Best Tea for Energy and Focus

Picture of Woman drinking tea while working
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At one time or another, many of us have felt the crash. Without warning, a feeling of exhaustion washes over you, zaps any remaining energy you may have left and leaves your brain in a fog. For me, this tends to happen to be around mid-afternoon.

Aside from taking a short power nap, briskly walking about the block, or drinking some coffee, you can also enhance your stamina and focus by enjoying select types of tea. With many options available today, there is sure to be a variety that simultaneously tickles your taste buds and awakens your brain. In this article, you will find a list of five teas that can stimulate energy levels and sharpen attention.

Black Tea

Made by steeping the oxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis in hot water, black tea is naturally caffeinated and considered to be a great natural stimulant. On average, one cup of black tea has 47 mg of caffeine, with some varieties having closer to 90 mg.

Black tea also has a naturally occurring amino acid called L-theanine. This energy-boosting element is beneficial for promoting calmness in the body without inducing sleepiness. When ingested at the same time as caffeine, it becomes valuable for boosting cognitive function.

Varieties of Black Tea

Black tea comes in many different varieties, each with its own flavor, aroma, and caffeine-content. Some of the more popular choices are:

  • Earl Grey- the sweet aroma of this tea complements the subtle citrus flavor and offers roughly 60 mg to 90 mg of caffeine per serving
  • Assam Tea- produced in India, this tea has a malty or bready flavor and contains approximately 60 mg of caffeine
  • Darjeeling Black Tea- containing up to 120 mg of caffeine, this tea has been described as tasting sweet, earthy, and fruity

Green Tea

Green tea, like black tea, is naturally caffeinated. Brewed by steeping unoxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant in hot water, green tea tends to have less caffeine than black tea. On average, one serving of green tea has somewhere between 30 mg and 50 mg of caffeine. This naturally occurring stimulant boosts the brain and nervous system and helps people to be more awake and alert. 

Aside from caffeine, this tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine. When these two elements are ingested together, the amino acid slows the body’s absorption of caffeine. This process allows the energy boost to last longer, helping you stay focused and alert for a longer stretch of time. 

A Popular Variety 

There are many different types of green tea available, each with its own distinct appearance, taste, and smell. One popular variety, which can help improve stamina and focus, is matcha. 

With a high concentration of L-theanine, matcha is considered a great beverage for boosting brain efficiency and promoting relaxation without unwanted drowsiness. When the body is relaxed, alert, and energized, concentration is improved. On top of these benefits, matcha offers a grassy and earthy flavor and somewhere between 19 mg to 44 mg of caffeine per serving.

Yerba Mate

Like both black and green tea, yerba mate tea is naturally caffeinated. Unlike the previous teas, however, yerba mate is an herbal tea.

Brewed by steeping the leaves and twigs from the yerba mate plant, a species native to South America, a strong and bitter caffeinated beverage is produced. With roughly 85 mg of caffeine present in each serving, this tea can help increase your energy levels, boost your attention, and make you more alert.

Varieties of Yerba Mate

Tereré tea, which is an iced herbal tea, is made by steeping the leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant in cold water. Still high in caffeine, like the hot brewed yerba mate tea, it is just another way to enjoy this bitter-tasting drink.

Other ways to enjoy the yerba mate leaves and twigs involve various brews and infusions with additional herbs and juices. Even though this changes the flavor, the brain-boosting benefits and effects can still be felt. Some popular addtivies include:

  • Orange Juice
  • Ginger
  • Lemon Balm
  • Mint
  • Verbena

Pu-erh Tea

Pu-erh tea, unlike the other types of tea that have been discussed so far, is brewed using fermented leaves. Also known as dark tea, this beverage has an ever-evolving flavor that can range from vegetal and bitter to smokey and harsh.

The caffeine-content in one serving of this fermented tea can range anywhere from 30 mg to 100 mg depending on the steps taken while brewing and how old the leaves are. In fact, the caffeine will diminish over time as the leaves age. As with other teas, the naturally occurring caffeine found in this tea variety helps stimulate brain activity, thus boosting focus and increasing efficiency.

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea, made by steeping ginger root in hot water, is believed to be a natural energy booster without caffeine. Through various studies, ginger has been shown to increase blood flow. This includes blood flow to the brain, which helps deliver more oxygen, raising energy levels.

That mid-day crash that people tend to feel, myself included, is often attributed to a drop in blood sugar levels. One way to combat that is to keep the levels more constant and elevated. It is believed that ginger can help with this. As a result, herbalists and people who practice traditional medicine believe ginger tea is a great natural remedy for boosting energy and sharpening concentration.

Boosting Energy & Focus with Tea

You don’t have to rely just on coffee, cat naps, and exercise to get that energy buzz. When you are feeling sluggish and unproductive, there are several teas that you can brew to help with this slump. 

While some of the beverages discussed today are traditional teas made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis, others are herbal teas brewed with edible plant parts. Most of them have caffeine and a naturally occurring amino acid that has been shown to help boost vitality and concentration. These two elements work well when paired together, allowing the brain-boosting effects to last longer. 

Some herbal teas, on the other hand, rely on a more natural approach to enhance stamina and focus. Regardless of your preferred drink of choice, there are many options available, each with its own distinct taste. So, the next time you feel like you need a brain-boost to get focused and to be more productive, grab a flavorful cup of tea!