Each holiday season brings the unique stresses of family gatherings, parties with friends, big meals, and travel! Each day holds more stresses than the last. Instead of turning to alcohol or soda for stress relief, brew a cup of tea. For thousands of years, Japanese monks drank green tea to quiet their minds, decreasing stress levels. You have heard about how drinking green tea has several health benefits: increased metabolism, increased energy, and healthier cells. Researchers have found out that drinking any tea—white, green, oolong or black—yields similar powerful health benefits. One major health benefit to drinking tea is stress reduction.
Stress releases the hormone cortisol, which speeds up the heart, increases blood pressure, and increase blood platelets. The unique combination of caffeine and L’theanine, helps your body quickly recover from stressful activities. Other antioxidants help lower bad cholesterol cells and blood pressure. Researchers in the University College London looked at the effects of black tea on stress.
The study monitored regular tea drinkers, giving one group tea and the other group a tea substitute. The participants experienced stressful situations then drank their assigned drink. The study measured the blood pressure, cortisol levels and blood platelet levels. The study found that after about an hour, cortisol levels dropped 47 percent in the tea drinking group compared to a 27 percent drop in the other group. Researchers also found blood platelet activation lower in the tea drinking group. Blood platelet activation is linked to blood clotting and heart disease. In addition, the tea drinking group felt more relaxed. Drinking the tea increased the body’s recovery and healing time.
As you are running around this year, take time for yourself and de-stress with a cup of tea. Pick your favorite white, green, oolong or black tea to drink a few times a day. You will feel calmer, healthier and happier. Happy Holidays!