Down the Hatch!

St. Scholastica's Student Newspaper
The Cable
By: Kate Murphy - Student Journalist -
Photo credit to blog.fairwaymarket.com

Photo credit to blog.fairwaymarket.com

I have a problem. A drinking problem.

It starts early in the morning. And it lasts all day. I can't control myself.

And sometimes, my friends and I get together and make a date out of it. It's like a party.

Just one sip and I'm hooked: the sweet aroma, the calming effect, the flavor.

My name is Kate. And I'm addicted to tea.

That moment in the morning when I turn on my hot water heater, place my Earl Grey tea bag into my mug, and cascade the hot liquid over the tea bag, warmth is steeped into my soul. Refreshing and rejuvenating. A magical elixir of health. But what is it about tea that is so good for you?

Whether iced for a hot summer's day or hot during these frigid temperatures, on any given day, over 158 million people in the United States drink tea, according to the Tea Association of the USA. And our British counterparts across the pond consume 165 million cups daily. Bring on the scones!

And tea is more popular than you may have originally thought. In fact, it's the second most consumed beverage in the world, beaten only by water. While tea is winning popularity contests around the globe, it's also crazy good for you too.

Still trying to shed off that holiday weight? Well, when you combine polyphenols, or the natural compounds in tea, and caffeine, increases energy expenditure and fat oxidation. This simply means in aiding in weight loss and maintain a healthy body weight. In fact, some researcher in a study found that those who consumed caffeinated green tea lost an average of 2.9 pounds over 12 weeks, all while maintaining their normal diet. Other studies have shown that regular tea drinkers have lower body mass indexes, or BMIs, and less body fat, compared with non-tea drinkers.

Tea is a superhero. The polyphenols and antioxidants in tea may also help stop the progression of certain cancers, including lung, skin, prostate, and breast.

A study conducted by Dr. Claudio Ferri showed that black tea reduced blood pressure in patients with hypertension, as well as helped with blood flow. Dr. Ferri commented on his findings:

"Drinking as little as one cup of tea per day supports healthy arterial function and blood pressure. The results suggest that on a population scale, drinking tea could help reduce significantly the incidence of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases."

I told you tea was magical.

Feeling stressed out with upcoming exams? Chug a mug of the liquid hug.

When you're feeling down in the dumps, a cup or two of green tea could solve your problems. The caffeine is a good start to your problems - caffeine is a stimulant that can temporarily elevate one's mood. There's another part to the answer: L-theanine. This amino acid helps combat symptoms of depression. The component in the tea has a soothing, calming effect. The amino acid has been shown to stimulate production of alpha waves in the brain; increases in alpha waves are correlated to states of more relaxation. If you want to decrease your anxiety, boost your mood, and just feel a sense of Zen, it's time to get out the tea pot.

Tea has been connected to other countless health benefits, from rehydration to boosting the immune system. Whether it's opulent orange oolong, scrumptious spicy cinnamon, or luscious lavender white tea, tea is a perfect pick-me-up.

Let's take a note from William Ewart Gladstone, Prime Minister for the United Kingdom back in the day, when he said, "If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited it will calm you."

I'll drink to that.

Cheerio,

Kate