How To Avoid
Side Effects of Green Tea

Learn the basic arts of tea drinking - good habits that help you stay away from adverse side effects of green tea.

Avoid Adverse Side Effects of Green Tea #1:
Don't drink tea when it is scalding hot or when it turns cold.

The ideal temperature is between 56 to 62 degree Celsius.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, drinking scalding hot tea is harmful to the digestive system.

Cold tea is said to be "damp" and gathers phlegm.

Leave freshly brewed tea out for a while and you will notice that its color darkens and fragrance fades.

Like an apple that turns brown, tea compounds lose their potency through oxidation.

Nutrients such as catechins, theanine, vitamin C and B diminish over time. Tea contains amino acids. Leave it even longer and bacteria starts to breed.

The grandmother's tale is that one should never drink tea that has been left overnight. She is not that far from the truth.

Always try to drink your tea hot.

Avoid Adverse Side Effects of Green Tea #2:
Don't drink tea full-strength.

One cup of tea typically contains 2 to 3 grams of leaves. Some people can brew as much as 15 grams in an 8-ounce (or 225 milliliters) cup. If you have a weak stomach, that is not a good idea.

High strength tea contains concentrated caffeine and polyphenols. Caffeine can cause insomnia. Polyphenols can over-stimulate the production of gastric acids and cause stomach upset.

Avoid Adverse Side Effects of Green Tea #3:
Don't over-brew your tea.

In Asia, it is common practice drink loose tea, which can be infused 3 to 5 times.

The chemical composition changes with each infusion. Over-brewed tea not only tastes bitter, it is considered harmful.

Why? Because tea leaves may contain harmful solids which are less water-soluble. These solids are likely to sneak out in the later infusions.

Avoid Adverse Side Effects of Green Tea #4:
Don't drink tea on empty stomach or with meals.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, drinking tea on empty stomach cause "coldness" to enter the lung and stomach system.

On the other hand, there are good "Western" reasons why one should avoid drinking tea with meals.

The alkaline nature of tea conflicts with the acids produced by the stomach.

Drinking tea around mealtimes can cause indigestion to those with a sensitive stomach.

Tea reduces the absorption of non-heme iron, causing problems to those prone to iron deficiency anaemia.

It reduces absorption of thiamine (Vitamin B). Thiamine deficiency leads to a condition known as beriberi. Once common to sailors, beriberi is now relatively rare in the Western world except for alcoholics.

In other words, if you are sensitive, it is best to drink tea in-between meals - about 2 hours after you have eaten.

Are there good things about drinking tea with meals?

Tea blocks absorption of nutrients. Drinking tea can help you lose weight!

Avoid Adverse Side Effects of Green Tea #5:
Don't drink tea with medications or when suffering from fever.

Tea can interfere and interact with medications. As a safety precaution, avoid drinking tea for at least 2 hours after taking medications.

Drinking tea won't get rid of a high temperature.

As a mild stimulant, tea may further increase the body temperature. The body cools down by sweating - tea tannins actually inhibit this effect.

Avoid Adverse Side Effects of Green Tea #6:
Don't mix tea with alcohol.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, drinking tea and alcohol together is harmful to the kidney system, causing constipation and problems to the sexual organs.

Don't drink too much.

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 minerals overdose.

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

People with special conditions should exercise caution when drinking tea. Click on the link below to find out more.

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Liu Xiang Lian (2006). Dangdai Chajing. Zhongguo Haiguan.

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