Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Green Tea - Good or Bad?

The interest and consumption of green tea has shot up in the last couple of years and many people are having it every day now, and even replacing it with their normal mug of tea or coffee. I have to have my nice warm mug of green tea in the morning to wake myself up; otherwise I can’t function, it gives me my morning boost. It’s weird because before I started having my morning green tea I didn’t used to have tea or coffee in the morning, I didn’t feel the need to have it like other people do. Now, I NEED my green tea, I’m kind of addicted, I even take my own tea bags when I travel.

This blog has been requested by my cousins, as they have heard that although green tea has many benefits, it’s also not good and may have higher caffeine content than a normal cuppa tea or coffee. So I looked into this, did some research and here are my results, I’ve put them in a table so you can see the comparisons.

Caffeine Content in Various Beverages
Caffeine Content in 250ml
Green Tea
27 mg
Black Tea
45 mg
Brewed Coffee
110 mg
Instant Coffee
60 mg
Instant Decaf Coffee
3 mg
25 mg
Red Bull
80 mg
Herbal Tea
0 mg
*These are approx. figures

From this table you can see green tea has relatively low amount of caffeine, fairly the same as Coca-Cola (not that I am advising you to have fizzy drinks!). Although, you will need to remember, the longer the tea/coffee is steeped the higher the caffeine content. Therefore it is advised, for all hot beverages to be steeped for a maximum of 3 minutes only.

You will be happy to see that herbal teas, for example, chamomile, peppermint, and fennel, made from other plant sources have zero milligrams of caffeine and are naturally caffeine free. So if you want to avoid the caffeine stick to herbal teas, decaf, you can even get a decaf of green tea.

It is advised not to exceed 500mg of caffeine per day, whilst pregnant women are advised to have no more than 200mg per day. So depending on how many cups you have, you will be able to see if you are having too much or not.

However, caffeine is not necessarily bad; some studies have shown caffeine to have some beneficial effects. So, for those of you who are worried, don’t be concerned too much, unless you have a medical condition or are pregnant or if you exceeding the daily allowance.

As you have seen in the news this week a study showed green tea to weaken the effects of some blood pressure medicines. So be aware if you are on medication. Read here:

But it is not all bad. I would like to highlight some benefits of green tea as it is a good healthy tea that has many overall health benefits, even though it may come from the same plant as black tea. However, the process in which it is made differs, as green tea is not oxidised keeping all its properties and green colour.

Here are some of the benefits of having green tea:
  • -          low in caffeine
  • -          aids weight loss
  • -          full of anti-oxidants
  • -          improves brain function
  • -          lowers the risk of some cancers
  • -          reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons
  • -          may help lower the risk of type-2 diabetes
  • -          and much more!

I hope this has cleared up any confusion with the caffeine content in green tea. Do you have green tea? Has it helped you in any way? 

Be Happy. Be Healthy!

If you have any other topics or foods you would like me to explore, let me know, simply comment below!

By Ayshabibi H. ANutr
A H Nutritionist
January 2014

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