As we slowly but surely descend into winter, you’re no doubt lamenting all of those days that you complained about the cloying heat as you enjoyed rum and raisin ice-cream at the beach on the weekend, or had to hold your nose as you stood under someone’s armpit on a crammed train, despite having managed to make it home with daylight still in sight. It’s one of life’s strange contradictions, isn’t it? You just don’t know what you have ‘til it’s gone!
As the days grow shorter you might find yourself growing groggier and feeling depleted of energy as the day wears on. Researchers believe that this is the result of an increase in the production of melatonin, a hormone which regulates the sleep-wake cycle and is triggered by darkness. But fear not! Whilst we can’t teleport ourselves back to long summer days, we can make sure that we have enough energy to run the day, rather than letting the day run us. And the ancient secret is…green tea! You know we’re bonkers for this stuff at I Love Green Tea and for good reason too! Aside from being rich in antioxidants, green tea works miracles when you need to focus, stay awake, or boost workout gains.
As the day progresses, the production of adenosine (a neurotransmitter in the brain) gradually increases and eventually causes the fatigue that makes you crave your bed. Caffeine has the ability to disrupt this process and keep you sufficiently energised as you go about your daily tasks. Green tea contains roughly a third of the caffeine content in coffee, and enhances energy levels without resulting in the jitteriness that accompanies the consumption of coffee as a result of its L-theanine levels (an amino acid known for its relaxant properties). In addition, the L-theanine content of green tea sparks an increase in the production of alpha waves in the brain, which helps green tea drinkers to enter a state of calm alertness. Together, caffeine and L-theanine collaborate to improve cognitive function and bring about a more refreshed you.
The caffeine content in green tea increases adrenaline (epinephrine) levels and the stimulation of fatty acid use by green tea can delay exhaustion by almost 25%, both of which help you to work harder and longer. Therefore, green tea should be the beverage of choice for those looking to enhance their physical performance. Furthermore, unlike black tea – which is fully-oxidised as a result of a chemical reaction which causes the tea leaves to brown – this oxidation process is halted in green tea, which means that it preserves polyphenols called catechins that can help you burn up to 3-4% more calories each day; no wonder green tea is so often listed in commercial weight loss supplements! To maximise the benefits of consuming green tea, you need to ensure you purchase products made from high quality tea leaves such as those available in the I Love Green Tea shop.
For an energy-boosting, sleepiness banishing green tea energy drink recipes, head over to the Kineta Matcha blog here.