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How Tea Gives Energy? Understanding the Boost of a Brew

August 4, 2021

The caffeine in true teas do play a significant role in the energy boosting abilities of the beverage. However, there are other components at play here.

Do you ever feel like you are juggling a lot at once? You’re not alone – my clients often feel like they have to work and play equally as hard. Even I’m guilty of trying to do too much at one time. This is why so many people approach me with questions about tea and energy. And, the one that I am hit with quite a lot is, how tea gives energy.

Well, tea is a complex beverage and, as such, there are multiple factors at work here. I will be discussing the various elements of the energy giving components of tea. At the same time, I will also be walking you through how to drink tea to manage that boost a little better.

Here is what you need to know:

Why Does Tea Give You Energy?

As you are aware, tea contains caffeine and this component is well-known for providing vigor. But, how does caffeine manage this? Well, here is your explanation…

The first thing that you should be aware of is that caffeine has numerous effects on your brain and body. Thus, it doesn’t just improve your physical energy, it also ramps up your mental efficiency as well.

When it comes to the brain, caffeine increases the effects of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine. This component boost energy metabolism throughout the brain. As a result, people will report feeling more alert, finding it easier to concentrate and have better vigilance.

Caffeine also has an impact on your physical abilities. One thing that it does is to increase the release of catecholamines such as adrenaline. Your body reacts to this by causing your heart to beat faster, to send more blood to your muscles, and instructing your liver to release more sugar into your blood for energy.

Another benefit of caffeine is that it instructs parts of your muscle fibers to contract more readily. It also allows you to exercise with greater efficiency. Your body is also instructed to release more energy to meet increased physical needs. This can also be great for burning more calories.

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When it comes to teas, though, it isn’t just caffeine that deserves the credit, though. Another component, l-theanine has just as much of a beneficial impact on energy. Now, with l-theanine, the focus is more on mental – thus it helps you to feel more alert and to concentrate better.

What’s even better, though, is that l-theanine is able to counteract some of the jittery effects associated with caffeine. Therefore, you can be alert and energized without having to feel worried about going overboard.

The real magic happens when caffeine and l-theanine work together, though. Combined, they give you an incredible mental energy boost. You will be faster and more accurate at performing cognitive tasks. You will also be able to avoid getting distracted while simultaneously switch from one task to another without too much of an issue.    

Woman Sitting On Cliff Raising Both Hands

What Tea Gives You More Energy?

To be able to answer this question, you first have to know which tea is highest in caffeine. Now, there is a rough estimation of the caffeine content of true teas. In reality, though, it can be tricky to determine the exact caffeine amount of a particular type of tea.

This is because caffeine content can vary from one brand to another. Therefore, for a more accurate answer, you do have to look at the exact content of the brand that you are drinking. There is also the fact that brewing method can impact caffeine content in the cup.

If you brew tea for a longer time and with hotter water, then there will automatically be more caffeine in that cup.

Then, what tea is good for tiredness? Well, on average, though, black tea is presumed to have the highest content with 60 – 90mg per 8 ounces. Oolong tea is up next with 50 – 75mg. Therefore, drinking black tea may offer the greatest boost in energy.

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Can Tea Wake You Up?

Yes, tea can help you to wake up, particularly if you are suffering from sleep deprivation. This is because caffeine functions as a competitive antagonist at adenosine receptors. Now, adenosine is involved in triggering sleep in a person.

Thus, when caffeine takes the place of adenosine at the receptors and blocks the function, it ends up preventing the sleep cycle from being triggered. This makes it easier for you to stay up even if you were feeling sleepier earlier.

It should be noted that there is another side to this coin. Tea can also prevent sleep even when you are actually trying to get some rest. Due to this, it is important to always be aware of your tea – and caffeine – consumption throughout the day.

It is best to stick to just a couple of cups of tea a day. Also, avoid consuming caffeine after a little past noon. This should give you enough time to get rid of any caffeine in your system by the time that your bedtime rolls around.

Keep in mind that some people are a little more sensitive to caffeine. As such, even smaller amounts of caffeine can produce a considerable spike in energy. Not to mention, the caffeine may stay in their system for longer as well.

Young Lady Waking Up From Bed

Can Herbal Teas Give You Energy?

It is clear that true teas can certainly give you that boost that you are looking for. However, what about herbal teas? After all, these teas don’t traditionally contain caffeine – so can they can give you energy as well?

The first thing to know is that there is one herbal tea that does contain caffeine. It is known as yerba mate and actually contains more caffeine than some black teas. Therefore, it is a good option if you are still looking for your caffeine fix.

Even herbal teas that don’t have caffeine can make you feel rejuvenated, though. Teas such as peppermint and ginger tea have a spicy kick to them. As such, they are good for making you feel refreshed when you are tired. Nevertheless, this may be more of a mental boost than a physical one.

And, it is quite possible that you have a particular blend that you find refreshing and that helps you stay alert. Thus, if there is a brew that works for you, then it is possible that it could be just as impactful as drinking true tea. Naturally, this does vary from person to person.

Glass Mug Filled With Tea Beside Soft Cake

What Gives You More Energy Coffee or Tea?

In general, coffee does contain more caffeine than tea. As mentioned, though, this isn’t always the case. As such, you may be able to find a tea that is on par with coffee with its caffeine content.

On the one hand, it can mean that coffee provides you with a better buzz than tea. And, in terms of physical energy, coffee may be the victor. With mental energy, though, tea may come out on top. This is because of components such as l-theanine, which coffee lacks.

As mentioned, l-theanine offers up mental stimulation and can also help to take the edge off the sometimes over-stimulating effects of coffee. Due to this, your energy boost can be a little “purer” with tea.

This is a breakdown of how tea gives you energy as well as which tea does it best. As you can see, even herbal tea can be useful at times.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, you should head over to our Pinterest page. We have tons of other tea related content including caffeine content and health benefits. You should definitely check it out!

About the Author
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry.
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