Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tea & Stress

While eustress (the "good stress" that motivates us) can be invigorating, distress can be very draining. WebMD recently posted methods for reducing stress through diet, and for keeping your energy levels steady in times of stress. One of their top suggestions: drinking tea! From their article:

"A recent report found that pairing caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine, both present in tea, decreased mental fatigue and improved alertness, reaction time, and memory. What's more, black varieties can help you recover from stress, according to researchers at University College London. In their study, adults who drank tea four times a day for 6 weeks had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol after a tense moment, compared with those who drank a tealike placebo."

I'm not sure how a "tealike" placebo could ever compare (I'm reminded of The Hitchhiker's Guide), but I do feel that tea is excellent at moderating and reducing stress. If I am remembering my biochemistry properly, high cortisol levels can encourage weight gain/retention and cortisol levels are raised when sleep levels are too low. According to Wikipedia (I know, I know), they are highest in the morning. No wonder a cup of tea makes us feel prepared to go out and face the day!

You can read more on stress reduction through diet on WebMD.

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