Have you found yourself in a creative slump, unable to turn that brilliant idea into the finished product you envisaged?
If you’ve tried everything else and it’s failed to work its magic, the answer might not be sarcasm, as first thought - instead it might be as simple as just drinking more tea.
That’s what we’ve been told by a new study, which has found an association between Britain’s favourite drink and general levels of creativity.
And it’s not as simple as ‘it’s got caffeine in so it will perk you up’.
The study, called ‘Drinking tea improves the performance of divergent creativity’, was published in the Food Quality and Preference journal.
It involved two experiments, both of which saw one group of subjects drink water and the other group drink tea, and those who went with the latter came out on top in the creativity stakes.
As explained in the summary of the study:
“In experiment one, we used a block-building task as a measure of divergent creativity in spatial cognition. The results showed that the participants who drank tea performed better in the spatial creativity task assigned in the 10 minutes immediately following tea consumption than did those who drank water.
“In experiment two, we adopted the restaurant naming task as a measure of divergent creativity in semantic cognition. The results showed that the participants who drank tea received higher scores in the semantic creativity task compared to those who drank water.”
It’s important to note that these results came in the 10 minutes immediately after polishing off the hot beverage – generally too quickly for active ingredients like caffeine and theanine to take effect.
The study doesn’t look at other caffeinated drinks, such as coffee or energy drinks, but it’s fair to say creativity isn’t the same thing as alertness.
If you’re sat around at work wondering why one member of your team always has the best and most out-there ideas, it might be an idea to steal their cuppa when they’re not looking.
Obviously don’t tell them we told you to do that.