How To Drink Green Tea Without The Side Effects
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
In case you haven’t heard, green tea is one of the healthiest drinks around.
Packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this powerhouse of a drink improves health, boosts your immune system, accelerates your metabolism, and wards off many different chronic diseases.
This drink, which has been used for centuries as a medicine in Chinese and Asian cultures, has been extensively researched and proven to give your health a boost.
Even though this drink is super powerful and may have some immediate impacts on your health ….
… there are certain side effects that you should be aware of that may make it hard to drink green tea.
Even though the side effects may be rare, you do need to understand that, if you’re sensitive to caffeine or tannins, you may experience some side effects if you drink green tea.
But don’t worry … in this article, you’re going to learn how to drink green tea without the side effects so you can reap all the health benefits of this popular drink.
What Is Green Tea?
Next to water, green tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world.
Filled with powerful vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, tannins, and catechins, green tea has been shown to lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, prevent age-related brain decline, and even accelerates your weight loss.
This tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant, just like Oolong, black, and white teas are.
However, there is one stark difference. Green tea is the least processed tea, which may increase your antioxidant profile more effectively than other teas.
Since this tea is minimally processed, most of the antioxidants—especially EGCG—may stay in their natural state, therefore giving you many improvements in your health.
Green tea also contains naturally-occurring caffeine and tannins, which are the catalysts for all the health benefits you may see from drinking green tea.
There may be a few issues associated with green tea that you should be made aware of…
The Side Effects of Green Tea
There may be some side effects of green tea you should be aware of before making the switch.
Even though green tea contains far less caffeine than coffee, there is still some level of naturally-occurring caffeine, which could cause issues for you (especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine).
It may also be used as a natural way to reduce your caffeine intake, since 1) it has less caffeine than a cup of coffee, and 2) it contain L-theanin (an amino acid best known for its ability to lower blood sugar) that may slow the absorption of caffeine in your body.
Besides caffeine, some other side effects include:
1. Stomach Irritation
Since green tea contains tannins, it may irritate your digestive system if you consume it on an empty stomach.
The tannins may increase the production of stomach acid, which could lead to indigestion, constipation, nausea, and other stomach issues.
Plus, if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)), then you may want to avoid green tea since it may cause diarrhea.
The caffeine may stimulate your colon, which could increase the frequency of bathroom trips.
How To Prevent It: In order to avoid these side effects, it’s best to avoid drinking green tea on an empty stomach. It’s best to consume it a couple hours after each meal in order to keep prevent the excess stomach acid production.
2. Sleeping Issues
If you have sleep problems, it may be a wise idea not to drink green tea before bed. Since green tea does contain caffeine it may easily disrupt your sleep.
Even though there is a small amount of caffeine, it may more than enough for those suffering from caffeine sensitivities.
Caffeine blocks the release of hormones, such as melatonin, that help induce sleep.
How To Prevent This: Even though drinking a cup of green tea before bed may be okay for some people, those with caffeine sensitivities should look to consume green tea no more than 5 hours before bedtime.
3. Iron Deficiency
Green tea contains antioxidants that may interfere with the absorption of iron. And since iron is pretty important for your body, it’s crucial to figure out a way to prevent iron deficiency.
Iron is integral to the development of hemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen from the lungs to all areas of your body.
People with anemia often have low iron levels, which can drop even lower if they drink green tea.
How To Prevent This: If you want to prevent iron deficiency while you’re enjoying your green tea, then you may want to splash a little lemon into it.
Lemon, which contains vitamin C, may help with the absorption of iron, Also consuming green tea one hour before or after a meal could also prevent interference that green tea could have with iron absorption.
4. Liver Issues
For some, green tea may damage their liver, which could cause some serious health issues. Studies show that caffeine may build up in the liver, therefore causing stress to the liver.
This could ultimately lead to liver dysfunction and the potential for liver disease.
How To Prevent This: If you want to prevent damage to your liver, you should limit the amount of green tea you’re consuming to no more than 5 cups in one day.
This will cut down on the amount of caffeine you’re consuming, therefore preventing the caffeine buildup associated with excess green tea consumption.
Take Home Message
Green tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. Next to water, there isn’t a drink that is more popular—or more widely consumed—than green tea.
Although it’s a very healthy drink, there may be some side effects that you should be aware of—especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine or the tannins that are found in the tea.
However, if you take the right steps, such as:
• Don’t overconsume green tea
• If you’re sensitive to caffeine, don’t drink green tea within 5 hours of going to bed
• Splash a touch of lemon with your green tea to prevent iron deficiency
• Don’t drink green tea on an empty stomach
If you do this, then you will reap the benefits of this powerful elixir.
If you want a tea that tastes great and doesn’t carry any adverse side effects, then you may want to consider drinking Amla Green Tea.
This Oolong dark green tea, which is infused with the ancient Amla plant, delivers a boatload of antioxidants that your body could use to combat free radicals, improve your health, and double the benefits you would normally see with regular green tea.
Improve Your Health And Cut Down On Harmful Side Effects With Amla Green Tea
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.
- Kevin DiDonato