Tea, the aromatic infusion of herbs, spices, or leaves from the tea plant, has long been a preferred beverage for many. But have you ever wondered why you crave tea? What triggers this feeling, and how does your body respond?
Why are you craving tea? You may need a caffeine boost or a calming touch, or you may even have a nutrient deficiency.
In this blog post, let’s look into the science behind craving tea and the possible reasons behind it. So, keep reading to find out more!
Why Am I Craving Tea?
Below are some possible reasons you may crave tea.
1. Caffeine Boost
One of the most common reasons for craving tea is the presence of caffeine. Yes, tea has caffeine, a natural stimulant that helps increase alertness and concentration.
Caffeine activates the central nervous system and stimulates the release of dopamine, improving your mood and energy levels.
Moreover, the caffeine content in tea is lower than coffee, which means you can enjoy it without the jittery effects associated with coffee intake.
2. Nutrient Deficiencies
One of the most common reasons people crave tea is due to vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C strengthens your immune system and boosts the production of collagen, which is essential for your skin’s vitality.
If you lack vitamin C, your body might crave foods and drinks that are high in this nutrient, such as tea. Tea (especially black tea) contains antioxidants that can help boost your immune system and supply your body with much-needed vitamin C.
Another reason why you might crave tea is due to an iron deficiency. Iron is a mineral that is essential to the production of red blood cells. If you lack iron, you might feel fatigued, dizzy, and short of breath.
Your body’s response to an iron deficiency is to crave foods and drinks that are high in iron, such as tea. Black tea, in particular, contains a compound called catechins that can help your body absorb iron from other foods.
Loss of phosphorous is another reason why you might crave tea. Phosphorous is an essential mineral that helps your body produce energy, maintain healthy bones and teeth, and regulate hormone levels.
A deficiency in phosphorous can lead to muscle weakness, joint pain, and fatigue. If your body is low on phosphorus, you might crave tea, which is a natural source of this mineral.
Green tea, in particular, is rich in phosphorous and can help provide your body with the necessary nutrients to function properly.
3. Emotional Response
Tea has a calming effect on the mind and body, making it a preferred drink during moments of stress, anxiety, or fatigue.
The simple act of brewing and sipping tea can soothe the nerves and promote relaxation, reducing stress levels and improving your overall well-being.
Therefore, a craving for tea may result from an emotional response to stress, anxiety, or mood swings.
4. Taste Preference
The flavor and aroma of tea are two reasons why many people crave it. The diverse range of tea types available provides flavor options to meet individual preferences.
From bold and intense flavors like black tea to soothing and calming flavors like chamomile tea, there’s something for everyone. The aroma of tea stimulates the olfactory senses, which enhances the taste experience.
As the pleasure center of the brain is activated, it may lead to a craving for tea and a desire to indulge in the taste sensation.
5. Habitual Practice
Lastly, another possible reason why you may crave tea is due to the habitual practice of drinking tea.
If tea is something you’ve grown accustomed to drinking, it may become a routine part of your day. Drinking tea at a particular time, place, or with certain foods may become second nature, creating a mind-body connection that triggers the craving.
What to Do When You Crave Tea
So, what should you do when that craving strikes? Here are some tips and tricks to satiate that desire for tea.
1. Make Yourself a Cup of Tea
First and foremost, it’s important to identify what type of tea you’re craving. Do you want something sweet and creamy, like a chai latte, or something herbal and cleansing, like green tea?
Different types of tea provide various benefits, so it’s essential to choose the right one to suit your needs.
Making your tea at home is an easy way to indulge in your craving. It allows you to control the ingredients, strength, and flavor of your tea completely.
Whether you opt to brew tea bags or loose-leaf tea, there’s something special about making your own cuppa. You can also experiment with different blends, herbs, and spices to create the perfect concoction.
2. Hydrate Yourself
If you feel tired or lethargic, drink water. Even mild dehydration can cause fatigue and headaches. Drinking water can help keep your body hydrated and improve your energy levels.
You can also try other hydrating drinks like coconut water, fresh fruit juices, or herbal teas. These drinks can help satisfy your craving for a flavorful drink and provide you with a much-needed energy boost.
3. Eat a Balanced Meal
Eating a balanced meal can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent energy crashes. A meal that combines complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats can provide you with sustained energy throughout the day.
Try to avoid processed foods as they can give you a temporary energy spike followed by a crash. Snacking on fruits, nuts, and seeds can also provide you with an energy boost and keep your cravings at bay.
4. Exercise Regularly
Caffeine isn’t the only thing that can improve your energy levels. Regular exercise is a much healthier alternative. Exercise releases endorphins, a “happy hormone” that can help boost your mood and energy.
Try to include at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise in your daily routine. You can also try yoga or mindfulness to reduce stress and minimize your cravings.
5. Take a Power Nap
If you are feeling tired or exhausted, taking a power nap can help rejuvenate you. A 20-minute nap can help improve your alertness and energy levels.
However, make sure not to nap for too long, as it can disrupt your sleep cycle and leave you feeling groggy.
6. Explore Natural Supplements
However, make sure to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any new supplements.
Is Tea Addictive?
While it is true that tea contains caffeine, which is a stimulant, it doesn’t contain enough of it to cause addiction. In fact, studies have shown that it is nearly impossible to develop an addiction to tea.
The amount of caffeine in tea is much lower than that in coffee, and it doesn’t produce the same kind of high that is associated with addictive substances.
Secondly, some people mistake dependence for addiction. Dependence refers to the body’s physical adaptation to a substance, such as caffeine.
If you drink tea regularly and suddenly stop, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches and irritability. However, this does not mean that you are addicted to tea. It simply means that your body has become used to the caffeine and needs it to function properly.
Thirdly, the type of tea also plays a role in whether or not it is addictive. Green tea, for example, is less likely to cause addiction than black tea because it contains less caffeine.
Herbal teas, which don’t contain caffeine at all, are not addictive either. If you’re concerned about the caffeine content of your tea, you can choose decaf tea or limit your intake.
Does Tea Release Happy Hormones?
Happy hormones, also known as neurotransmitters, are chemicals in our brains that regulate mood, emotions, and social behavior. The four major happy hormones are dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins.
Dopamine is the “feel-good” neurotransmitter. It is released when we experience something pleasurable, such as eating our favorite food, receiving a compliment, or achieving a goal.
A recent study conducted on rats found that drinking black tea increased dopamine levels in their brains. While human studies are still needed, this suggests that drinking tea may have a similar effect on our brains.
Oxytocin is often known as the “love hormone.” It is released in our brains when we feel connected to someone, such as a friend, partner, or family member.
Drinking tea can increase oxytocin levels in our bodies, which can lead to increased feelings of trust, bonding, and social interaction.
Serotonin is the “mood-regulating” hormone. It helps us feel relaxed, calm, and focused. A study conducted on 14 participants found that drinking green tea increased serotonin levels in their brains.
While the study was small, it suggests that drinking tea may have a positive effect on our overall mood.
Endorphins are the “pain-relieving” hormone. It is released in response to physical activity, stress, or pain and helps to relieve discomfort.
A study conducted on tea drinkers found that those who drank tea regularly had a higher pain threshold than those who did not. This suggests that drinking tea may promote the release of endorphins in our bodies.