A cup of tea makes everything better.  (Stimulants in tea)

Every morning, the crow of a rooster and the sound of your alarm is insubstantial to wake you up from your long slumber. Only when you sniff the earthy and floral aroma of hot-piping tea, you acquire the effervescence to kick off your day.

Every human has a different taste. Some have a penchant for drinking coffee as it stimulates all the senses and provides the zest to manage schedules. Surprisingly, the tea you drink also contains stimulants that invigorate your nervous system, especially your brain. Read this article to know more about the stimulants in tea.

Stimulants present in tea:

What is in your cup of tea? A cup of tea encapsulates four different stimulants namely, caffeine, theophylline, theobromine, and L-theanine. We have briefly listed out the benefits and side effects of these four stimulants for you.

1. Caffeine:

If you believe the notion that coffee is caffeinated and tea is caffeine-free, you are wrong. Tea also possesses the caffeine you try to avoid but in minimal amounts. A mug of coffee contains 102-350 milligrams of caffeine, whereas a cup of coffee contains 40-120 milligrams of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant in tea that is highly responsible for extra vigor.

Most of the caffeine in tea is converted to theobromine and theophylline after a series of chemical reactions. Hence, it is wise to limit the intake of caffeine to avoid an increase in methylxanthines.

Stimulants in tea

Benefits:

  • Caffeine can enhance brain function. It impedes the effect of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that takes your brain to a relaxed and lethargic state, and increases the levels of neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. 
  • Caffeine improves your mood and alertness. It showed a lower risk of suicide and depression
  • Drinking about three cups of tea daily gets rid of brain ailments such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • This stimulant in tea boosts the body’s metabolism and burns extra calories. Hence, it enhances exercise performance by using burnt fat as fuel. It also has the power to diminish fatigue and improve muscle contractions.
  • Consuming 2-4 cups of green tea every day reduces the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. 

Side effects:

  • Excess intake of caffeine results in high blood pressure (hypertension) and hence breakage of arteries. It also elevates the rate of heartbeat.
  • Too much caffeine causes headaches, migraines, anxiety, sleeping troubles, and restlessness as it triggers the release of adrenaline and inhibits adenosine. 
  • It may lead to diarrhea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and other digestive issues.
  • Caffeine interacts with other medications and amplifies the effect of the drugs.
2. Theophylline:

Theophylline is another stimulant in tea that belongs to the group of methylxanthines. It is an integral part of black tea and is found in traces in a cup of green tea. It is widely known for being a bronchodilator due to its constructive effects on the respiratory system. 

Stimulants present in tea

Benefits:

  • Theophylline assists in relieving the bronchial spasms in the respiratory tract of patients with breathing difficulty and makes breathing easier. It reduces the symptoms of respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Theophylline acts as a myocardial stimulant by stimulating heartbeat and augmenting blood circulation in the body.
  • Theophylline contains antioxidants that possess anti-inflammatory properties. 

Side effects:

  • Too much theophylline causes headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and sleeping troubles.
  • It may also cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. 
  • In severe cases, theophylline may cause seizures.
  • Excess theophylline is detrimental to the heart, liver, and kidney as it is more toxic than caffeine and theobromine. It increases the rate of heartbeat and palpitations.
3. Theobromine:

Theobromine is also a stimulant in tea that belongs to an alkaloid group called methylxanthines. It possesses a bitter taste and is an isomer of Theophylline. It is widely known as a vasodilator due to its constructive effects on the circulatory system.

Stimulants present in tea

Benefits:

  • Theobromine acts as a mild diuretic. It triggers the heart and enhances blood circulation all over the body, keeping the blood pressure constant. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Theobromine abates the bad, low-density (LDL) cholesterol and raises the good, high-density (HDL) cholesterol in the blood.
  • Like Theophylline, theobromine also relaxes the smooth muscles in the respiratory tract and prevents respiratory diseases. 
  • It raises the blood flow in the brain and improves your cognitive skills.
  • This stimulant present in tea suppresses constant cough and is more powerful than codeine. 
  • It contains antioxidants that possess anti-inflammatory properties. 

Side effects:

  • Consuming about 300 to 1000 milligrams of theobromine ameliorates the heart rate.
  • It causes side effects such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and headaches.
  • It may interfere with the effect of other medications.
4. L-Theanine 

L-Theanine is an amino acid that constitutes 50% of the amino acid content in tea plants. It is responsible for the mild buzz that electrifies your body when you sip a cup of tea. The vigor and relaxation are due to the production of alpha waves in the brain.

L-Theanine is present in larger quantities in green tea, giving the latter an exotic taste. This stimulant in tea has its benefits and side effects. 

Stimulants in tea

Benefits:

  • L-Theanine relaxes the mind and relieves stress and anxiety without causing drowsiness. This effect is due to the alpha waves produced in the body.
  • It makes you feel more alert and focused on a particular task.
  • L-Theanine escalates the function of the immune system.
  • L-Theanine has anti-carcinogenic effects that help to fight cancer cells.
  • Consuming 250 to 400 milligrams of L-Theanine improves sleep quality.

Side effects:

  • The obvious side effects of L-Theanine are nausea, irritability, and irritation in the stomach.
  • You may experience severe mood swings.

Isn’t it amazing to know about the stimulants present in a cup of tea you drink? Due to the limited amounts and the benefits of stimulants in tea, it is better to replace your daily coffee with tea. It is the best beverage that soothes your mind and calms your body after a tiring day.