Green tea is tea made from Camellia sinensis. It’s well-known for various health benefits; some of them are proven, some of them are not. However, did you know that there are also several unwanted side effects of drinking green tea?
This might come as a surprise, as green tea is deemed to be very healthy There’s also no denying that there are many positive effects of this tea when you drink it every day.
Still, just like as any other product, green tea can cause some side effects that you must be aware of before buying it.
How can you avoid these side effects? It’s simple, don’t drink too much tea and stop drinking it if you notice any negative side effect on your body.
There are several side effects of green tea that you should be aware of, especially if you didn’t drink it before. Read this article so you can know more about the common side effects of drinking green tea.
It also doesn’t matter if you drank green tea before without any issues. Side effects can happen to anyone in any situations. Caffeine is the main reason for this, but not the only one.
Some people can experience stomach issues; some of them can have allergic reactions, while other common side effects of green tea are dizziness, increased heart rate and more. We’ll discuss these issues and how to handle them below:
Is Caffeine Good or Bad?
First, we can say that caffeine is relatively safe to use by healthy adults without any side effects.
However, it can happen that sometimes we forgot how many cups of tea we drink during the day. if we keep on sipping green tea all the time, this will lead to a high level of caffeine intake during twenty-four hours.
This is where issues begin. Caffeine can boost your energy in the morning, but it is also proven that caffeine can cause several different negative effects on your body and mind. This is especially true if you are sensitive to this compound.
Some of the symptoms you can experience are nausea, heart palpitations, tremor, and insomnia.
To prevent this, don’t drink green tea late at night or before you go to sleep. Also, don’t drink that more than the recommended daily dose of green tea.
Stomach Issues, Anyone?
We live in a very dynamic world and usually lead very fast-paced lives. We don’t eat regularly, we eat quickly, and we don’t chew our food enough. This leads to various issues with digestion and stomach.
In the twenty-first century, there are many people with regular stomach upsets, problems with constipation and general issues with digestion.
If you have any type of issue with your stomach, be aware that drinking green tea can worsen this condition. These conditions may include irritable bowel syndrome or diarrhea. Also, if you have an ulcer, you should completely avoid green tea, its extracts, and supplements with green tea as an ingredient.
Avoiding Stomach Issues By Changing Green Tea Consumption
In order to avoid regular stomach issues, you definitely need to eat light food, avoid fast food, and chew your food for several minutes before swallowing. Also, don’t mix green tea with some types of food that are generally hard to digest.
Green Tea and Hair Loss
Hair loss is a major issue for many people, no matter whether they are women or men. Many people try to prevent hair loss, but most treatments end up failing.
Some might try out natural products, while others try alternative medicine. However, there is no universal solution for everyone who suffers from hair loss.
It is not scientifically proven that green tea can prevent or cure baldness, but the antioxidants in this substance can help.
Talk to your health care provider for more connection between green tea and hair loss. Make sure to ask if you should be drinking tea to prevent losing your hair.
Interactions with Medications
In some cases, green tea can cause irregular heartbeats, bone health issues and might even increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Also, green tea can interact with some medications. Before you start drinking green tea, make sure to ask your doctor for any possible medical interactions.
Some of the medications green tea might interact with are blood thinners, antibiotics, and hormones. Also, the catechins in green tea can be harmful to your liver in high doses.
Headaches with Green Tea
For some people, consuming green tea can lead to major headaches. Those who are prone to migraines should hence avoid drinking green tea in large amount or on a regular basis. A cup or two occasionally should be fine.
However, we should avoid green tea altogether if we’re suffering from headaches on a daily basis. The same goes for anyone who has a caffeine sensitivity.
Caffeine is a known substance for staving off sleep. While green tea contains a small amount of caffeine as compared to regular black tea or coffee, it can still cause sleeping issues if you’re sensitive. Plus, there are some chemical compounds present in green tea that can prevent melatonin release. Since melatonin is a hormone that helps us sleep, its lacking can lead to sleepless nights.
Green tea does contain l-theanine, which can create a feeling of calmness and relaxation. However, the same compound also results in enhanced alertness and sharper focus. A certain strain of research shows that this would actually help in going to sleep, but these studies are somewhat limited.
Still, it’s usually assumed that any calming benefits would be outweighed due to the caffeine content. This is especially true if you’re consuming matcha green tea. In order to stay on the safe side, consume your green tea about 5 hours before bedtime.
Risk in Pregnancy
Sine green tea contains catechins, caffeine, and tannins, we should take extra care about using it during pregnancy. These compounds have been known to increase risks in pregnancies, so it’s best to limit your green tea intake during this time. The usual recommended intake for pregnant women is around two cups a day.
In fact, drinking more than a safe amount of green tea could lead to birth defects or even miscarriages. If you must have some caffeine during pregnancy, keep it under 200 milligrams on a daily basis.
The same precaution goes for breastfeeding mothers. When consuming caffeine, this compound could be transferred to the infant through breast milk. Make sure that you coordinate with your physician before starting a regular green tea routine during your breastfeeding months.
Other Health Risks of Consuming Green Tea
Other than the health risks we’ve discussed above, there are also several more to worry about. These include anemia, iron deficiency, vomiting, triggered bleeding, dizziness, and convulsions. All this might seem quite alarming, but the right precautions should set our mind at ease.
The health issues with consuming green tea usually come about when we drink too much or it or consume it at the wrong times. A natural caffeine sensitivity should make us wary of all caffeinated beverages in any case, including carbonated drinks. In any case, consulting with a trusted medical practitioner should reassure us about the safety of consuming green tea. The following precautions should also help in assuring a safe experience.
Avoiding the Unwanted Side Effects of Drinking Green Tea
Of course, the best way to avoid any adverse side effects of green tea is to eliminate its consumption. However, there are quite a few benefits in drinking green tea which we might not want to miss. In order to strike a proper balance, let’s discuss some of the ways in which we can limit the negative effects in order to partake of the benefits from the various types of green tea.
The Right Temperature
The ideal temperature for drinking green tea is when it’s between the temperatures of 56 and 62 degrees Celsius. This means that it shouldn’t be either very cold or boiling hot.
In the practice of traditional Chinese medicine, drinking very hot tea can harm our digestive systems. Since the Chinese drink tea as part of their everyday culture, we may rely upon their traditions to tell us the healthiest way of consuming green tea.
As for cold tea, this has a dampening effect and tends to gather phlegm into our system. Plus, cold tea tends to lose its benefits due to oxidization when it’s left out.
This means that we won’t be able to benefit from the Vitamin B, Vitamin C, theanine, and catechins that are present in freshly-brewed green tea. Since tea also has amino acids, it can harbor bacteria if left out too long.
The Tea Strength
Those with a weak stomach should take care not to drink tea that has a very strong brew. The ideal ratio is two or three grams of tea leaves to a single cup of tea.
Having such a strong brew can increase the amount of caffeine we intake in a cup of green tea. This will cause insomnia, increase gastric acid production, and lead to an upset stomach more often than not.
While many people in the West might use tea bags for their green tea, the usual Asian practice is to use looseleaf tea. If you’re going for the latter, you might be using the same leaves for more than one infusion.
Keep in mind that the chemical composition of green tea changes with every infusion. This means that you can over brew your tea, making it bitter and a risk to our health.
No Drinking Tea With Meals
It’s not recommended that you drink any kind of tea on an empty stomach. The same goes for coffee, as caffeine is an irritant that could mess with the stomach lining.
You should also avoid drinking tea with meals, as the alkaline content can negatively interact with stomach acids. This would result in indigestion. If you suffer from a sensitive stomach, the best choice is to drink your green tea around two hours after eating.
No Drinking Green Tea With a Fever
Some people wrongly assume that drinking green tea would help to soothe a fever. This is not true, especially if you’re also taking medications. As mentioned above, green tea might interact with some medications, making the situation worse than before.
Green tea is a stimulant, which could actually further increase body temperature instead of decreasing it. Plus, the tannins in your green tea might prevent the body from sweating. Since sweating is essential in lowering temperature, your consumption of green tea would actually be detrimental to getting better.
If you do want some green tea while on medications, have a cup about two hours after taking your dosage.
Final Thoughts about the Side Effects of Green Tea
People often ask: is it possible to drink too much green tea?
The answer is simple – yes you can, and this is very easily doable. Green tea contains caffeine and this substance is the most common reason for the emergence of negative side effects.
Obviously, there are going to be some unwanted side effects of consuming green tea, especially if you’re consuming it in a large dosage.
Although helpful in many health issues, green tea can also cause some issues. In order to prevent that, you should not drink more than three or even two cups of tea.
According to the United Kingdom Tea Council, it’s not recommended to consume more than 6 cups of green tea in one day. Any more than that will probably cause mineral overdose and caffeine intolerance even in people who don’t have a sensitive stomach.
The amount of green tea you can safely consume throughout the day depends on cup capacity. In case you notice any side effect while you drink green tea, stop consuming it for some time and ask your health care provider for more information.