Drinking tea can help you recover more quickly from the stresses of everyday life, according to a new study by UCL (University College London) researchers. New scientific evidence shows that black tea has an effect on stress hormone levels in the body.
The study, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, found that people who drank tea were able to de-stress more quickly than those who drank a fake tea substitute. The study participants - who drank a black tea concoction four times a day for six weeks - were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood after a stressful event, compared with a control group who drank the placebo tea for the same period of time.
In the six week study, particpants gave up their normal tea, coffee and caffeinated beverages, then one group was given a fruit-flavoured caffeinated tea mixture made up of the constituents of an average cup of black tea whilst the control group was given a caffeinated placebo identical in taste. Both groups were subjected to challenging tasks, while their levels of stress were measured.
When measured both groups showed evidence of similar stress levels, however, 50 minutes after the task, cortisol levels had dropped by an average of 47 per cent in the tea drinking group compared with 27 per cent in the placebo tea group.
Bill Gorman of The UK Tea Council said; "This new research adds to the evidence that drinking tea is good for you. Not only does tea hydrate and offer some protection against heart disease and some cancers, it's now proven to de-stress too. It's great to know that a cuppa, one of life's great comforts, can be enjoyed not just for the taste but also for its health benefits."