By Kelly Kirles, M.S., B.S., L.Ac.
In my early 20’s, I found myself struggling to keep up with the demand of going to school and working. I was constantly tired and was drinking, on average, 4 cups of coffee a day as well as the occasional energy drink. I was aware of the boost I got from coffee but also how fatigued I was after coming down from the caffeine. Despite all these stimulants, my energy levels continued to decline! I really felt that someone in their’ twenties should not feel this exhausted all the time.
I decided to quit drinking coffee cold turkey, and I turned to green tea as a substitute. Little did I know at the time all the benefits from green tea that’s why I wanted to share this blog. I have come to find out that the caffeine in green tea is absorbed more slowly than coffee so you don’t get the surge of energy and come crashing down after the caffeine wears off. There are also many benefits to drinking green tea. It can improve blood flow, lower cholesterol, help prevent high blood pressure and reduce the risk for congestive heart failure.
And if that’s not enough, the catechins in green tea have even been linked to keeping blood sugar stable in people with diabetes. Green tea has beneficial effects on the brain as well. In one study, MRIs revealed that people who drank green tea had greater activity in the working-memory area of their brains. Green tea has also been shown to help block the formation of plaque that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
My favorite benefit of green tea has to do with the amino acid it contains L-theanine. L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects, the same effects one gets from taking the prescription medication, Xanax, but without the chemical dependency. Green tea also increases dopamine in the body and the production of alpha waves in the brain.
So, consider swapping out your daily cup of coffee for green tea and enjoy the many benefits that it provides. My favorite is green tea with a little bit of honey and a slice of lemon.
here is a link on recent research on green tea