Posted by Jeremy @ Arbor Teas on February 23, 2015
Anyone who relies on that afternoon cup of tea to get them through the day knows that tea offers a substantial boost to both energy and cognitive abilities. You might assume this has to do with tea’s caffeine content, and you would be right. But researchers in Basel, Switzerland have found that at least one form of tea – green tea – can be an effective memory enhancer as well.
During the study, researchers gave 12 healthy individuals a milk whey-based soft drink with 27.5 grams of green tea extract, or a “placebo,” the milk whey-based soft drink on its own. Then, they monitored the participants’ brain activity using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Study participants who received the green tea concoction were found to have increased activity from the superior parietal lobule to the middle frontal gyrus. This, researchers report, is “positively correlated with improvement in task performance.”
This occurred, the researchers say, due to temporary changes in the “plasticity of parieto-frontal brain connections.” In other words, green tea helped fuel the brain’s synaptic connectivity, at least in the short term, leading to improved performance in “working memory tasks,” explains Science Daily.
Now, it’s important to remember that researchers are not sitting around sipping cups of Genmaicha and playing games of Memory®. Instead, they’re using green tea extract, a concentrated version green tea dissolved in, in this case, in a milk whey-based “soft drink.” But the implications are still positive, especially to those who regularly drink green tea.
In fact, the NIH says that a commonly recommended “dose” of green tea is similar to what is consumed daily in Asian countries, about three cups a day. This, they say, provides the equivalent of 240-320 mg of “active ingredients” aka polyphenols. Of course, just like the amount of caffeine that ends up in your cup, the amount of polyphenols, tannins and other good stuff that ends up in your cup is a direct result of what kind of tea you steep, how much you use, and how long you steep it.
Find a tea you love and drink it liberally.