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Did You Know These Side Effects Of Green Tea?

| Reviewed By Sneha Krishnan

Every year, International Tea Day is observed on 21 May according to the United Nations (UN). The International Tea Day aims to raise awareness of the long history and the cultural and economic significance of tea around the world.

Green tea is one of the oldest known herbal teas that has been consumed for ages and currently, the antioxidant-rich tea has secured its place on the shelf of anyone and everyone concerned about their health. For decades many have praised the therapeutic properties of tea and interestingly consuming green tea was even purported to have brought a thirteenth-century Japanese official back from his death bed.

Green tea which is made from the Camellia sinensis plant has been popular among the masses for several decades for its immensely professed health benefits, whether be it weight loss, inflammation or bloating.


Benefits Of Drinking Green Tea

Drinking green tea can be favourable, since the L-theanine in it is believed to offer copious benefits for health, like easing anxiety and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Green tea contains a mixture of polyphenolic compounds like flavanols, flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are specialized antioxidants that try to inhibit the cells causing cancer and significantly tries to exterminate the process.

It may even shrink the growing risk of cancer, yet did you know that green tea has its side effects? It is important that you consume it in moderation. Drinking green tea during pregnancy is not good since it contains caffeine. Caffeine intake is always discouraged during pregnancy.

Those with low tolerance of caffeine will suffer from ingesting it, as it can cause heartburn, headache, diarrhoea, high blood pressure and diabetes. So, let's find out the downside of drinking green tea. Let's take a look at the side effects of drinking green tea.


How Much Green Tea Can I Drink A Day?

Based on studies and according to health experts, it is optimal to drink two to five cups of green tea per day, with 3 being the healthy choice.


How Much Green Tea Is Too Much?

Medical studies point out that 10 cups of green tea daily is the upper limit. If you are sensitive to caffeine or suffer from insomnia, 10 cups of green tea are probably going to be too much for your system - so stick to 2 or 3.


When Is The Best Time To Drink Green Tea?

Drink green tea in the morning around 10:00 to 11:00 pm or early at night. You can drink a cup of green tea between meals, for example, two hours before or after to maximize the nutrient intake and iron absorption. If you suffer from aneamia, avoid drinking green tea along with food


1. Causes Headaches

You can suffer mild headaches in the long run if you consume more quantities of green tea for a very long period. It will cause acute headaches because of the caffeine content in the beverage.


2. Reduces Iron Absorption

Drinking green tea would interfere with nutrient absorption. The main compound of the tea combines with the iron, causing it to lose its antioxidant property, decreasing the absorption of iron from food. A lack of iron can lead to shortness of breath, headache and fatigue. You can consume green tea 2 hours before or after the meal so that you won't lose out on iron. The tannin content in green tea will reduce the bio-availability of iron. It has to be taken either 2 hours before or 4 hours after iron administration.

Consuming green tea along with dietary iron (red meat and dark leafy greens) can lessen the health benefits of the tea.


3. Causes Gastrointestinal Problems

Excessive consumption of green tea can have adverse effects as it contains caffeine and antioxidant polyphenols which in large amounts can cause acidity and related problems. The tannins present in green tea increase acidity in the stomach and cause stomach ache, nausea and constipation. Thus, consuming green tea on an empty stomach must be avoided. Individuals suffering from peptic ulcers should pass up drinking green tea since it would try to stimulate gastric acid.

It is safe for some people if they consume 2-3 glasses of green day every day.


4. Affects Sleep Pattern

Never drink green tea before you hit the bed as the caffeine in it can block sleep-inducing elements in the brain and thereby will make you alert and focused - something you do not want to be while trying to get some shut-eye.

Pregnant women and women who breastfeed need to limit the intake of green tea, as it has caffeine content. The tea can pass into breast milk and will cause sleep disorders in the nursing infant. The caffeine content, when in excess, can cause insomnia, irritability and nervousness.


5. Causes Liver Damage

The polyphenols found in green tea, when in large quantities can cause certain health problems in the liver and kidney. According to a study, the build-up of caffeine that can stress the liver. So, avoid consuming more than 4 to 5 cups of green tea every day.


6. Causes Irregular Heartbeat

For individuals suffering from heart diseases, green tea may not be the right choice. Although rare, studies have proven that green tea elevates blood pressure and may interfere with certain blood pressure medications.


7. Impacts Bone Health

Excess consumption of green tea increases the risk of bone disease such as osteoporosis in individuals who are at risk. Compounds in green tea inhibit the absorption of calcium, resulting in a deterioration of bone health.

Limit your intake to 2 to 3 cups of green tea if you are the risk of any bone disease.


8. May Cause Bleeding Disorders

Excessive consumption of green tea can trigger bleeding disorders in rare cases. Certain compounds in the healthy tea decrease levels of fibrinogen, a protein that helps clot blood and also prevents the oxidation of fatty acids, which can lead to thinner blood consistency.

So, if you suffer from a blood clotting disorder, it is vest to avoid drinking green tea.

Apart from all of these, excess of green tea can cause you to feel dizzy or light-headed as the caffeine decreases blood flow to the brain and central nervous system, resulting in motion sickness, nausea and vomiting.


On A Final Note…

With hundreds and thousands of healthy foods around us, it can be quite confusing to choose the right one. In the same line, when we chose the right ones, quantity and recommended intake becomes the next question. And let me tell you something - that is one of the most important factors to be taken seriously. Just because something can help improve your health, consuming it in large quantities will never help but only impacts your health adversely. Don't forget - moderation is key!

Sneha KrishnanGeneral Medicine
Sneha Krishnan
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