Learn about herbs (and other nutritive ingredients) Chapter 1: Green Tea
Ugh. It’s 3 pm. You’ve been at your desk for six looooong hours. And five o’clock still seems soooooooo far away. It’s called the midday slump and it’s the reason Spanish siestas were invented — it’s also the reason coffee breaks are so popular, at least with those of us who don’t live anywhere near Madrid. Of course, coffee is not the only way to get a caffeine fix. For a less jittery, more sustained energy boost, many people are reaching for green tea or supplements containing green tea extract such as Uleva Fuel.
Long hailed for its myriad health benefits, green tea is made from the leaves of camellia sinensis — the very same tea leaves used to make your standard issue black teas like English Breakfast and Earl Grey!
The difference between this tea and its darker counterparts is in how it is made. Black teas and oolongs require the tea leaves to go through a long withering and oxidation process before they are steamed (or pan fired), rolled and dried to produce the tea leaves we infuse into our boiling water. Green tea either minimizes the withering and oxidation step or skips it entirely, which is why the resulting leaves and infusion retain their green, plantlike color.
The discovery of green tea dates back some 5000 years to 2737 B.C. when, as legend has it, tea leaves from a nearby Camellia sinensis tree fell into Chinese Emperor Shen Nung’s pot of freshly boiled water. Whatever the actual story, its popularity was firmly established in China for many hundreds of years before spreading to Japan in 805 AD, when Buddhist monks studying in China brought tea trees back to their homeland.
Brimming with beneficial chemical compounds called polyphenols, green tea has been widely linked to health benefits. Which brings us to the main reason it is popularly considered to be the world’s healthiest libation.
The kale of beverages, the king of the tea aisle, the undisputed champion of superfoods, green tea has been credited with the ability to support overall health and wellness. Some of the benefits that have been attributed to it are:
Mental clarity and cognitive function
Studies conducted on the L-theanine and caffeine content of green tea suggest that this combination promotes sustained attention, memory and suppression of distraction. Another benefit of this special blend found in green tea is that L-theanine has been shown to reduce caffeine-induced arousal, leading to increased relaxation.
Besides improving mental alertness, the amino acid L-theanine is also often credited with boosting physical performance and energy. Known to help slow the absorption of caffeine, L-theanine enables the body to process the caffeine more effectively and results in a longer and more sustained boost of energy.
How much should I take?
If all this great word of mouth has you thinking, sounds great…where do I sign up? You’ve come to the right place. There’s certainly more than one way to get your green tea fix. One way is to simply drink it. To reap the optimal health benefits, studies indicate that you should drink anywhere from 3 to 5 cups per day.
If you’re thinking, woah, that’s a LOT of tea!, you’re not alone. That’s where extract enters the picture. Green tea extract supplements deliver the same health and energy-boosting benefits as brewed tea — good news for anyone who either doesn’t have the time for all that tea-drinking or simply doesn’t enjoy the flavor.
With 50 mg of caffeine from green tea extract per capsule, Uleva Fuel is a great example of a supplement that lets you customize your intake. Whether you want to jump start your day and take two in the morning (equal to about 1 cup of coffee), or take one mid-day to help combat an afternoon energy slump (without staying up all night as a result), capsules with lower doses of green tea let you personalize your experience so that it fits your lifestyle.