Acute effects of tea consumption on attention and mood

Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Dec;98(6 Suppl):1700S-1708S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.058248. Epub 2013 Oct 30.


Tea has historically been associated with mood and performance benefits, such as relaxation and concentration. This review summarizes the research on the acute effects of tea, and its ingredients theanine and caffeine, on attention and mood. Consistent with abundant research on the benefits of caffeine, the performance benefits of tea were identified in a number of studies, with particularly consistent evidence for improved attention. Tea consumption also consistently improved self-reported alertness and arousal, whereas effects on pleasure or relaxation were less consistent. In addition to the research on caffeine in real-life performance, 2 recent studies have provided a broader perspective on tea's effects on psychological function in that they showed beneficial effects in related areas such as work performance and creativity. These studies showed the validity of laboratory findings by supporting the idea that tea consumption has acute benefits on both mood and performance in real-life situations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Attention / drug effects*
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Camellia sinensis / chemistry*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Glutamates / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Glutamates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tea
  • Caffeine
  • theanine