Tea Consumption Linked With Improved Mental Focus
Researchers from Unilever Research and Development in the Netherlands recently examined a body of work focusing on the health benefits of tea and found that it may improve mental focus.
The researchers evaluated data from a number of studies and found that tea consumption was consistently associated with improved attention and self-reported alertness. Some of the studies also linked tea consumption with improved work performance and creativity.
Tea contains L-theanine, which has been associated with improved attention, increased relaxation and neuroprotective effects. Tea also contains caffeine, which has been shown to increase energy and improve performance.
The researchers noted that effective dosage levels of 100-200mg per day of L-theanine cannot be obtained by drinking tea, and instead need to obtained in supplement form.
The study was published in the December 2013 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Tea has a high level of strong antioxidants called polyphenols. These compounds protect our cells from dangerous free radicals. In fact, an earlier study found that the cells of regular tea drinkers actually have a younger biological age than non-tea drinkers.
Polyphenols have been shown to promote weight loss, improve heart health, aid in digestion and decrease the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Previous studies have shown that tea brewed at home contains higher levels of polyphenols than tea purchased in a bottle. Additionally, packaged teas tend to contain preservatives, sugar and other ingredients that may neutralize the health benefits of tea.