Need a Caffeine Fix? Grab Some Tea.
We all know the feeling. Eyelids flickering in your late afternoon lecture, ready to shut. Repeated yawning in front of the computer screen at one in the morning when you have a paper due for your 8:00 am class. Exhaustion is unavoidable for busy college students, and its impacts on your work can be detrimental. But suppose you don’t want to join your friends in chugging Red Bulls, 5-hour ENERGY, and shots of espresso to stay awake? Luckily, there is a milder (and tasty) alternative.
If high doses of caffeine make you jittery or anxious, or you just prefer the taste, drinking tea is a great way to keep your energy (and your studies) at a top-notch level. Tea is cheap, readily available, and easy and quick to prepare. It’s available in numerous flavors, from basic black tea to herbal and fruit-infused varieties, and there are many more options on the market than your typical energy-enhancement fare. And, at the very least, all you need is a mug, a microwave, and some water to make a cup of tea in minutes.
Tea is also much healthier than more typical energy drink choices for college students. According to the online health resource Mayo Clinic, black tea has only 14-61 milligrams of caffeine; green tea only 24-40 mg. By contrast, your average cup of generic coffee has 95-200 mg of caffeine, and 5-Hour Energy contains 207 mg. Caffeine affects people differently, but more than 500 to 600 mg a day can cause such negative side effects as irritability, restlessness, and a quickened heartbeat.
Tea has other health benefits as well. According to WebMD, compounds called flavonoids that are naturally present in tea promote cardiac health and may reduce the risk of cancer. Specifically, green tea contains antioxidants that may discourage the growth of a variety of cancers and even improve cholesterol levels. Black tea may reduce lung damage caused by cigarette smoke and the risk of stroke. Medical science, it seems, has only scraped the surface of tea’s medicinal properties.
Tea in any form is usually a healthier energy supplement than more conventional energy drinks, but loose-leaf tea is better than bagged in terms of flavor and quality. (StudentUniverse offers five percent cash back on products from Teavana, a national retailer of loose-leaf teas.) Bagged tea is an acceptable (and cheaper) alternative, but avoid bottled brands such as Snapple and Arizona; these contain heavy amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners. The world of tea is so diverse, however, that you’ll be sure to find something that suits your palate – and your sleep schedule.
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