Herbs for Energy features the most uplifting, energising and performance-enhancing herbal teas we could find – from all around the world!
- These ‘super-teas’ include Jiaogulan, Ashwagandha, Yerba Mate, Liquorice, as well as more commonly known teas such as Ginger, Black Tea and Green Tea.
In this article we will explore these Best Herbs for Energy, giving you all the information you need. Better still, try them all and see which one works best for you.
Ashwagandha Powder Tea – increases energy
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa.
- People called it this due to the smell of its roots – ‘like a horse’.
People have used the powdered root of the plant for around 5,000 years in traditional Indian ayurvedic medicine.
Isn’t that proof enough of the remarkable properties of this herb for energy?
No? Then read on….
Ashwagandha contains a plethora of beneficial medicinal chemicals.
While the leaves and berries have their health benefits, it is the powdered root of the plant that people use most widely to combat complaints like:
- low physical endurance
- depression and anxiety
- joint pain
Research has shown that the powdered root has a positive effect on cellular energy production and on athletic performance; an excellent contender for our Best Herbs for Energy list.
In one particular study, a 500mg dose of ashwagandha extract improved upper and lower-body strength.
Furthermore, it showed significant energy-boosting effects on recreationally active men during workouts.
Other studies have found that it boosts physical endurance by
- increasing brain function
- sharpening focus
- reducing inflammation that creates bodily aches and pains.
A 2015 study from India evaluated the capacity of the root extract to boost the cardiorespiratory rate in 50 healthy, athletic adults.
Reearchers discovered it did indeed improve cardiorespiratory endurance and significantly improved the quality of life for the group participants.
How ashwagandha works
Ashwagandha works on the body in a truly remarkable way.
- First, it regulates the chemicals in your nervous system by blocking stress signals and lowering the body’s perception of how tired it is.
Therefore, you can be exhausted from a busy day at work, but the adaptogen qualities of the root powder reduces your body’s perception of how exhausted you really are.
The result is…you feel less tired.
- It can also increase muscle mass and strength in already fit adults, which also contributes to its energy-boosting properties.
- Another reason it is one of our best herbs for energy is that it supports our adrenal glands and thyroid.
Too much stress can lead to adrenal fatigue, which may result in insomnia, weight gain and physical sluggishness.
Ashwagandha keeps the adrenals, and the important hormones they produce, balanced and healthy.
As a result, your body has all the energy it needs to get you effortlessly through each day.
Extreme fatigue and sluggishness can also be the result of thyroid hormones being out of balance.
This is a time when ashwagandha comes to your aid by regulating those hormones for a non-stop energy supply.
- Drinking a cup of ashwagandha tea in the middle of the afternoon, or after a workout, provides the perfect pick-me-up.
And when you drink it regularly over time, you start to notice the full benefits of this amazing root.
Powdered ashwagandha root has been used for thousands of years for its amazing health benefits. It is particularly useful for boosting our energy and stamina. It does this by deceiving the body about how tired it is, and by regulating the adrenal and thyroid glands which in turn regulate our energy supplies.
Peppermint Tea – a tasty herb for energy
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is a herb for energy from the mint family and is native to Europe and Asia.
- The oils in its leaves (menthol, menthone, menthol acetate, and limonene) are famous for their energy boosting properties.
So having a deliciously refreshing cup of peppermint tea is a great way to start the day. Or to have before exercising.
It is also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes, and does not contain any cholesterol.
The all important studies
While researchers haven’t done any studies on the peppermint leaves comprising the tea, there have been a number done on the bio-compounds within the herb.
In one study, 24 young adults took peppermint extract, and demonstrated less fatigue during a cognitive test than those in the control group.
- In another study, peppermint oil reduced daytime sleepiness.
A third study clearly demonstrated strong evidence to support the effectiveness of peppermint oil on
- physical performance
- respiratory function
- heart rate
How peppermint oils boosts energy
The mechanisms of exactly how the oil in peppermint boosts energy levels in people is not exactly understood.
Researchers think it aids in the relaxation of the smooth muscle in the bronchial tubes.
- It does this by increasing ventilation and the concentration of oxygen in the brain, while decreasing the blood lactate level.
Increased brain oxygen concentration results in an increase in energy.
Therefore having a cup of soothing peppermint tea at your desk will help to get you to 5 o’clock
A final tip – you can add leftover herbal tea to smoothies for an added health benefit.
Peppermint tea is rich in antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals and has been found in several studies – on animals and people – to reduce fatigue, increase energy, and increase physical performance. The way in which peppermint tea provides the body with energy is not completely understood, but there can be no doubt it is one our Herbs for Energy.
Jiaogulan – a powerful source of energy
Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum), or Southern Ginseng, is a herbaceous vine that grows wild in parts of south-central China.
It is known as …dramatic drum roll… “the immortality herb”.
People have used this herb for energy for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine.
According to the Chinese it increases energy, muscle tone, endurance and stamina, but more importantly it increases longevity.
- Jiaogulan (pronounced jee-ow-goo-lan) is a source of powerful antioxidants, is caffeine free, and has a naturally sweet flavour.
The leaves of this beneficial vine contain extremely high levels of saponins called gypenosides; in fact, they contain over 80 different saponins – as opposed to the 28 found in ginseng.
These gypenosides also work as vasodilators, helping blood vessels to relax and thereby improving blood flow to muscles and tissues.
This has the effect of increasing energy and stamina so the body can work more efficiently and for longer.
Even better, evidence shows that drinking Jiaogulan herbal tea to boost your energy is not accompanied by the crashing effects experienced when drinking caffeinated or sugary drinks.
The mighty adaptogen!
Jiaogulan is one of the world’s best known and most powerful natural adaptogens.
- “Adaptogens” are plant-based, complex compounds that help the body adapt to physical or psychological stress by bringing cellular systems into balance.
For example, if you need more energy, it interacts with the body on a cellular level to provide that energy.
Conversely, if levels of a certain hormone are too high, it will reduce them to normal levels.
Another group of bio-compounds in Jiaogulan are polysaccharides.
These give the body the extra energy and stamina it needs to work longer.
In animal studies, polysaccharides were shown to
- increase glycogen levels in muscle
- enhance performance
- prevent oxidative damage in muscles caused by over-exertion
- help the body recover from exhaustion more quickly.
Furthermore, a 2015 study found that the polysaccharides in Jiaogulan had anti-fatigue properties.
Finally, besides providing us with extra energy and stamina, Jiaogulan helps to restore balance within our bodies; balance that can be thrown out of synch by sleeplessness, stress, busy work schedules and poor diets.
By drinking Jiaogulan on a daily basis, as many Chinese do, you are not only improving your energy levels, but you are restoring balance to your body and helping it to perform better, for longer.
Jiaogulan is one of the world’s most powerful adaptogens. It helps the body stay in balance, and provides it with energy in a couple of different ways. First, it helps blood vessels to relax, thus improving blood flow. The polysaccharides in jiaogulan tea increase glycogen levels in muscles thereby proving fuel for more energy. It also regulates levels of hormones in the body. Definitely a Herb for Energy.
Yerba Mate – power up your body
People in South America, where the plant originates, drink yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) widely.
- They recognise its energy-giving properties, as well as a whole list of other health benefits.
They are also well-aware of its ability to increase energy and fight fatigue.
This herb for energy contains several beneficial plant nutrients, including:
- Xanthines such as caffeine and theobromine which act as stimulants.
- Caffeoly derivatives with powerful health-promoting antioxidants.
- Saponins that have anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering qualities.
- Polyphenols – a large group of antioxidants that lower the risk of disease.
Better than green tea? Better than coffee?
Addditionally, yerba mate
- has higher levels of antioxidants than green tea
- contains 7 of the 9 essential amino acids
- possesses every vitamin and mineral your body needs to stay healthy and function well.
What’s not to love??
Like coffee and tea, Yerba mate’s caffeine content contributes a lot to its ability to
- increase alertness
- improve concentration
- reduce fatigue
- improve muscle contractions
- enhance physical performance (by up to 5%).
It contains less caffeine than coffee, but the energising effects of the caffeine last longer than those of coffee. And give you more mental focus.
It’s also worth noting that Yerba mate does not give you those ‘coffee jitters’ or that ‘crash’ when the effects of the caffeine wear off, yet it still provides you with the same benefits as coffee.
Yerba mate has 2 other stimulants that assist the caffeine to make this herbal tea a must-have energy boost.
An alkaloid called theobromine has a molecular structure that is similar to caffeine, but its energizing effect is milder and lasts longer.
The second one is theophylline, which has a stimulatory effect, mainly on the respiratory centre of the brain. It helps you breathe better while exercising.
Work this one out…
Curiously, yerba mate has a double effect in that it both stimulates and relaxes.
What this means is that while it gives you the energy boost you may need throughout the day, it won’t keep you up at night nor affect the quality of your sleep.
Athletes use yerba mate to enhance performance.
- Research supports this, finding that drinking yerba mate daily for 5 days may modestly improve performance in trained athletes.
Another piece of research found that one cup of yerba mate prior to exercise might reduce hunger before exercising and improve mood in women post-exercise.
You can drink yerba mate tea to combat mental and physical tiredness.
It also improves the energy levels of those people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome.
Yerba mate is commonly considered the best herbal tea when it comes to boosting energy. It contains more antioxidants than green tea, seven out of the nine essential amino acids and all of the most important vitamins and minerals our bodies need. It is scientifically proven to increase both energy and performance, but also relaxes, so it won’t affect the quality of your sleep.
Ginseng Tea – sweet and spicy energy
Asian people have used ginseng (Panax ginseng/Panax notoginseng) in traditional medicine for well over 2,000 years.
And while it has been used to treat many medical conditions, it is best known for its energy giving properties.
- It is the root of the ginseng plant, including the smaller lateral roots, that contains all the medicinal properties.
And so that’s the part people use in herbal teas!
The energising benefits are usually felt within minutes of drinking the tea, and can last for anywhere from several hours up to a whole day on just 1 or 2 cups.
Ginseng is an adaptogenic herb whose two main chemical elements are gintonin and ginsenosides.
Who can remember what an adaptogen is?
An adaptogen is a plant whose bio-compounds produce a response in the body, such as an increase in resistance against various stressors, including physical, chemical, or biological agents.
It has a normalizing influence on physiology, meaning it can raise or lower levels of a particular hormone in the body as needed.
- Ginseng, which is high in Vitamin C (25%) and doesn’t contain any fats or cholesterol, is famous world-wide for its energy boosting and anti-fatigue properties.
In fact, you will often find ginseng listed in the ingredients of energy drinks.
Holy peptides, Batman!!
Oligopeptides are peptides with molecules containing from between 2 to 22 amino acids.
They have demonstrated anti-fatigue properties in animal studies, and the researchers recommended them for further study as natural agents for relieving fatigue from exercising.
To support these findings, researchers conducted another study on people suffering from chronic fatigue.
Ginseng tea hadmeasurable effects on fatigue relief – making it a definite addition to our “Best Herbs for Energy” list”.
Ginseng is well-known for its energy giving qualities and is used in many commercial energy drinks. The energising effects of ginseng herbal tea are often felt within minutes. It is an adaptogenic herb, which means it provides energy only when the body needs it, and it has a balancing effect on levels of hormones and other chemicals in the body.
Green Tea – brimming with energy and goodness
Green tea is famous for its health benefits.
Millions of people all over the world drink it, as they have done in Asia for centuries.
This world-famous tea contains large amounts of powerful antioxidants, one of which is a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
This catechin is scientifically known to be responsible for most of the health benefits that green tea offers.
- As well as catechins, green tea contains caffeine which contributes greatly to the boost of energy this herbal tea gives.
And while the amount of caffeine is lower than that in coffee, there’s enough to produce a noticeable effect.
There are approximately 24-40 milligrams of caffeine in a cup of green tea.
This is tiny compared to the 95-200 milligrams of caffeine in a cup of coffee.
Studies have proven the effect of green tea on energy levels, having found that drinking green tea regularly can help with energy and endurance.
A further benefit of this increase in energy is a boost in metabolism and the ensuing assistance with weight reduction.
L-theanine – the magic ingredient
Green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which works in conjunction with the caffeine to improve brain function.
- L-theanine contributes to boosting our energy by slowing the body’s absorption of caffeine. This has the effect of allowing the body to process the caffeine more effectively, providing you with longer lasting energy.
Furthermore, because the caffeine is absorbed more slowly, you won’t get the shakes or the withdrawals that come from drinking coffee.
As well as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), caffeine and L-theanine, green tea is also a good source of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C not only helps protect energy levels, but also boosts our immune system.
You can drink green tea hot or cold.
However, make sure you steep the tea for at least 3 to 5 minutes for maximum energy benefits.
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is one of the most powerful antioxidants known and is found in abundance in green tea. Green tea also contains caffeine, which is responsible for producing energy, and L-theanine, which works to slow the absorption of caffeine so the energy produced is longer-lasting and it doesn’t have the same negative side effects as coffee has, namely the jitters and the crash.
Matcha Tea – packed full of power
Matcha tea and green tea are made from the same plant (Camellia sinensis).
However, green tea comes in either tea bags or in loose leaf form, while matcha tea is usually a powder.
With green tea, you infuse the leaves in hot water so the goodness seeps into the water.
With matcha tea, on the other hand, you are ingesting the whole leaf in powdered form.
- The mechanisms for matcha tea’s energising properties are the same as those for green tea.
Having said that, the concentration of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients is much higher.
Matcha tea is a more potent form of green tea and therefore has a stronger influence on the production of energy in the body.
Liquorice Tea – energises your body
Most people have only heard of liquorice as a lolly; the long black strips of aniseed tasting confectionary, or the packets of colourful liquorice allsorts.
However, liquorice root (glycyrrhiza glabra), which is prepared in long, dried pieces and boiled before being consumed, has long been used for its medicinal value in treating such complaints as
- stomach ulcers
- low blood pressure
- menstrual problems.
It contains a natural sweetener (glycyrrhizin) which is 50 times as sweet as sucrose.
The good news about this is you can expect a delicious tasting tea that needs no unhealthy sugar.
More importantly, glycyrrhizin is responsible for the root’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
The ancient Egyptians prepared liquorice root tea as a sweet drink for pharaohs.
Similarly, people used it in traditional Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern medicine to combat nausea, reduce inflammation and to treat upper respiratory problems.
Liquorice herbal tea increases energy by stimulating glands, regulating hormones and reducing stress levels due to the fact it is an adaptogen – and a Best Herb for Energy.
Studying liquorice. Yum!
A 2010 study found that liquorice increased the level of cortisol and its associated activity by inhibiting an enzyme called 11-beta-HSD.
This enzyme converts cortisol to its less active form – cortisone.
It also inhibits another enzyme, SULT2A1, which marks steroidal hormones, like cortisol, for elimination.
This resulting increase in cortisol levels is of possible advantage in increasing energy levels.
- Other research found that a polyphenolic flavonoid in liquorice root, glabridin, reduced exercise-induced fatigue in mice. The mice treated with glabridin swam for a longer time than those mice in a control group.
Interestingly, the larger the dose of glabridin, the longer the mice could swim.
The former group of mice also had lower symptoms of fatigue, such as lactic acid and nitrogen urea levels in the blood, along with higher glycogen levels.
Who should be careful of liquorice tea?
- People with high blood pressure or low potassium levels should not drink liquorice tea. Nor should you drink this this delicious herbal tea in excessive amounts, as there are risks.
These risks include abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, and congenital heart failure so no more than 1 or 2 cups a day.
Furthermore, the bio-active compounds in liquorice tea can adversely interact with many prescription medicines.
It’s therefore a good idea to consult your doctor if you’re thinking about drinking liquorice tea on a regular basis.
Some of these medications to take into consideration include:
- Anti-arrhythmia drugs, such as Lanoxin (digoxin)
- Antihypertensive drugs, such as Cozaar (losartan)
- Anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as Coumadin (warfarin)
- Oestrogen-based contraceptives
- Celebrex (celecoxib), and Voltaren (diclofenac)
- Anticholesterol drugs, such as Lescol (fluvastatin)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Advil (ibuprofen)
- Diuretics, such as Lasix (furosemide)
Liquorice is another adaptogenic herb that can increase energy levels. Studies on mice have shown that glabridin, a polyphenolic flavonoid in liquorice root, reduced fatigue in mice. Due to the high concentrations of health-giving bio-compounds in liquorice herbal tea, it is not recommended for people on certain medications.
Maca Tea – for delicious energy
Maca tea is another herbal tea made from the root of a plant, this time the Peruvian maca plant (Lepidium meyenii).
- It grows at incredibly high altitudes – 4000 to 4500 metres above sea level – and has been cultivated by Peruvians for over 2000 years.
This herb for energy has an earthy, nutty, mildly butterscotch-like flavour and is abundant with nutrients including
- amino acids
- antioxidants such as glucosinolates and polyphenols
- vitamins C and B6
- minerals like copper, iron, potassium and manganese.
With so many nutrients and beneficial bio-compounds, it’s no wonder that athletes and bodybuilders consume so much maca tea.
How maca boosts energy
If it’s an energy boost you are looking for then you can’t go past maca tea.
The herbal brew helps you to gain muscle, increase strength, boost energy and improve exercise performance.
A 2009 study on male cyclists taking maca extracts for 14 days showed improved 40 km cycling times in a trial performance, as well as increased sexual desire.
- Maca is an adaptogen, which means the bio-compounds in the root help the body to ‘adapt’ to various outside physical and emotional stressors. It’s not clear exactly how they do this, but different adaptogenic plants have been used for centuries to support both energy levels and moderate the stress response system.
Like other herbal teas that boost energy, maca tea does so gradually.
So, as mentioned previously, you don’t get the jitters after the effects wear off. Nor do you get the crash often associated with drinking coffee.
Maca tea does not only increase energy levels, but it also increases strength, muscle gain and athletic performance. Unlike coffee, which gives you instant energy followed by a crash and then the jitters, you will feel a gradual increase and a longer-lasting energy boost without any negative side-effects.
Ginger Tea – an ancient energy booster
The root of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale), which is a flowering perennial native to south-eastern Asia, has been used for hundreds of years in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine.
- It is abundant in various bio-compounds such as terpenes, polysaccharides, lipids, and organic acids, but the health benefits are mainly due to phenols such as gingerols and shogaols.
Abundant studies have been done on the medicinal benefits of ginger and they have concluded that ginger has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, neuroprotective, cardiovascular protective, respiratory protective, anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, anti-nausea and energising properties.
The ginger boost
Ginger tea improves cardiovascular functioning and reduces inflammation, and thereby increases the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your tissues – giving you an instant energy boost.
It can also modulate blood glucose levels so when you feel that midday crash – when your blood sugar levels drop – a nice flavourful cup of this herb for energy will correct the balance and give you the energy boost you need.
- Recent studies have discovered that ginger can reduce cellular insulin resistance. This has the effect of helping your muscles pull more glucose from your bloodstream.
In turn, increasing your energy and reducing your risk of becoming pre-diabetic.
Furthermore, because ginger has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, it boosts your immune system.
So as well as providing the energy you need to make it through the day, it’s fighting off viruses and bacteria.
Many people like to add honey and lemon to ginger tea, which not only adds to the flavour, but it also adds to the nutrients.
Just remember not to pour boiling water straight onto any herbal tea or you will destroy all the healthy goodness.
The phenols in ginger herbal tea, such as gingerols and shogaols, are responsible for most of the health benefits. Ginger boosts energy by increasing blood flow to the body’s tissues, and by helping muscles extract more energy-producing glucose from the bloodstream.
Stinging nettle tea – more energy than coffee
Stinging, or common, nettle (Urtica dioica) is a herbaceous perennial plant native to Europe, north-western Africa and temperate-Asia, but is now found all around the world.
- While it’s a herb for energy, it’s a trophorestorative herb – a herb that can repair organ damage, in particular the kidneys and the adrenal glands.
It provides more energy than coffee, but since it doesn’t contain caffeine, it can be drunk for its energising powers at any time.
You won’t suffer “the crash” when the effects wear off, or have difficulty sleeping as you would with coffee.
Stinging Nettle Tea is loaded with goodness:
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C, E and K.
- Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium.
- Healthy fats like linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid.
- All the essential amino acids.
- Polyphenols (antioxidants) such as kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins and other flavonoids.
- Pigments like beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin, betaine, and other carotenoids.
How this herb for energy works
The way stinging nettle provides energy is by detoxifying the kidneys and nourishing our adrenal glands, which sit atop the kidneys.
The minerals in stinging nettle tea are magnetized into the blood stream without the need to be digested.
Therefore the energising effects can be felt almost instantaneously.
The active bio-compounds in the herb also cleanse our blood.
This results in the more efficient transport of oxygen around our body and therefore an increase in energy.
- People who drink stinging nettle tea for energy say it isn’t the buzzy type of energy coffee gives them. It’s more like the energy you have after a really great night’s sleep.
They also report a clarity of mind that you don’t necessarily get with coffee, either.
Stinging Nettle Tea is packed full of nutrients and provides the body with more energy than coffee does, without any of the previously mentioned nasty side-effects. The minerals in stinging nettle are magnetised to the blood stream and so have a faster-acting effect. The bio-compounds also cleanse the blood, allowing it to transport oxygen more effectively around the body.
Holy Basil (Tulsi) – ancient Indian herb for energy
Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), also called Tulsi, is a flowering plant belonging to the mint family, native to India and south-east Asia.
It is a short-lived perennial shrub with fragrant green or purple-green leaves, and small violet flowers.
- This Herb for Energy is an adaptogen, which means helps to keep levels of hormones in balance.
Eugenol, a chemical compound with a spicy, clove-like scent, is largely responsible for the therapeutic effects of holy basil.
However, this herb is also full of
- essential oils
- amino acids
- vitamins A and C
Holy basil herbal tea supplies us with more energy by helping to facilitate the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.
This in turn ensures that the sugar in our blood is used for energy and not stored as fat.
In addition, it increases the body’s efficiency in using oxygen, which improves stamina, strength and endurance.
Holy basil, or Tulsi, is an adaptogen and helps to keep the body in a state of balance. It provides energy by boosting the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, and ensuring the sugar in our blood is used as energy rather than stored as fat.
Black tea – every day energy
Black tea is processed from the Camellia sinensis shrub, which is a flowering, evergreen shrub native to India and south-east Asia.
- This tea is the classic morning drink for a reason as it is one of the most highly caffeinated kinds of tea, containing about half as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.
In fact, it has the highest content of caffeine out of all the true teas – those from the camellia sinensis shrub – but doesn’t give you the jitters or the ‘come down’ that drinking coffee does.
What the caffeine in black tea does is bind itself to catechins, a type of antioxidant.
It therefore becomes a larger compound that takes longer to break down.
In doing so, your body receives smaller doses of energy-giving caffeine over a longer amount of time.
You get all the benefits, but none of the side effects!! Nice!
Apart from caffeine, black tea contains powerful antioxidants, including groups of polyphenols as well as other stimulants.
The amazing L-theanine
One of these is L-theanine, which increases alpha activity in the brain, resulting in relaxation and better focus.
- Research has shown that beverages containing L-theanine and caffeine have the greatest impact on focus.
This is due to the effects of L-theanine on the brain, which may be why people say they have more stable energy after having a cup of black tea.
The combination of catechins and caffeine also speed up the body’s metabolism, providing you with energy much more quickly.
Furthermore, studies show that black tea enhances concentration, energisation, endurance, and recovery for athletes.
Logically, it’s a more sensible choice than sugary energy drinks for pre- and post- work out hydration.
Black tea contains the highest caffeine content of all teas from the Camellia sinensis bush. Caffeine binds itself to a type of antioxidant called a catechin to form a larger compound that takes longer to break down, and so you have more energy for a longer period of time without the negative side effects of coffee. This combination of bio-compounds also speeds up metabolism.
Pu-erh Tea – boosts energy
Pu-erh (pronounced pu-arh) tea originates from the Yunnan Province of China.
This special tea is aged and partially fermented to reduce the tannin levels in the finished product.
It has a dark colour and a taste that is difficult to describe since the taste differs according to
- where the tea was grown
- how it was fermented
- how old the tea is.
Even if you buy a cake of tea, which is traditionally how it is sold, as you chip away at the tea, you will find that each cup may have a different flavour to the last.
Nevertheless, the flavour has been described as sweet, bitter, floral, mellow, woody, astringent, sour, earthy, watery, or even tasteless, so there you go – now you know what to expect.
There are two types of pu-erh tea:
- Sheng, which is a green tea known as raw pu-erh since it is not fermented
- Shou, which is a fermented, ripe black pu-erh tea.
Ancient Chinese energiser
Pu-erh herbal tea helps increase energy levels, with about 65 milligrams of caffeine found in a standard cup as compared to 105 milligrams in a cup of coffee.
The good news – it doesn’t have the same side-effects as coffee does i.e. the jitters and the ‘crash’.
Apart from caffeine, this particular energising tea contains:
- Minerals like beryllium, calcium, fluoride, iron, magnesium, nickel, potassium, phosphorous, and zinc.
- Vitamins like vitamin B1, B2, C.
- Amino acids such as arginine, cysteine, histidine, lysine.
- Fats like linolenic.
Another way in which this herbal tea helps to boost energy is by improving blood circulation.
Better circulation means more oxygen is carried to every part of the body, supplying it not only with energy, but with endurance.
Pu-erh tea is a fermented tea sold in cakes that is known to increase energy without any of the negative side effects that coffee drinking has. It has many health benefits, including its ability to improve blood circulation thereby supplying oxygen more effectively to cells and tissue.
Lemongrass Tea – energy maintenance
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a herb native to India and tropical regions of Asia.
It contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and folate, all of which you need to produce energy and oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
the tea is also abundant in minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.
- Drinking a fragrant cup of lemongrass herbal tea can help keep your energy levels up due to the presence of manganese.
Manganese is a mineral that performs a very important role in relation to metabolism, as well as sustaining energy levels.
This particular Best Herb for Energy also includes riboflavin, or vitamin B2.
B2 is another nutrient required for maintaining energy levels in our body.
It does this by converting fats, proteins and glucose into usable energy.
Lemongrass contains many vitamins and minerals, of which manganese is the most important as it performs a vital role in metabolism and in sustaining energy levels. It contains Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, which maintains energy levels by converting fats, protein and glucose into reserves of energy.
What’s the difference between the caffeine in herbal teas and the caffeine in coffee?
First of all, not all of these herbal teas have caffeine in them. All true teas (from the Camellia sinensis plant) contain caffeine and so does Yerba Mate, as well as some blended teas.
Other herbal teas do not.
- Having said that, caffeine is caffeine and it has the same properties in whichever plant it comes from. The differences lie in the concentration of caffeine in each plant and the products of that plant.
For example, between coffee and herbal teas, coffee contains the most caffeine per cup.
What this means is you’re going to feel a different type of energy from coffee, including the jitters and the crash when the effects wear off.
In herbal teas, the caffeine content is much lower.
In a lot of cases, the other nutrients and antioxidants work with the caffeine to provide a smoother increase of energy. With none of the negative side effects.
How can a herbal tea give you energy as well as help with insomnia?
Herbs, and therefore herbal teas, have within them any number of bio-active compounds such as antioxidants, enzymes, proteins, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Each of these works with the chemicals and hormones in our bodies according to need.
- For instance, when we are feeling fatigued but the brain is sending messages that we need to stay alert and focused – on our work, for example – the body takes what it needs from the available resources and directs them to the task at hand.
Then, when our brain tells the body we want to go to sleep, again it takes the hormones it produces and the ingredients from the herbs we have ingested to help us fall asleep, and stay asleep.
Which of the herbs for energy is best for me?
Herbal teas have many qualities you should take into account when choosing which one is best for you.
The first point is the purpose for drinking the tea.
- If you just want a tonic to keep you healthy, then you could base your choice on which tea tastes the best and makes you feel the best. On the other hand, if you have a particular health complaint, or you want to improve one particular aspect of your well-being (such as increasing your energy) then you choose the best tea for the job.
As stated previously, the herbal tea best known for its energy giving properties is Yerba Mate.
As you can see, there are plenty of choices when it comes to choosing an energising tea or a herb for energy that is right for you.
A good idea might be to look for these teas in blends and that way you are getting the benefit of 2 or 3 different herbs, and their accompanying ‘extra’ medicinal properties.
Do you really need any more convincing to replace your coffees and sugary energy drinks with a smoother, healthier herbal tea?
Discover the difference yourself and let everyone know in the comment section below how much better you feel.