Pouring Positivi-tea: tea's positive impact on your health

October, 2023
Chloe Zhao

PHS’ competitive and goal-oriented student culture is undeniable. Rigorous classes and mountain-high piles of homework not only create stress, but also often dig into sleeping hours. As a result, a majority of the student body files into the hallways plagued with foggy brains from sleep deprivation and simply being overworked.

In order to make up for this sleep deprivation and maintain their busy lifestyles, many students choose to turn towards sugar and caffeine. The high school vending machines offer a couple of options, but since the beginning of this year, one predominant candidate has entered itself into the pool — Celsius energy drinks. Containing 200 mg of caffeine (the equivalent of two cups of black coffee), the drink has quickly gained immense popularity amongst students. However, Celsius’ focusing abilities come with dangerous side effects. In 2020, the CDC found that drinking highly caffeinated beverages such as Celsius can lead to long-term effects like increased blood pressure, and heart complications. Even in the short term, the effects are damaging; research done by WebMD in 2018 found that relying on artificial high doses of caffeine causes numerous negative symptoms to the drinker, including anxiety, irregular heartbeats, and insomnia, highlighting how this temporary fix for fatigue often leads to a more permanent, detrimental problem to long-term health.

Instead of drinking energy drinks, students should consider tea for their pick-me-up beverage of choice. Tea delivers a moderate amount of caffeine that doesn’t disrupt the nervous system. Matcha, for one, contains l-theanine, which slows the effect of caffeine, creating a more stable energy boost. While caffeine from coffee or energy drinks takes mere minutes to be absorbed into the bloodstream, it takes around three to six hours for the caffeine in matcha to be fully absorbed. This gradual absorption cushions the blow to the nervous system, prolonging the body’s energy and preventing sudden crashes and withdrawals from occurring. Furthermore, tea boasts a much higher nutritional value to the body compared to caffeinated drinks, as it’s packed with antioxidants and vitamins that help regulate blood sugar, heart health, nervous systems, metabolism, and many other bodily functions.

All of these factors demonstrate tea’s nutritional value over caffeinated drinks, being able to regulate students’ sleep schedules and stress levels much better compared to less healthy alternatives. The options for tea are vast, providing options for any palate. So next time you feel tired, avoid that celsius drink and reach for tea instead.