Among health beverages, green tea is an undisputed favorite, especially for those attempting to shed a few pounds. Chinese traditional medics have sworn by its health benefits since ancient times. Even recent research has found that green tea is rich in minerals and vitamins that increase its antioxidant potential to reduce your risk for heart disease and certain types of cancers. This antibacterial tea helps in weight loss, exhibits anti-aging properties, and also promotes oral health.1 So that brings us to the obvious question: what is the best time to drink green tea?
More In Summer, Less In Winter
Beneficial as it is, green tea is no ambrosia. You need to have it in moderation. Consult a Chinese medic, and you’d be asked to have green tea during the summer months and go easy in winter. Though there is no scientific evidence to prove this, Chinese medicine lists lightly oxidized teas like green and white teas as cooling beverages and fully oxidized ones like red and black tea as warming. If you feel alternative medicine too should be given an ear, you would want to avoid green tea in the winter.
Not As Your Early Morning Cuppa
There’s no debating green tea has many health benefits. But having it first thing in the morning may not be a good idea after all. A study done on dietary supplement with green tea extracts found that green tea supplement on an empty stomach can have adverse effects on the liver.2
[Also Read: How Much Green Tea Per Day]
Two Hours Before Or After A Meal
[expert_opinion expertname=’drkedar’ opinion=”Two cups of green tea in a day is a good dose, which helps in shedding a few pounds in the long run. Drink it in between meals for optimum benefits.”]
Have green tea between meals, preferably two hours before or after eating to maximize your nutrient intake. By all means, avoid it along with a meal, especially if you are anemic. This is because, according to a fact sheet published by the National Cancer Institute, the antioxidant catechins in green tea inhibit the digestion and absorption of iron from your diet.3
Drinking it between meals allows the body to absorb iron from the food. If you still want to go ahead and drink the tea with your meal, then make sure you include food that enhances iron absorption, like vitamin C-rich food. Red meat is good to mitigate the interaction between tea and iron. Adding lemon or milk to your green tea would also help to an extent.
At Least Two Hours Before Bedtime
Otherwise It Keeps You Alert
The internet is abuzz with the calming properties of green tea that can lull your body into a peaceful slumber. In reality, however, green tea is not a bedtime drink. The caffeine is the spoilsport here. Caffeine is a scientifically proven stimulant and disrupts sleep.4
Green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which has the capacity to calm you down but also make you alert and focus and concentrate better,5 which is at odds with getting a good night’s sleep.
Or Makes You Rush To The Toilet Frequently
The beverage is also diuretic, which means that it will urge you to make frequent trips to the toilet.6 And frequent night-time toilet visits can disrupt your sleep.
While some nutritionists suggest leaving a gap of four to six hours between your last cup of green tea and bedtime, maintaining a minimum of two-hour gap should be fine.
Two To Three Cups A Day Is The Limit
Unless had in moderation, green tea could cause some trouble to your body. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a person should ideally limit his/her consumption of green tea to two or three cups a day or 100 to 750 mg of standardized green tea extract per day.7
Regular Consumption Coupled With Exercise Aids Weight Loss
It is now common knowledge that green tea aids weight loss. The truth, however, is drinking green tea alone won’t take you anywhere in this mission. Fitness trainers, doctors, and nutritionists would attest to the fact that green tea works only in combination with adequate workout.
[Also Read: Does Green Tea Burn Fat]
Shows Results Within 24 Hours
Studies have been conducted on its efficacy in the short and the long term. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that a high intake can have a positive effect within 24 hours. In the experiment, 12 men were given a capsule containing green tea extract, equivalent to about three-and-a-half cups of green tea, 24 hours before exercise. Another group of men received a placebo. Both groups were then made to cycle at 60 percent of their heart rate, and it was found that the group that had consumed green tea burned 17 percent more fat during the workout.8
More Beneficial In The Longer Run
Longer-term consumption yields even better results. When a group of 132 men were given green tea catechins every day alongside an exercise training program of 180 minutes per week, there was a marked decrease in fat, both total and abdominal, and fasting serum triglyceride levels.9
So go ahead and brew this health potion now. But, remember, timing its consumption plays a role in making the most of the drink.
|↑1||Cabrera, Carmen, Reyes Artacho, and Rafael Giménez. “Beneficial effects of green tea—a review.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 25, no. 2 (2006): 79-99.|
|↑2||Sarma, Dandapantula N., Marilyn L. Barrett, Mary L. Chavez, Paula Gardiner, Richard Ko, Gail B. Mahady, Robin J. Marles, Linda S. Pellicore, Gabriel I. Giancaspro, and Tieraona Low Dog. “Safety of green tea extracts.”Drug Safety 31, no. 6 (2008): 469-484.|
|↑3, ↑7||Green Tea. University Of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑4||Whalen, Diana J., Jennifer S. Silk, Mara Semel, Erika E. Forbes, Neal D. Ryan, David A. Axelson, Boris Birmaher, and Ronald E. Dahl. “Caffeine consumption, sleep, and affect in the natural environments of depressed youth and healthy controls.” Journal of pediatric psychology 33, no. 4 (2008): 358-367.|
|↑5||Bryan, Janet. “Psychological effects of dietary components of tea: caffeine and L-theanine.” Nutrition reviews 66, no. 2 (2008): 82-90.|
|↑6||Chacko, Sabu M., Priya T. Thambi, Ramadasan Kuttan, and Ikuo Nishigaki. “Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review.” Chinese medicine 5, no. 1 (2010): 1.|
|↑8||Venables, Michelle C., Carl J. Hulston, Hannah R. Cox, and Asker E. Jeukendrup. “Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87, no. 3 (2008): 778-784.|
|↑9||Maki, Kevin C., Matthew S. Reeves, Mildred Farmer, Koichi Yasunaga, Noboru Matsuo, Yoshihisa Katsuragi, Masanori Komikado et al. “Green tea catechin consumption enhances exercise-induced abdominal fat loss in overweight and obese adults.” The Journal of nutrition 139, no. 2 (2009): 264-270.|