Tea is one of the most consumed drinks on the planet. It’s right up there with water and coffee!
When you look at the health benefits, it’s easy to see why. Tea is a medicinal superfood. But what about decaffeinated tea? Is it just as nutritious?
Definitely. The only major difference is the caffeine. In an 8-ounce cup of normal tea, you’ll get 14 to 60 mg of caffeine.1 But a cup of decaf tea can have little to none. For example, decaffeinated black tea has 2 mg, while decaffeinated green tea has zero.2 3
The perks aren’t in the caffeine, meaning decaf tea is just as healthy. Drinking a cup will give you these seven remarkable benefits.
1. Fights Oxidative Stress
Tea is known for its high antioxidant content. It’s all because of polyphenols like catechins and epicatechins. These plant chemicals are found in red, black, and especially, green tea.
2. Relieves Anxiety
Feeling anxious? Brew yourself a cup of black or green tea. You’ll reap the benefits of theanine – a stress-busting amino acid.
Theanine can easily cross the blood-brain barrier. It acts on serotonin and dopamine – two neurotransmitters that control your mood. The result? Calmness and relaxation.7
The lack of caffeine will also help. A high intake may actually cause anxiety, so it’s a good idea to avoid too much.8 Drinking decaffeinated tea is the perfect solution.
3. Improves Mental Health
Drinking tea will help out your noggin. In humans, theanine boosts learning and memory. This amino acid can even increase selective attention, making it easier to focus on specific tasks.9
To top it off, green tea enhances the connections between neurotransmitters. This will ward off neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Caffeine might dampen these effects. However, by drinking decaf tea, you’ll soak up the benefits without worrying about caffeine.10
4. Regulates Blood Sugar
Polyphenols keep your blood sugar in check. A high intake increases insulin sensitivity – a process needed to reduce blood glucose.11
Tea is an amazing source of polyphenols – even without caffeine! It can play a major role in diabetes prevention. But if you’re already diabetic, the polyphenols will still control your condition.12
5. Lowers Heart Disease Risk
By fighting oxidative stress, tea protects your arteries. This way, they can stay strong and promote healthy blood flow. It’s exactly what you need to ward off heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.13
Tea may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol – two major factors. The effect is even greater in those with hypertension. Again, it’s all thanks to the catechins.14
6. Strengthens Immune System
As you can see, tea controls the risk factors of specific diseases. Yet, it can also build your overall immunity. This will give you even more protection against sickness.
7. Allows Normal Sleep Schedule
Decaffeinated tea has little to no caffeine. You can enjoy the benefits on this list – even at night! You won’t have to worry about bedtime.
It’s always a good idea to avoid caffeine before sleeping. Otherwise, you’ll be at a risk for insomnia and restlessness.17 But with decaf tea, you can enjoy a warm cup in bed.
|↑1, ↑8||Caffeine. MedlinePlus.|
|↑2||Basic Report: 14352, Beverages, tea, black, brewed, prepared with tap water, decaffeinated. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑3||Basic Report: 14260, Beverages, tea, green, brewed, decaffeinated. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑4, ↑12, ↑13||Tea: A cup of good health? Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School.|
|↑5||Oxidative Stress/Inflammation and Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Disorders. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.|
|↑6||Christen, Yves. “Oxidative stress and Alzheimer disease.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 71, no. 2 (2000): 621s-629s.|
|↑7, ↑9||Lardner, Anne L. “Neurobiological effects of the green tea constituent theanine and its potential role in the treatment of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.” Nutritional neuroscience 17, no. 4 (2014): 145-155.|
|↑10||Schmidt, André, Felix Hammann, Bettina Wölnerhanssen, Anne Christin Meyer-Gerspach, Jürgen Drewe, Christoph Beglinger, and Stefan Borgwardt. “Green tea extract enhances parieto-frontal connectivity during working memory processing.” Psychopharmacology 231, no. 19 (2014): 3879-3888.|
|↑11||Bozzetto, Lutgarda, Giovanni Annuzzi, Giovanni Pacini, Giuseppina Costabile, Claudia Vetrani, Marilena Vitale, Ettore Griffo et al. “Polyphenol-rich diets improve glucose metabolism in people at high cardiometabolic risk: a controlled randomised intervention trial.” Diabetologia 58, no. 7 (2015): 1551-1560.|
|↑14||Khalesi, Saman, Jing Sun, Nicholas Buys, Arash Jamshidi, Elham Nikbakht-Nasrabadi, and Hossein Khosravi-Boroujeni. “Green tea catechins and blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.” European journal of nutrition 53, no. 6 (2014): 1299-1311.|
|↑15||Pae, Munkyong, and Dayong Wu. “Immunomodulating effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea: mechanisms and applications.” Food & function 4, no. 9 (2013): 1287-1303.|
|↑16||Hendricks, Rahzia, and Edmund John Pool. “The in vitro effects of rooibos and black tea on immune pathways.” Journal of Immunoassay and Immunochemistry 31, no. 2 (2010): 169-180.|
|↑17||Caffeine and Sleep. National Sleep Foundation.|