Tea is a wonderful, magical, soothing liquid. Read on for even more excuses to have a brew.
- Tea is hydrating
It’s official, tea is hydrating. Whilst caffeine is a mild diuretic, you won’t lose more water than you’ve consumed in your caffeinated beverage. Your body will absorb the liquid it needs and then expel the rest. We’re not going to claim tea is better than water (like the Daily Mail did in a tea industry sponsored study a few years ago, to the chagrin of the NHS) but it’s certainly an excellent way to get liquid into your body.
- Tea is full of antioxidants
Green and black teas are full of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that detoxifies free radicals. I had no idea what free radicals were, but Google informed me that they are unstable molecules, which your body produces, that can damage your other cells. (They are also a band from Texas.) Tea has more polyphenols than fruit and veg! It’s official tea is better fruit and veg!
- Tea can help you control your body’s temperature
My Caribbean grandmother swears by a cup of tea on a hot day to help cool her down and there’s science to back her up. If you drink a hot drink on a hot day it will increase the amount you sweat. When that sweat evaporates it will release stored heat and cool you down faster. On a cold day the hot liquid will warm you up and if you are wearing clothes that stop any sweat from evaporating, you won’t get the same cooling effect.
- Tea can help you avoid snacking (and drinking)
Do you ever look at the clock and think, I’ve done enough this morning/this afternoon/today it’s time for a treat? I certainly do. In the morning that treat might be a biscuit, in the evening that treat might be a lovely big glass of red wine. But tea can be that treat! (Stay with me). Often when we feel hunger we’re actually thirsty, so having a mid-morning cuppa might prevent you chain eating digestives. And in the evening, when you’re sitting down to watch Netflix, wanting something nice to sip on could be satisfied with tea and honey or a delicious flavoured tea.
- Tea has a load of other health benefits
Tea has been credited in helping with a range of medical conditions. It is linked with a lower risk of heart attacks and Parkinson’s. A study also found that drinking hot tea might help you keep your weight down – regular hot tea drinkers had lower BMIs and waist circumferences?! Hot drinks can help relieve a runny nose, sore throat and other symptoms of a cold. And let’s not forget how much better improving your mood can make you feel. Tea brings with it comforting associations; friends, family, your mum handing you a steaming mug after a blustery autumn walk and so on. It makes us feel better because it has made us feel better in the past and there’s nothing wrong with that.
- It’s good for the soul (and your sex life)
If you’re at work taking a moment to get your body moving and the blood flowing, a trip to the kettle for example, is essential. A tip from my friend, who has two small children, is to do pelvic floor exercises whilst the kettle is boiling. These exercises are good to help repair ‘down there’ after babies and will also make making babies even more fun. Whether you’re at work or at home, giving yourself the space to enjoy your cup of tea is good for the soul. Enjoy the aromas, take your time sipping the hot liquid and maybe even take a moment to appreciate yourself. Tea is one of the best weapons in the mindfulness armoury.
- A hot cup of tea helps you make friends
A scientific study at the University of Colorado Boulder found that the part of the brain used to judge others, is also the part of the brain that processes temperature. Subjects were given a hot or cold cup to hold and introduced to someone. Those with the heated beverage assumed the people they were introduced to were nicer (or ‘warmer’) than those holding cold drinks or nothing at all.
And, without over-complicating it, making someone a cuppa is a kind thing to do. At university one of my friends’ houses had a tea list on a black board where they’d written how everyone took their tea. It is still one of the most welcoming gestures I’ve seen.
Oh and 8. Tea is delicious.
Stick the kettle on will you?