I recently have started a new obsession: drinking tea.
I used to be a coffee drinker, but I wasn’t too fond of the fact that the only option for a sweeter taste came from unhealthy creamers, and I could live without the caffeine spikes and crashes. So, I decided to experiment, and I started asking for tea when I went out to coffee shops. Let’s just say, I was very happy with my new orders. Tea gave me everything I wanted (health benefits, sweet taste, slight energizing effect) while discarding what I didn’t (unhealthy fats, unnecessary calories, a spiral towards caffeine addiction). Even though plain coffee could eliminate the first two cons, I still did not want to become reliant on the high amounts of caffeine. For example, brewed coffee contains 150mg per cup, while green tea contains a little more than 30mg.1 With that in mind, I decided that tea was for me!
But, don’t just take my word for it. In this blog post, I am going to go over five reasons you should consider sipping a cup of tea every day (or every once in a while).
Let’s first explore the science behind tea.
Green tea, black tea, and oolong tea are all derived from the same plant: Camellia sinensis. 2 This plant is rich in polyphenols, which is a type of antioxidant that helps protect the body by destroying free radicals. When free radicals are left undisturbed, that can lead to a multitude of problems, such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Free radicals can also speed up the rate at which you age.3 In white tea, specifically, the antioxidants were found to prevent inflammation.1
So, if you want to keep your cells happy and healthy, consuming more antioxidants is a great way to achieve that.
2. Helps With Weight Loss
If you’re looking to slim your figure or just boost your metabolism, tea might be a great thing to add to your diet. White tea has been found to inhibit the growth of new fat cells, green tea has properties that entice the body to use fat as an energy source, and black tea has also been proven to lower the stress hormone cortisol, which has been associated with weight gain.1
And it’s zero calories, so simply switching out your grande mocha for a nice cup of tea can bring substantial results!
3. Less Extreme Amount of Caffeine
Like I mentioned in the intro, I have been trying to avoid becoming caffeine dependent. By drinking tea, I still get some caffeine, but if I decide to stop drinking it I won’t get withdrawal symptoms. Other than the fact that I want to avoid a headache, caffeine can lead to other, more severe, problems. There have been medical studies that say people that metabolize caffeine at a slower rate can see a 60% increase in heart attacks by drinking 5 or more cups of coffee a day. 4 Even if you aren’t drinking 5+ cups, a small dose of caffeine can still increase blood pressure and result in an excessively rapid heartbeat.5 Caffeine affects everyone differently, so if you feel like you are experiencing adverse side-effects or just want to avoid becoming dependent, try substituting out your coffee and energy drinks for a cup of tea!
4. Healthier Teeth
If you want a whiter smile, try tea! Researchers found that green tea can play a role in decreasing the acidity of plaque and saliva, and it has antibacterial properties.6 Also, black tea has similar benefits. Scientists found that when people rinsed their teeth with black tea for thirty-second intervals, plaque bacteria stopped reproducing and releasing acid. However, don’t think of drinking tea as a substitute for traditional dental care! Researcher Dr. Christina Wu was quick to remind people that taking care of your teeth traditionally (brushing, flossing, etc…) is the most important factor for having healthier teeth, with tea being used only as a supplement.7
5. Good Reputation
Even if you don’t take my word for it, you can look to thousands of years of history that prove tea is beneficial. The initial discovery of tea is hard to pinpoint, but there are legends about it being discovered in China around 2737 B.C.
Tea has stayed in Eastern Asia and has become an integral part of the diet, and is even recognized for having healing properties. Some of the health benefits of Chinese Tea listed under Traditional Chinese Medicine in this article include: reduces fat, protein, and “bad” cholesterol, promotes dental health, reduces fatigue, stimulates the central nervous system, promotes strong bones, and enhances blood vessel elasticity and strength.8 Because of these incredible properties, it is often used when creating natural Chinese medicines, as different herbs and plant parts will be combined and made into various teas.9 So, even if you’re still a little unsure about all the hype around this natural drink, you don’t need to look far to find a lot of history supporting the claims.
And another thing to remember: there are many different types of teas. If you want a caffeinated and energizing tea, there are tons out there. Some specifically help with your focus, some with your comprehension, and some with your all-around energy. I specifically remember reading about”Titanium Tea.” It combines specific types of teas to ensure that you don’t spike and crash, but instead, you receive a steady energy stream for hours. Also, the addition of a healthy fat like coconut oil will supply you with necessary nutrients for optimal performance and cognitive function.10
Additionally, there are many teas specifically for relaxation. I’m currently testing out a cinnamon tea before I go to bed that is targeted at relieving tension and stress.
The brand Yogi has just about everything: detox, bedtime, probiotic balance, healthy skin, cold season… etc. If you are looking for a specific benefit from tea, I would check out their line of products!
As a final thought, I want to say there is lots of contradicting information about tea out in the world, and I am not a doctor nor a specialist on the subject. I can’t guarantee that tea will give you loads of benefits, but it might! And if you’re the experimental type, I would suggest giving tea a chance and seeing if it’s for you. You might just be pleasantly surprised. 🙂
1. The Coffee Vs. Tea Infographic Lays Out Each Drink’s Benefits Side-By-Side
2. Antioxidants in Green and Black Tea
3. Polyphenols – What They Are, and Why You Need Them
4. Yet another reason to give up Coffee for Tea
5. Can Too Much Caffeine Give You a Heart Attack?
6. A pilot study of the role of green tea use on oral health
7. Tea ‘good for teeth’
8. Chinese Tea And Health Benefits
9. Traditional Chinese Medicine: In Depth
10. The Morning Cocktail I Drink Instead Of Coffee