Whenever we find ourselves in desperate need of a warm, pick-me-up (and it’s too early to have a shot whiskey), we opt for coffee.
Coffee fixes everything, we think. It remedies our tiredness and boosts production thanks to all that lovely caffeine. But while caffeine may be helpful from time time, consuming too much can have be bad for your body. Tea, on the other hand, contains moderate amounts of coffee yet we don’t consider it as a source of energy.
Tea is a healthy alternative to more caffeinated beverages. Unlike most energy drinks, which make you crash as quick as they perk you up, caffeinated tea work differently, offering a more sustained effect thanks to a unique compound called l-theanine. Some energy-boosting tea include chamomile, peppermint tea and oolong.
Don’t worry, there are also caffeine-free teas which provide energy! Below is a list of ten teas which will change your life for the better.
Black tea, though simple and outright boring to look at, has about as many benefits as humanly possible.
This classic English tea is rich in antioxidants AKA polyphenols, with research suggesting daily consumption could help your heart. A review in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition no less claims drinking over three cups of black tea a day is linked with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
There are various black teas to choose from, from your standard breakfast blends like English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast to the finer, flavoured bends such as Vanilla Velvet and Masala Chai. Different to a lot of teas, black tea can be enjoyed with milk and a sweetener of your choice.
Black tea is a good source of energy given that it has about 5 milligrams of caffeine. If you’re looking for a kick up the bum and something to improve your cardiovascular health to boot, you’d be well advised to start drinking this cuppa likes it’s going out of fashion.
Green tea doesn’t have a fancy name. It does what it says on the tin, and the general public respect that. They must do, otherwise this tea wouldn’t half as popular as it is.
This stuff has been grown and consumed in East Asia for over 5,000 years, with many doctors and studies extolling its numerous benefits. One of which being that green tea is a great substitute for coffee.
Several natural stimulants like caffeine are found in green tea, assisting in alertness and focus. The level of caffeine, however, isn’t as high and green tea offers the amino acid l-theanine which produces a calming affect, counteracting the caffeine.
Further research has shown that green tea is a good tool for reducing your chances of heart disease and similar conditions, such as strokes. This may be due to its helpful effect on cholesterol management.
If you’re a football fan you’ve probably seen this drink even if you haven’t heard of the name. Yerba mate, the most widely consumed drink in Argentina, is funnily enough made from the Argentinian yerba mate tree. South Americans have been supping this tea for centuries but now, thanks to the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez being seen with it, yerba mate is slowly becoming a “thing”.
Rich in tannins, this beverage comes with a more bitter and earthy tone than your average tea, but the energy boost benefits aren’t to be sniffed at. Yerba mate contains a fair bit of caffeine, with 78 milligrams to eight ounces. Your standard cup of coffee has around 85 milligrams per eight ounces. Still, if you’re looking for a slightly healthier alternative to a cup of Joe, this is it.
Peppermint tea is famous, above anything else, for its unmistakable taste. Drinking a mug of this tuff can help freshen a person’s stinky breath. A 2017 study found that gargling a blend of peppermint, lemon and tea tree oils improved the breath of patients following spine surgery.
On top of that, peppermint oil has antibacterial properties that fends off the bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease. Overall, your mouth alone will benefit tremendously from the odd cup of peppermint tea.
Though peppermint tea doesn’t contain any caffeine, it is known to be a stimulant, assisting in cognitive function and physical activity thanks to its effect on the central nervous system, subsequently reducing pain and boosting concentration.
In a 2018 study, peppermint oil capsules was shown to reduce mental fatigue and improved cognitive functioning compared with a placebo.
Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is also used to make black tea and green tea. What distinguishes oolong is the method and length of its brewing.
Oolong contains 38 milligrams of caffeine so it’s a safer alternative to coffee for those early-risers out there who struggle to find the energy. Some of the main antioxidants in oolong tea, theaflavins, thearubigins, and EGCG, are are responsible for many of its health benefits.
White tea (not black tea with milk in) isn’t arguably as known as the heady likes of green tea, having only emerged in the West in the past 200 years, but it’s just as good. The reason behind the name is after the buds which are usually covered in teeny tiny white hairs. White tea is mainly grown in the Fujian province of China, however it’s also harvested in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Thailand.
White tea has a pretty low caffeine level compared to other teas, with just 20 milligrams per cup, making it a suitable replacement for anyone thinking of ditching coffee for good. White tea also helps prevent tooth decay and promote healthy skin and hair.
Thought to be one of the world’s oldest herbal remedies, licorice root comes from the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant found in Western Asia and Southern Europe. It has been used for centuries to treat ailments and flavour drinks — including tea!
Licorice root is an adaptogenic herb. In other words, it can help your body adapt to stress by regulating your hormones. Its cortisol sparing effects help in maintaining energy levels, making you work much better under stressful situations.
On top of that, licorice root is fantastic for supporting and protecting liver function, which in turn boosts energy production.
Do be careful if you’re a woman expecting a child. Having too much glycyrrhizin in your system can negatively affect the brain development of your baby.
Ginger tea is a relatively low-key kind of tea considering what a force for good it is in terms of everyday health.
Just a single cup of it will increase concentration, focus and energy, so if you’re looking to cut back on the morning coffee, ginger tea is your guy. It is also known to fend off the common cold and sore throats.
Specific antimicrobial properties in ginger can fend off illnesses like strep throat.
Perhaps most famously, ginger in all forms (including tea!) is a cheap, easy remedy for nausea and upset stomachs. Ginger has been known to soothe morning sickness and the nausea that comes with receiving chemotherapy.
Chamomile is one those teas that goes beyond the confines of “a brew”. Chamomile is a movement, a mood. It’s a way of life that has spent almost all of human history as a spiritual and medicinal herb. The ancient Romans, Greeks and Egyptians all thought of chamomile as other-worldly.
Coined as the herb of the sun, chamomile tea was believed to restore vital energy sources as well as implement positive energy. Chamomile depresses the central nervous system and reduces anxiety while not tarnishing your everyday performance. In short, you can function on this stuff despite its sedative properties.
Pronounced poo-air, pu-erh tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant and is exclusively cultivated in the Yunnan province of China. The unique name comes from the Pu-Erh County in which it’s grown.
Dark and sweet, pu-erh tea is usually drank first thing in the morning thanks to its caffeine levels, with each 8-ounce cup containing 60 to 70 milligrams of caffeine which isn’t too far off coffee itself.
Far from being a one trick pony, pu-erh also boasts many oxidative properties which enhance circulation and blood flow. Delivering increased oxygen to the brain, this tea helps fight off headaches and in some cases, serious illness.
It’s even been used, in traditional Chinese medicine anyway, to treat spleens and stomachs by filtering toxins throughout the body. The sugars and microorganisms help your spleen cleanse blood and eliminate free radicals are bountiful in pu-erh tea. There is nothing to lose from picking up some of this on your next shopping visit.