The easy way to relax
Scientists have evidence behind what many tea drinkers already know – a regular cuppa can help you recover more quickly from everyday life stresses.
The study of black tea – instead of green or herbal varieties – found it helps cut levels of the stress hormone cortisol circulating in the blood.
They found people who drank tea were able to de-stress more quickly than those who drank a tea substitute.
The University College London study is in the journal Psychopharmacology.
Two groups – one drinking a tea compoud; the other drinking a fake tea – were studied after exposure to stressful situations. The tasks triggered substantial increases in blood pressure, heart rate and subjective stress ratings in both of the groups.
However, 50 minutes after the task, cortisol levels had dropped by an average of 47% in the tea-drinking group compared with 27% in the fake tea group.
Blood platelet activation – linked to blood clotting and the risk of heart attacks – was also lower in the tea drinkers.
In addition, this group reported a greater degree of relaxation in the recovery period after the task.
“Although it does not appear to reduce the actual levels of stress we experience, tea does seem to have a greater effect in bringing stress hormone levels back to normal.
“This has important health implications because slow recovery following acute stress has been associated with a greater risk of chronic illnesses such as coronary heart disease.” BBC