The benefits of tea have been proven time and time again, especially using green tea for anxiety, stress, and depression.
This popular worldwide drink has so many health benefits its hard to count, so let’s look at each benefit green tea has on anxiety.
How Does Green Tea Soothe Anxiety?
The Chinese have used green tea for anxiety and other ailments and since its inception. Soon enough these same benefits became widespread around the world.
But how exactly does a simple drink like green tea helps soothe my anxiety, stress, and even depression?
Green tea has two things that make it more than just tea, it has powerful antioxidants and a special amino acid that is nearly exclusive to green tea, L-theanine.
Because of these two important compounds, many use green tea for anxiety on a daily basis.
Boost in Mood
While the antioxidants and l-theanine work in the background, you are also getting benefit from drinking water, and a little bit of the caffeine.
Now caffeine might not seem beneficial, but it’s uplifting and can help you perk up.
Green tea has the perfect amount of caffeine in every cup to provide you that much-needed boost to your mood.
Drink too much caffeine though, and you’ll start feeling jittery and the opposite effect.
So its recommended not to drink more than 3 cups of green tea for anxiety a day.
Water makes up to 60 percent of our body, so its important to our health is an understatement.
It helps keep our muscles and joints lubricated and regulate internal body temperature.
But how does it help with my anxiety, you may be asking?
Our brains also work like a muscle and also receives benefits from water.
It can keep our head clear and focused, while the lack of water can actually decrease your mood.
Tea is mostly water, so drinking tea is like killing 2 birds with one stone.
Not only are you getting your intake of water but also getting added benefits from the antioxidants, the l-theanine, and even the caffeine.
Antioxidants are important molecules that your body needs to function. Our bodies need a healthy amount of antioxidants for survival.
Even if you don’t know what antioxidants are, most people can recognize these important nutrients.
Nutrients such as: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, Manganese.
These antioxidants keep our bodies healthy, but they have one other job as well.
They help our bodies fend off free radicals.
Free radicals have been linked to a range of diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
While antioxidants do provide assistance with free radicals, by all means, increasing the intake of antioxidants in large amounts does not increase their benefits.
Having a healthy diet and getting our intake of antioxidants through natural sources of food is most beneficial for our bodies.
As we live our lives, eat and breath, compounds known as free radicals are generated.
They are the natural byproduct of normal chemical reactions in our bodies.
Think of these as the waste produced from our cells, but they can walk around and hate being alone.
So they travel around your body looking for another pair. This process causes damage to our cells and can lead to serious problems.
While they do cause harm to our bodies they also help by fighting off infections.
As with everything keeping a healthy balance of free radicals in our bodies is ideal for a healthy body.
Flavonoids are compounds that are present in most plants. These flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory behaviors.
They are reported to help our bodies fight off degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease, and memory loss.
This beneficial compound is just an added benefit and another reason drinking green tea is not only great for anxiety, but overall health.
L-theanine is an amino acid naturally found in green teas and very rarely found naturally from other sources.
You could almost say that l-theanine is exclusive to green teas. (White, Green, Oolong, and Black Teas)
But for people who don’t like the taste, you can eat l-theanine rich foods such as nuts, broccoli, and whole grains.
This powerful amino acid helps relax and alleviate stress and anxiety in a number of ways.
Making the use of green tea for anxiety one of a kind.
How L-theanine Helps with Anxiety
One of the many ways l-theanine helps you reduce anxiety, stress, and depression is by boosting neurotransmitters in the brain.
More specifically the release of serotonin, GABA, and dopamine.
These neurotransmitters are so important because they not only relax you and your mind, but help improve memory, and learning.
Interestingly enough, l-theanine also helps increase alpha brain waves.
Alpha waves are associated with relaxation and calming down, and it’s the same brainwave achieved during meditation practices.
So it’s safe to say l-theanine is powerful and beneficial for reducing anxiety, stress, and depression.
For more information on l-theanine, bebrainfit goes into this amino acid in greater detail.
Best Green Teas for Anxiety
Not all teas contain l-theanine, only teas that come from the Camilla Sinensis plant do. These include White, Black, Oolong, Pu-erh and of course Green tea.
The difference between each of these teas is small and each contains nearly identical amounts of L-theanine and antioxidants.
The one exception to this is matcha green tea. The leaves and process used to create matcha are what sets it apart from the rest.
It is said that matcha contains 5 times the amount of l-theanine than in other teas.
Japanese teas are also said to contain higher levels of l-theanine, and it all comes down to when and how the leaves are picked.
So if you’re looking for the best of the best, check our list below.
All of the teas on this list are also sold organic and fresh from Cup & Leaf.
I highly recommend everyone purchasing loose leave teas through them.
Amazon can be quick and easy but the quality isn’t always assured.
If you are serious about getting the best for your body Cup & Leaf is the best option.
Plus they sell all their teas in loose leave which is much better in terms of benefits.
Getting the Most Out of Your Tea
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when getting the most out of every cup.
It is highly recommended to use tea leaves over tea bags when brewing your cup of green tea.
Using the tea leaves has significantly more benefits over tea bags.
Brewing the leaves allows the tea to release a lot more of its nutrients.
Another important factor to keep in mind is the steep time. You should steep your teas for 3 – 5 minutes.
Remember the longer the steep, the deeper the flavor you’ll get as well.
It’s also important to know that loose tea leaves can also be steeped multiple times.
This makes them really economical if you enjoy multiple cups of tea a day.
All the teas below have been handpicked by us as the best, so you can shop with confidence.
If you don’t enjoy drinking green tea but still want to get the same benefits for your anxiety, you can also try using supplements that have l-theanine.
NOTICE: Supplements are not FDA regulated so always do your research before choosing your supplements.
We also did our researched and list the Top 10 Natural and Healthy Supplements you can use today for your anxiety.
All of these supplements are made with all-natural ingredients so you can shop with peace of mind.
White Tea Leaves
Delicate with a mild and sweet taste, white tea is minimally processed to produce its fresh taste.
White tea is regardless as one of the finest teas available.
Originally only available in China, thanks to the development of new cultivation techniques and mass production, you can enjoy yourself this fine tea.
Black Tea Leaves
Black teas flavor is due to the process of fully oxidizing the leaves before drying.
Blacks tea flavor is and richer than green tea, and has hints of spiced, nutty, or smokey flavor.
Black tea is more bitter than green tea, but properly brewing it leaves you with a smooth and flavorful taste.
Our favorite black tea is Earl Grey Black Tea.
Green Tea Leaves
This widely popular and know tea has created widespread buzz for its benefits since its birth.
Its benefits have been time and time again proven and its unique nutrients have many back for a second cup.
The best green tea can have a wide range of taste, from bittersweet, nutty, to fruity.
With it benefits its no wonder its one of the most popular drinks in the world.
Japanese Green Teas for Anxiety
Now if you are looking for green tea with the most benefit, then by far Japanese green teas are the way to go.
Their almost ritual-like processing of tea leaves is the gold standard for tea. If you are looking for the best of the best then look no further.
These are the best Japanese green teas for anxiety, stress, and anxiety.
Shincha Tea Leaves
Translated to “New Tea”, the very first leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant are picked and used.
The first harvest is considered the best and most delicious.
The freshness of this tea is through the roof, and the taste is sweeter and has a lower level of astringency.
The popularity of this type of tea is so high it sells out very quickly, and hard to come by overseas.
The leaves used in matcha are grown in shade, and when harvested are dried are ground to a fine powder.
You receive more nutrients and benefits from matcha than any other tea.
you literally drink the entire leaf in every cup of matcha.
So if your looking for the tea with the highest antioxidant content as well as l-theanine than look no further.
Best Herbal Teas for Stress and Depression
Besides using green tea for anxiety, there are also herbal teas that have similar benefits you can use.
The difference between green tea and herbal tea is the plant used, all green tea are made from the same plant, the “Camilla Sinensis”. While herbal teas are made from flowers, nuts, and roots.
Some of these teas aren’t as popular as green tea but can be just as good for you.
Its also nice to change it up a little from time to time, so it’s great to know there are options between teas to choose from for anxiety and stress.
Lemon Balm Tea
Lemon balm belongs to the mint family and features a very refreshing citrusy flavor with hints of mint.
Studies show that lemon balm tea may help reduce anxiety and depression by targeting our nervous system.
A relaxed nervous system has an all-around calming and effect on both the body and mind.
Chamomile tea is made from the flowers of the chamomile plant and its flavor is very similar to a crisp green apple.
This tea is popularly known for its effect on relaxation and inducing sleep.
The calming effects of chamomile tea are thanks to apigenin—an antioxidant that directly targets neurotransmitters in the brain to help you relax.
Prefer Tea in Tea Bags?
Here at Unwind Therapies, we love to cover all the bases.
So if you prefer to drink tea from tea bags, we got you covered.
While the benefits of using loose tea leaves are better sometimes having a quick way to get your tea fix is ideal.
So here are our top 5 picks for best green teas for anxiety that come in tea bags.
Yogi Green Tea Super Antioxidant, is an immune-supporting tea that combines refreshing Peppermint and Lemongrass with Licorice and Fennel for a naturally sweet herbal blend.
Their tea is purposefully formulated to supply antioxidants and help reduce free-radicals.
The lemongrass adds bright, citrus flavor, while Licorice and Jasmine Green Tea lend sweet and floral notes.
Potential Side Effects of Tea
Tea is generally considered safe with almost no known side effects, consuming too much caffeine will definitely lead to some side effects.
So its best to drink no more than 3 cups of tea daily.
Pregnant women should try to avoid tea because of its caffeine contents, especially in the early months of pregnancy.
Side effects of too much caffeine include:
- Irregular Heartbeat
Green tea’s side effects are very rare and are usually only experienced in cases where a person who is consuming large amounts of green tea already has a medical condition in play.
If you are having trouble sleeping, try out some of these 10 tips to sleeping with anxiety!