Does Green Tea Have Caffeine? Real Facts Exposed by Celebrity Doctor OZ
How to Minimize Green Tea Caffeine
Green tea is delicious and replete with antioxidants. One drawback, however, is its caffeine content, which can affect some tea drinkers negatively. These are simple and effective measures to enjoy the health benefits of green tea without suffering its caffeine side effects.
Know your green tea.The younger the tea leaves, the more caffeine will be produced in the tea. The most prized part of green tea is the terminal bud and the adjacent two leaves, also called the tea flush. They are the sweetest, but also contain the most caffeine.
- Color is a poor indicator of caffeine levels - Gyokuro, a top level Japanese green tea, contains more caffeine than a dark tea such as Lapsang Souchong. High grade teas are made from the bud and two adjacent leaves (the tea flush), where the caffeine content is highly concentrated. On the plus side, these are the sweetest part of the tea and also contain the catechins and the theanine (mentioned below).
Become familiar with your level of tolerance.Many experts recommend consuming no more than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day. When compared to black teas, coffee and soft drinks, green tea has been found to provide a gentle and steady source of stimulation with few reports of common caffeine side effects, such as nervousness or headaches. Caffeine in green tea works differently in the body because unlike coffee, green tea also contains L-Theanine. Theanine is an amino acid that produces a calming effect on the brain (Yokogoshi et al. 1998b). Japanese researchers have discovered that theanine is a caffeine antagonist, offsetting the "hyper" effect of caffeine (Kakuda et al. 2000). Of the 20 different types of amino acids in tea, more than 60% are theanine. This is unique to green tea and white tea because the steaming process does not eliminate it. Theanine also provides the elegant taste and sweetness in green tea. To realize the cancer-fighting benefits of green tea, researchers generally agree that drinking 14-16 ounces (415-475 mL) per day is reasonable.. If there's is 30 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup of green tea, drinking the recommended amount translates into 60 mg of caffeine per day (much less than 300 mg), and even that caffeine level can be reduced by following the instructions in this article. Here is a comparison of caffeine content is various beverages. Coffee (5 oz.cup) 40 - 170 mg.; Cola (12 oz. can) 30 - 60 mg.; Black Tea 8 oz. cup 25 - 110 mg.; Oolong Tea 8 oz. cup 12 - 55 mg.; Green Tea 8 oz. cup 8 - 30 mg.; White Tea 8 oz. cup 6 - 25 mg; Decaf Tea 8 oz. cup 1 - 4 mg.
Drink green teas known to be naturally low in caffeine.Some green tea's are processed in such a way as to be naturally low in caffeine. Here are three: 1) Japanese houjicha green tea is pan-fried or oven roasted. The tea is fried at high temperature and the roasted flavor predominates this blend. The main types of Houjicha are light and deep-fried. The deeper fried leaf produces a deeper roast aroma and taste. 2) Japanese genmaicha is a blend of bancha green tea and Genmai (roasted rice grain). The proportioning of tea to rice is important, the more aromatic Genmaicha teas have a higher amount of rice. 3) Japanese Bancha is a coarser and heavier grade of green tea, representing a late season crop. Bancha is a class of sencha harvested as a second flush tea between summer and autumn containing less caffeine. Caffeine comparisons per serving are as follows: Black Tea 0.05%; Gyokuro Green Tea 0.02%; Sencha Green Tea 0.015%; Houjicha Green Tea 0.008%; Genmaicha Green Tea.
Purchase Green Tea that is decaffeinated.There are two types of de-caffeination processes used for tea. Be sure to purchase green tea that uses the far healthier natural decaffeination process called “effervescence.” It use no chemicals, and instead relies on a natural process using water and carbon dioxide (C02) that retains 95 percent of the polyphenols. The other process sometimes somewhat cynically referred to as "natural decaffeination" uses the chemical solvent ethyl acetate, retaining only 30 percent of the healthy polyphenols. Both coffee beans and tea leaves are chemically decaffeinated with ethyl acetate as a solvent/diluent, because of its low cost, low toxicity, and agreeable odor. However its other uses are to clean circuit boards, in some nail varnish removers and in paints as an activator. Note that any decaffeination process will alter the taste to some extent.Always check the label to ensure the effervescence or C02 process is used.
Avoid green tea teabags.Green tea teabags contain a lot more caffeine - and you will suffer some loss of quality as the teabags are poorer in flavor than the loose green tea leaves. Try to buy loose green tea leaves. You can use the samehigh-qualityleaves three times before throwing them away.
Throw away the first infusion.Some tea drinkers claim that steeping tea for 45 seconds, then pouring out the liquid, can remove a significant amount of caffeine.At least one study shows that this is probably not an effective method, and that you will need to steep your tea for 3 minutes to remove roughly half of the caffeine. This is worth considering if you are using especially strong-flavored tea, but weak green tea will lose much of its flavor and aroma after steeping it for this long.
Start slowly.One cup of green tea can contain anywhere from 15 to 75 milligrams of caffeine. The best thing that you can do is to try green tea in small doses and monitor your own reactions. Start with a half of a cup per day and increase the amount gradually, observing your reaction to the increase and adjusting accordingly. If you feel calmly stimulated and content, you will know that green tea works for you.
Brew your green tea half strength.This can be a helpful solution if you are suffering from caffeine intolerance. Purchasing loose green tea will allow you to adjust how many leaves are brewed in your tea. Most people brew approximately one to two teaspoons of loose green tea per cup;you can try cutting that in half. If the resulting brew is too weak, increase it little by little.
Drink it hot.Green tea contains catechins (location of the antioxidants) and theanine (provides sweetness and freshness) that reduce caffeine activity. Brewing green tea allows these molecules to combine with caffeine in hot water, rendering the caffeine less effective. If you let it cool off too much after brewing, the catechins break down and more caffeine is released.
QuestionCan I get green tea in capsules?Top AnswererCapsules may not be potent - plus they're just extracts, not the actual leaves.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should people know about Tamayokucha green tea?Eman asgharCommunity AnswerTamayokucha green tea has a sweet, light flavor. The tea leaves are gently steamed as they dry for a beautiful green hue.Thanks!
QuestionAre the used green tea leaves useful for eating?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, the used leaves are not useful if ingested.Thanks!
- If green tea is steeped in cooler water (158 degrees F), relatively more caffeine and antioxidant polyphenols will be extracted in the second infusion. When hotter water (about 185 degrees F and above) is used, more caffeine and polyphenols will be extracted during the first infusion. (See Source by Yanget albelow.)
- If drinking green tea still has undesirable effects, consider the alternatives. Flower and herbal infusions are notCamellia sinensisand do not contain caffeine. Rooibos and honeybush, both from South Africa, do not contain caffeine but do contain high levels of antioxidants, however, so you still get the health benefits minus the caffeine. Or consider a blend of the two (rooibos and green tea) to half the caffeine content.
- Be aware that the green tea polyphenols, such as epigallocatechin gallate, are the primary antioxidants that are found in green tea. These antioxidants have been consistently shown to protect liver function due to their antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. The polyphenols may also protect against certain types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disease. It is also assumed that the polyphenols help to protect against the deleterious effects of caffeine. It has been theorized that when caffeine is consumed in moderation, especially as a natural part of a polyphenol-rich beverage such as green tea, the caffeine actually provides health benefits. (See Sources by Zhenet al, Chenet al, Wanget al, and Paganini-Hillet albelow.)
- Theanine is calming and has been shown to partially counteract the rise in blood pressure that can occur with caffeine intake. (See Source by Rogerset albelow.)
- If you find you have consumed too much caffeine you'll want to take steps to get it out of your system.
- Don't go overboard. The caffeine in green tea isn't the only thing that might be bad in large quantities. The polyphenols found in green tea, when consumed excessively, can cause liver and kidney damage. Don't drink more than 10 cups per day, and be careful with green tea supplements, which can contain 50 times the polyphenol found in one cup of green tea.
- If you are pregnant or have a medical condition and have been advised to reduce your caffeine intake, consult with your doctor before consuming green tea on a regular basis. While research indicates green tea is generally a healthy, beneficial beverage, in some circumstances such as with specific health conditions or drug interactions it is not recommended.
- Avoid any green tea energy drinks. Many, but not all soft drink versions of green tea contain a high concentration of caffeine. Coca-Cola’sEnviga, for example, contains 100 milligrams of caffeine per serving. They also contain quite a high amount of sugar that doesn't provide any health benefits (although some brands likeEnvigacontain no sugar).
Sources and Citations
- - Seven ways to drink green tea without caffeine. Original source of this article. Shared with permission.
- Yang DJ, Hwang LS, Lin JT. Effects of different steeping methods and storage on caffeine, catechins and gallic acid in bag tea infusions. J Chromatogr A. 2007 Jul 13;1156(1-2):312-20.
- Hayashi N, Ujihara T, Kohata K. Binding Energy of Tea Catechin/Caffeine Complexes in Water Evaluated by Titration Experiments with 1H-NMR. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2004 Dec;68(12):2512-8.
- Zhen MC, Wang Q, Huang XH, Cao LQ, Chen XL, Sun K, Liu YJ, Li W, Zhang LJ. Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibits oxidative damage and preventive effects on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic fibrosis. J Nutr Biochem. 2007 May 2;
- Chen JH, Tipoe GL, Liong EC, So HS, Leung KM, Tom WM, Fung PC, Nanji AA. Green tea polyphenols prevent toxin-induced hepatotoxicity in mice by down-regulating inducible nitric oxide-derived prooxidants. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Sep;80(3):742-51.
- Wang S, Noh SK, Koo SI. Epigallocatechin gallate and caffeine differentially inhibit the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and fat in ovariectomized rats. J Nutr. 2006 Nov;136(11):2791-6.
- Paganini-Hill A, Kawas CH, Corrada MM. Non-alcoholic beverage and caffeine consumption and mortality: the Leisure World Cohort Study. Prev Med. 2007 Apr;44(4):305-10.
- Rogers PJ, Smith JE, Heatherley SV, Pleydell-Pearce CW. Time for tea: mood, blood pressure and cognitive performance effects of caffeine and theanine administered alone and together. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2007 Sep 23;
- Seven Cups "Oolong in a gaiwan" videocast demonstrates how to remove caffeine from oolong tea
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