Tea has been a part of almost all global cultures for hundreds of years. The pros and cons of tea have been debated endlessly by lovers and critics of this amazing beverage. There are various types of tea depending on how they are processed, and each of them comes with their own particular effect. Green tea is tea that has been exposed to minimum oxidation during the processing of freshly plucked leaves of the tea plant. Green tea is claimed by researchers to have magical properties of fighting aging, improving cardiac health, and relaxing your body and mind. Here is a look at how green tea relaxes you.
What makes green tea so relaxing?
The key ingredient in green tea that leads to a state of physical and mental relaxation is the chemical known as L-theanine. Theanine is a derivative of the amino acid glutamate. It is found in higher concentration in green teas than in other tea. Scientific studies have established that theanine is a significant anti-stress chemical. Its relaxing effects have been compared to that of anti-anxiety pharmaceutical formulations that are very popular. The good news is that theanine is free from any of the side effects of those other stress relieving drugs.
How does theanine work?
The way theanine in green tea works is by stimulating the activity of a neurotransmitter known as gamma aminobutyric acid (usually referred to as GABA) which plays a key role in addressing neuronal excitation and muscle tone. GABA also influences the activity of other mood altering neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine and serotonin are commonly called the pleasure or reward drugs of the brain. As a result, a person drinking green tea feels relaxed and peaceful.
Does green tea work the same way for everyone?
Green tea also contains caffeine, which is a stimulant and a metabolism booster, and this can offset the effect of theanine. Different people have different levels of sensitivity and tolerance to the effect of caffeine. A person who is very sensitive to caffeine may end up feeling more agitated and active after having green tea. Depending on the tea that you have chosen, the level of theanine too may differ. If you have green tea that contains low levels of theanine, you will obviously not receive the same relaxing effect that you would have from a green tea with high levels of it. The extent to which green tea can relax you will vary depending on all these factors, as well as how green tea you are consuming and how you are preparing it?
How should green tea be had?
Green tea is meant to be brewed by heating water to a temperature just under boiling, and then steeping about 2 g of tea leaves per cup in the water for about 5 minutes. For those with increased sensitivity to caffeine, you can try throwing away the tea after steeping it for about three minutes and then adding freshly boiled water to the remaining tea leaves. This will reduce the amount of caffeine in the tea that results.
The one amazing thing about tea and especially green tea is its ability to induce both relaxation and alertness. This happens because the effects of theanine come without the side effects of reduced alertness.
There is nothing as relaxing and refreshing as a cup of freshly made green tea. From the process of brewing the tea to the first waft of the steeped tea as you pour it out, there is nothing to detract from the mystic ability of green tea to take you to another plane of relaxation altogether.