Polyphenols – Nature’s Clean Up Crew
So why is tea so beneficial to our health? According to the Nutrition Source, a publication by the Harvard School of Public Health, the key is polyphenols, the antioxidants found in tea and other plants. Antioxidants fight against free radicals in the body and neutralize the many threats they pose. Tea antioxidants are so effective, they are able to eliminate and possibly even reverse the oxidative damage your body is subjected to every day.
Every time I drink tea, I can literally feel it rinse away all of the unhealthy things I’ve done before:
- It makes me feel strong and vitalized when my immunity is low,
- It makes my body feel cleaner and lighter when I’ve eaten poorly or not eaten enough vegetables,
- It rinses away the gross film in my mouth after eating unhealthy snacks,
- It helps me digest my meal when I’ve overeaten,
- It helps me wake up and stay energized and focused when I’ve slept late,
- It speeds up my recovery from hangovers when I’ve drunk too much…
L-Theanine – Nature’s Xanax
In studies performed in Japan, researchers discovered that amino acids in tea can also play a huge role in your health. This is because they have the ability to reduce stress and boost your mental performance. L-theanine, in particular, helps the brain generate alpha activity which is experienced in the early stages of meditation. It helps us stay calm, collected and focused in stressful situations which not only increases our ability to cope but also helps prevent damage to our body from stress. That’s why L-theanine is truly nature’s Xanax!
As a very dedicated breathwork practitioner, I have experienced tremendous benefits from consuming tea and can attest that it 100% helps you enter a deep meditative state (DMS) which requires just the right balance of relaxation and awareness. Tea is also the one thing that Buddhist and Daoist monks consume throughout the day, every day no matter whether they’re in Tibet, Japan, Taiwan, China, the US or Europe!
Tea Caffeine – Nature’s Sustainable Energy Source
The final component of the tea trifecta is tea caffeine. Caffeine in green tea is bound to larger molecules called catechins (a type of polyphenols). Catechins take longer for your body to break down and so caffeine in tea is time released in smaller doses over 4-6 hours. At the same time, l-theanine keeps you calm which is why energy from green tea lasts longer and does not lead to the spikes and crashes of coffee. There is simply no other way I could imagine getting through the 15 hour work days I maintain to build Pique!
Caffeine From Coffee – A Fat Inducing Energy Roller Coaster
This would be a good time to note the differences between tea and coffee caffeine. Studies show that coffee delivers so much caffeine to your nervous system in a short burst that the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) produced by your body are comparable to those experienced during acute stress. Not only is chronic stress damaging, cortisol activates your body’s flight or fight mechanism leading to excess fat storage and increased appetite. When the effects of caffeine wear out and your energy levels crash, a common pattern for avoiding more coffee is to reach for sugary foods and unhealthy snacks instead. Snacks and sugar deliver short bursts of energy but cause even more damage in the long run! I actually love the aroma and texture of a good cup of coffee but reserve it for moments when I can get an exceptional cup or when I’m on vacation in Europe where the coffee is irresistible.