Green tea has many great health benefits when added to a balanced diet. It’s a natural diuretic, it may be helpful dealing with clogged arteries and your heart’s health, and it tastes pretty good, too. But what about the side effects?
Believe it or not, there are a few side effects to green tea, especially for people with certain health conditions.
In this article, we’re going to discuss green tea side effects and how you might be able to avoid them.
Green Tea Side Effects
As we previously noted, green tea has a lot of good stuff for you. However, there are some side effects you should be aware of, especially if you are pregnant or have issues with caffeine.
Here are seven of the most common side effects that may come with green tea.
1. Mild headaches
Headaches can usually be the result of the caffeine contained in green tea, especially if your body gets used to the caffeine and then doesn’t get it.
2. Sleep issues
Due to the nature and amount of caffeine contained within green tea, green tea when drank in larger amounts can affect your sleep patterns. It may also contribute to restlessness and increased anxiety and nervousness.
Some of the health benefits of green tea also come with a possible drawback. Green tea is a natural diuretic and can help flush a lot of waste minerals out of your system with your urine. But, if you drink too much green tea or if it’s doing its job too well, it can also flush away minerals and nutrients that you need, like calcium. Long-term overuse of green tea may help the onset of osteoporosis.
4. Stomach issues
If you drink it on an empty stomach, green tea may cause an upset stomach. The tannins contained in green tea can increase stomach acid, leaving you with a rather upset tummy.
5. Iron deficiency
Green tea can lessen the absorption of iron into your body. The lack of iron can eventually lead to conditions like anemia.
6. Washroom issues
Green tea is great for helping to keep you regular, but depending on your digestive process, it may help make you too regular. Known side effects of green tea are occasional bouts of diarrhea.
7. Moderate drinking if pregnant
Green tea has fairly high levels of caffeine, tannic acids, and catechins. These are all things that can affect a pregnant woman negatively, and when combined with the fact that it can reduce your iron levels, you should treat green tea very carefully while pregnant.
If you do consume it, stick to a small amount like a cup or two a day maximum. You should also note that the problems presented by the caffeine, tannic acids, and catechins can be passed on to an infant via breastfeeding, so new mothers will want to take that into consideration.
All of these things should be taken into account when considering adding green tea to your diet and how much green tea you should add to your diet. But don’t worry too much, as there are some things you can do if you want to drink green tea but avoid some of these side effects.
How to Avoid the Side Effects of Green Tea
You can avoid some of the side effects of green tea can by doing a few simple things.
1. Don’t over brew your tea
Overbrewing the tea (letting the tea steep for a longer period) can take away less water from the tea mixture leading to more powerful tea, which can help bring on more side effects. You do not want to drink the tea at full strength. Besides, the more you brew the tea or let it steep, the more bitter it will become.
2. Don’t drink it if you are sensitive to caffeine
A lot of the side effects of green tea stem from the caffeine that it contains. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may just want to avoid drinking green tea, or at the very least, limit the amount you drink.
3. Don’t drink green tea on an empty stomach
As we previously noted, drinking green tea on an empty stomach can lead to a rise in stomach acid, which can cause digestive issues like indigestion.
4. Don’t drink too much
Limiting your consumption of green tea is the easiest and simplest way to avoid most of the side effects of green tea. Don’t drink too much of it. Limit yourself to 1 or 2 cups of green tea a day.
Most of the side effects from the above section are from prolonged and possibly excessive drinking of green tea. It’s okay to go out for sushi and have a cup or to have a cup in the afternoon. Just don’t drink eight cups in a day, every day. That’s when you will start to experience issues, especially those that are driven by caffeine.
Don’t Worry Too Much
Green tea has a lot of health benefits, but it does have some side effects. The best thing you can do is keep your consumption to a moderate level. That will ensure that if there are side effects, they will be relatively minor. But, if you still aren’t sure about green tea and your health, you can always consult your doctor for further advice.
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“4 possible green tea side effects,” Green Tea Guide, April 13, 2013; http://www.green-tea-guide.com/green-tea-side-effects.html, last accessed June 8, 2017.
“How To Avoid Side Effects of Green Tea,” Amazing Green Tea; http://www.amazing-green-tea.com/adverse-side-effects-of-green-tea.html, last accessed June 8, 2017.