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.
- SourceAvailable from: pkdiet.com[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Caffeine acutely increases blood pressure, but the association between habitual consumption of caffeinated beverages and incident hypertension is uncertain. To examine the association between caffeine intake and incident hypertension in women. Prospective cohort study conducted in the Nurses' Health Studies (NHSs) I and II of 155,594 US women free from physician-diagnosed hypertension followed up over 12 years (1990-1991 to 2002-2003 questionnaires). Caffeine intake and possible confounders were ascertained from regularly administered questionnaires. We also tested the associations with types of caffeinated beverages. Incident physician-diagnosed hypertension. During follow-up, 19,541 incident cases of physician-diagnosed hypertension were reported in NHS I and 13,536 in NHS II. In both cohorts, no linear association between caffeine consumption and risk of incident hypertension was observed after multivariate adjustment (NHS I, P for trend = .29; NHS II, P for trend = .53). Using categorical analysis, an inverse U-shaped association between caffeine consumption and incident hypertension was found. Compared with participants in the lowest quintile of caffeine consumption, those in the third quintile had a 13% and 12% increased risk of hypertension, respectively (95% confidence interval in NHS I, 8%-18%; in NHS II, 6%-18%). When studying individual classes of caffeinated beverages, habitual coffee consumption was not associated with increased risk of hypertension. By contrast, consumption of cola beverages was associated with an increased risk of hypertension, independent of whether it was sugared or diet cola (P for trend <.001). No linear association between caffeine consumption and incident hypertension was found. Even though habitual coffee consumption was not associated with an increased risk of hypertension, consumption of sugared or diet cola was associated with it. Further research to elucidate the role of cola beverages in hypertension is warranted.JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 12/2005; 294(18):2330-5. · 29.98 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Tea has anecdotally been associated with stress relief, but this has seldom been tested scientifically. To investigate the effects of 6 weeks of black tea consumption, compared with matched placebo, on subjective, cardiovascular, cortisol and platelet responses to acute stress, in a parallel group double-blind randomised design. Seventy-five healthy nonsmoking men were withdrawn from tea, coffee and caffeinated beverages for a 4-week wash-out phase during which they drank four cups per day of a caffeinated placebo. A pretreatment laboratory test session was carried out, followed by either placebo (n = 38) or active tea treatment (n = 37) for 6 weeks, then, a final test session. Cardiovascular measures were obtained before, during and after two challenging behavioural tasks, while cortisol, platelet and subjective measures were assessed before and after tasks. The tasks induced substantial increases in blood pressure, heart rate and subjective stress ratings, but responses did not differ between tea and placebo treatments. Platelet activation (assessed using flow cytometry) was lower following tea than placebo treatment in both baseline and post-stress samples (P < 0.005). The active tea group also showed lower post-task cortisol levels compared with placebo (P = 0.032), and a relative increase in subjective relaxation during the post-task recovery period (P = 0.036). Compared with placebo, 6 weeks of tea consumption leads to lower post-stress cortisol and greater subjective relaxation, together with reduced platelet activation. Black tea may have health benefits in part by aiding stress recovery.Psychopharmacology 01/2007; 190(1):81-9. · 4.06 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Adenosine is a modulator that has a pervasive and generally inhibitory effect on neuronal activity. Tonic activation of adenosine receptors by adenosine that is normally present in the extracellular space in brain tissue leads to inhibitory effects that appear to be mediated by both adenosine A1 and A2A receptors. Relief from this tonic inhibition by receptor antagonists such as caffeine accounts for the excitatory actions of these agents. Characterization of the effects of adenosine receptor agonists and antagonists has led to numerous hypotheses concerning the role of this nucleoside. Previous work has established a role for adenosine in a diverse array of neural phenomena, which include regulation of sleep and the level of arousal, neuroprotection, regulation of seizure susceptibility, locomotor effects, analgesia, mediation of the effects of ethanol, and chronic drug use.Annual Review of Neuroscience 02/2001; 24:31-55. · 20.61 Impact Factor