Have you ever wondered if the negatives of caffeine found in green tea outweigh its benefits?
1] According to the USDA loose leaf green tea has about 32 mg/100ml of caffeine. That is roughly 1/2 the amount you would get from coffee.
What is wrong with caffeine?
It stimulates the central nervous system, the heart, and the respiratory system to the extent that high levels of it are now banned for many competitive athletes. Negative effects include irritability, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, diarrhea, headache, or loss of appetite.
2] However, small amounts of coffee can actually be beneficial because of the antioxidants in it. According to the Iowa Women's Health Study coffee drinkers risk of death by cardiovascular disease was 24% less than non coffee drinkers.
In fact, coffee is the main source of dietary antioxidants for most Americans.
Why not drink just coffee?
3] Coffee's benefits are real but not nearly as extensive as those of green tea. Besides the caffeine, green tea has a powerful antioxidant mix of its own from the catechin family of flavonoids. These catechins make the platelets in your blood less prone to clotting which in turn make you less likely to have a stroke or develop heart problems.
The evidence is also mounting up that the catechins may help prevent breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer and others.
An English study in 2000 found that women who drank at least one cup of tea per day had higher bone mineral density than those that didn't. A Chinese study two years later reported similar results.
4] In addition, it has been touted as causing weight loss but studies show you would have to drink an excessively large number of cups daily to have even a small effect. Do you remember the negative side effects of too much caffeine mentioned above?
Drinking too many servings also adds to the caffeine you get in not only coffee but various foods such as breakfast cereals, baked products, fast foods, other beverages and dairy products. That is a potent cocktail of possible side effects.
What's the Solution?
5] Green tea in moderation is the best way to get its benefits without the various adverse elements. There are different ways to decrease the caffeine such as using the same bag or leaves multiple times but the catechin levels drop also. A better way to get a healthy dose of catechins is with a balanced multivitamin supplement that has green tea extract in combination with other nutrients that add to its benefits.