Some people drink green tea for its antioxidant properties; others drink the brew to lose weight. Yet others consume it as a preventive measure –to ward off – or cure – lifestyle disease. One question that all green tea drinkers ask is –
Anjali Sood – a nutritionist from Bangalore – recommends taking one cup during the mid-morning hours and one in the early evening while nutritionist Rupali Dutta advocates an early morning cup to kick-start your metabolism.
Many believe that green tea on an empty stomach elicits the maximum benefit. On the contrary, say experts from Indian Express Life Style Desk, it could have an adverse effect. The caffeine – though mild – can dehydrate your already water-deprived body – you likely had water just before bed. Moreover, the stomach acids released in response to the first sip need to be absorbed – failing which they may erode the linings of your stomach and intestine –eventually leading to stomach upset at best and ulcers at worse. Incidentally, the same goes for black tea and coffee.
This is actually the best time to drink green tea. Ideally, green tea should be taken at least two hours after the last meal and two hours before the next one. This ensures that the catechins in green tea do not react with the animal or milk protein and other nutrients present in the food. Catechins can inhibit the absorption of minerals too as well as that of iron. Therefore taking green tea immediately before or soon after a meal will not benefit you much; and it may diminish the nutrient value of the food. Conversely, sipping a cup of green tea between meals will help burn the excess fat and help metabolize the food – clearing the way for your next meal.
One might think that having a cup of warm green tea just before bed is ideal – but remember that the caffeine can keep you awake. Moreover, caffeine has diuretic properties and though it is present in moderation, it can still affect your sleep – not only keeping you awake, but also disturbing your sleep with frequent bathroom visits.
It is therefore best to consume green tea at least two hours before you go to bed. This gives the caffeine sufficient time to act – and you can complete your washroom runs well before bed. Emptying your bladder will also keep your tummy light – boding well for a restful sleep.
You might think then that pairing green tea with your exercise routine will speed up weight loss – considering that it improves metabolism and burns fat – and you are spot on!
Doctors, dieticians, nutritionists, and fitness experts alike recognize the advantages of drinking green tea before or after your workout.
A pre-workout drink will speed up the burning of fat aiding weight loss, while a post workout drink will refresh you and replenish the salts and minerals lost during your workout. This has been proven by a study that showed the EGCG and caffeine in green tea increases oxidation if taken 90 minutes before exercise.
Drinking green tea in place of your evening cuppa is a good idea – just make sure the caffeine content is low – especially if you are sleep sensitive. As we said earlier, caffeine can keep you awake and active – so if you are looking to relax and unwind after a stressful day, having a cup of decaffeinated green tea in the evening is a good idea.
Moreover, it will give the caffeine time to act before dinner so that you have a light stomach and can get a restful sleep. Brewing it with cool water will reduce the caffeine further – or at least its effect – but this will also diminish the effect of EGCG.
Drinking green tea is definitely beneficial; but too much of anything is bad. As Sheldon Cooper rightly remarks, “What if I run out of oxidants”. Drinking cup after random cup may do more harm than good.
So if you want to get the most out of your cup of brew choose the right variant and consider these factors before you buy –
At CARE, we have 5 great blends that we have paired with ayurvedic herbs for maximum benefit. Ayurvedic practitioners at BanLabs are here to help you make the right choice of blend and advise you on the best time to sip it for optimum benefit.