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: Performance in many sports is at least partially dependent on motor control, coordination, decision-making, and other cognitive tasks. This review summarizes available evidence about the ingestion of selected nutrients or isolated compounds (dietary constituents) and potential acute effects on motor skill and/or cognitive performance in athletes. Dietary constituents discussed include branched-chain amino acids, caffeine, carbohydrate, cocoa flavanols, Gingko biloba, ginseng, guarana, Rhodiola rosea, sage, L-theanine, theobromine, and tyrosine. Although this is not an exhaustive list, these are perhaps the most researched dietary constituents. Caffeine and carbohydrate have the greatest number of published reports supporting their ability to enhance acute motor skill and cognitive performance in athletes. At this time, there is insufficient published evidence to substantiate the use of any other dietary constituents to benefit sports-related motor skill or cognitive performance. The optimal dose and timing of caffeine and carbohydrate intake promoting enhanced motor skill and cognitive performance remain to be identified. Valid, reliable, and sensitive batteries of motor skills and cognitive tests should be developed for use in future efficacy studies.Nutrition Reviews 12/2014; 72(12). DOI:10.1111/nure.12157 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease that is rapidly increasing and has become a major public health problem. Type 2 DM (T2DM) is the most common type, accounting for up to 90-95% of the new diagnosed DM cases. The brain is very susceptible to glucose fluctuations and hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress (OS). It is well known that DM and the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases are associated. Tea, Camellia sinensis L., is one of the most consumed beverages. It contains several phytochemicals, such as polyphenols, methylxanthines (mainly caffeine) and L-theanine that are often reported to be responsible for tea’s health benefits, including in brain. Tea phytochemicals have been reported to be responsible for tea’s significant antidiabetic and neuroprotective properties and antioxidant potential. Epidemiological studies have shown that regular consumption of tea has positive effects on DM-caused complications and protects the brain against oxidative damage, contributing to an improvement of the cognitive function. Among the several reported benefits of tea consumption, those related with neurodegenerative diseases are of great interest. Herein, we discuss the potential beneficial effects of tea consumption and tea phytochemicals on DM and how their action can counteract the severe brain damage induced by this disease.Current Neuropharmacology 12/2014; 12(6). · 2.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Emerging data indicate that adults with binge eating may exhibit an attentional bias toward highly palatable foods, which may promote obesogenic eating patterns and excess weight gain. However, it is unknown to what extent youth with loss of control (LOC) eating display a similar bias. We therefore studied 76 youth (14.5±2.3y; 86.8% female; BMI-z 1.7± .73) with (n=47) and without (n=29) reported LOC eating. Following a breakfast to reduce hunger, youth participated in a computerized visual probe task of sustained attention that assessed reaction time to pairs of pictures consisting of high palatable foods, low palatable foods, and neutral household objects. Although sustained attentional bias did not differ by LOC eating presence and was unrelated to body weight, a two-way interaction between BMI-z and LOC eating was observed (p = .01), such that only among youth with LOC eating, attentional bias toward high palatable foods versus neutral objects was positively associated with BMI-z. These findings suggest that LOC eating and body weight interact in their association with attentional bias to highly palatable foods cues, and may partially explain the mixed literature linking attentional bias to food cues with excess body weight. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.Appetite 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2014.11.027 · 2.52 Impact Factor