When it comes to taking breaks at work, coffee usually takes center stage, but drinking tea may be an even smarter move for your employees. Your team is at its best when everyone is healthy and alert, and studies have shown a variety of promising results on the overall benefits of tea.
Here are five areas where tea may provide a useful boost:
1. Physical and Mental Health
The New York Times broke down the current research on a host of potential benefits of tea. For example, people who drink at least three cups of green tea a day reduce their risk of stroke by around 20 percent, according to some of the studies. Tea has also been associated with a lower risk of depression: For every three cups consumed per day, researchers found that the relative risk for depression decreases by 37 percent.
2. Improvements in Memory
A variety of studies have linked green tea to benefits in cognitive performance. For example, a study from the University of Basel showed that test subjects tested significantly better for working memory tasks after taking green tea extract. The researchers concluded that green tea enhances the brain's cognitive function and connectivity, which could account for the improvements in memory.
3. Weight Loss
As with all things related to nutrition, factors in weight control can be tricky to track. However, the European Journal of Nutrition noted that decaffeinated tea decreased weight gain in mice, and other studies have found potential links between tea and weight loss as well.
4. Digestive Health
Peppermint tea is a natural remedy for a variety of digestive health issues, according to Dr. Andrew Weil, director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. Keeping peppermint tea in your breakroom could help employees who suffer from indigestion and nausea. Peppermint tea has also been recommended to relieve headaches and toothaches. Bonus: A minty aroma is especially pleasant to have wafting around your workplace.
Tea provides a boost of caffeine, and it's a great alternative for employees who don't want quite the same jolt that coffee provides. Amounts can vary widely, but black tea has roughly half the caffeine of an average cup of regular brewed coffee, according to the Mayo Clinic. Green tea has even less.
Yerba mate tea has particularly been touted as a great energy-booster. It has more caffeine than black or green tea (but still less than coffee), and it may increase mental clarity and focus, according to Healthline.
Adding a variety of teas to your workplace breakroom gives your employees plenty of beverage options during breaks. More importantly, the benefits of tea may extend far beyond the office, supporting employees' overall health. Try offering several varieties to discover which are most popular with your team.