We’ve taken a deep dive into the science behind this popular potion to reveal why you should have an extra cuppa, especially on fast days.
We know that a good cuppa can recharge your energy, relax you and help you get through a long day. But it turns out there are actually loads of additional reasons why you should be brewing this brilliant beverage – especially on fast days. We’ve taken a deep dive into the science behind this ever-popular potion to reveal why you should be having a mug of magic medicine more often. Alright, nanna-blankets at the ready? Let’s go!
1. Appetite Suppression
Let’s face it, hanger is very real. And when it hits, it hits hard. Making it easy to let the sugar fiend/snack monster/cookie jar scavenger win. But instead of reaching for a snack to sate your cravings, opt for a good old fashioned cuppa instead, because tea can help to alleviate hunger pangs. The ‘catechins’ in green tea, especially, have been shown in studies to lower levels of the hunger hormone, ‘ghrelin’. Which means easier fast days for you! (And less hangries for your hubby/friends/workmates.)
2. Improved Gut Health
Your gut contains over 100 trillion bacteria (roughly ten times more cells than your body), which plays a pivotal role in your overall health. ‘Polyphenols’ from tea are a prebiotic-like substance that help to feed healthy gut bacteria like ‘lactobacillus’ and ‘bifidobacteria’. Which in turn can help you to resist nasty virus causing ‘pathogens’ and ‘carcinogens’. There is also some research to suggest that gut microbiome and obesity are interrelated, and therefore that a healthy gut can help combat obesity and assert beneficial effects on metabolism.
3. Sustained Energy
Tea contains caffeine, but in smaller quantities than coffee – which means you still get the buzz, but without the jitters. Green tea in particular contains both caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine – the combination of which can increase focus, provide more stable,sustained energy and boost brain function and mood. Which means not only will you have more energy and be in a better frame-of-mind during your Monday fast day, but you’ll also be able to keep that get-up-and-go going for a lot longer.
4. Reduced Stress
Tea has been consumed for centuries in order to prepare for meditative practices. With some studies suggesting that tea can have a positive effect in reducing anxiety and stress response. It’s thought that this could be due to the fact that it contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to increase alpha brain wave activity, and have an effect on the release and reduction of neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. However, a recent review concluded that it seemed to be the combined influence of both caffeine and l-theanine that produced these effects.
5. Weight Loss and Fat Burning
As well as helping to diminish hunger pangs, tea has been shown to assist in weight loss. Boo-ya! Data from a 2012 study showed that even without any other changes to diet and physical activity, a catechin-rich green tea extract yielded decreases in body weight, body mass index, body fat ratio, waist circumference and visceral fat area. Another study showed that after green tea ingestion, fat oxidation increased by 17%. Other studies show limited effects on metabolism, so ultimately it may come down to the individual. However, caffeine (a key component of tea) has been shown to improve physical performance by making fatty acids more available for use as energy.