The Top 5 Benefits of Drinking Tea


We love tea. Steeping it is soothing, drinking it is delicious, and--in case you haven't heard--it's good for you. No, we're not talking about those green tea ice cream dessert drinks at your local big-brand coffee shop. We're talking about tea. The soothing, simple drink you brew with nothing but tea leaves, a kettle of hot water, and appreciation for subtlety.

What's so great about tea?

If the title hadn't tipped you off, the answer is a lot. So much so that we had to narrow it down to only the top 5 most impressive health benefits of this ancient, globally-beloved beverage. We've may or may not have the kettle on, so let's dive in.

1. Antioxidants, Antioxidants, Antioxidants

While we didn't write our list in order of importance, if we had, this would still be number 1 with a bullet. Antioxidants are powerful molecules that combat unstable pro-oxidants floating around your body called free radicals. If left to their own devices, free radicals can wreak havoc on other molecules in your body, causing chain reactions that do serious damage. Yikes.

Most tea types that you'll find at your local store or cafe are loaded with antioxidants. This includes popular types such as green tea, black tea, rooibos, jasmine, and oolong. What's even better is that often times each tea has its own unique health benefits. One particular antioxidant known as EGCG (or epigallocatechin gallate, if you're sciencey) is found in high levels in green tea and has a virtual buffet of benefits including:

  • - Lowering your risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancer
  • - Protecting the brain from neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
  • - Promoting heart health
  • - Fighting the aging of skin and bones

And that is only ONE type of antioxidant in one single tea. Like we said, number one with a bullet.

2. It Can Reduce Stress

Everyone experiences stress. And more than that, people will always experience stress in some form or another. But that doesn't mean you should throw in the towel and accept of life of feeling worn down and anxious. If not for yourself, do it for your longevity.

Stress can have a wide range of negative physical, mental, and social impacts including headache, fatigue, irritability, depression, anxiety, and feeling withdrawn and apathetic. Clearly, stress cannot be ignored.

Once again, tea is here to save the day. A wide range of teas have been shown to have anti-anxiety and stress-reducing effects. Such teas include chamomile, black tea, green tea, and peppermint tea. More than that, lemon balm tea in specific can reduce the production of a hormone called cortisol, which your body creates in response to stress. So make the time to relax, de-stress, and enjoy a nice cup of tea.

3. It Boosts Energy and Focus

Caffeine. Most people drink it, and if you're like me, you need it to wake up in the morning. While our reliance on caffeine isn't something to brag about, moderate caffeine consumption can boost energy and keep your head clear and focused throughout the day. Many would assume that we're talking about black tea, the most popular “high-caffeine” tea on the market, but we had another one in mind.

You guessed it, we're talking about green tea. Green tea not only contains a modest amount of caffeine per serving (about 35mg) but also is packed with high levels of L-Theanine, an amino acid known to induce a sense of calm by keeping your brain from being overactive. In addition to its naturally calming effects, it also releases a neurotransmitter known as GABA whose main purpose is to relax your brain. That's a lot of calm in a little cup of tea.

4. It Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, refers to the high-pressure flow of your blood as it passes through your arteries. People with high blood pressure can cause serious damage to all aspects of their body if they don't make lifestyle changes to address it. Damage caused by high blood pressure can include:

  • - Damaged arteries
  • - Stroke
  • - Dementia
  • - Kidney failure
  • - Heart disease

It may seem like we're exaggerating, but that isn't even the full list. Luckily, tea can have a hand in helping your blood pressure as well. Research suggests that hibiscus tea contains antioxidants (remember them?) that can help your arteries resist damage caused by high blood pressure.

But that's not our only heart-healthy tea out there. According to studies, chamomile tea, often known as a natural sleep aid, promotes heart health by lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure. Sign us up for more chamomile, please.

5. It May Keep Your Waistline Down

Don't worry, number 5 on our list isn't about looking good in a bathing suit. While maintaining a healthy weight may leave you appreciating how you look in the mirror, obesity is a serious issue. Obesity can cause an enormous number of adverse health effects and stresses on your body. Beyond making you buy a larger wardrobe, being severely overweight can contribute to a variety of diseases including:

  • - Heart disease
  • - Diabetes
  • - Stroke
  • - Hypertension
  • - High cholesterol
  • - Cancer
  • - Bone/Joint damage

As we said, obesity is serious. And changing to a healthy lifestyle is a multifaceted process that takes time and dedication. However, research has shown that our leafy friend may be able to help in a variety of ways. One study showed that regular consumption of black tea increased weight loss and decreased waist size for the participants involved. Even better, green tea has been shown to help reduce weight and body fat in multiple studies from recent years. There seems to be a trend forming...

These are just some of the many benefits that regularly drinking tea can have on your life. And many of the teas we've mentioned here have other benefits not discussed. So whether you're picking up a cup of iced green tea, or a freshly-brewed cup of rooibos, you can rest easy knowing you're contributing to your future health. Bottoms up.