Tea is like an old friend. It’s familiar, reassuring and something I look forward to. I’ve laughed into tea, cried into my tea (salty) and have always been comforted by it.
I associate it with cosy times, safe times and friends & family times. Taking time to have a cup of tea is a little haven for me amidst the crash bang whizz of city life, and I love it. Especially when paired with my favourite teapot and mug. And milk from the milkman in those gorgeous old milk bottles. It’s those little things that make all the difference for me.
Everyone has one thought or another about tea, and I’m sure my own sentiments aren’t unfamiliar. But aside from these overriding feelings of how tea makes me I feel on an emotional level, I had NO IDEA of some of the actual real life benefits tea can offer. I have been working with the Tea Advisory Panel to learn and understand more about tea, the history of it, the science of it and the real life sparkling magic of it. And it’s amazing.
Over the next few months I am going to be uncovering more and more secrets about this wonder potion we call tea, and I will share with you all my findings.
But for now, I want to bust a few myths that you may have heard floating about the playground. No more tea gossip. No more being bullied by coffee. Tea is a champion in its own right and I’m here to set the record straight. In a kind of Tea Super Hero way. (Except tea is really the super hero, TAP is the brains behind the science and I am just a little messenger. But I really want to be a super hero today, so just go with it).
Now, where’s my cape.
Tea dehydrates you.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard this, and it’s completely untrue. Tea is actually as good as water for hydration. Boom. If you drink 9 or 10 cups in one sitting, THEN you might start to feel the affect of the caffeine as a diuretic, but assuming you’re not going to guzzle that amount (who could?!) then tea is great for hydration. And, even better, tea has one major advantage over water in that it is rich in natural plant polyphenols which are thought to support heart and brain health. Hip pip.
Tea makes you less alert
Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. I’m going to get a bit sciencey now, so bear with. Tea is the main dietary source of L-theanine (magical stuff that is being investigated for its stress relief benefits) which is almost universally consumed with caffeine (you know what that is).
Studies have found that this special combo of L-theanine and caffeine are associated with improvements in mental attention. So if you’ve got hours of work ahead of you, put down that crazy caffeinated coffee, and reach for the tea. You’re brain will be ever so glad you did.
Adding milk ruins tea’s health benefits
Wrong again. Recent research shows that roughly the same amount of catechins (amazing antioxidants) were absorbed from tea with milk as from plain black tea. And even better, 4 cups of tea with milk provides 21% of daily calcium requirement. So high fives all round for the milkman.
Tea has more caffeine than coffee
This is so unbelievably wrong, it’s almost amazing that it even exists as a myth. The truth is that an average cup of tea contains less than half the level of caffeine than coffee. One cup contains only 50mg per 190ml cup. The end.
Tea is bad for your teeth
Tea is actually a source of fluoride. *Faints* 2-3 servings of tea a day contributes to fluoride intakes but the levels don’t exceed European safe limits and aren’t even high enough to reach recommended levels. So, this means that drinking more tea, say 4-5 cups a day, would actually be BETTER for our dental health.
And if you’re worried about staining, drink some water afterwards and brush your teeth! Easy peasy.
There are so many more myths to bust and facts to discover, and I will be sharing many of them with you over the coming weeks.
But for now, it’s time for a cuppa and a couple of Gingernuts. (Best biccie for dunking. I refuse to be challenged on this. But if you must, leave me a comment. But you’re wrong).
This post is sponsored by the Tea Advisory Panel
and all thoughts & opinions are my own