Green Tea + White Tea + Black Tea + Bulletproof Coffee: Better Together For an Even Better Brain

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Coffee can do wonders for your brain and body, but it doesn’t have a monopoly on improving mental performance.  It’s time to add another tool to your box of brain hacks – green tea.  While coffee is king when it comes to boosting your brain function, green tea is like a noble prince, or the queen, whichever you prefer.  They have different and only somewhat overlapping benefits, so the best option for top performance (and health) is to combine them.

Tea Chemistry

Green tea can do some things that even the best coffee can’t.  It contains l-theanine, a relaxing amino acid that smooth’s out the stimulating effects of caffeine.  In fact, I take 300mg of theanine at night to relax and improve my sleep.

Coffee and tea both contain different ratios of xanthines: caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline.  Tea is pretty low in theobromine (softer than caffeine) and theophylline (stronger than caffeine).  Theobromine is a cardiac stimulant which makes your heart race, but has more of a sedative effect on the mind; theophylline has most of its impact on your periphery (arms and legs) and is quite toxic at high doses.  Tea tends to deliver a lower, but more sustained burst in brainpower, while coffee is better at providing small jolts of energy.

Tea and coffee also have different antioxidants.  Coffee is the number one source of antioxidants for Americans, but that’s largely because it’s also the most common healthy beverage.  Green and white teas actually have more antioxidants than coffee, but some different kinds.  For the most cancer-fighting benefit, you should drink both, as long as they’re both low in toxins.

The Dark Side of Tea

There are some major benefits from tea and coffee, but there are some instances where they can both be bad for you.  Most people have no idea that one cup of green tea during pregnancy can contribute to neural tube defects by dramatically increasing the body’s need for folate, which is required for neural tube development in babies.  The rest of us need folate too.  If you’re a tea addict, take extra folate (or eat more pastured egg yolks).

Some green teas have much more caffeine than others, depending on where they were grown, what variety, when the leaves were harvested, and how the tea was processed.  You could try hundreds of different green teas – I have!

At a private tea ceremony in Beijing, a Chinese woman in traditional dress taught me that older tea leaves have more caffeine than younger, but fancier, higher grade tea like Japanese sencha, matcha, and gyokuru, and yellow and white teas are from less mature leaves that have less caffeine.  Then she sold me some really overpriced green tea.

Black tea is associated with a 69% reduction in stroke and coronary disease, according to a Dutch study, so it may be better than no tea, but choose green over black when possible. Black tea is fully fermented and cured and toxins can be introduced during that process. If fact, a recent test of black tea in Portugal revealed that 88% of samples had a cancer-causing mycotoxin called fumonisin. Go green!

The Good Stuff

There are other reasons besides theanine to drink green tea, including EGCG, a compound that reduces body fat accumulation.  It slows the way fat cells respond to insulin, inhibits an enzyme required to form triglycerides, and limits fat synthesis in the liver.  In short, it helps to keep you from getting fat.

That’s why I started taking green tea extract about ten years ago.  Those are among the reasons Tim Ferriss is enough of a fan to put it in his well-known (but questionable) PAGG stack.  Another blog post is coming about that one…

So while I’m a big fan of green tea – I’m drinking some sencha now – when I really want to power through the day and be in a flow state, I reach for Bulletproof Coffee… and I follow it with a green tea chaser.

One artificial intelligence researcher out of Stanford told me, “Bulletproof coffee made with MCT feels as strong as Provigil.” Provigil is modafinil, a prescription mind performance drug. No one’s ever said that about tea!

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By Dave Asprey

  • ryanhand

    Do you need to be as careful in selecting green tea as you do coffee? Am I good to just pick up a box of organic green tea at Whole Foods, or do I need to be more picky?

    • I would be very selective, yes. For the last few years I’ve bought all my loose leaf teas from Adagio. They work directly with tea farmers in China and Japan, and the quality really shines through.

      • loli

        Something I learned when working in the environmental health field… in many places in China, green tea is dried by driving trucks over the leaves to quicken the drying process. This means the leaves are being exposed to lead (diesel gas), and potentially other contaminants. Not sure where to find more research on this, found it out at enviro health conferences around the country. But yes, be careful about what teas you buy.

        • HappinessFairy

          as far as green teas (any teas, actually) I prefer Octavia Tea over Adagio. They also works directly with their tea farmers everywhere, not just those in China and Japan. Almost all of their teas are certified organic, and are Fair Trade…and did I mention they are WONDERFUL?!!!!!!!

        • amanda

          You also want to make sure that the teas are grown up high in the mountains away from pollutants. Rainforest Alliance is a higher certification than Fair Trade (for which the certification can be easily bought in China). my two cents 🙂

  • JonO

    Dave, I was just curious on what are your thoughts about Rooibos Tea (also known as African Red Bush). I know it doesn’t contain caffeine, but I read it offers many of the same benefits as Green Tea as well as minerals including magnesium. Thanks.

  • ReneeAnn

    I need some help with picking out a green tea. I’ve tried several in the past and they leave me more “wired” than coffee. I’d rather drink coffee if I’m going to be “wired.” I’d love to add green tea to my day if it won’t make me feel over-caffeinated and disturb my sleep at night. I have to keep all of my caffeine in the early morning or it will disturb my sleep, and even then, I have to limit the amount. Any suggestions? I do have a Whole Foods nearby.

    • Make sure you’re not steeping your green tea for too long. Otherwise it will turn, become very bitter, and definitely give you the jitters. Most green teas only require about three minutes of steep time. For example, I steep my sencha for two minutes, 30 seconds. Hope that helps!

      • ReneeAnn

        Thanks for the tip. I’ll make sure to be careful about the timing. I’m wondering if this would be a good quality green tea that doesn’t pack too much of a caffeine punch?

        http://www.amazon.com/Adagio-Teas-Green-Jasmine-4-Ounce/dp/B001EQ4JV0/ref=sr_1_4?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1348259683&sr=1-4&keywords=adagio+tea

        • MT_Dreams

          Seeing as it’s a blend, it will have less of the benefits of green tea.
          As well, you would need to know if the leaves are “young” or a early
          season crop to truly know it has lower levels of caffeine. Another
          thing to keep in mind is when brewing, use water at 70/80C (158-166F) as
          boiling water ruins green tea. With black tea, if you want to remove
          most of the caffeine, steep in boiling water for 30 seconds, then brew
          with fresh boiling water.

        • ReneeAnn

          Thanks for the tips! So, I believe that you mean that a young or early season crop has less caffeine. That is good to know and will help me find a good one. Thanks, again!

          If anyone has a specific green tea recommendation that is a young crop, I’d love to hear it!

        • amanda

          In Japan, I learned that with a lot of green teas, after you have brewed once or twice (seeping at 30 seconds up to 2 minutes), you just pass the water through the tea – no seep time necessary – and it is still the same strength.

          So, for fresh, high quality, looseleaf tea, you may need only seep for 10 seconds or less. (ie, Bi Lo Chun) Depends on the kind of green tea.
          full disclaimer: I now work with Wild Tea Qi which works with farmers directly and you get the freshest green teas hand picked and sent direct to you. So I’d suggest to check out their greens and choose one that fits what you are looking for!
          I love the Bi Lo Chun Premium which you can brew the same leaves over and over. And the smokey tasting Wild Snow Sprout. 🙂

        • Amanda, are you saying that reusing the green tea leaves will still give you the antioxidant and caffeine benefits? What about flavour? I have always thought one should use tea leaves only once for flavour and benefits as well as limiting the possibility of mold growth.

  • Charles

    I was going to write in about this. I can’t tolerate coffee (even the very delicious bulletproof coffee) so I make “bulletproof matcha,” with powdered matcha, butter and MCT oil, in the morning. Yum. And seems to be a brain-booster and energy-booster as well. And I’m not hungry until afternoon.

    • ReneeAnn

      Charles, does the coffee intolerance have anything to do with disturbing sleep? I’m supposing the matcha does not disturb your sleep. May I ask what brand you use?

      • Yes, the coffee would disturb my sleep, and sleeping is not my best skill anyway!

        I buy my matcha from Amazon. I use both a high end ceremonial grade and a “food-grade.” Just search on Amazon, read the reviews and choose one to try.

        And the Bulletproof Vanilla does make it even better.

      • Phil

        I get my matcha from here – it’s seriously good.. not sure what shipping to USA would be though.

        http://www.tiptoptea.co.uk/japanese-matcha-no1-50-p.asp

        • ReneeAnn

          Thank you, Phil!! 🙂

  • Adam

    Dave, Also drinking sencha right now. How do you go about brewing it? I leave pouring from the kettle for a couple of minutes after it has boiled. Is that good enough, or do I need to be using a thermometer to ensure the correct temperature?

  • LoneGoose

    I bought some White Tea and had one today and it looked like the same colour as Black Tea. After looking around apparently not all White Tea’s are clear coloured, so my question is is my White Tea ok?, because after reading this thread http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11969 it appears they dry it in the sun unlike Green Tea, so doesn’t that mean it will have Mycotoxins in it?.

    Thanks

  • I drink Assam black tea in the morning with grass fed cream. I’m used to it. When I drink white tea or green tea I get more wired. I drank bulletproof coffee every day for breakfast for one month. I started getting heart palpitations. My stomach doesn’t like coffee too well either. I have tried bulletproof tea which was ok. The coffee tastes better.

  • Jaws Man

    You never talk about monounsaturated fat and it’s importance. I love bulletproof coffee but ever since I was introduced to it, my saturated fat consumption has far outstripped my monounsaturated fat consumption. Is there a one-to-one ratio I should be shooting for everyday? I have even thought about putting Macademia nut oil in the coffee just to balance the butter, thoughts?

    I really enjoyed the cookbook. Thank you for writing it!

    • JonO

      Oh WOW! Mac Nut Oil 🙂 Jaws Man, can you update us as to how that tastes (assuming you are going to add it to your BP coffee).?

      • Jaws Man

        Doesn’t change the taste and gives the coffee more balance I think. I am going to check the spoiling point of the oil thoughh, we don’t want the cofffee’s heat to denature the oil.

  • David Huynh

    i drink bulletproof coffee and also kombucha made with green tea. Do you have any thoughts on kombucha Dave?

  • shan

    Had trouble with caffine because of IBS, though it never kept me awake at night , Then had a hard time finding a green tea that was not bitter , now drink African Rooibos Red Tea, have you any data on the goodness or badness of this tea.(plant)

    • amanda

      Bitterness with green tea usually means that you are brewing it at too high a temperature and/or for too long. Hope this helps!

  • loli

    hi! is this coffee with butter ok if you’re trying to get pregnant, are pregnant, or breastfeeding? coffee consumption during pregnancy is linked with low birthweight, and i’m thinking it might not be the best thing for women trying to get pregnant, or are pregnant. would love some insight/research on this!

  • Sam

    A few things about tea:

    White tea is the lowest in caffeine content on average. White tea is also picked from the youngest leaves. Green tea has roughly twice the caffeine of white tea. Black tea has roughly twice the caffeine as green tea. Of course there are variations depending on where the tea was grown and how it was processed and how long you steep it for and at what temperature.

    Flouride content is relatively high in tea compared to most other beverages. Black teas in general have the highest flouride levels. Green teas have somewhat less flouride although they can have comparable amounts as black teas. White teas in general have low amounts of flouride compared to green/black teas, although it still will have more than your friendly neighborhood flouridated water supply.

    This is why it is important not to drink too many cups of tea in a day. Otherwise you can get flouride toxicity. Depending on your tolerances you probably don’t want to drink more than 4-6 cups of green/black tea in a day. Although it’s probably safe to drink at least twice that much white tea and not get the same amount of flouride.

    • ReneeAnn

      Good info! Does white tea have less anti-oxidants than green? Even if it does, it would be better for me than no tea.

      • Kim

        It has more.

        • ReneeAnn

          Thanks! 🙂

    • LoneGoose

      This is from Clipper Tea:
      ‘White tea, when infused does produce a darker infusion, certainly darker than green, but not generally as dark as black tea. This is because white tea is allowed to wither and ferment for a longer time than green tea, hence the darker colour. Black tea is withered and fermented for longer still.’

      Kind of puzzles me when Dave said in the comments on one of his articles that black all bad, some greens are alright, and nearly all whites are good.

      Because it seems from that response that white is as bad as black tea, and you should be drinking any old green tea.

      • amanda

        There are many different kinds of White teas. I work with a company that works directly with farmers in China and they have a white tea that is hand picked (under a full moon), air dried and brews very light. (Wild Tea Qi – Ancient Moonlight White) You can re-brew the tea over and over and for me, the energy is very strong – similar to a few shots of espresso but without the crash.
        I think it’s important to know where your tea is coming from (high in the mountains, away from pollutants from down stream water and air). “Wash” the leaves first and enjoy Wild or certified Organics.

  • Linda

    OMG 3/4 lb 18.95 RIGHT! I think we need to get it lab tested for sure at that rediculous price! Maybe consummersreport.org needs a call from everyone! & And it’s NOT mold free…save your money!

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  • Z

    Dave aren’t you concerned about the crazy high fluoride levels in tea? Fluoride hardens one’s pineal gland. Which is bad, because the pineal gland is the ultimate biohacker knob right?

    P.S. Provigil sucks. Whatever few hours of alertness are followed by half a day of headaches. “Must be toxic,” were my thoughts every single time I took it (never again). Also absurdly expensive.

    • Dave Asprey

      But most people don’t get the headaches! 😉

      Yes fluoride is an issue. Iodine helps!

      Sent from an iphone. That means it’s spelled wrong…and I’m probably lost. You understand… -Dave

      • Kelp can massively assist towards the detoxing of: fluoride, chlorine, bromine and perchlorate 😉

    • Green tea contains Calcium fluoride, which is relatively benign in comparison to the harmful Sodium Fluoride.

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  • curiosity

    Is this only the case for green tea, or can you apply this to white tea?

  • Gary Hopper

    Hey
    Dave,

    I’ve
    been doing BPC and lots of Kerrygold on my food for about 7 months now and
    loving every minute of it (not to mention grassfed beef and about everything else you recomend!!) I’ve also lost 50 lbs of unwanted body fat. My family is
    into it as well and we’ve all benefited tremendously from the food chart and
    all of the free advice you give. I even got my office drinking Upgraded coffee
    and they love it as well (no one interested in BPC yet, but maybe soon…who
    knows :)). I now buy about 30 lbs a month for the office and our other
    coffee is not getting drunk much at all anymore, It’s pretty great. I
    think the productivity level has increased as well, but that is hard to
    quantify :).

    Anyhow
    I had a quick question about cholesterol…I know you don’t recommend worrying much about your cholesterol #’s for about the first year or so when changing to a high fat
    diet, however I had a blood test done about 4 months into the diet for as I was
    getting my kidneys checked out (they ended up being fine) and my Dr. freaked of
    course as I had gone from under 200 to about 296 in about 5 months.
    48/248 LDL/HDL. I argued with him and didn’t worry about again.
    It’s now been about 3 months since then and I donated blood this Thursday and
    it had gone up to 345. I wonder if I may have a liver function problem,
    my bilirubin was 1.5 on my first test (though my Dr. didn’t mention
    anything about it) and I do have a few other small signs like general itching
    and a little yellow in my cheeks and I retain water easily when I exercise.

    I’ve
    recently started taking Turmeric and Calcium d Glucerate, been taking Activated
    Charcoal for a while and just bought 6 bottles of L-Glutathione from “Upgraded
    Self” to start taking as soon as it get’s here.

    Anyhow
    I’m setting up a liver enzyme test for next month but was thinking maybe I
    should go ahead and do a liver cleanse as you have recommended on the site to
    others but was wondering if I should cut back a little on the fats while I do
    this to give my liver a rest or do I keep eating normal (new normal J) I was thinking of maybe sticking to MCT oil instead since
    it bypasses the liver. Any thoughts? Also, do you recommend any other supplements
    besides the ones I mentioned for healing my liver?

    • If you’re itching and feeling yellow, something is going on and you should get the liver panel and work with your doctor for sure. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert%27s_syndrome happens in 5-10% of people, where they producesan elevated level of unconjugated bilirubin in the blood but normally has no serious consequences. Mild jaundice may appear under conditions of exertion, stress, fasting, and infections, but the condition is otherwise usually asymptomatic. (wikipedia)

      Several analyses have found a significantly decreased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) in individuals with GS.[10][11]

      Specifically, people with mildly elevated levels of bilirubin
      (1.1 mg/dl to 2.7 mg/dl) were at lower risk for CAD and at lower risk for future heart disease. (like 1/3 the normal risk.) A meta-analysis of data available up to 2002 confirmed that the incidence of atherosclerotic disease (hardening of the arteries) in subjects with GS had a close and inverse relationship to the serum bilirubin, prob because bilirubin IX? is recognised as a potent antioxidant, rather than confounding factors such as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.

      A detailed summary of pre-2008 findings between cardiovascular disease and elevated serum bilirubin concentrations also discussed the concept of intentional, artificial raising of bilirubin levels as a means of prevention of cardiovascular disease and other oxidative and inflammatory diseases.

      From an HDL perspective, work with your doctor again.
      HDL particles are able to remove cholesterol from within arteries and transport it back to the liver for excretion or re-utilization, which is the main reason why the cholesterol carried within HDL particles (HDL-C) is “good cholesterol.”

      Probably the concentration of large HDL particles
      matters more than the concentration of total HDL particles.
      This ratio of large HDL to total HDL particles varies widely. Check yours with your doc.

      Read this section on wikipedia though: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-density_lipoprotein#Epidemiology

      I’m not a doctor and this isn’t medical advice obviously – work on your liver function to get a grasp on it. The liver flush can be amazing, and so can a couple other things that you can self-experiment with:
      a) 1-2 day fast (water/salt) if doc says it’s ok
      b) 1-5 day fat fast (eat no fat and see how you do)
      c) For 1 day a week, eat no protein at all, with moderate fat. Like less than 10 grams of protein.
      d) Try intermittent fasting without Bulletproof Coffee and see how you do.

      Keep me up to date. Your high HDL and low LDL look pretty amazing to me – but jaundice is no fun. Your liver may just need a break; the protein fast can be very good for that.

      Whatever you do, this is the realm of formal medicine, especially in the United States, so you should talk with your doctor. If he complains, he should know other doctors prescribe the Bulletproof Diet to their patients at high risk of CHD. 🙂

  • Arthur

    Any thoughts in mixing both of them together?

    • Dave Asprey

      In the stomach, even better. Taste wise, not so good!

      Sent from my nobile phone. You understand….

  • Todd

    Dave – I had bloodwork today after being on the bulletproof diet for 3 full months now. I do the coffee, butter, and lots of grass fed beef and vegetables, also do eggs every morning. Prior to going bulletproof, my total cholesterol was 130 and now after this recent test, it was 240. Also, my bilirubin levels were high at 1.7 and my SGBT was high at 69. My doctor is concerned and is sending me to get an ultrasound of the liver tomorrow. What do you think is going on Dave? Anything to worry about here? I feel OK and don’t have any yellow or jaundice.

    • Laupi TH

      Todd – did you get an answer back from Dave and how were results after your ultrasound? Regards,

      • Jack Kempsley

        No. Because he died.

      • george

        My cholesterol has tripled and oddly I was anemic which i unusal for me. my dr is also worried. I dont want to take statins and I have been sent for a colonoscopy. I live in canada please advise

    • David Schimelpfenig

      low cholesterol is much worse than “high” Your body can’t produce hormones without it. There is no direct link to cholesterol to heart disease, not one in the 60 years they have been demonizing it. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/07/15/why-low-cholesterol-is-not-good-for-you.aspx

      • thisisclarke

        My understanding is that cholesterol levels can be inconclusive as low carb diets tend to increase total cholesterol but reduce small-particle cholesterol (the kind that clogs your arteries). How do you feel? Because my diet is similar to bulletproof (don’t know my cholesterol levels) and my heart arrhythmia and lightheadedness have disappeared since going on the diet (not to mention improved weight loss).

        • Dora

          I also have this problem is this true ?

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  • Laura Cunitz

    I am very caffeine sensitive and so do not drink coffee. Has anyone tried bullet proofing their tea? Why not add the butter and oil to tea?

    • David Schimelpfenig

      It’s yummy.

    • tam

      I do this with my Organic Oolong Tea every morning. I like it way better than the coffee option.

    • alicia

      I just tried some green tea today with two table spoons of butter and one tablespoon of the brain octane. It actually tasted pretty good… my stomach did start to hurtlatter in the day though… I’m wondering if anyone out there has a great brand of white of green tea that they love that might be less abrasive on the tummy.

      • sanders35

        i did green tea with grass fed butter mct cacao powder and vanilla, was amazing, had an espresso an hour later, i find have green tea and coffee gives my even better focus energy and less jitters works wonder for me

    • Amy

      yes I have done that.. it was delicious. I actually made lattes – the butter oil and some almond milk (all frothed).. delicious!!!

    • Marcy0414

      I bulletproof my good quality Green Tea (organic) and it’s great. The coconut oil, (organic) gives it a nutty taste and the butter (organic grass fed) gives it a creamy taste. Yum!

  • Most

    I’ve started recently using coconut oil with my coffee along with butter as suggested, but the former ingredient (CO) drives my appetite through the roof. I’m afraid it was my first time to give it a try, so I have no reference to whether this is normal or temporary. Even though the taste and the effect is great, it makes me want to have a meal every 5 minutes. Anyone had the same problem and if so what could be your proposed solution?

  • Pete

    Dave – What about using Yerba Matte tea for its benefits?

  • AUSSIE

    has dave ever mentioned using L theanine in the morning with coffee for its nootropic effect when used with caffeine ? or does he just use it at night?

    • picbyron

      Great idea- it does work!

    • Adrienne

      I have only tried it at night. I just got a bottle of it last week. I will try in the morning with caffeine. Thanks!!

  • Rdd TheStrong

    Can’t find the blog about PAGG? Very curious to know if the PAGG stack is bulletproof or not?

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  • Pam

    The lady in China was wrong by the way, Gyokuro and Matcha have higher caffeine concentration as compared to other green teas.

  • Vanessa

    Thank you for providing this educational article on the health benefits of Coffee and Tea. Like you said, the bulletproof coffee followed with a green tea chaser is a great way to stay alert all day. Here’s another great resource for coffee and loose leaf tea.

    http://www.bungalowtea.com/

  • Kelly Eisenlohr Moul

    I often make “Bulletproof Matcha” — 1T of this organic tea: http://www.amazon.com/TASTE-KYOTO-Matcha-Green-Reserve/dp/B005D5JUA8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378023889&sr=8-1&keywords=taste+of+kyoto.
    I love it and am glad to hear it has your stamp of approval.

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  • PMol

    So could one add some matcha to BPC? Or would a chaser be preferable? Must invest in some more matcha.

    Also, not sure if this is allowed but what kind of coffee beans should I be looking for at local stores, rather than buying from this site every time? I really can’t afford to do that.

    Cheers.

    • Search this BPEx site and Dave tells you how to find the best coffee in your area. Pay the most you can afford but basically choose south american, single source, high grown, wet processes… also ‘European method’ where the beans are sorted up to 3 times to remove damaged beans – so less likelihood of mold. Organic does not mean it fits these parameters. ie is not always mold free.

  • Sarena Kopciel

    My favorite teas are from http://www.generationtea.com and I absolutely adore Puerh tea!

  • Erik

    In this posting, there is a reference of doubt to Tim Ferriss’ PAGG formula. I have no opinion either way but I’m wondering what part Dave Asprey is not on board with since this article clearly supports one G (green tea) in PAGG. I’m curious about the Garlic in PAGG especially. I have searched the site and can’t find any references to it. It shows up on the food diagrams in the middle, not bad but not great. Why? Ferriss subsribes to taking it 4 times daily as an extract.

    • Joonyaboy

      I think Dave is averse to garlic because of potential mold. It doesn’t agree with him, but it should be a personal choice

  • Able

    “Coffee can do wonders for your brain and body, but it doesn’t have a monopoly on improving mental performance.” as quoted from the first sentance of this article/ad. Coffee certainly does not have the monopoly on improving any of that. Click on the link below and read why caffeine works better for you when consumed from tea.

    http://verdanttea.com/whats-the-real-deal-with-caffeine-in-tea/

    Read on or click the actual article from which I retreived the paragraphs below and learn why caffeine from coffee is NOT all its cracked up to be.

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/how-does-caffeine-affect-nervous-system-health-research/Content?oid=875717

    Pharmacologists working with rats and mice proved that caffeine linked up with brain-cell receptors sensitive to the compound adenosine, thereby blocking their normal functioning. This was an illuminating discovery, because, although adenosine is one of the most prevalent chemicals in the animal cell and has dozens of functions, as a neurotransmitter it clearly had a sedative effect: reducing the rate of nerve-cell firing, dulling pain response, slowing reaction time, lowering attention span, and reducing appetite–in general, turning down the thermostat on all life processes governed by the nervous system.

    Over the next few years, scientists refined their observations, discovering that adenosine receptors in different portions of the nervous system produced quite different effects. Whereas activating most receptors reduces, decreases, or sedates the activity of the nervous system, other receptors, primarily in the striatum or basal ganglia of the brainstem, when activated control the organization of movement, while still others, located in the olfactory tubercle, help to maintain the organism’s emotional state. Caffeine, by interfering with the body’s natural balancing act between stimulation and sedation and by preventing cool-out messages from getting to their destination, shifted the whole mechanism–mood, physical activity, and overall excitability–into higher gear.

    As soon as caffeine’s modus operandi was understood, pharmacologists and biochemists knew where to look for its possible downside. The neurotransmitter mechanism is extremely complex, the supply of each compound affecting the production of many others. By temporarily blocking adenosine receptors and raising the system’s general level of stimulation, caffeine set off a chain reaction throughout the system, inducing the body to produce more adenosine, individual cells to produce more receptors, or both, in order to bring the thermostat back into balance.

    Result? Patient once again feels logy, drowsy, out of touch. Treatment? Another cup of coffee. And another. And another.

  • MarkBousquet

    It’s true about theobromine having a sedative effect. I’ve had anxiety or panic attacks in the past where if I ate some quality dark chocolate and let it melt in my mouth the attack is dead within a minute or two and then I feel relaxed. Much healthier (and quicker!) than taking pharmaceutical benzos and then having to wait half an hour.

    • Adrienne Fuqua

      Wow I have never heard of that one before. I too suffer from anxiety disorder and panic attacks. I have been using Gaba and Theanine which has helped a lot. I have to try the chocolate trick. Thanks!

  • White tea is also a great alternative!
    It has even been shown to protect your collagen and elastin:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19653897?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=13

  • parijat pande

    Dude, right on there brother.Best green tea in india

  • Daniel

    I’m sensitive to caffeine. It makes my blood pressure go up sky high. Especially matcha… So I stick to (bulletproof) white tea. It makes me feel best of all tees and coffees I tried so far.

  • Carl Francis Tallar

    hey i may have peripheral artery disease can you tell me if green tea ( matcha ) is good for that please

  • Ric

    Looks like old Dave doesn’t care about his followers. Beware this.

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  • Amy

    Has anyone had any heart issues after drinking the BP coffee?

  • JohnMathew

    X50 Green Tea is a complete weight loos product

  • C

    Tea is high in histamine, more so than coffee, and therefore problematic if you are worried about toxins.

  • Michele Hansen

    Hi Dave, based on your writing above, regarding green tea and pregnancy, would you then recommend that no green tea is drunk while pregnant?

  • Trish Kapinos

    with tea, do you recommend using the same amounts of MCT oil and butter as with the coffee?

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