What’s Green, Earthy, Picks You Up and Chills You Out?
We’re all guilty of relying on a coffee hit to combat an energy crash or subsidise a late night netflix binge, but next time you’re stifling a yawn behind your monitor - give green tea a bash.
It stimulates your brain function in a similar way to coffee, but also reduces anxiety and promotes relaxation in the long run.
Green Tea: The Dichotomy
That’s potentially the most thrilling title ever written for a hot beverage. Anyway, turns out it is possible to consume something both stimulating and relaxing.
Green tea's magic? It contains both caffeine and the amino acid, L-theanine, which can cross the blood-brain barrier to directly affect your brain cells.
Caffeine promotes alertness, performance, memory and focus, while L-theanine increases the activity of neurotransmitter GABA, which triggers relaxation and a reduction in anxiety.
Need more convincing?
Green tea is also rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that may protect against mental decline as we age and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
But… the taste of green tea…
I know, I know. It does have a swampy energy that can be difficult to get over. But, remember how gross your first taste of coffee was? If you can get over that, it’s surely worth persevering.
You can also add it to your pantry, instead of your mug (recipe inspo below). Otherwise, there are handy L-theanine supplements that will allow you to continue your coffee habit, and protect your brain in the long run.
FOR THE NERDY: Green tea brain gains [Source: PubMed]