Hot Tea: What to Drink and When
The secret to a long life is hot tea. Sure, that’s a bit of a blanket statement, but we’re all aboard this bandwagon and trust us, you should be too. Widely accepted scientific studies point out the expansive list of health benefits associated with regularly drinking hot tea of all varieties. The fountain of youth remains a piece of fiction, but should it be discovered, we bet that it flows through a forest of Camellia sinensis (the plant responsible for most teas).
Let’s break down the most popular varieties, what they do for your temple, and when to drink this glorious elixir. We’ll hop in for a shameless plug here too; we offer all of these. Okay, let’s go!
Crazy popular, boasting strong flavors and outrageous caffeine, drink this reddish (confusing, we know) drink in the morning for a real pick-me-up. Still not sold? Black tea is known to prevent heart disease and stroke, help manage diabetes, improve digestion, relieve stress, and improve dental health. And that’s only half of it! This stuff nourishes every part of your body in ways you’d never expect, like skincare, protecting you from harmful UV rays. Black tea is also linked to overall happiness, and that makes sense to us! A healthy life is a happier life.
Also wildly popular, but famous for a spicy flavor that’s usually tempered with sweeteners for a delicious sweet and spicy morning drink loaded with caffeine. Think chai tea latte. This ancient drink has been known for its medicinal properties since the dawn of tea. Chai is great for alleviating nausea as well as improving digestion. The spices also help with aches and pains related to inflammation, lead to a stronger immune system, and protect overall cell health to prevent chronic disease.
Green tea is caffeinated, but not to the extreme you’ll find in coffee or some other teas, making this the perfect tea to get you through the 3 p.m. slump. Caffeine increases brain function, essentially making you smarter, and green’s toned-down caffeine content can lead to these effects without the jitters or crash afterward. Now for the healthy stuff: green tea has bioactive compounds like polyphenol that reduce inflammation and even fight cancer. Green tea is excellent at burning fat; in fact, you’ll find it in most work-out supplements. This tea is a natural bacteria annihilator, which means clean and healthy teeth for regular drinkers. All teas have many varieties, but some green teas are spiking in popularity. Ever heard of a little green drink called matcha?
We see a pattern here. Most teas are great at combatting heart disease. Oolong is no different. Studies have found that regular drinkers of oolong have decreased risk of high cholesterol, LDL (“bad” cholesterol) included. Separately, when studying the association between drinking oolong and cancer risk, it was found that each cup per day meant a 4% decrease in risk. Studies suggest Oolong may lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, improve dental health, build healthier gut bacteria, and strengthen bones.
Pu-erh (pronounced: poo air)
Finally, a nighttime tea. As an aged or fermented tea, ripe Pu-erh is mild, and it won’t disrupt sleep quality. Plus, on top of the same heart-healthy, cancer-fighting, bone-strengthening, weight-burning properties of other teas, Pu-erh is incredible at cleansing toxins from the body. Microorganisms team up with your spleen and stomach to filter the bad stuff out and keep you operating at your best. And its oxidative properties increase blood flow, fighting headaches and migraines. Drink Pu-erh when your cubemate is sneezing like crazy. The high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C are cold and flu killers.
Known for its anti-aging properties, White Tea is legendary when it comes to skincare. Get it… anti-aging… the secret to long life… we rest our case. White tea’s make-up contributes to acne defense. Yes, this tea fights acne. It also protects against harmful UV radiation from the sun and contains enzymes to promote healthy hair and skin. And to drive this point a little further, White tea has the same happy, healthy, long-life properties of most other teas.
This one is a little different. Where most teas come from that Camellia sinensis plant, turmeric is its own plant from the ginger family. It’s bright orange/yellow, and if you’ve cooked with it, you know it leaves your hands that color for ages. So, what’s the hype? Turmeric’s primary compound, curcumin, has many of the same properties of more common teas. It’s known to fight cancer, is loaded with antioxidant power, increases brain function, lowers the risk of heart disease, and the list goes on. The secret strength here, though, is the natural anti-inflammatory properties related to curcumin. It’s so powerful that it matches some major anti-inflammatory drugs in effectiveness by attacking at a molecular level.
Not a tea in itself, Jasmine leaves are mixed with green tea to create this drink. Look at all of the benefits of green tea, now add some serious cold-fighting power. Jasmine tea prevents illness such as cold and influenza, but really shines when it’s time to beat the sniffles. An old theory is that gargling jasmine tea can beat and prevent illness, but that stuff is just so darn good, you might as well drink it.
When it comes to healthy habits, tea is hard to beat. Any tea has phenomenal capabilities in keeping you top-notch. So, try them all, find your favorite, and enjoy this ancient treat. Your body will thank you.