Got writer’s block? According to a new study, tea is just the thing you need to get your creative juices flowing. The warm, soothing beverage can do more than just ease your chest cold. Study participants who sipped on a cozy brew outperformed those who simply drank water on tests of imagination and ingenuity.
Study participants were split into two distinct groups. One group drank a cup of tea and the other group just had water. Thirty minutes later, their creativity was put to the test. In the first assignment, both groups were asked to construct an “attractive” structure out of blocks. The second assignment was devising a “cool” name for a noodle restaurant.
The responses were judged by a separate panel of participants based on their innovativeness and playfulness. Tea drinkers outscored the others on both fronts.
So there’s something in the water — what’s so magical about a cup of tea? From chai to chamomile, the researchers believe it has to do with tea’s overall ability to calm and collect those who drink it. Similar to meditation, the practice of drinking tea could help improve mental clarity, resulting in faster, more focused, and yet still relaxed thought processes.
Some teas have also been known to boost your overall mood, which helps some thinkers become more creatively inclined. Previous research has also shown that tea drinkers tend to experience less stress, ward off heart disease, and even become better people. Something about the simple steeping ritual has lasted centuries; it’s stitched its way deep into cultures from civilizations worldwide, from the British royal family to Japan.
Perhaps there’s a method to this tea-drinking madness — Albert Einstein, Amy Winehouse, and Jimi Hendrix were all famous tea drinkers. It’s even former President Obama’s favorite beverage. Whether or not the drink really works to inspire a more creative workflow, it certainly worked for them. You might not become the next brilliant composer or novelist, but give tea a try — here are 10 ways it could change your life.