Best teas for studying

By Kevin B. July 1st, 2019

What are the best teas for studying?

Whether you are studying for school or self learning, prepping your brain with the right food will help you better concentrate and retain information.

While some people may want the maximum jolt with energy drinks or strong coffee, this probably is not the best way to go for a few reasons. The main reason is the caffeine curve will last about 60-90 minutes before it wears off. While coffee can raise alertness, and has the advantage of more caffeine per serving, tea does have unique advantages when it comes to mind function. Before we recommend the best teas for studying, we will explain how tea is beneficial.

Improve Memory with Tea

Drinking green or black tea can improve memory. Both teas inhibit the breakdown of an important neurotransmitter associated with forming memories. According to researchers at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in the UK, coffee does not have the same effect.

Green and white tea come out ahead in other brain enhancing functions. Green and white tea possess more of a chemical known as L-theanine. L-theanine resembles glutamate, a neurotransmitter related to memory. Once theanine passes through the blood-brain barrier, it exerts a brain-protective effect.

Improve Concentration with Tea

Other studies suggest that the combination of l-theanine and caffeine may improve cognitive function. In particular, a dose of l-theanine and caffeine before a demanding cognitive task may significantly improve concentration, accuracy and alertness. Theanine has been shown to reduce mental and physical stress, improve cognition, and boost mood in a synergistic manner with caffeine.

In addition, another chemical compound in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been found to boost the production of neural progenitor cells, which like stem cells can adapt, or differentiate, into various types of cells. In effect, EGCG helps trigger the generation of neural cells, which in turn helps improve memory


So what are the best teas for studying? Let's look at the tea groups the can accomplish this.

  • Green or White tea (boosts brain function for comprehension and memorization)
  • Matcha (which is a powdered form of green tea)
  • Yerba Mate or Guayusa (both these South American herbs provide caffeine and other beneficial amino acids)
  • Cinnamon & Turmeric (anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties)

While you can drink these teas by themselves, there are also a few blends that combine various teas that provide overlapping qualities and thus providing long lasting energy. We've developed a few specific blends based on Tim Ferris' Titanium tea.

See our recommendations below, or consider a sample pack with 6 different teas to try. Sign up to get a discount on your 'Best teas for Studying' sampler purchase!

Need more studying life hacks? You can also check excellent studying tips at Study Prep Lounge.


Song, J., et al., "Tea and cognitive health in late life: current evidence and future directions," J. Nutr. Health Aging, Jan. 2012; 16(1): 31–4.)

Kakuda, T., "Neuroprotective effects of theanine and its preventive effects on cognitive dysfunction," Pharmacol. Res., Aug. 2011; 64(2): 162–8.)

Gomez-Ramirez M; Higgins, BA; Rycroft, JA; Owen, GN; Mahoney, J; Shpaner, M; Foxe, JJ (2007). "The Deployment of Intersensory Selective Attention: A High-density Electrical Mapping Study of the Effects of Theanine". Clin Neuropharmacol 30 (1): 25–38. doi:10.1097/01.WNF.0000240940.13876.17. PMID 17272967.

Kimura K, Ozeki M, Juneja L, Ohira H (2007). "L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses". Biol Psychol 74 (1): 39–45. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2006.06.006. PMID 16930802.

Park SK. Jung IC. Lee WK. Lee YS. Park HK. Go HJ. Kim K. Lim NK. Hong JT. Ly SY. Rho SS. (2011). "A combination of green tea extract and l-theanine improves memory and attention in subjects with mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled study". Journal of Medicinal Food 14 (4): 334–343.doi:10.1089/jmf.2009.1374. PMID 21303262.

Haskell CF, Kennedy DO, Milne AL, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB (2008). "The effects of l-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood". Biol Psychol 77 (2): 113–22.doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2007.09.008. PMID 18006208.

Yanyan Wang, Maoquan Li, Xueqing Xu, Min Song, Huansheng Tao, Yun Bai. Green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) promotes neural progenitor cell proliferation and sonic hedgehog pathway activation during adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2012; 56 (8): 1292 DOI:10.1002/mnfr.201200035

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