A cup of tea is always welcome, but more so in a crisis, scientists say.
"Drinking tea - particularly during times of stress - is at the very core of British culture. This study shows the effects it has on our bodies and brains and may explain why we instinctively turn to tea in times of need," said Dr Malcolm Cross, of City University London, who carried out the research.
the study placed volunteers in stressful situations and measured their anxiety levels after drinking tea and after drinking water.
It found that people who drank tea had a 4% reduction in stress levels as compared to a 25% rise in stress levels among those who did not drink tea.