The Top 6 Teas for Focus, Concentration, & Mental Clarity
Sometimes it can be challenging to focus on the task at hand, especially since many people have ADHD or similar disorders that impair attention span. When we were children, our lack of focus enabled us to enjoy life and lose ourselves in imagination. Conversely, once we become students and professionals, a lack of focus severely affects our ability to complete coursework or official tasks.
A lack of focus can often impact our ability to live properly since some people lose focus when performing simple but essential tasks. Conditions like ADHD are seldom that simple and range in severity on a spectrum, but they ultimately have some effect on the person's focus. This has made finding a way to improve our ability to focus an important part of dealing with focus-impairing conditions and issues.
While severe examples of conditions like ADHD require pharmaceutical-grade medications to treat, there are other options for the less serious focus issues. A surprising tool to improve focus is tea, often disregarded as anything other than a warm drink people have with breakfast. Despite this misconception, tea has several nutrients that benefit our bodies in ways you might not have considered.
Among the benefits is improved cognitive function that can help us remain focused and mentally clear for the task ahead. The trick is figuring out which tea to drink since there are several different kinds from different plants. The thing is, multiple teas are extremely useful when dealing with diminished mental clarity.
#1: Green Tea
While this might seem like the most mundane tea known to man, it is revered for its nutritional value and health benefits. Green tea is distilled from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, a species of evergreen shrub native to Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Green tea has held cultural significance in several Asian cultures, primarily Chinese and Japanese, and has since been imported into the western world.
Most people view green tea as a simple drink, but it contains several substances and compounds that make it extremely useful to our health. Among the nutrients in green tea is caffeine, one of the most powerful natural stimulants on the market and the source of coffee's popularity. The kicker is that caffeine can work wonders on our ability to focus, doubling its value. Green tea has a reasonable dose of caffeine, meaning it can provide the same boost without overloading us with too much at once.
Research into caffeine has proven that consuming it improves mood, vigilance, reaction time, and memory. These functions suffer when our ability to focus and maintain a clear head is compromised. In addition to caffeine, green tea boasts a concentration of L-theanine, an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier. L-theanine and caffeine are extremely compatible with one another, capable of synergizing to reinforce their overall effect on the body. As a result, consuming green tea can enhance the caffeine's ability to improve our cognitive function rather than impair it.
#2: Matcha Tea
The next logical step in the list of focus-enhancing teas is matcha, which is interesting because it is essentially the same as green tea. Like traditional green tea, matcha is distilled from C. sinensis leaves and has the same nutrients. By now, you are probably wondering why something from the same shrub as the last option deserves its own section. The thing about matcha is that it is significantly more potent than traditional green tea because it is grown in a different environment.
Unlike normal C. sinensis shrubs, the ones that produce matcha are grown in the shade, where most of the nutrients can saturate more effectively. As a result, matcha's nutrients are more plentiful and more powerful than they are in matcha's common counterpart. This bolstered effect extends to the cognitive enhancement offered by traditional green tea since matcha has the same effect but is stronger.
One study in particular involved 23 subjects who were divided into 4 groups:
- Test Group A: The subjects in Test Group A were given tea that contained 4 grams of matcha.
- Control Group A: The subjects in Control Group A were given tea that contained a placebo.
- Test Group B: The subjects in Test Group B were given edible bars that contained 4 grams of matcha.
- Control Group B: The subjects in Control Group B were given edible bars that contained a placebo.
Once the study was complete, the subjects in the test groups had significantly improved reaction times, memory retention, and attention spans. Conversely, the subjects in the control groups showed little to no improvement in those areas. A smaller study focused on green tea extract in elderly subjects, with those in the test group receiving 2 grams daily for 2 months. This second study showed the same results and improved the subjects' cognitive function.
Matcha's cognitive enhancing effects result from the same nutrients in traditional green tea: caffeine and L-theanine. The key difference is that matcha's caffeine concentration is significantly higher than its common cousin and must be consumed less to compensate. Nevertheless, matcha has earned its place as a mentally beneficial tea.
#3: Ginger Tea
Zingiber officinale is something you have almost certainly experienced at some point, though you probably know it by its common name, "ginger." Ginger root is a common addition to many kitchens and supplement manufacturing facilities because it contains several beneficial compounds.
Ginger has been used for multiple purposes and products, including adding flavor to certain foods, being served as a palate cleanser, and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine since its discovery. While few people still use ginger for anything outside the kitchen, it does have certain traits that make it a realistic addition to your health supplies. Most of the benefits of ginger are physical, designed to facilitate healthier bodily functions like digestion. Many do not know that ginger has a few compounds that allow it to enhance our cognitive functions to an extent.
As a result, some people have begun using ginger products to help them focus and retain information. The shocking thing is that evidence suggests ginger can offer an even more important benefit for our brains.
There is a possibility that ginger can help reinforce our brains against degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. While ginger is not a cure or vaccine against the disease, it can help protect the brain and minimize the risk of its onset. This is because ginger can counter oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which contribute to Alzheimer's.
These same antioxidant effects can also help us maintain cognitive functions that normally deteriorate with age. Animal studies were conducted on ginger that determined the antioxidant qualities of ginger helped the subjects maintain their brain functions despite their advanced age. While human studies are still necessary, the results show that ginger can help us with certain cognitive functions that might be affected by age.
#4: Yerba Mate Tea
We live in a world where several amazing species of plants exist, many of them living in the furthest reaches of the world and, therefore, obscure to the greater public. Among these amazing plants is Ilex paraguariensis, a species native to South America. Fortunately, this plant is known by a simpler, though still odd, name.
The common name for this plant is yerba mate, a subspecies of common holly cultivated for centuries. Yerba mate is packed with nutrients and compounds that made it valuable to its original cultivators, the Guaraní. Since the 17th century, yerba mate has been imported from South America to countries worldwide and persists in modern societies. Currently, yerba mate is a powerful health supplement with several benefits. Like the other plants listed in this article, yerba mate can be distilled into tea, which appears to benefit cognitive function.
Yerba mate is similar to green tea and matcha in that we once again have caffeine to thank for many of its benefits. Yerba mate's caffeine concentration is about the same as a cup of coffee, though it is less harsh than coffee beans. Simply consuming yerba mate tea can energize the body and make us feel more awake despite lingering drowsiness from the previous night. Fortunately, the different host has not impacted the caffeine's function for improving our cognitive functions.
While there have not been any studies directly focused on yerba mate specifically, the previous caffeine studies, combined with yerba mate's larger concentration, make it second to matcha. Consuming a cup of yerba mate tea can enhance focus, reaction times, and alertness thanks to its caffeine concentration.
#5: Black Tea
Returning to C. sinensis, our next contender is black tea, considered one of the strongest and healthiest teas. Since it comes from the same plant as green tea and matcha, it should seem clear that the benefits that made those 2 so valuable apply to this one too.
Black tea carries the same caffeine and L-theanine found in green tea and matcha, though it is stronger than green tea and equal to matcha. Black tea was specifically studied to determine its benefits on cognitive functions, and, as you might expect, the results were extremely promising.
The study saw the researchers give the subjects 250 milliliters of black tea if they were in the test group and 250 milliliters of water if they were in the control group. Both groups were given extensive cognitive tests that measured their ability to focus and retain information. The subjects from the test group did substantially better due to the caffeine and L-theanine they ingested through the black tea, while the control group had an average performance.
#6: Peppermint Tea
Unlike the previous entries in this article, the next tea has nothing to do with C. sinensis and everything to do with a very festive plant. Mentha x piperita might seem unfamiliar unless you are well-versed in the scientific names of shrubs, but the common name will likely be extremely familiar.
Peppermint has a storied history, but the most recent uses of the plant include gum, mints, and candy canes. Peppermint provides a frosty, minty sensation that is pleasant to some and unbearable to others depending on taste preference. As a result, only those who enjoy or at least tolerate the taste of peppermint can take advantage of its benefits. Odd as it sounds, candy canes would be extremely healthy if they did not have all that sugar and candy material.
Peppermint is extremely beneficial to our bodies and can help promote a healthier state when used properly. These benefits are more effective when the peppermint is distilled into tea, where the nutrients can thrive without adulteration from additional ingredients. Surprisingly, peppermint tea shares certain cognitive-enhancing abilities to help you retain focus and mental clarity.
As a quick disclaimer, there are no studies that specifically tested peppermint tea as a way of enhancing concentration. However, a study determined peppermint oil can offer general enhancement to cognitive function. The study focused on 24 young adults, in which the subjects in the test group were given peppermint oil capsules. When the study concluded, the subjects in the test group performed significantly better on the cognitive tests than those in the control group. While further studies are needed, peppermint appears to be an up-and-coming powerhouse in cognitive enhancement.
Finding the Right Blend
As surprising as it might sound, tea can benefit our cognitive function and offers improved focus and information retention. The number of different teas can make it hard to identify the best options, but they all have merit.
Regardless of the tea that speaks to you, your biggest goal is to find a reliable vendor that offers the tea you need in its most natural state. That is where we at Teami come into the equation. We focus on providing natural supplements designed to promote health and beauty, including cognitive function. We have an extensive catalog of products designed to accomplish different goals, and our selection of tea is not lacking in variety.
If you are trying to improve your focus, we recommend our Focus Tea Blend, which has yerba mate and black tea leaves to maximize results. We encourage you to visit our website and see if our tea blend calls to you. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
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