When it comes to energy, most people reach for a cup of coffee or espresso. But did you know that you can boost energy levels by drinking a cup of tea too? The benefit of tea is that it contains compounds that coffee doesn't, which makes that energy boost even better.
Read on to discover the best teas for energy. From herbal teas like yerba mate to true teas such as black tea, you're sure to find an energy-boosting flavor you love. Want to pick up some tea to boost energy levels today? Check out our collection of the best tea for energy right here.
Green tea is renowned for health benefits ranging from accelerated weight loss to lower blood pressure. Green tea doesn't contain much caffeine, but this beverage provides unique benefits when it comes to energy and alertness. This tea can also give you a more even energy boost thanks to the presence of an amino acid known as L-theanine.
L-theanine helps to slow the body's absorption of caffeine. This allows the body to process the caffeine more effectively and results in a longer lasting energy boost (1). Since caffeine is absorbed more slowly, drinking green tea won't give you the jitters or withdrawals associated with a cup of coffee.
Green tea also contains small amounts of vitamin C that can boost immune health and protect energy levels. Pour yourself a cup of green tea and get the energy boost you crave without the jitters of coffee.
Like green tea, black tea is known for health benefits that include lower risk of heart disease, blood sugar regulation, and improved immune system health. Both of these teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and are thus known as true teas. Other true teas include oolong tea, pu-erh tea, and white tea. Of the trues teas, black tea contains the highest caffeine content.
Black tea contains 47 milligrams of caffeine for every eight-ounce serving according to the FDA and USDA (2). Some black tea blends may contain upwards of 60 to 90 milligrams of caffeine—about half the amount found in coffee. Black tea also contains a moderate amount of L-theanine, helping to balance out that energy boost.
Yerba mate is an herbal tea from South America. It has been consumed by indigenous tribes for centuries and is a staple of social gatherings. Indigenous peoples drink the tea early in the morning and share tales and hunting techniques with other community members. The tea is also part of dream interpretations.
Yerba mate is well-known by Americans as an ingredient in energy drinks. The tea features a smoky flavor with heavy earthy notes. It has a bold flavor that is comparable to coffee and a strong aroma. The tea is traditionally consumed using a clay gourd and straw called a bombilla.
Yerba mate contains more caffeine than green tea, but still less than a cup of coffee. This South American tea also contains theobromine, a compound similar to L-theanine in that it increases energy levels without jitters. Studies also show that yerba mate can increase endurance and exercise performance (3).
Peppermint tea is one of the most popular natural remedies for treating upset stomach and the common cold. The tea is made by infusing the peppermint leaf in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Peppermint tea can be brewed using loose leaf tea or tea bags. It offers a sharp, tingling flavor with hints of pine and a refreshing aroma. Peppermint tea is a caffeine-free tea, but it offers an energy boost for mental capacities.
One study from Northumbria University showed that peppermint can improve mood and memory. Researchers compared a placebo to peppermint tea on a study population of 180 individuals. The participants that drank peppermint tea showed better mood and cognition skills and also demonstrated better long-term memory (4).
Licorice root tea tastes similar to black licorice and is often blended with other herbal teas and caffeinated teas to mellow out the flavor. You can also brew plain licorice tea with a dash of lemon and honey for an energy-boosting tea that works by reducing stress levels and regulating hormones.
Licorice tea contains adaptogens—compounds that help to modulate the production of hormones. It stimulates adrenal glands to boost energy and increases blood flow (5). The increased blood flow boosts blood pressure and energy levels.
Ginger root tea is a delightfully spicy tea that lands on a host of "Eat This" lists. That's because ginger has been extensively studied and shown to exhibit health benefits for the human body. Ginger tea offers anti-inflammatory properties that help to decrease tension and inflammation and improve blood flow. Increased circulation can help boost energy.
A study published in Herbal Medicine found that ginger helps to increase the secretion of adrenal catecholamines (6). These compounds help to modulate energy consumption. Drinking ginger tea may help to boost exercise performance and energy levels on a chemical level. The tea has also been used in Chinese medicine to directly target the body's energy pathways.
Chamomile tea is made by infusing chamomile flowers in boiling water. The tea boasts flavor similar to crisp green apples and features a gentle floral aroma.
Chamomile tea is not known for its energy-boosting properties, but it can help increase focus by reducing stress. This soothing tea helps to prevent the release of serotonin—the stress hormone. The tea also works on a chemical level to boost the production of happy hormones such as dopamine, which help you focus on important tasks (7). You may also feel a mild energy boost by reducing stress and lifting the weight of worries off your shoulders.
The best types of teas to drink are organic teas and loose leaf tea leaves. They contain the highest concentration of healthy compounds to ensure you get the energy boost you're looking for.
Pour yourself a cup of one of these true teas or herbal teas to enjoy the benefits of a long-lasting energy boost. Whether you prefer spicy flavor or earthy notes, these teas are the perfect choice to start your morning or a pick-me-up in the afternoon.