A test done in Holland of people under 40 found that people are better able to concentrate and stay alert 20 to 70 minutes after drinking tea, according to a report in The Daily Mail. A combination of an amino acid called L-theanine and caffeine is supposedly responsible for the increased brain power, according to the article.
L-theanine is one of those wonder substances which researchers say does everything from making you happier to boosting your immune system. For those who believe it — and I admit I buy into some of the health benefit research done on tea, although I know there is some serious tea producer-backed money going into funding and publicizing all these studies — the tea with the highest amount of L-theanine is Gyokuro, a wicked expensive green tea from Japan.
The zillions of studies about the health and mental benefits of tea has become, for me, a lot of noise. It’s not why I’m into tea, and not why I think most people are into tea. My basic reasons are still 1) it’s a good jolt of caffeine in the morning, 2) it’s easier to make than coffee, 3) it doesn’t make your breath smell strong like coffee does, 4) you can cool it and pour it into bottles for easy transport, and 5) if there is anything to any of these studies about the supposed health benefits of it (and I assume there must be something to all of them) then it probably helps my health and concentration in some barely perceptible way. But I’m not banking on it.