I came across a short article on tea and whilst reading it, it immediately threw me back in time by about 50 years. My mom used to talk about ‘theanine’ in tea and I thought as a child that this made sense as you had caffeine in coffee and thus theanine in tea.
Tea seems to give you solace and a feeling of well-being. So called ‘old wives’ tales’ often are the bearers of truths and all these old aunties who used to make a cup of tea for you were quite right!
I have added two links at the end of the article for detailed information.
L-Theanine: Tea’s Relaxation Effect
An important distinction has been made between caffeine in tea and caffeine in coffee. Tea has been observed to create a calming effect on the drinker, as opposed to coffee which tends to raise anxiety. These contraindications piques the interest of researchers who have been studying caffeine’s effects on the body for over 100 years.
Studies have found that tea contains an anxiety reducer called L-theanine, which acts “antagonistically against the stimulatory effects of caffeine,” producing a calming effect 30-40 minutes after ingestion. It does this by stimulating alpha brainwaves, which calms the mind in a way similar to meditation, and by ticking up the body’s production of dopamine and serotonin (yes please), resulting in improved memory and learning ability in addition to relaxation.
Further studies show that when taken together L-theanine and caffeine improved “cognitive performance and mood”. It is also speculated that poly-phenols present in the tea not only deliver health benefits but mitigate negative effects that caffeine may have when consumed alone.