The 6 Best Teas for Energy

Whether you’re looking for something to perk you up in the morning or power you through a long day and into the night, tea can be a great way to increase energy and alertness. A hearty breakfast blend can get your day off to a good start, while energizing herbal varieties can be a great option when you’re looking for a boost that won’t keep you up all night.

Why tea is good for energy

Tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine, which can give you the energy you need when you’re feeling sluggish. Tea is also a healthy alternative to other caffeinated beverages like coffee and energy drinks. Unlike other caffeinated drinks, people often experience the effects of caffeinated tea differently, reporting a more sustained energizing effect, rather than the high and crash often associated with energy-boosting beverages. This is partly due to a unique compound present in tea called l-theanine, which promotes calm, relaxation, and focus. Herbal tea ingredients like peppermint and ginger can also provide a stimulating, energizing effect for those who are trying to steer clear of caffeine entirely.

1. Black tea

Black tea is a classic morning pick-me-up for a reason. This tea is one of the most highly caffeinated kinds of tea, and contains about half as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Whether you enjoy a breakfast blend like English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast in the morning, or a variety of different flavored blends like Masala Chai and Vanilla Velvet, there are plenty of options for energizing black teas. Black tea can be enjoyed on its own, or with added milk and sweetener for a classic English cuppa.

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2. Pu-erh tea

Pu-erh Tea is an aged, partially fermented black tea that originates from the Pu-erh region of China. These aged teas are dark, rich, and decadent, and brew up a deep reddish-black color similar to that of a strong cup of coffee. The aging process reduces the tannins present in the tea, so pu-erhs are velvety smooth, with a full body and satisfying finish. Pu-erh teas are also high in caffeine, containing about half as much as coffee per cup. They hold up well to the addition of a splash of milk for a nourishing and energizing cup!

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3. Matcha

Matcha is produced from shade-grown green tea leaves, which are stone-ground into a fine powder. Matcha is traditionally prepared by whisking up the powder with hot water in a bowl, but can also be enjoyed when added to smoothies, lattes, and baked goods. Because when you drink matcha you’re consuming the entire tea leaf, rather than an infusion of tea leaves, matcha contains a concentrated amount of the many healthful and energizing properties of green tea. In particular, matcha is high in caffeine, containing almost as much as coffee. The shading process also elevates the levels of both caffeine and l-theanine in the tea, resulting in a stimulating, energizing tea that is said to contribute to clarity and focus.

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4. Mate

Native to South America, yerba mate is a popular drink in countries like Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Mate is made from the leaves of a species of the holly plant. While unrelated to true tea, yerba mate does contain caffeine, and is well-known for its energizing effects. Mate is traditionally prepared in a hollow gourd and consumed using a filtered straw known as a bombilla, but can also be prepared in a mug or cup. Many people experience the caffeine present in mate, which is sometimes referred to as matteine, differently than they experience the caffeine present in other beverages. Mate drinkers often report experiencing a lasting energizing effect, without any of the jitters or nausea that can come from drinking too much coffee.

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5. Peppermint tea

While peppermint doesn’t contain any caffeine, it can be a stimulating, energizing addition to both herbal and caffeinated teas. Peppermint has been shown to aid in physical activity and cognitive function by stimulating the central nervous system, reducing pain, and improving concentration. Peppermint can be consumed on its own as a light, refreshing herbal tea, or can be added to a variety of blends for an energizing, minty effect.

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6. Ginger tea

Ginger has been used in herbal and ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and imparts a pleasantly sweet, spicy taste to teas and herbal infusions. Ginger has been shown to increase energy, attention, and cognitive abilities. Many traditional tea blends incorporate ginger, including herbal and caffeinated chai blends like Masala Chai and Rooibos Chai. Other popular herbal teas with ginger include Atomic Gold and Sing Your Song.

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Other benefits of tea

Aside from boosting energy and alertness, tea also contains a wealth of other health benefits. Tea made from the camellia sinensis plant also contains l-theanine, a compound that has been shown to reduce stress and increase focus. Tea can also be beneficial for soothing stress and helping boost your mood, and is a healthful, tasty way to give you the boost you need to get through the day!

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