Green Tea Memory Benefits

In this post I will talk about green tea memory benefits.

Green tea is very popular for its various health benefits like reducing the risks of cancer, heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. Green tea has also been shown to aid in weight loss.

But what many are not aware is that green tea also has significant positive impact on brain functioning. Studies have shown that green tea helps in increasing focus and concentration, in making people more alert and in improving overall memory.

In the next few paragraphs we will try to understand green tea memory benefits in terms of underlying chemical constituents like caffeine, L-theanine etc. We will take up each such component and analyze its impact on brain functioning.

1. Green Tea Memory Benefits from Caffeine

Green tea contains caffeine which helps to improve memory and increase focus and concentration.

Adenosine is nucleoside that is naturally found in all cells of the body. Adenosine has lots of useful functions. In the brain adenosine acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. While this is useful in promoting relaxation and sleep, being a central nervous system depressant it can lead to lethargy. Source.

Caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine and aids in the increased firing of neurons, and increased levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. Source 1. Source 2.

Caffeine therefore helps to improve brain functions.

2. Green Tea Memory Benefits from L-Theanine

Green tea (and tea in general) contain an amino acid called L-theanine that positively impacts brain functions in humans.

As per this study, L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state: L-theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which indicates that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness.

As per this study, The neuropharmacology of L-theanine(N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent: L-theanine has been historically reported as a relaxing agent …  Behavioural studies in animals suggest improvement in learning and memory.

3. Green Tea Memory Benefits from Caffeine and L-Theanine

Studies have shown that Caffeine and L-Theanine combination which naturally occurs in green tea has a synergistic effect and positively impact brain function.

As per this study, The effects of l-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood,
In addition to improving RVIP accuracy and ‘mental fatigue’ ratings, the combination also led to faster simple reaction time, faster numeric working memory reaction time and improved sentence verification accuracy. ‘Headache’ and ‘tired’ ratings were reduced and ‘alert’ ratings increased.

4. Green Tea Memory Benefits from epigallocatechin-3-gallate

As per this study, Green tea extract enhances parieto-frontal connectivity during working memory processing, drinking green tea increases connectivity between “right superior parietal lobule and the frontal cortex of the brain. This activity correlated with improved performance on the working memory tasks.” Source.

As per one of the researchers, “Our findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain”. Source.

In neuroscience, synaptic plasticity is the ability of synapses to strengthen or weaken over time, in response to increases or decreases in their activity. Synaptic plasticity is an important driver of learning and memory.

Please note that the researchers used green tea extract. The active ingredient that’s most likely responsible for the effects is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Source.

That’s it. Hope you enjoyed it. If you can think of any additional green tea memory benefits, please share them via your comments.

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Further Reading
Top 10 Evidence based health benefits of green tea

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