There is more to drinking tea than the taste or the comfort – it can boost alertness and memory. How many times have you thought tea made you more focused? Or that it helped with your work? As it turns out, recent studies are finding that drinking tea can keep you sharp.
In one study, of almost 1,500 men and women in Singapore, drinking more than four cups a day cut the odds of memory failing by three-quarters. They found that even one to three cups of Ceylon tea a day had an effect, cutting the odds of cognitive decline by 43 per cent. It is thought that compounds in tea may protect against Alzheimer’s. Among the compounds may include theanine, a plant chemical found only in tea and in mushrooms.
Experts in the US analysed several studies on the effect of caffeinated drinks on memory and mental alertness. The thousands of men and women who took part logged how often they drank tea or coffee and did a memory test that is used in the initial stages of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease. Up to ten years later, they resat the test and any fall in score was noted. The brain stayed sharper in those who drank tea in all the studies that included the drink, the journal Advances in Nutrition reports. A study which tracked 4,000 Americans for almost eight years suggested tea to be of particular benefit to women. The University of California researchers who reviewed the studies said the weaker results for coffee mean caffeine is unlikely to be responsible for the cognitive benefits.
While it is not directly linked or proven to help with dementia, the fact that drinking tea can keep you sharp is good news. Any steps to preserve memory or cognition in old age is one more reason to keep drinking tea – maybe 1 to 3 cups of the stuff.