Confirmation, if it was needed, that tea is the clever person’s drink of choice has come from a new Dutch study, published in Nutritional Neuroscience, which seems to show that a cup of tea will improve your brain power. Evidence that tea is as good for the mind as it is for the body is the final proof that this drink can do no wrong.
This supposed intelligence boost is down to the effects of the amino acid theanine which has also been shown to help relieve stress and boost the immune system. The study showed that drinking tea improved the accuracy of the volunteers when performing test tasks and increased their alertness. The study only had 44 participants and certainly more work would need to be done to be completely conclusive but the evidence that tea has some positive effect does seem good.
If you want to take advantage of the effects of theanine then gyokuro is the tea of choice for the aspiring geniuses. This is a Japanese Green tea which contains the highest theanine concentration of any variety. It is a speciality tea which is shaded while it is grown and needs to be steeped for longer and in cooler water than other green teas. Gyokuro is only produced on a relatively small scale so it is expensive but could well be worth the investment come exam time!
As someone who could often do with a ready source of extra brain power I now have yet another reason to carry my flask with me everywhere I go. Sadly, the effects of theanine are short term, not cumulative, so I’m afraid we’re all just going to have to keep drinking our tea. I know it will be a chore, but I for one am going to struggle through with it, if only for my poor brain.
Disclaimer: This is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your physician for your particular needs.
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