The Surprising Benefits of Tea for Energy: Should You Swap Your Coffee for Tea?

We all know the feeling of dragging through the day and struggling to stay awake and focused. Whether it’s due to a lack of sleep, a busy schedule, or just the daily grind of life, low energy levels really impact our productivity, mood, and overall health.

Having enough energy throughout the day is crucial for feeling good and simply enjoying life to the fullest. When we are low on energy, it’s hard to concentrate. It often feels impossible to keep up with daily tasks. 

Low energy levels can also affect our mood, leaving us feeling irritable, anxious, or simply not ourselves. I know that nothing annoys me more than a low-energy day paired with a long to-do list.

However, one thing I’ve found that helps immensely with energy is hydration, especially when drinking tea. Starting the day with a mug of steaming warm tea is one of my favorite ways to get a gentle energy boost. 

If you’re someone who struggles with low energy levels or just wants to find a way to boost your energy naturally, you’re in the right place. In this blog post, I’ll explore the science behind tea and its energy-boosting properties.

Whether you’re a tea lover or are curious about tea, you’ll walk away with all the information you need to incorporate tea into your daily routine.

image of four colorful tea cups with text that reads: power through your day with energy boosting tea

What is Tea?

People around the world enjoy tea for its delicious taste, soothing aroma, and numerous health benefits. At its simplest, tea is a drink that’s made by steeping the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant in hot water. 

There are several different types of tea, each with its own unique flavor, aroma, and color. Some of the most common types of tea include black tea, green tea, white tea, and oolong tea. They all actually come from the same plant but are different in how they’re processed. 

Tea leaves are fully oxidized to make black tea. This results in a bold, robust flavor and a dark color. Where green tea is made by lightly steaming or pan-firing the tea leaves to prevent oxidation. This gives it a delicate, fresh flavor and a light color.

The process of making tea starts with plucking the tea leaves, which are then withered to reduce their moisture content. The withered leaves are then rolled, oxidized (in the case of black tea), and dried. Finally, the dried leaves are sorted and packaged for distribution, ready to be steeped in hot water to make a delicious cup of tea.

The Science Behind Tea and Energy:

Have you ever wondered why you feel a boost of energy after a bottle of water or a cup of coffee? You could have been dehydrated. Dehydration can cause fatigue and lack of focus. So, staying hydrated with liquids can be a huge help to maintain energy levels. 

Research has shown that drinking tea can be just as effective at promoting hydration as drinking water alone. Tea is an excellent beverage choice to stay hydrated while also enjoying the natural energy-boosting benefits of other compounds found in tea.

Energy from Caffeine in Tea

One of the key compounds that contribute to tea’s energy-boosting effects is caffeine. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can help increase alertness, reduce fatigue, and improve cognitive performance. 

While tea contains less caffeine than coffee, it still has enough to provide a noticeable boost in energy levels. On average, a cup of tea has 20-50 mg of caffeine, whereas a cup of homebrewed coffee has 95 mg. Additionally, the caffeine in tea may be more gentle, meaning you’re less likely to feel jittery or crash once it wears off. 

Energy from Theanine in Tea

Theanine is an amino acid that has been shown to have a calming effect on the body and mind, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. Theanine works together with caffeine to enhance cognitive function and increase energy levels, without the adverse side effects that can come with consuming coffee.

Energy from Catechins in Tea 

Tea catechins are a type of polyphenol that are also found in tea, especially in green tea. Catechins are antioxidants that protect the body against damage and have been shown to increase metabolism.

Overall, the combination of caffeine, theanine, and catechins found in tea work together to provide a sustained, natural increase in energy levels. Whether you’re looking for a pick-me-up in the morning, a mid-day energy boost, or a way to power through a long study session, tea is a great choice for a natural, healthy source of energy.

Best Teas for Energy 

  1. Green tea is my top choice for an energy boost, as it contains both caffeine and theanine. The caffeine provides a quick energy boost, while the theanine promotes relaxation and helps to avoid the crash that can sometimes follow caffeine.
  1. Black tea is another great option when you’re fatigued. It contains a similar amount of caffeine as coffee, though this depends on the water temperature and how long it’s brewed. Be sure to know your tolerance for caffeine, especially if you have a cup in the afternoon. 
  1. Yerba mate is a type of tea that is native to South America and is known for its energizing effects. It contains caffeine, as well as theobromine and theophylline, which are all stimulants that can help increase energy levels and improve focus.

How to Prepare Tea for Energy:

When it comes to preparing tea for maximum energy-boosting effects, the right water temperature and steeping time are key. Different types of tea require different temperatures and infusion times to taste best.

For example, green tea should be brewed at a lower temperature (around 175°F or 80°C) for no more than 2-3 minutes to avoid bitterness and achieve a delicate flavor. On the other hand, black tea can be brewed at a higher temperature (around 200-212°F or 93-100°C) for 3-5 minutes to bring out its full-bodied flavor.

Yerba mate is also brewed at a high temperature (around 150-170°F or 66-77°C) for a few minutes to release its energizing properties.

To brew tea for optimal energy levels, it is important to use fresh, high-quality tea leaves. Be sure to follow the recommended steeping times and water temperatures. Using filtered water can also improve the taste of your tea. 

ted lasso gif with text that reads I always figured that tea was gonna taste like hot brown water. And you know what? I was right. Yeah, it's horrible. No, thank you.

Energizing Tea Recipes

If putting the kettle on to brew a mug isn’t quite your cup of tea (see what I did there…), no worries! Tea does have a distinct flavor that isn’t for everyone. To still get the energy you need without having to load up your tea with sugar, here are a few of my favorite recipes to try.

I’d also encourage you to try a few different brands, flavors, and types of tea. It has taken me years of testing teas to find my favorites. Think of it like wine or beer (if you drink), where there are endless varieties and we each have our own unique preferences. 

The End

Staying hydrated is an easy way to maintain energy levels, and drinking tea can be an excellent way to hydrate while also getting a natural energy boost. The caffeine, theanine, and catechins, in tea work together to provide a sustained increase in energy levels. 

If you want to boost your energy naturally, incorporating tea into your daily routine is a great place to start. It can also be a wonderful form of self-care, both to hydrate and relax.

If you’re looking to prioritize self-care, I recommend signing up for my FREE 7-Day Self-Care Challenge. The challenge will guide you through setting up personalized self-care strategies that you can incorporate into your daily routine, maybe starting with a morning cuppa.

chart comparing black, green, and yerba mate tea

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