10 Green Tea Side Effects and How to Avoid Them

You have probably heard that green tea has many health benefits, and research studies confirm this. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to its rich content of micronutrients known as catechins. These help to protect and heal the body from various conditions like colds, flu, and cardiovascular problems. However, just as many good things have their shortcomings, green tea is not an exception. In this discussion, we will explore its side effects.

Side Effects of Green Tea

1.     May Get Excess Caffeine

While green tea is lower in caffeine in comparison to other types of tea, it contains a significant amount of caffeine. For this reason, taking too much green tea can affect the workings of your nervous system. Avoid taking more than 3 to 5 cups per day.

Note that excess caffeine can lead to heart palpitations, insomnia, poor appetite, irritability, and restlessness. Besides, taking too much caffeine can cause caffeine intolerance, so that you will need to take more to achieve the effects you previously had by taking less. 

2.     Not Good for Sensitive Stomach

In case you have a sensitive stomach, avoid green tea or take small amounts. And don’t take tea on an empty stomach. Green tea can cause stomach problems such as diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and stomachache. If you experience stomach problems after taking green tea, adding milk and sugar can reduce the problem.

3.     May Increase Toxicity Levels

Recent research conducted on dogs indicates that taking green tea on an empty stomach can cause toxicity in the stomach, liver, and kidneys. While human studies have not been done, it is safer to ensure that you eat before drinking green tea to reduce the effects of this among other side effects of green tea.

4.     May React With Some Medicines

Green tea contains phenophyls which can react with some chemicals in medicines, including ephedrine and amphetamines. For this reason, if you are taking any medications, check with your doctor before you start taking green tea.

5.     Can Interfere with Absorption of Iron

The catechins in green tea can inhibit iron absorption into the body. This can cause a reduction in the production of red blood cells. It is worth noting that red blood cells transport oxygen to the various organs and regions of the body. When your body’s amount of red blood cells drops, you can suffer from anemia. In case you already have anemia, drinking large quantities of green tea can worsen your condition. To avoid this, moderate your intake of green tea and take foods rich in vitamin C.

6.     May Cause Harm During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, limit your intake of green tea to not more than 2 cups which contain around 200mg of caffeine besides tannic acid and catechins. These chemicals pose a risk of a miscarriage.

Avoid green tea entirely in the first months of pregnancy because excess tea consumption can cause your unborn baby to develop neural tube birth defect. Keep away from excessive green tea consumption even after your baby is born and until after you stop breastfeeding.

7.     May Lead to Calcium Deficiency

This is one of the side effects of green tea. If you have the habit of taking excessive quantities of green tea, you might be consuming 300 mg or more of its components. This can cause your body to excrete calcium in urine and ultimately lead to conditions like osteoporosis. This is more prevalent in women. It is recommended that you take a calcium supplement to replace the excreted calcium.

8.     Can Lead to Stained Teeth

Moreover, green tea contains tannins which can also stick to teeth and cause staining. The acid in green tea wears out teeth enamel. Also note that other substances like coffee, black tea, berries, wine, sauces, and juices can stain teeth. You can, however, keep staining in check by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and especially after drinking green tea.

9.     May Cause Glaucoma

The term glaucoma refers to diseases that affect the optic nerve which provides a connection to the brain. Damage can occur due to increased pressure in the eye. The caffeine resulting from consuming too much green tea can lead to high pressure in the eye and increase the risk of deterioration of eyesight in people with glaucoma.

10.    May Lower Testosterone Levels

Drinking too much green tea can lead to decreased testosterone levels in the blood of males as some compounds in tea react with testosterone and thereby convert it to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which has been linked to loss of hair. Of all side effects of green tea, this may be the more disturbing for men.

How to Drink Green Tea to Avoid Possible Side Effects

Taking green tea in moderation is generally safe for most adults. However, if you have stomach problems, low caffeine tolerance, iron deficiency, are pregnant or are nursing a baby, you should avoid green tea. Those with anemia, bleeding disorders, anxiety disorders, heart conditions, liver disease, osteoporosis and diabetes should also avoid green tea.

Experts recommend taking no more than 3 or 4 cups to access its benefits and escape the side effects. Note, however, that these are only recommendations, as the actual amount of tea added into the cup varies. 

Moreover, if people with some health conditions take green tea, it may worsen these conditions. For this reason, it is recommended that such people take a maximum of 2 cups in a day.

Remember that in spite of the side effects of green tea, it also has many health benefits. To access these benefits, take freshly brewed green tea that has been left to cool down sufficiently. Taking very hot tea may harm your digestive system. Also note that the beneficial compounds in green tea like theanine, catechins, and vitamins C and B deteriorate due oxidation.

Current time: 06/17/2024 11:12:51 p.m. UTC Memory usage: 65144.0KB