Can tea reduce my stress?
We often associate tea with a calming part of the day. Does it really reduce stress?
Don't get stressed by it, but here's where we where we're going to get a bit sciencey again.
Tea is used as a way to take a break from work, relax when work is done, receive guests in the home, mark special occasions and to take a break from alcohol or as a healthier substitute. All of these remind us that we use it to relax. Yes we also know that each of the tea types contains caffeine. Where are we going with this? Well... to the laboratory of course.
According to the UCL (University College of London) black tea has an effect on stress hormone levels in the body. [https://www.ucl.ac.uk/media/library/tea] This study went so far as to use a placebo 'tea' – a caffeinated drink that tasted like black tea but contained none of the other active tea ingredients we know and love (catechins, polyphenols, flavonoids, etc).
Sounds a bit like that might suck right? It gets worse. Participants were then subjected to difficult, 'stressful' tasks and their cortisol (i.e. stress hormone) levels were monitored. They were told to respond to the threat of losing their job, or being accused of shoplifting! Then they had to prepare a verbal response on camera. The end result? Illuminating! Initially, each group's levels of cortisol rose to the same extent, along with their heartbeats.
But after an hour or so the tea-drinkers' levels had reduced by 47% compared to 27% for the 'fake' tea group. As to why this effect was induced, the scientists did not offer a solid answer. Tea's active ingredients are actually too complex to know precisely what combination lets us recover faster from the stresses of daily life. Yet the evidence is there that tea gives us a protective layer to face the day.
We hope that you can find the best combination of teas and flavors among Tea Plays' combinations to make you immune to stress – or as close as possible.