No matter what the season, tea can be a tasty beverage since it can be served iced or hot. But its benefits go far beyond refreshment. There is plenty of research showing that drinking tea can actually improve your health. We all are aware that making tea in alkaline water reduces its bitterness, and makes tea taste better, it comes out smoother and more aromatic.
Now, research reveals another benefit to making tea with alkaline water, it “supercharges the the antioxidant power of tea”
Effect of alkaline water on Tea
Brewing tea with alkaline water amazingly increases the amount of tea catechins which is the antioxidant compound in tea and is extracted from the tea leaves. Tea cream which deposits on the bottom when tea cools down is also greatly reduced if the tea is made in alkaline water rather than normal drinking water. Tea cream is pH dependent. The higher the pH of the alkaline water you make your tea with, the less tea cream will form as your tea cools. Thus alkaline water acts to preserve the antioxidant potential of tea as it cools.
Alkaline water tea: Significantly higher levels of antioxidant gallic acid
Tea made with alkaline water (pH 9.5 and above ) showed double the amount of antioxidant gallic acid compared to plain water ( pH 7). Gallic acid is the hero of our story here as it has antifungal and antiviral properties in addition to its antioxidant benefit. As an antioxidant, gallic acid protects human cells against oxidative damage or damaged caused by free radicals ( see our previous blog on water and anti ageing to know more about free radicals ). Gallic acid has also been shown to have resistance against cancer cells and is commonly used as a therapy diabetes and for albuminuria (elevated levels of albumin in the urine).
Alkaline water has shown to approximately increase the gallic acid content by almost 100 % in all four of the different teas that were made with it in the study.
Alkaline water preserves the antioxidant potential of tea
Another benefit of making tea with alkaline mineral water is that the antioxidant potential of the tea lasts longer. As mentioned earlier in this article, as tea cools, it forms tea cream – deposits on the bottom of the tea cup. Alkaline water was shown to reduce the formation of tea cream by about 10%. This means that the tea will keep longer than tea made with plain water.
Yusheng, Z. et. al. Effect of electrolyzed reduced water on chiral theanine and polyphenols in tea. Food Chemistry. Elsevier, April 4, 2012. Web, December 9 2103. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814612005419