Tea and Taxes

Tax Day is here. For some people still scrambling to fill out the right forms and gather all of their information, this is a very stressful time – even more so for those who owe for the current or previous tax years. It is times like these when a pot, not a cup, but a pot of black tea comes in handy. If you’ve been staying up all night finishing your various Forms and Schedules, a bit of caffeine will be especially important. However, you could be needlessly taxing your body’s systems, doing it more harm than good.

Did you feel the way this guy looks around tax time? Tea may be able to help.

The way in which caffeine affects the body is not the same with coffee as it is for tea. The caffeine in coffee is so strong that it sets the body up for an extreme high, followed by a crash, creating a vicious cycle of needing more coffee. The reason this happens is because coffee stimulates the adrenal glands, which are the glands responsible for releasing the hormone, adrenaline. This release immediately put us in the “fight or flight” mode – this is instinctual survival mode kicking in.

Adrenaline is released through the body, heightening the senses (which perks us up) and closing down or interrupting digestion. This is false stimulus is very wearing on the body – ultimately leading to further exhaustion and dependence on stimulants – thus needlessly taxing your body. The short pay off will cost you more in the long run as adrenal fatigue limits our body’s natural ability to cope with stress and can lead to chronic fatigue, digestive and respiratory issues, such as bronchitis, influenza and pneumonia.

Tea, on the other hand, offers the sipper a more even and balanced boost of energy. Even though there is caffeine in tea, the boost it gives comes from being able to take the body out of its “fight or flight” mode and into the opposite state, which is known as “rest and digest”. This restful state allows the nerves to relax, creating a state of focus and calm which can just as useful, if not more, when preparing your taxes. The caffeine in tea is offset by L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes the mental and physical relaxation. Theanine also contributes to a release of dopamine, which is the feel good chemical that we get from things that bring us pleasure – like chocolate, cuddling and tea!

You never hear of Buddhist monks staying up all night meditating with coffee do you? And there’s a good reason. Tea has the marvelous ability to keep us up, alert, and focused, while at the same time having a calming effect on the mind and body. So instead of taxing yourself, try brewing a nice pot of tea.

Madam Potts blog, Mad Pots of Tea!

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