Most of us are familiar with the notion of using a type of food or a beverage to help stimulate us. In the majority of cases caffeine or something like it is involved, though perhaps not always. A little less common is the idea of using food or beverages to help us calm down. But what about a beverage that can perform both of these functions?
Well, if you happened to notice that this is the English Tea Blog and the topic under consideration is tea, then you might have guessed that the beverage in question is actually tea. And you’d be right.
So how does all of this work? Well, as a recent article in Psychology Today noted, this seemingly paradoxical effect, which they refer to as the Janus Effect, comes about thanks to the presence in tea of caffeine and another compound known as theanine. among other things. While most of us are familiar with the stimulating effects of the former, theanine might not be so well known. The exact effects of theanine are somewhat involved and are spelled out in the article, but suffice to say that it’s because of this compound that tea drinkers might not be as likely to experience the jitters that come from drinking other caffeinated beverages.
For more on the wonders that tea can do for your brain, take a look at this recent article from London’s Daily Mail. It reports on a study that found that the components in tea can improve brain power and increase alertness. As the article notes, “the active ingredients significantly improved accuracy across a number of switching tasks for those who drank the tea after 20 and 70 minutes, compared with the placebo.” The study was carried out by Dutch researchers, who reported on their findings in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.