The study found that L-theanine, an amino acid, and caffeine, key ingredients of the tea, when taken in combination, can prove beneficial in improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks, the authors said in a press release.
Study details and findings In the study titled 'The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood,' the Dutch researchers observed the effect of key chemicals in tea on the mental performance of 44 healthy, young volunteers. The aim of the study was to compare 50 mg caffeine, with and without 100 mg L-theanine, on cognition and mood in healthy volunteers. For the study, the researchers compared the effect of these treatments on word recognition, rapid visual information processing, critical flicker fusion threshold, attention switching and mood to placebo in 27 participants. The active ingredients significantly improved the speed and accuracy of performance for those who drank tea after 20 to 70 minutes compared to those who took placebo, the Daily Mail reports. It was also found that drinking tea reduced tiredness and fatigue among those aged under 40, the researchers said.
Previous researches Researchers believe that the benefits of drinking tea extend throughout the body, from lowering the risk of Parkinson's and arthritis to cancer and heart diseases.
Some studies also suggest that sipping a daily cup of tea might help live longer. Dr Tim Bond, of the industry-backed Tea Advisory Panel, said the latest findings backed a previous study which showed drinking two cups of black tea "improves the ability to react to stimuli and to focus attention on the task in hand."
“Taken together, these two studies provide evidence that consumption of black tea improves cognitive function, in particular helping to focus attention during the challenge of a demanding mental task,” he said. “As a result, all this new data adds to the growing science that drinking tea, preferably four cups of tea a day, is good for our health and well being.”
THE DETAILS: Researchers recruited 838 patients from hospitals in southern China, 374 of whom had had strokes. Using questionnaires, they collected information on the types and quantity of tea consumed, how long the patients had been drinking tea, and other diet and lifestyle characteristics. The largest reduction in stroke risk was seen in people who’d drunk one to two cups of green or oolong tea every day, but the researchers also noticed a significant decrease in stroke risk among tea drinkers who had as little as one cup per week (black, green, white, or oolong).
WHAT IT MEANS: Start drinking tea now to save yourself from strokes later in life. You’ll get the greatest benefits from long-term consumption. Stick with freshly brewed black, green, white, and oolong teas if you want to cut your risk of stroke, however. Powdered and bottled teas are more processed and may lose antioxidants. But if you like your tea iced, good news: A test by Prevention magazine found that homemade iced tea contained as many stroke-fighting antioxidants as hot tea. Also, buy tea that’s organic—better for the environment—and Fair Trade Certified, meaning that the workers who grew it were guaranteed fair wages and that no child labor was involved.