Tea Side Effects
Seven Habits To Effective Drinking

How to reap the maximum health benefits of your soothing cup of tea while minimizing the side effects.



Hot Is Better

Tea compounds are highly sensitive to oxygen.  Just like an apple that turns brown when exposed to air, tea catechins oxidize quickly after brewing.

Leave hot tea to cool and you will notice that after a few hours, it too turns brown.

When you drink a cup of hot brewed tea, you are consuming more than 200 bioactive compounds, including key nutrients such as catechins (powerful antioxidants), theanine (a feel-good relaxant) and vitamins B and C.

These nutrients diminish over time. Tea is so nutritious that if you leave your cup of tea long enough, bacteria will start to breed.

This doesn't mean that you shouldn't drink a cold cup of tea. Lots of experienced drinkers do that on a regular basis.

But if you want to get the best out of your tea, then drinking it hot is your best option.

Less Is More

If you are just starting to brew loose tea, here is one golden rule you can't ignore: start with a small amount of leaves. This applies especially to green tea: less is often more.

This is counterintuitive. Beginning drinkers like to use more leaves, believing this will result in greater flavor. The result is often a bitter and undrinkable brew.

The lower the quality of the leaves, the more discerning you need to be, as they are much less tolerant.  (tolerant of what? not sure what you mean here...)

For green tea, the usual guideline is 2 to 3 grams of leaves for an 8-ounce or 225-milliliter cup.

For oolong tea, you can afford to be more liberal, as it should be more concentrated. But oolong tea is often infused for a shorter period of time, starting with just 1 minute.

Drinking tea half-strength has many advantages because it minimizes the chances of suffering from tea side effects.

It is less likely to upset your stomach. It is less likely to overstimulate you and cause irritability and insomnia.

Understanding Infusions

As you switch from teabags to loose tea, you still start to experience the magic of infusions.

Unlike teabags, loose tea can be infused several times. Quality green tea can be infused 3 to 5 times, while oolong tea can be infused 5 to 9 times.

With green tea, it is customary to keep the first infusion.

With oolong tea, it is customary to throw away the first infusion. This is because the first infusion is the most bitter. Such practice is called tea washing - as it removes any attaching dusts and residues.

Harmful substances are less soluble. They tend to sneak out in later infusions. Therefore never over-brew your tea. When over-extracted, tea turns bitter. At this point - stop!

By the same token, it is considered healthier to brew tea rather than eat tea leaves.

In Between Meals

The best time to drink tea is in between meals. There are at least two side effects associated with drinking tea when your stomach is empty or full.

  • Tea can cause indigestion and stomach upset.

Drinking tea when your stomach is empty or full can cause nausea to some people.

If you have a sensitive stomach, please consider drinking tea in between meals!

Learn the 10 tips to avoid tea side effects in Green Tea and Stomach.

  • Tea can interfere with the absorption of nutritions.

Scientific studies have found that drinking tea may block the absorption of non-heme iron, although another study has found that long term drinkers do not experience this negative effect.

Tea and Iron

Chinese studies have also found that tea blocks the absorption of nutritions such as protein and fat.

Therefore it is not a good idea for very young children to drink tea.

Tea and Children

When is a good time to drink tea with meals?

If you do not have a sensitive stomach, then drinking tea with meals may help you lose weight. It is also a good idea to drink oolong tea with fatty food as it increases the excretion of fatty substances.

Oolong Tea and Excretion

When To Be Careful

You may want to exercise caution with your tea intake

  • When you are suffering from illness or disease
  • For a couple of hours after you take medication
  • When you are suffering from fever
  • When you are pregnant
  • When you are experiencing PMS
  • When you are breastfeeding
  • After you have alcohol

For further tips and advice, read Green Tea Side Effects Warnings!

Moderation Is King

When I started drinking tea seriously, I started with 1 to 2 cups a week, then gradually increased to 3 cups a day. Now, I drink 6 to 9 cups a day. It took me 2 years to go from zero to 9 cups a day.

How much tea should you drink?

Many population studies documenting the health benefits of drinking green tea are based in Asia, where people typically drink 3 cups of green tea a day.

The United Kingdom Tea Council recommends drinking not more than 6 cups of tea a day. Why? Because drinking too much green tea can cause caffeine intolerance and nutrition overdose.

Therefore, I think 3 to 6 cups is the optimum for most people.

Learn From Your Reactions

Finally, this is the most important habit about tea drinking:

Observe how you feel and be flexible!
Learn from your reactions.

This is an amazing beverage that connects your mind and body. As you tune in more and more to tea's hidden message, you will discover incredible facts about yourself and the beverage. Observe your reactions - they are telling you something.

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