Time for tea: mood, blood pressure and cognitive performance effects of caffeine and theanine administered alone and together.
ABSTRACT Although both contain behaviourally significant concentrations of caffeine, tea is commonly perceived to be a less stimulating drink than coffee. At least part of the explanation for this may be that theanine, which is present in tea but not coffee, has relaxing effects. There is also some evidence that theanine affects cognitive performance, and it has been found to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive rats.
To study the subjective, behavioural and blood pressure effects of theanine and caffeine administered alone and together, in doses relevant to the daily tea consumption of regular tea drinkers.
In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, healthy adult participants (n = 48) received either 250-mg caffeine, 200-mg theanine, both or neither of these. They completed ratings of mood, including anxiety, and alertness, and had their blood pressure measured before and starting 40 min after drug administration. Anxiety was also assessed using a visual probe task.
Caffeine increased self-rated alertness and jitteriness and blood pressure. Theanine antagonised the effect of caffeine on blood pressure but did not significantly affect jitteriness, alertness or other aspects of mood. Theanine also slowed overall reaction time on the visual probe task.
Theanine is a physiologically and behaviourally active compound and, while it is unclear how its effects might explain perceived differences between tea and coffee, evidence suggests that it may be useful for reducing raised blood pressure.
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ABSTRACT: Background: Disruptive effects of caffeine on sleep have previously been reported, although measures of next-day mood and performance have rarely been included. The present study aims to evaluate the effects of caffeine on sleep and associated next-day effects in a naturalistic field setting. Methods: Nineteen participants (daily caffeine intake 0-141 mg), assessed as good sleepers, took part in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, 2-week crossover study to assess the effects of bedtime caffeine use (250 mg) on sleep and next-day cognitive performance and mood, which were assessed on a mobile phone in the morning and afternoon. Sleep was assessed objectively (actiwatch) and subjectively (sleep diary). Results: Caffeine's effects on sleep were largely restricted to the first day of administration, with actigraphically measured reduced sleep efficiency, increased activity score and fragmentation index, decreased self-rated sleep quality, and an increased occurrence of participants waking early; only decreased sleep efficiency remained over the week. Effects on next-day performance and mood were evident over the whole week, although despite disrupting sleep, accuracy on a working memory task was higher after caffeine than placebo administration. Conclusions: Caffeine disrupted sleep, although when assessing next-day performance, which may have been affected by the presence of residual caffeine, performance appeared better after caffeine compared to placebo, although this was most likely due to prevention of the effects of overnight withdrawal from caffeine rather than representing a net benefit. Furthermore, partial tolerance developed to the effects of caffeine on sleep.Journal of caffeine research. 03/2014; 4(1):13-20.
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ABSTRACT: The Kenyan tea industry wishes to diversify its tea products, and in line with this, anthocyanin - rich teas were developed at the Tea Research Foundation of Kenya. These teas have purple-coloured leaves and the green colour is masked. In total, 12 accessions of the purple leaf coloured teas and 2 standard tea varieties were studied. Clones Hanlu and Yabukita are Chinese and Japanese tea varieties, respectively, known for good green tea, and they were used as reference standards. Little if any research had been done to characterize the quality of these purple leaf coloured teas and this study investigated their total polyphenols (TPP), catechins, caffeine, gallic acid and theanine. These are the major green tea quality parameters. Results showed that the new Kenyan tea clones had higher total polyphenols than had the reference standard tea varieties, which had 17.2% and 19.7% while the lowest among the Kenyan clones was 20.8%. On catechin quality index, K-purple and TRFK 91/1 showed high index values of 15.9 and 13.3, respectively, while clones TRFK 83/1 and 73/5 showed low index values of 0.74 and 1.0, respectively. Hanlu had the highest caffeine level with 2.42% while clones TRFK KS 3, TRFK KS 2 and TRFK 83/1 had relatively high caffeine levels among the purple leaf coloured teas, with 2.33%, 2.22% and 2.21%, respectively. Clone TRFK 73/5 had the lowest caffeine content, with 1.16%. Theanine analysis showed that most purple leaf coloured teas had more theanine than had the reference standard clones, except TRFK 83/1 and K-purple, which were lower than the reference standard clones. The implication of the green tea chemical quality parameters is also discussed. It is concluded that all the studied clones/varieties have above the minimum 14% of total polyphenols. Clones K-purple and TRFK 91/1 showed high green tea quality indices with the latter doubling with high levels of theanine; hence its highly recommended for green tea manufacture.Food Chemistry 11/2013; 141(2):769-75. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted on 11 randomized placebo-controlled human studies of acute effects of tea constituents L-theanine and epigallocatechin gallate, administered alone or in combination with caffeine, on cognitive function and mood. The outcome measures of mood were alertness, calmness, and contentedness, derived from the Bond-Lader scales, and state anxiety, from the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Cognitive measures assessed were attentional switch, intersensory attention, and rapid visual information processing. Standardized mean differences between placebo and treatment groups are presented for each study and outcome measure. Meta-analysis using a random-effects model was conducted when data were available for three or more studies. Evidence of moderate effect sizes in favor of combined caffeine and L-theanine in the first 2 hours postdose were found for outcome measures Bond-Lader alertness, attentional switching accuracy, and, to a lesser extent, some unisensory and multisensory attentional outcomes. Moderator analysis of caffeine and L-theanine doses revealed trends toward greater change in effect size for caffeine dose than for L-theanine dose, particularly during the first hour postdose.Nutrition Reviews 06/2014; · 4.60 Impact Factor