When You Get Your Tea News from a Political Web Site

As of the posting of this article I have been writing for [blank] for almost five years and have been its editor for about 3.5 years. One thing I have learned in that time, added to my 30+ years in writing, GUI design, etc., is how to size something up and decide if it’s worth the time of day or not. So, when an article got forwarded to me by someone from a very politically biased news Web site, my alarm system had been triggered. Uh oh. This never bodes well. Nevertheless, in the interest of fairness, I took the time to read through the article thoroughly and could tell almost immediately that it was worthless in the annals of tea knowledge. Better to go read a Far Side cartoon – in fact, it would be a much better use of time. In short, I’m saying that not all articles on tea merit your attention.

The article that was brought to my attention was about caffeine-loaded energy drinks versus tea. It was written by someone who “holds a Master’s in Mathematical Behavior Sciences.” Makes him quite an authority on caffeine… not! At least this guy in his article actually bothered to link to something sorely lacking when it comes to anything about tea and health: links to true experts. Yes, tea is the better boost. Time to take a look at why.

An Analogy

Many of us were taught that flooring the gas pedals on our cars to do that zero-to-60-in-5-seconds that car dealers like to brag about burns up a lot more gas that easing up to that 60 mph speed. And you don’t get where you’re going any faster. So chugging a beverage laden with extra caffeine, while giving you that extra jolt, will be a short-lived effect and has some negative consequences.

Just like those “jack rabbit” starts, a sudden jolt of caffeine burns you out faster than the lower dose from tea. In fact, those lower amounts are better overall as shown here:

“The most notable behavioral effects of caffeine occur after consumption of low-to-moderate doses (50-300 mg) and include increased alertness, energy, and ability to concentrate. Whereas moderate consumption rarely leads to health risks, higher doses induce negative effects such as anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and tachycardia.” [source]

How Tea Is Different

Caffeine in tea is different not only due to its lower quantity but also its make-up. Along with the caffeine, tea has L-Theanine. The common perception here is that the L-Theanine in tea has a calming effect. This study shows that it may actually work with caffeine to give you a bit of a cognitive boost. And this study shows that the combo improves alertness. Again, easing up to that 60 mph and being able to stay there longer.

Get your engine revved with tea and go farther! And get your tea news from a tea site and bloggers like me dedicated to tea.

© 2014 A.C. Cargill photos and text

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