Tea Supports Mental Alertness

"Drinking a cup of tea, I stopped the war.” Paul Reps, a poet.

Research shows that 47% of the time that you are awake your mind wanders. Because of which you often slip into a Beta state. This means that you have 14-20 thoughts running through your mind per second. This state while it is associated with your normal waking consciousness - heightened states of alertness, logic, and critical thinking that is necessary to carry out your everyday work; can translate into stress, anxiety, and restlessness. In fact the voice of Beta can be described as the nagging little inner critic.

The ideal state for highest productivity, imagination, visualization, memory, learning and concentration is the Alpha state, a state of relaxed concentration. In this state 7-13 thoughts run through your mind per second. Alpha activity is known to play an important role in critical aspects of your attention process; that leads to relaxed focus, reduced anxiety, positive thinking, accelerated learning, increased performance under stress, and flow state. Neuroscientists have recently made a correlation between relaxation and an increase of alpha brain waves. This means that the more you can relax, the faster you can shift from stress to the state of highest productivity.

Theanine in tea can help you relax. It is a 4000 year old mind-hack.

Tea is the only plant in the plant kingdom that contains a unique amino acid, L-theanine that modulates aspects of brain function in humans. (Juneja et al. Trends in Food Science & Tech 1999;10;199-204). L-theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which indicates that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness. L-theanine, at realistic dietary levels, (approximately 20mg), has a significant effect on the general state of mental alertness. Researchers have found, that drinking tea lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And evidence of long-term health benefits is emerging, too: drinking at least a cup of green tea a day seems to lower the risk of developing depression. Tea drinking could also provide a leisurely addition to the mood-boosting effects of exercise.