Green tea is a popular beverage and one that’s very easy to make. However, before becoming an avid tea drinker, there are some things you need to consider. For instance, how much green tea you should drink a week.
The recommended amount of green tea you should drink in a week is three to five cups daily.
This is the optimal amount to get most of its health benefits without overdoing it. Drinking too much can lead to mild to severe side effects.
Keep reading to learn more about green tea consumption, including the health benefits, possible side effects, and when to drink it.
How Much Green Tea Should You Drink a Day?
According to a study published in theEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology,participants who drank tea—especially greentea—three or more times a week had a lower risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause death. Hence more healthy years of life and a longer life span.
To supplement weight loss, drink 2 to 3 cups each day. However, the amount varies from person to person depending on their metabolic rate and how much caffeine they consume.
Overall, drink around 3 cups of green tea a day to gain many of its health benefits.
Best Time To Drink Green Tea
The best time to drink green tea is in the morning, making it a great alternative to coffee for your morning caffeine.
If consuming green tea for weight loss, drink the tea before your workout to boost the fat-burning effects of exercise.
Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea
Green tea is among the healthiest beverages you can drink. Other than its hydrating effect, here are some of its other health benefits:
May Help With Weight Loss
Green tea contains various active ingredients, two of which (caffeine and catechins) research shows can boost metabolism and increase fat burning.
Consequently, green tea preparations may help with weight loss. However, several studies show the amount of weight loss achieved is not clinically significant.
For a detailed guide see our complete list of the Best Brands Of Green Tea For Weight Loss to begin with.
Improves Brain Function
Although green tea doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee, it has enough to help keep you alert and enhance brain function.
Caffeine affects the brain by blocking an inhibitory neurotransmitter known as adenosine. Adenosine enhances neuronal activity and neurotransmitter concentrations such as dopamine and norepinephrine.
Green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier.
A randomized controlled trial found that the combination of moderate levels of L-theanine and caffeine helps to focus attention during a demanding cognitive task.
Protects Your Brain Health As You Age
Green tea can also help keep your brain healthy as you get older. According to the findings of this systematic review, green tea intake can reduce the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or cognitive impairment.
The review identified several possibilities that could explain these findings, including:
The antioxidant activity of green tea catechins: oxidative stress is a risk factor for the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, catechins may be beneficial in preventing and protecting against conditions associated with oxidative stress.
The anti-inflammatory effects of green tea polyphenols: recent research suggests a link between inflammation in the brain and several forms of dementia. Consequently, drinking green tea can reduce brain inflammation, lowering your risk of dementia.
Lower Cancer Risks
Oxidative stress-induced inflammation can lead to chronic diseases like cancer. Antioxidants, which green tea is full of, may help protect against oxidative stress.
Many observational studies suggest green tea lowers the risk of developing several types of cancer, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer.
However, more research is needed to understand the association between green tea consumption and cancer incidence.
May Prevent Diabetes
Green tea may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels, potentially reducing your risk of developing diabetes or slowing its progression once it’s developed.
However, if you have diabetes and wish to start drinking green tea, talk to your doctor first. Caffeine might increase blood glucose levels and prolong the period of high blood sugar levels.
Possible Side Effects of Drinking Green Tea
Drinking large amounts of green tea can have harmful effects owing to the compounds in the tea.
Caffeine Side Effects
While caffeinated teas can help relieve symptoms if you suffer from migraines, too much caffeine can also cause headaches.
Moreover, if you regularly consume green tea and abruptly stop, you may experience a caffeine withdrawal headache.
Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that helps keep you awake and alert. So drinking green tea before bedtime is not advisable as the caffeine it contains will make it harder for you to fall asleep.
Like other stimulants, caffeine restricts blood flow to the brain. A high caffeine dose can therefore make you feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Polyphenol Side Effects
Green tea may cause an upset stomach when brewed too strongly or consumed on an empty stomach.
It contains tannins, which increase stomach acid, causing digestive issues such as stomach ache, nausea, and constipation.
If you’re not used to drinking green tea, start with 1 to 2 cups a day. You can increase your intake if you experience no side effects.
Green tea has polyphenol antioxidants that prevent iron intake in your body, which can be problematic for anemic people.
Adding a few drops of lemon juice can increase iron absorption due to the vitamin C in lemon.
Green tea polyphenols can cause bleeding disorders by reducing fibrinogen, a protein that stops bleeding by helping blood clots form.
So for people taking anticoagulants—medicines that help prevent blood clots—drinking green tea may increase their risk of bruising and bleeding.
Who Should Not Drink Green Tea
People with the following conditions should ask their health care provider before drinking green tea or taking green tea extract:
- Heart condition
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety disorder
- Kidney problems
- Liver disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Your doctor may also warn against taking green tea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Additionally, green tea interactions with medications can make them less effective or even have dangerous or deadly effects.
For instance, you should not take green tea in conjunction with stimulants, such as prescription amphetamines, ephedrine, and cocaine.
They both speed up the nervous system and can cause overstimulation of the brain and body, resulting in increased heart rate and high blood pressure.
To be safe, discuss green tea consumption with your doctor if you are taking any prescription medications, including:
- Adenosine (Adenocard)
- Asthma medications
- Birth control pills and estrogens
- Blood-thinning medications such as aspirin and warfarin
- Cancer drugs—a USC study funded by the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation found that green tea blocks the therapeutic action of bortezomib (Velcade)
- Heart medications
- Medications for seizures
- Nadolol (Corgard)
- Psychotropic medications like monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), clozapine, and lithium
Green tea has a lot of health benefits, including improving brain function and helping with weight loss. To get the most out of it and avoid possible side effects, drink 2 to 4 cups a day.
If you’ve never taken green tea, start with a small amount and gradually increase it, depending on how your body reacts to it.
- Livestrong.com(n.d). Why Do Hospitals Say Not to Drink Green Tea With Prescription Medication? livestrong.com/article/417464-why-do-hospitals-say-not-to-drink-green-tea-with-prescription-medication/
- timesofindia.indiatimes.com(Apr 08, 2021). Weight loss: The best and worst time to drink green tea. timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/weight-loss/weight-loss-the-best-and-worst-time-to-drink-green-tea/photostory/78236833.cms
- senchateabar.com(Oct 02, 2020). 11 Harmful Green Tea Side Effects (Read Before Drinking). senchateabar.com/blogs/blog/green-tea-side-effects
- www.practo.com(Dec 21, 2015). Green Tea Side Effects and Who Must Avoid It. practo.com/healthfeed/green-tea-side-effects-and-who-must-avoid-it-3626/post
- healthline.com(Oct 03, 2015). How Much Green Tea Should You Drink Per Day?healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-green-tea-per-day