Trying to solve a problem but feeling stumped? You could do much worse than putting the kettle on, according to scientists, who have suggested tea could make people more creative.
Researchers at Peking University asked people to perform two separate tasks after drinking either a cup of tea or a cup of hot water, and found those having a cuppa were better at so-called divergent thinking, the ability to offer unlimited solutions to a single problem.
In the first experiment, 50 people were given a cup of either water or tea during a three-minute chat with a receptionist. They were then taken into a room, given children's building blocks, and asked to build an "attractive design". Impartial judges were then asked to rate the designs on innovation, aesthetic appeal, unification and grandness - and those by the tea drinkers tended to be rated more highly.
In a second experiment, 40 participants went through the same warm-up, but were given 20 minutes to come up with "cool and attractive" names for a new ramen restaurant.
Judges were then asked to rate the ideas on innovativeness and playfulness - and again, tea drinkers received "significantly" higher scores. The conclusion? Tea can make you more creative.
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This isn't the first time tea has been proven to help those at work: previous studies have suggested the caffeine and theanine contained in tea can improve critical thinking and prevent people from being distracted.