College students stuck at home during the times of Corona, missing their campus, is old news. Ask them what it is that they miss the most, an overwhelming majority is bound to say the friendly, neighborhood chai ki tapri on campus. Most college students know their way around it better than their own classrooms.
It is a well known fact that most college going students run on chai. The importance of chai in all study sessions, is because of a few distinct reasons, reasons that serve the mind, body and the soul.
Chai acts as a soothing agent for every agitated and nervous student cramming for exams. The nicotine rich Chai has been proven to increase energy levels and elevate mood. The theanine components present in chai, and also in green, white, purple and oolong tea even reduce the mental and physical stress, which is almost synonymous with the late-night studies.
And after such long nights of preparing with chai, when it comes down to actually performing at an exam, a presentation or any such event, millions swear they do it better after a warm cup of chai. Many scientific studies, including one by Harvard Medical School, agree wholeheartedly.
Almost all types of chais and teas, including the matcha and herbal variants have an important component, L-Theanine that very closely resembles a neurochemical Glutamate, relating to the memory-making and retaining process. (Not that chai isn’t already a part of some of our most fond memories!). Because of this chai helps in increasing cognition, attention, alertness and memory skills. And this boost is a stable and sustained boost, unlike the caffeine boost . Caffeine alternatively provides a 60-90 minute period of jumped up energy levels, often too high to effectively focus, eventually leading to agitation and nervousness. The minute quantity of caffeine in chai ensures that this doesn't happen.
Extended periods of activities that are not physically exerting, like the study session also often cause reduced appetite, and a lost balance of diet. The nervous stomach that happens around exams doesn't help matters either! In such a situation, it is also extremely easy for the body to lose its blood sugar balance. The most initial symptoms of unbalanced blood sugar are irritability, nervousness, lost concentration, lightheadedness, headaches, tiredness and over time more serious symptoms. All of this can make the tedious long hours of studying seem even more difficult. Many researches have also found that various kinds of teas, including chai, help regulate blood pressure and keep it in check. And the extra kick we add in masala chai with spices like cinnamon and ginger help with nausea that staring at countless books may cause. And finally, the binge eating that accompanies these very studious nights is also no secret. The cardamom, black pepper or cloves in the masala chai help with the digestion of all the junk that we end up cramming.
All these reasons make chaithe go-to companion for the long hours spent with books. But the countless cups of chaiwe already consume during exam seasons and deadline weeks prove that the importance of chai has long been acknowledged, accepted and made a part of our lives!