Tea of the day

Table of Contents

How Much Green Tea Should You Drink Per Day?

The caffeine and catechins in green tea are well known for their health benefits, but they can also cause side effects for some people, especially in large doses.

Effects of Caffeine

Consuming too much caffeine can increase feelings of anxiety, interfere with sleep and cause stomach upset and headaches in some people (27, 28, 29, 30, 31).

Consuming large amounts of caffeine while pregnant may even increase the risk of birth defects and miscarriage (32).

Based on current research, everyone, including pregnant women, should not consume more than 300 mg of caffeine daily (33).

However, one review looked at over 400 studies and found that healthy adults who consumed up to 400 mg of caffeine per day did not experience adverse effects (34).

The amount of caffeine in one cup of green tea varies depending on the amount of tea used and the length of time the leaves steep.

One study found that the caffeine content of 1 gram of green tea ranged from 11–20 mg (12).

A single serving is usually measured at 1 tablespoon (2 grams) of tea leaves per 1 cup (240 ml) of water. Assuming each cup of tea is approximately 1 cup (240 ml), this means the average cup of green tea contains about 22–40 mg of caffeine.

Catechins May Reduce Iron Absorption

The catechins in green tea may reduce your ability to absorb iron from foods (35).

In fact, consuming catechins in large quantities may lead to iron deficiency anemia (36).

While regularly drinking green tea isn’t a concern for most healthy individuals, those at risk of iron deficiency should consider drinking tea in between meals and waiting at least one hour after eating before drinking tea (37).

Infants, young children, women who are pregnant or menstruating and individuals who have internal bleeding or are undergoing dialysis are all at an increased risk of iron deficiency.

The catechins in green tea can also interfere with certain medications and decrease their effectiveness.

For example, studies indicate that green tea may inhibit the effectiveness of certain heart and blood pressure medications (12).

Drinking green tea may also decrease the effects of certain medications used to treat anxiety and depression (38, 39).

Toxic effects are most common when people take green tea supplements, which have a much higher concentration of catechins than green tea itself (40).

Summary: When consumed in moderation, green tea is safe for most people. You may want to limit or avoid it if you have iron deficiency or are pregnant, nursing or taking medications for anxiety disorders or heart conditions.

It seems like every day there’s a new natural remedy being touted by magazines, doctors, and even your best friend. But green tea doesn’t seem to be a passing fad: It’s been consumed all over Asia for centuries, and over the past decade tons of research has linked green tea to a myriad of health benefits, from lower blood pressure and blood sugar to less belly fat. (Heal your whole body with Rodale’s 12-day liver detox for total body health!)

Because green tea isn’t processed very much, it’s loaded with catechins—a type of antioxidant that fights free radicals and repairs damaged cells. Catechins also seem to play a role in weight management: One study found that people who drank green tea lowered their body fat percentage and body mass index in just 12 weeks.

I’ve struggled with my weight for years, and while I know that limiting portions and exercising is most important, I’d certainly welcome a little extra help. Plus, who wouldn’t want to lower their risk of dreaded conditions like heart disease and cancer? I decided to drink at least one cup of green tea every day for a month to see if I’d notice any difference in my health. Here’s what happened over the course of 30 days.

I learned how to make great iced tea.
When most people think of drinking tea, they might imagine sitting in a chair and sipping a hot beverage. While that sounds great and relaxing, I’m a busy mom of a toddler, and I don’t get to do a lot of sitting still. So rather than risk burning myself while rushing around, I opted to make large batches of iced tea that I stored in the refrigerator. (Avoid the temptation to buy the pre-bottled stuff.)

Plain green tea can be kind of bitter, but there’s an easy fix: You can buy flavored green tea, or you can flavor it yourself. I had a lot of fun experimenting on my own. I’d brew a large pot of green tea and add honey, lemon, vanilla, cinnamon, or berries, all of which majorly improved the taste (and have health benefits of their own) without adding a lot of calories. My favorite combination was green tea infused with cinnamon, berries, and a little honey. Yum.

I consumed much less aspartame.

Kelly Burch

My drink of choice is normally water, but when I do crave something with a bit more flavor I usually reach for sugar-free iced tea—but by sugar-free, I really mean artificially sweetened with aspartame. As someone who chooses not to eat many artificial or processed foods, I never feel good about putting aspartame into my body, but I’ve never really enjoyed drinking unsweetened iced tea. Once I figured out how to flavor my iced green tea without adding a lot of sweeteners (see above!), it became my go-to beverage whenever I was craving something other than water.

MORE: 8 Things That Happen When You Finally Stop Drinking Diet Soda

I didn’t catch a cold.
I started drinking green tea in mid-September, just as the change of seasons was bringing a wave of colds and other viruses to my home in New England. Three weeks into my experiment, my daughter and husband both came down with a terrible cold and sore throat. My toddler was the sickest she had ever been, and even ended up in the hospital with dehydration. Yet somehow I managed not to get sick. Was it the antioxidant power of green tea? I’d like to think so; I drank a few extra cups that week.

MORE: Exactly What To Eat When You Have A Cold Or Flu

I paid more attention to my overall health.
Although I had only committed to drinking one glass of green tea a day, that tiny resolution kept me thinking more about my health in general. With wellness top of mind, it was easier to make other healthy choices (including dietary ones) throughout the day.

I learned how to unwind without wine.

Kelly Burch

On weekend nights, when my daughter is in bed and my husband and I are still up chatting, I used to pour myself a glass of wine. Once I started the tea experiment, I swapped the wine for a hot cup of tea—and I realized how relaxing it is to sit down with a steamy beverage at the end of the day. Once I understood the stress-relieving perks of hot tea first-hand, I could no longer justify the calories in the wine (or the headache it would probably give me the next day).

MORE: 6 Sneaky Signs You Drink Too Much

I lost a little weight, but I’m not sure it was the green tea.
During the month I was drinking green tea I did shed a few pounds, but I didn’t lose any more than I had been every month since I started eating healthier and exercising consistently. Sadly, I wouldn’t count on green tea for a fat-burning boost.

Still, I can say without a doubt that drinking green tea has benefits: It helped me ditch artificial sweeteners and wine, and generally kept me in a healthy mindset. And while my month-long experiment is now up, I’m sure I’ll still pour myself a cup whenever I’m craving a flavorful drink because it tastes so good. My toddler—who likes to copy everything her mom does—even drinks a little on occasion, though I won’t let her have much because it does have some caffeine.

Is green tea a magical potion that solves all health woes? Absolutely not. But I do think it can be one piece of the puzzle of living a healthy lifestyle.

Kelly Burch Kelly Burch is a freelance writer and editor living in New Hampshire.

4 Best Times to Drink Green Tea

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Green tea is one of the most popular healthy drinks. Unlike other tea varieties, it does not go through an oxidation process, so that it is healthier.

Green tea also contains a lot of minerals, vitamins, and has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Citing the Boldsky’s page, here are the best times to drink green tea to get the best benefits.

1. Don’t drink too early in the morning

Drinking green tea on an empty stomach in the morning can cause bad effects on the liver because of its high content of catechins.

Green tea has compounds called catechins, so the amount of green tea consumed must be controlled. The higher concentration of catechins can cause liver damage. Drink green tea in the morning around 10:00 to 11:00 pm or early at night.

2. Drink between meals

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 are an anemia sufferer, avoid drinking green tea along with food.

3. Drink before exercise

Green tea can burn more fat because of caffeine in it. It can increase energy so you can exercise longer.

4. Two hours before bedtime

Green tea is not a drink before bedtime since the caffeine can disturb your sleep. It contains the amino acid of L-Theanine which makes you awake and concentrate better.

The best time to drink is two hours before bedtime because this is the lowest metabolism moment and the green tea can increase it.

ANTARA

It’s a common question. But one that can be a bit confusing.

New tea drinkers often wonder when to drink tea. They generally mean what time of day is best.

But that question can also mean what time of year is best. Or on what occasions. Or during which type of weather. Or at what point in life.

As a result, I’ve taken it upon myself to answer this question in every possible way. I also added a section on different types of teas and what types of situations call for each type.

Finally, I included some common related questions people have asked me in the past.

When To Drink Tea

As mentioned, this question could be taken a number of ways. It could mean when during the day, when during the year, on what occasions, when in life and so on. I tackle all the ways this question could be meant, so you’ll be sure to find the answer you seek.

Best Time To Drink Black Tea, Green Tea Etc. During The Day

Tea contains caffeine, which can increase your energy. It also supports the digestive system. For most people, their energy tends to be lower after meals and in the morning.

Based on that, it makes sense to drink tea right after a meal during the day. Most tea drinkers recommend doing so about fifteen to twenty minutes after a meal. There are also many benefits to having a cup of tea in the morning.

However, since many of your favorite teas do contain caffeine, drinking tea usually isn’t recommended after dinner.

But if you find yourself longing for a hot cup of tea after your evening meal, try switching to an herbal blend. Herbal teas, such as chamomile, can help you wind down after a long day at work and can even help to promote a better night’s rest. You could even add alcohol to your tea for a nice night cap.

If you’re not a fan of herbal teas and you’re really craving black, oolong, green, yellow or pu-erh tea, you can prepare the tea using cold water. Cold brew tea has significantly less caffeine than tea that is brewed hot.

Anther option is houjicha. Houjicha is a Japanese green tea that is given to children in Japan due to its low caffeine content. This tea is roasted during production, which reduces the amount of caffeine considerably.

The Right Tea For The Right Time Of Year

We’ve all seen the seasonal coffee drinks that come out every fall at our favorite coffee chain. But what about seasonal teas?

Is that even a thing? Is there a certain time of year you should be enjoying a specific type of tea?

If you purchase fresh loose-leaf tea, then it’s going to make more sense to just drink it while it’s fresh. Many people choose this option because fresh tea tends to have more nutrients and tastes better.

When you buy fresh green tea, it’ll have a shelf-life of four months, while oolong can last for six months and black can last an entire year.

Black tea has a longer shelf life because it’s fully oxidized, so it will last much longer than unoxidized teas. With a post-fermented tea like pu-erh, there’s no real urgency to drink it within a certain period of time, since it tends to taste better the longer it ages.

Matching Teas To The Weather

Matching teas to the weather is also a great idea. Do you want to drink a rich cup of hot black tea when it’s a hundred degrees out?

Probably not.

Instead, try matching the tea you’re drinking with the current weather conditions. White teas and other less oxidized teas offer a type of cooling effect, whether the tea is served hot or iced. The cooling effects of white and green tea can help to balance the body against the hot weather conditions.

Once the weather starts turning a little colder, you may want to stick with teas that can help warm up your body. In colder weather, black tea is usually the best choice. If you love oolong teas, choose a darker blend.

The Tea We Love As We Grow Older

As we grow older, our skin isn’t quite as thick as it was in our twenties and thirties. Collagen production slows to a crawl and in many cases, the skin can become almost paper-thin. This is why we tend to be more sensitive to the cold in our old age.

Because of this, you’ll want to steer clear of drinking cold teas. You’ll also want to avoid teas made from young leaves, like white teas, many green teas and certain black teas (chiefly the needle teas). These teas may also be too harsh for sensitive stomachs. Teas made from older, larger leaves are better, like most oolong teas, lapsang souchong black tea or melon seed green tea.

Should Anyone Avoid Drinking Tea?

For the most part, tea is perfectly safe to drink. However, there are some times when you’ll want to steer clear of it. This usually applies to children under the age of twelve, people who are extremely sensitive to caffeine, or in rare cases, pregnant women. Learn more about drinking tea when you’re expecting here.

How Often Can I Drink Tea?

Since tea contains caffeine, it’s best to avoid drinking it after three or four in the afternoon. However, if you’re drinking an herbal tea, then there’s no reason you can’t enjoy drinking it all day long. Most herbal teas contain less than 0.4 milligrams of caffeine.

If you’re drinking tea that’s loaded with caffeine, then try to stick to three cups a day max. If you’re still getting the craving for tea, then switch to an herbal blend after your third cup.

Drink Tea After A Meal, Not Before

As I mentioned earlier, a nice cup of tea is always great after a meal. Drinking a cup of tea after you eat can help prevent an upset stomach, which can occur if you drink a caffeinated beverage on an empty stomach. Additionally, many people believe that the high catechin content can have a negative impact on your liver if you drink tea on an empty stomach.

How to Maximize Nutrient Absorption

Drinking tea one to two hours before or after a meal can help to maximize nutrient and iron absorption. If you’ve been diagnosed with anemia, try to avoid tea with your meals since it can negatively impact the body’s ability to absorb iron.

The Perfect Tea For Any Situation

We’ve gone over what type of tea you should drink based on season, your age, and the time of day.

But is there the perfect tea to drink at the office, or one that can pump you up right before a workout?

There are teas you can choose from based on how you feel, where you’re at, or where you’re going, whether it’s the office or the gym.

Drinking tea before you work out is a great idea. Green tea can actually help you burn more fat, since most varieties have a high caffeine content. It can also help to safely boost your energy, allowing you to get in a more effective, longer workout.

Of course, if you have a high tolerance for caffeine and normally drink an energy drink beforehand, then tea isn’t really going to do much in terms of boosting your energy. But it’s definitely a much safer option than energy drinks and can be a great alternative if you’re trying to cut back on your caffeine intake.

Here are some other great teas to drink, along with the occasions for which they are especially well suited. Many of them are herbal teas. For more info on those, read my article on the best herbal tea brands.

Fennel

Tea right before a workout can be helpful in another way. Forcing yourself to hit the gym can be a mental battle of sorts.

Fortunately, the oils in fennel teas can help to balance the mood and allow you to focus your mind on the upcoming workout, preventing that pre-gym mental struggle. It will also improve mental clarity and give you a nice little boost of energy, so you’ll feel well-prepared for your time at the gym.

Ginseng

Primarily found in North America and Asia, ginseng is a root that has been used to improve concentration and focus for over two thousand years. Drink a cup of ginseng green tea in the morning or right before a big test to improve your focus.

Green

There are several health benefits linked to green tea. Many fitness enthusiasts claim it can aid in weight loss and can boost the metabolism, due to the high catechin content. Because of the heavy catechin load, it can also speed up the body’s fat-burning process.

If you’re not sure when to drink green tea: morning or night, I’ll make it easy for you. Avoid drinking green tea at night, since most varieties are high in caffeine. One that is low in caffeine is houjicha, so if you insist on drinking tea at night, make it houjicha.

Hibiscus

This type of tea is packed with flavonoids that help to reduce fat absorption. If you drink a cup of hibiscus tea right after a meal, it can prevent the body from holding onto any unwanted fats from your meal. Learn more about hibiscus tea in my article on herbal teas and their benefits.

Licorice

If you’re tired of your afternoon cup of coffee and you’re in need of a new way to get over your afternoon slump, then a cup of licorice tea may be just what you need.

The taste of this tea will have you floored, but it’s also the perfect tonic for the adrenal gland, allowing it to produce a nice, natural increase in energy.

Matcha

This tea offers almost endless health benefits. Drinking it daily can help to enhance your mood, boost your metabolism, and lower your cholesterol. It can also be the perfect way to start your day. One potential problem: it has the highest caffeine content of all teas.

Matcha is a green tea powder. Unlike most teas, where the leaves are steeped, but not consumed, matcha is made up of ground whole leaves. You consume the whole thing, when you drink matcha. As a powder, it also works great for cooking. Check out these 102 wonderful matcha recipes.

Oolong

This type of tea contains both theophylline and caffeine. Both of these components work well together to boost the metabolism, but can oolong really help you to lose weight? Not really. Not in the way you are generally led to believe. Read my article on the benefits of oolong tea for more.

Peppermint

Peppermint tea not only tastes refreshing, but it’s also the perfect tea to drink at the end of the day, or at a time when you’re feeling stressed. This tea is known to ease indigestion and discomfort, and can also help to relax the stomach muscles.

It’s also a great choice if you’re about to head into a meeting, or deal with any type of stressful situation, since it’s caffeine-free and won’t cause anxiety, increased stress, or the jitters.

Schizandra

A great choice for the morning, this tea helps by boosting energy, detoxing the system, and stimulating the enzymes in the liver. If you’re starting a new diet and looking for a safe tea to try that’s low in calories and isn’t packed with caffeine like coffee, then Schizandra is a good option.

Related Questions

The following are some commonly asked questions. If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below. I read them all and answer any questions I get.

Best Time To Drink Oolong Tea?

You can enjoy oolong tea any time during the day, though I would avoid drinking it within a few hours of bed time. It generally contains lower amounts of caffeine that other types of tea, but it still has caffeine. Many people swear by having a cup after meals to aid in digestion and speed up metabolism.

Personally, I always choose a type of tea and then just drink that tea all day. So if it’s an oolong day, I drink it from morning until late afternoon, and often until just after dinner.

Drinking Black Tea At Night?

Drinking black tea at night is not a good idea, if caffeine inhibits your sleep, as it does for most of us. That said, the same is true of any tea made from the camellia sinensis plant, i.e. black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea, yellow tea and pu-erh tea. They all contain more or less similar amounts of caffeine.

Stick to herbal teas before bedtime, as they contain virtually no caffeine. Another option is to cold brew your tea, since that also results in a far lower caffeine content.

When To Drink Green Tea: Morning Or Night?

Most green tea is fairly high in caffeine, because it is made from younger leaves, which contain more caffeine. Melon seed tea (Lu’an gua pian) is an exception. It is made from mature leaves, which means less caffeine.

As mentioned previously houjicha is also lower in caffeine. In fact, it contains the least caffeine of any tea made from the tea plant (i.e. not herbal teas).

That said, even teas with a high caffeine content have far less of it than coffee. Drinking a small cup of green tea before bed has benefits that make it worth the small risk of it disturbing your sleep. Most people will have no problems, but those who are especially sensitive to caffeine might. It’s worth trying once to see.

As for drinking it in the morning, some people may suffer from gastrointestinal distress when drinking tea on an empty stomach. If you have a sensitive stomach, it may be a good idea to hold off drinking tea until you have had something to eat.

Best Time To Drink Chamomile Tea?

Chamomile tea contains no caffeine, so you can drink it anytime you like. It is commonly seen as a mild tranquilizer, so many people like to drink it before bedtime to help induce sleep. It is one of the best teas for helping you sleep.

Peppermint Tea Before Or After Meals?

You can drink peppermint tea anytime. If you are hoping it will aid in digestion or relieve bloating, then take it after you meals. But peppermint tea is also great just for relaxing, so you may also enjoy a cup in the afternoon, or at night before bed.

Can Tea Help Soothe An Upset Stomach?

Yes, both ginger and peppermint tea are commonly used to naturally treat an upset stomach. Ginger is often used by pregnant women who want to prevent or treat morning sickness.

There are certain teas that can cause an upset stomach, such as laxative or detox teas. If you’re drinking either type, make sure you follow the directions carefully and drink only in moderation.

Why is Green Tea So Popular?

There are many reasons why green tea seems to be the go-to for a large number of tea enthusiasts. But because some varieties have a mild, sweet flavor, it’s also a popular choice among people who don’t normally drink tea.

It tastes great iced or hot, is very versatile in terms of what you can add to it to switch up the flavor, and it doesn’t contain a lot of caffeine, which means it won’t leave you feeling anxious or jittery. If you’re just not a fan of green tea, but really want to enjoy the health benefits, read my article on how to make green tea taste good naturally.

When To Drink Tea: Final Thoughts

Knowing when to drink tea during the day and when not to can make all the difference in terms of the quality of your sleep and how you feel in the morning. You now also know which tea to choose based on the time of day, the season, and even the situation.

Basically, there are so many teas to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect one for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re in need of a refreshing drink for the summer, a drink that can aid in weight loss, or one that can get you going first thing in the morning.

Whenever you feel like drinking tea, the right tea for that time, place, or occasion is out there.

When to drink tea: Best time to drink tea during day & season

At what time of the day should I drink tea? This is one of the most frequently asked questions of beginning tea lovers. You might expect a quick and short answer, but the reality is that there’s much more things to consider.

Best time of the day

Best after breakfast and lunch

Tea has two benefits that can help you decide during which time of a day you should have tea.

  • It supports your digestive system
  • It contains caffeine that can increase energy levels

Given the above it makes sense to take tea when such benefits come in handy. For most people energy levels are low in the morning and after meals. Therefore, it’s the best to consume tea after a breakfast or lunch. The general consensus is about 20 minutes after a meal, but this figure might be different based on personal conditions.

Avoid tea in the evening

You might also long for a cup of tea after dinner. However, the side effect is that this might not be beneficial to your sleep due to caffeine. Thus, for evenings we highly suggest a herbal tea such as a Chinese flower tea such as Chrysanthemum tea, that actually helps you calm down and sleep better.

If avoiding tea during the late hours ruins your evening, then try to steep a cup with shorter steeping time. This will result in less caffeine extraction. In theory, decreasing steeping time also results in less caffeine, but this will result in a less optimal taste.

Best tea per seasons

What’s often not considered when deciding on when to drink tea, is what tea to drink during which season. A few things need to be considered:

Drink it fresh

If you buy a seasonal fresh loose leaf green tea, then of course it makes sense to drink it fresh. Fresh teas contain the most nutritions, but also taste better. See the table below tea types that are better to drink fresh:

  • Green tea: best within 4 months
  • Light oolong tea: best within 6 months
  • Dark oolong tea: best within 1 year

Black teas are fully oxidized teas, and therefore it’s less urgent to consume them fresh. As long as you store them dry at normal room temperatures without exposure to direct sun light, they tend to preserve their flavor and aroma very well. With pu erh tea, there’s no urgency at all as the flavor will only become better, the longer you let it age. While you might it expect it, this is also often the case with white teas.

The above assumptions only hold for pure teas not blended with other ingredients and without any artificial flavoring added.

Best teas for Spring and Summer

Besides the fact that you should drink some teas fresh, it’s also a good idea to match teas with the weather conditions that change with seasons. Less oxidized teas such as green and white tea tend to have a ‘cooling’ effect on your body, whether you drink it hot or cold. Therefore, they are great for during spring and summer. The cooling effect of green and white tea balances your body against the hot whether.

If you’re a pu erh lover, then Sheng pu erhs have a similar effect. For oolong drinkers, it’s the best to go for light, less oxidized oolongs such as Tieguanyin.

Best teas for Autumn and Winter

During the colder seasons, you actually want to drink teas that warms your body. In such situation, more oxidized black tea is the best choice. If you love oolong, then go for a dark oolong such as Dahongpao. If you can only live with pu erh, go for a ripe (shou) pu erh, or perhaps a sheng pu erh that’s aged for more than 10 years.

Age

Related to seasons, your body condition also changes with age. Older people tend to be more sensitive to cold. Therefore green and young white teas that have a cooling effect tend to be less suitable. These types are also more ‘raw’ and therefore are more sensitive to the stomach. This also makes it less suitable for more senior people.

  • Given this, more suitable teas are:
  • Aged white tea (longer aged teas are less raw)
  • Black tea
  • Dark oolong tea
  • 10+ aged sheng (raw) pu erh tea
  • Shou (ripe) pu erh tea

When not to drink tea

Yes tea is delicious, but there are times when you should just stay away from it.

  • When you’re pregnant
  • When you’re below 12 or sensitive to caffeine
  • When you don’t feel well after drinking tea. In such case, consult a doctor.
  • When your doctors says you shouldn’t drink tea.

FAQ

Can I have tea all day?

As mentioned above, tea contains caffeine, so it’s better to avoid it in the evening hours. Instead, go for caffeine free herbal infusions.

How many cups of tea should I take per day?

There are rules of thumbs stating 3 cups a day. However, in reality this really depends on personal conditions. If you’re sensitive to caffeine then drink it only in the morning and limit yourself to 1-2 cups. If caffeine doesn’t affect you much, you will be fine with about 3-5 cups.

Particularly interested in green tea? Then read this post: When to drink green tea?

Tea: is it good or bad for you?

Studies have found that it is a preventive for heart disease and cancer, an acne cure and even a mouthwash. It is also thought to protect us from glaucoma and other eye diseases.

The tea, full of antioxidants, can also help you lose weight, experts claim.

However, because green tea naturally contains a small amount of caffeine, it is unsuitable for people with caffeine sensitivity, and should not be drunk in large quantities by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Black tea is also thought to have similar negative elements. Mainly, the caffeine in it is believed to contribute to the stiffening of arteries.

However, the amount of caffeine is small and makes tea a healthier alternative to coffee.

Some health experts claim that the benefits of tea are overrated. They point out that a better way to hydrate your skin is to drink water.

Water is also thought to be better than tea for the health of your gut.

Despite the pros and cons of drinking tea, depending on which studies you choose to believe, perhaps the best reason for drinking it was discovered last year.

Scientists found that putting the kettle on can reduce stress levels by up to a quarter.

The experiment, which placed volunteers in a stressful scenario, showed a 25 per cent increase in anxiety for those that did not receive tea immediately after the stress-inducing test.

Conversely, those who were given tea actually demonstrated a four per cent reduction in stress.

What do you drink? English breakfast tea, decaffeinated tea, herbal tea, green tea, black tea? The list could go on.

And then there’s how you make it. Bag in or bag out? Milk first or milk after? The politics of tea making are constantly on the boil but, when we get to the nitty gritty, how does tea actually affect us?

MORE: WHERE TO FIND THE BEST TEA

Last week, we found out how many cups of tea Nigella Lawson drinks a day (it’s quite a lot!). With that in mind and the nation’s tea debate top of our list, we asked NetDoctor nutritionist Naomi Mead to reveal the health truths behind our favourite drink.

Here are your tea questions answered…

MORE: WHAT TYPE OF TEA DRINKER ARE YOU?

Q: What, if any, are the health benefits of tea?
A: Tea is a good source of polyphenols, which are antioxidants with proven health boosting properties that include cardiovascular benefits. It also contains another antioxidant, called theaflavin, which is thought to help alpha wave activity in the brain, and enhance cognitive function.

Q: Which tea is the most beneficial?
A: Black, green, white and oolong tea all come from the plant Camellia sinesis, and are all high in polyphenols. There are some studies that suggest these polyphenols could have a beneficial effect on lowering blood pressure.

In addition, green tea contains catechins, which increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel, and can boost exercise endurance.

MORE: 13 THINGS YOU KNOW IF YOU LOVE TEA

Q: Is decaffeinated tea better than caffeinated tea?
A: It is thought that the decaffeination process may remove some of the antioxidants from tea. For those who are sensitive to caffeine, I would recommend decaf. Otherwise, I would suggest sticking to normal tea, but just having no more than two to three cups a day.

Q: When should we have our last cup of tea for the day?
A: This depends on the individual. For those who have trouble sleeping, I usually recommend that they have no caffeinated drinks after 2pm. Non-caffeinated or herbal teas are fine after this time, although I recommend going easy in the evenings, so they’re not up all night going to the loo.

Q: Does tea age you?
A: There is no evidence to suggest that tea can age you. In contrast, the antioxidants found in tea may help to fight the free radicals in the body linked to cancer, heart disease and neurological degeneration.

MORE: WHICH TEA IS BEST FOR ANTI-AGEING?

Q: Can tea replace the hydration value of water?
A: I wouldn’t advise that tea should replace water, but it can certainly provide hydration to the body (being 99% water). Tea should be enjoyed alongside pure filtered water for good hydration.

Q: Which has more caffeine – tea or coffee?
A: Coffee. A regular sized cup of tea contains around 50mg of caffeine, in comparison with a regular cup of instant coffee, which contains around 100mg. A cup of filter coffee can contain up to 150mg of caffeine, depending on its strength.

Q: How many cups of tea would you recommend a day?
A: For the average person I would recommend up to three or four cups of tea a day. However, this would very much depend on the individual. For example, it would be less if they exhibited a particular sensitivity to caffeine.

To benefit from the potential fat-burning properties of green tea, studies suggest that you would need to drink around seven cups a day, and combine this with exercise. However, this is still an area of ongoing research, and we are not yet able to make any clear recommendations on this.

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How many cups of tea can I drink each day?

A good cup of tea is not only a health drink, but also pure enjoyment

Dr John Weisburger drinks 8 cups of tea a day. He specifies them to be green tea. The President Emeritus for Research of American Health Foundation is now 90 years of age.

“If you already drink a cup a day, consider having two…” said Dr Jeffrey Blumberg, professor of nutrition in Tufts University. Indeed, some cohort studies in the health effects of tea conclude that even 2 cups a day makes some difference. Most studies use the range of 4~6 cups a day to study the effects on weight loss, artery health, cancer prevention, bone preservation, and other health focuses. Many indicate that the more cups of tea you drink, the more obvious the health effects. ( For specific topics and references, please refer to the respective articles in this site. )

The quantity of intake, so it seems, is proportional to how likely one is benefit from tea. However, it is rather the amount of quality tealeaves one consumes that matter, because the quantity of salutary substances in tea, such as tea polyphenols and L-theanine, is related to the quality as well as the amount of tealeaves, not how many cups of tea. Studies show that their health benefits is proportional to the natural quantity intake. The more the merrier.

In all the research papers we have read there really has been no encounter of side effects of tea, in those that have tried to measure it. Reports of adverse effects of tea have been tied with the use of instant tea mixes and low quality compressed tea in issues of fluorides. Not specific to tea, the other major concern is caffeine. Some people are more sensitive to it and pregnant women have to use it with constrains.

Therefore, the upper limits of tea consumption is rather tied to the safety amount of caffeine and fluorides your body condition allows, as we have discussed in the respective articles in this site.

As discussed in the respective post articles, let’s recap them here for quick reference:

For fluorides safety, as long as you are using finer loose leaf teas rather than those from instant mixes, regular teabags, ready-to-drinks, or low quality compressed tea etc, you are pretty safe. ( Please refer to the article on fluorides in tea )

The pregnant woman, who should avoid excessive caffeine to prevent the baby from underweight, should keep a maximum of 6 x 220 ml cups, or about 9 x 150 ml cups. That is to say she is not excessive in chocolate, cola drinks, energy drinks etc, and avoid coffee. (Please refer to the caffeine special feature)

In terms of tealeaves amount that is about 13 g of tealeaves for the pregnant woman, if basing on conventional and milder way of infusion, i.e. 1 gram of leaves to 100 ml of water. This can be doubled for the ‘average’ person, with plenty of safety bracket.

Many people who are not allergic to caffeine, or those who use tea quality naturally lower in caffeine and fluorides, they may use a lot more tea a day.

My advise is, as with a balance in the diet, it is much more beneficial to use teas from a couple of categories of tea a day, and prepare some lighter infusion, as in the USDA or FSA (UK) surveys, 1 g to 100 ml. However, try always to prepare a round or two (or more, like I do) of stronger ones, 2 g to 100 ml, for the kick of it and for some real enjoyment of tea. As long as you keep to the amount of tealeaves used each day, and the quality is not that bad, you can benefit pretty well from this Nature’s greatest gift and not worry at all.

    • If you’re sipping a cup of tea while reading this, you’re supporting just about every organ in your body. Unsweetened tea is rich in antioxidants, which prevent chronic diseases and help repair cells in the body. “Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, which contains antioxidants known as catechins, most importantly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG),” says Anthony Kouri, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Toledo, Ohio. “These eliminate free radicals in the body and reduce inflammation.”

      So pinkies up; it’s time to learn about the amazing benefits (and just a few risks) of drinking tea.

      Your risk of certain cancers goes down

      The antioxidants and compounds found in tea have been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers. “Beneficial effects have been found in skin, prostate, lung, and breast cancers,” says Uma Naidoo, MD, Director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Faculty at Harvard Medical School. “Different types of tea impact different cancers.” Drinking tea is just one of the simple ways you can prevent cancer.

      Your skin will be healthier

      Drinking black tea regularly can significantly reduce your risk of skin cancer. Interestingly, how you prepare it makes a difference. “Hot black tea is helpful for squamous carcinoma of the skin,” says Dr. Naidoo. Hot tea has been found to be more beneficial than the iced alternative and brewing time matters.

      Your risk of diabetes decreases

      Drinking black tea every day can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by helping to control your blood sugar after meals. According to a study in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, black tea can lower your blood sugar and after eating foods containing sucrose. If you’re ready to do more, don’t miss these 71 easy ways to prevent type 2 diabetes.

      Your teeth will be stronger

      While sipping tea throughout the day could slightly stain your teeth, it may be worth it. According to a study in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, green tea has an antibacterial effect that could reduce cavity-forming bacteria in your mouth. Drinking green tea every day could also make cavities less severe.

      Your heart will thank you

      Tea’s antiinflammatory properties can keep your blood vessels relaxed and clear, putting less stress on your heart. “Catechins reduce inflammation and thus inhibit plaque formation in vital arteries,” says Dr. Kouri. Dr. Naidoo recommends drinking three cups of black tea per day to achieve the heart benefits.

      Your risk of Alzheimer’s disease could decrease

      The thought of you or a loved one being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is frightening. It’s important to know the early warning signs and do what you can to prevent it. “Green tea can help you develop resistance against stress, and potentially Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Naidoo. “The polyphenols protect cells from damage.”

      Your sleep could improve

      If you spend your nights tossing and turning, try winding down with a cup of tea before bed. “East-Asian medicinal tea can improve insomnia,” says Dr. Naidoo. According to a study in Integrative Medicine Research, drinking tea can help improve sleep and quality of life in those with mild-to-moderate insomnia.

      Your attention span may improve

      The caffeine in tea can improve your attention and alertness. “Theanine is an amino acid that is virtually unique to tea (apart from the fungus Bay bolete),” explains Dr. Naidoo. “It may also improve attention by relaxing the brain, but stimulating it when it is time to focus.” If you ever find yourself having difficulty with focus or concentration, try steeping a warm cup of tea just before it’s time to work or consider these other reasons you may not be able to focus.

      Your metabolism speeds up

      Ready to speed up your metabolism while sitting at your kitchen counter? “The caffeine in tea helps to improve mental acuity as well as increase metabolism and fat burning (up to 100 calories per day),” says Dr. Kouri. Just be sure you’re not overdoing it in the caffeine department. One cup of green tea contains about 40 milligrams of caffeine, and Dr. Kouri recommends limiting your daily caffeine intake to no more than 300 to 400 milligrams.

      You may not absorb enough iron

      The catechins in tea can alter your body’s ability to absorb iron. This means that even if you eat enough high-iron foods, you won’t get the benefits and could become anemic. “Though most healthy people will not be affected by this, those who have iron deficiency or anemia should abstain from large amounts of green tea,” recommends Dr. Kouri. This includes children, pregnant women, and anyone with a history of kidney disease.

      You could be at higher risk of bleeding

      Drinking a large amount of tea every day could put you at risk for bleeding from a minor cut or bump. “It makes you more prone to bruising, explains Michelle Lee, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. “I require all my patients to stop drinking tea two to three weeks before surgery.”

      Your medication may not work

      While the benefits of tea seem unlimited, talk with your doctor and pharmacist before brewing a pot every day. “Catechins can interfere with some heart and blood pressure medications,” warns Dr. Kouri. “It is important to discuss this with your doctor.”

      How much tea should I drink?

      Studies vary on how many cups of tea to drink per day. You want to get the most benefits without overdoing the caffeine. “To get the maximum health benefits from green tea, it is most effective to drink three to five cups of green tea per day,” recommends Dr. Kouri.

      Which tea is the healthiest?

      When choosing a tea, make sure it is unsweetened. Even if some flavored teas contain no calories, they could still have artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Opt for making your own tea as opposed to buying it already prepared. “The more tea leaves are processed, the less effective the catechins become, explains Dr. Kouri. “Green tea is minimally processed and has the greatest health benefits of the available teas.”

      Pour a cup today

      While you can always have too much of a good thing, tea is a healthy choice for the vast majority of healthy adults. “In general, those who drink green tea regularly are healthier than those who do not,” says Dr. Kouri. “It is very safe to drink and only has drawbacks when consumed in very large quantities.” So claim those health benefits and get steeping today. Read on to find out what happens to your body when you drink coffee regularly.

      If you’re sipping a cup of tea while reading this, you’re supporting just about every organ in your body. Unsweetened tea is rich in antioxidants, which prevent chronic diseases and help repair cells in the body. “Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, which contains antioxidants known as catechins, most importantly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG),” says Anthony Kouri, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Toledo, Ohio. “These eliminate free radicals in the body and reduce inflammation.”

      © Look Studio/

      So pinkies up; it’s time to learn about the amazing benefits (and just a few risks) of drinking tea.

      While you can always have too much of a good thing, tea is a healthy choice for the vast majority of healthy adults. “In general, those who drink green tea regularly are healthier than those who do not,” says Dr. Kouri. “It is very safe to drink and only has drawbacks when consumed in very large quantities.” So claim those health benefits and get steeping today. Read on to find out what happens to your body when you drink coffee regularly.

      The post This is What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Tea Every Day appeared first on Reader’s Digest.

      Gallery: 14 organic foods nutritionists don’t waste their money on

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      1/15 SLIDES © Rido /

      From apples to ice pops, fruit snacks to popcorn, organic items are filling store shelves these days and are one of the fastest-growing sectors in the food market. As more and more people become concerned about the planet and their waistlines, it makes sense that they’re looking for better options to eat. But does organic always mean better?

      The first thing you need to know is that ‘organic’ is a description of how food is produced, not necessarily how healthy it is, says Amanda A. Kostro Miller, a registered dietitian, and advisor for Smart Healthy Living. The biggest factor in the organic label is whether certain pesticides and chemicals were used during the farming or harvesting process. So if you’re concerned about toxins in your food, it makes sense to buy organic—at least in some cases.

      What’s more, organic meat and dairy have 50 percent more healthy fats, according to a study published in the medical journal The BMJ. And organic produce has more antioxidants than conventional varieties, according to a separate study. But the nutrition varies greatly between foods, and while it’s worth it to buy organic for foods on the Environmental Working Group’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ list, there are plenty of foods where conventional is just as good as organic, Kostro Miller says.

      Click through the gallery above to learn more.

      2/15 SLIDES © Oksana Mizina/

      Organic macaroni and cheese

      White pasta doesn’t need to be organic because it’s so highly processed that the outer layers of the wheat—the part that pesticides adhere to—are stripped off, making pesticide residue of little concern, says Jodi Greebel, a registered dietitian and school and camp nutrition consultant with Citrition. That’s just one of the secrets 37 secrets nutritionists won’t tell you for free. 3/15 SLIDES © Bojsha/

      Organic seed butters

      Going organic for peanut butter is a good idea, but save your money when it comes to seed butter, Greebel says. ‘Sunflower seeds, for example, generally don’t have quite as high a pesticide residue,’ she explains. 4/15 SLIDES © Erhan Inga/

      Organic lollipops

      Lollipops, like most candies, is really just sugar and when it comes to your health organic sugar isn’t any better for you than regular sugar, says Shari Portnoy, MpH, a registered dietitian. Candy is candy and labeling it organic is just trying to trick you into thinking it’s healthy with marketing hype, she warns. Looking to drop a few pounds? Try these 12 weight-loss tricks only nutritionists know. 5/15 SLIDES © Pixel-Shot/

      Organic pineapple

      That thick, prickly skin that makes it so tough to get to the sweet fruit doesn’t just work on fingers, it also helps keep pesticides out, Greebel says. ‘Fruits with thick skins generally have less pesticide residue, and add to that the fact that you aren’t eating the skin, and pineapple is a great place to save money by buying conventionally grown, she explains. 6/15 SLIDES © Iryna Denysova/

      Organic olive oil

      Olive oil is a great source of healthy fats, but when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, the sourcing and quality are far more important than whether it’s organic, says Jennifer Lease, a registered dietitian nutritionist, and chef. ‘You want extra-virgin olive oil because it is the first press of the olives and has not been refined or treated chemically,’ she explains. ‘Pay attention to the packaging and label of the oil, as well. It should be in a dark or opaque bottle to avoid contact with light, and the label should identify the country of origin, harvest date, and ensure that it is truly extra virgin.’ Here are 17 more pro tips from nutritionists. 7/15 SLIDES © Rafa artphoto/

      Organic quinoa

      Quinoa, a protein-rich seed, is very trendy right now, especially for health-conscious people. So it makes sense to splurge on the organic variety, right? ‘Actually, quinoa contains saponins, a type of bitter-tasting compound that acts as a natural repellent for pests,’ says Josh Axe, DC, certified nutritionist, author, and founder of Ancient Nutrition. ‘So, in this case, you can save a bit of money by going conventional instead of organic.’ 8/15 SLIDES © lovelypeace/

      Organic bananas

      Organic bananas are often just a few cents more per pound than their conventional counterparts, so it may be tempting to think, ‘Better safe than sorry.’ But there’s really no difference between organic and regular bananas since the thick, inedible peel keeps any pesticides out, Portnoy says. One reason you may still want to go organic: Bananas are heavily treated with pesticides, exposing workers to unhealthy levels of toxins. Read up on the one food 15 nutritionists eat every day. 9/15 SLIDES © nadianb/

      Organic fish

      If you see ‘organic’ on a fish or seafood label, be very wary since there is no official standard for organic seafood, making the word meaningless in this case, Lease says. ‘The aquatic environment where wild fish live cannot be controlled and therefore we simply don’t know their feed or potential contact with environmental toxins and debris,’ she explains. Instead, the most important quality to look for is how the seafood is sourced. ‘Choose local fish when you can, wild over farmed, and look for sustainably sourced,’ she says. Eating smaller fish, like sardines, can also help you avoid toxins. 10/15 SLIDES © KucherAV/

      Organic avocados

      Tortilla-chip fans rest easy: Your guac is safe, regardless of whether you used organic or conventional avocados. ‘I worked with an avocado company that grew both conventional and organic and learned that avocados are only sprayed every seven years, and even then, the pesticide for organic vs conventional is similar—it’s just the application method that’s different,’ explains Ariane Resnick, a certified nutritionist, chef, and author. 11/15 SLIDES © Natasha Breen/

      Organic melons

      Cantaloupes, honeydews, watermelons and other melons come with their own built-in pest deterrent: thick rinds. ‘Melons have fewer issues with small pests due to their very thick skins, so fewer pesticides are needed making organic unnecessary,’ Resnick says. Are you too busy to cut up a whole melon? Try one of these 17 nutritionist-approved snacks for people on the go. 12/15 SLIDES © Inna Gritsinova/

      Organic popcorn

      When you’re cooking up popcorn on the stove or in an air popper, you can save a bit by skipping organic. ‘Corn is one food that has an extremely low level of pesticide residue, to begin with,’ Greebel says. If you’re a packaged microwave popcorn lover, however, you may want to spend for organic. The jury is still out on the safety of chemicals in the bags that keep the kernels from sticking together. 13/15 SLIDES © Plateresca/

      Organic cookies

      Snacks, such as cookies, crackers, and fruit snacks, are all junk food, regardless of the label. Whether or not they’re organic doesn’t change the fact that these are processed foods that typically contain a lot of sugar and saturated fat, Lease says. Organic does not necessarily mean a product is healthier in terms of the product’s nutritional profile. ‘In general, organic or not, we want to limit our intake of processed foods,’ she says. ‘So, if you are buying something like cookies to have as a treat now and then, I’d say save the extra bucks on the organic counterpart.’ Cheap, processed cookies are one of the 50 things nutritionists never eat and neither should you. 14/15 SLIDES © Bowonpat Sakaew/

      Organic citrus fruits

      Similar to melons, citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges have thick-enough skins to deter bugs, meaning they have less need for pesticides, and when they are sprayed, the chemicals stay on the peel, says Kelly Kennedy, a registered dietitian, and Everyday Health nutritionist. ‘Since you’ll be peeling it off and throwing it away anyway, buying organic oranges isn’t the best bang for your buck,’ she says. ‘But I do recommend thoroughly washing the skin of any fruit or vegetable before you cut into it to remove any dirt, germs, etc., so that you’re not pulling those through the flesh of the produce as you cut.’ 15/15 SLIDES © savitskaya iryna/

      Organic cauliflower

      Thanks to the popularity of low-carb diets, cauliflower is in everything from pizza crusts to fried ‘rice.’ And we have more good news for people who are both frugal and health-conscious! ‘This cruciferous vegetable typically contains little to no pesticide residue, so you no need to break the bank buying organic,’ Axe says. Do you know the 15 vitamins nutritionists never take? 15/15 SLIDES

      Last month, the Health Council of the Netherlands, an independent scientific body that advises the Dutch government, issued new national dietary guidelines. Most of them were run-of-the-mill tips: Eat balanced meals; limit alcohol intake; embrace nuts and fish oils. But one recommendation caught observers’ eyes. According to the Council, everyone ought to drink three to five cups of tea a day—and they mean the hard stuff, Camellia sinensis, none of that herbal, rooibos or yerba maté bullshit—if we want to significantly lower our blood pressure and risk of diabetes and stroke.

      Three to five cups a day?

      That’s hard to accept, especially in a tea-skeptical (for now) nation like the U.S., where we often eye tea warily as a dehydrating, caffeinated sometimes beverage. After smell-testing the science behind the report, the Council’s claims about the leafy brew may be a bit overblown. Yet there’s still ample reason to drink much more tea than most of us do. The thing is, “cups per day” recommendations are poor guides given the different chemical profiles of the world’s 1,500-plus varieties of tea and in individuals’ brewing habits. In fairness to the Dutch, making clear recommendations is difficult. But we can offer some slightly better guidelines.

      The Council’s claims aren’t the boldest ever made. Long trumpeted for its copious antioxidants and as one of the few natural sources of the purportedly calming, attention-boosting amino acid L-theanine (which is lacking in herbal and other teas), a stiff cuppa, according to studies over the past couple decades, may protect against the following litany of maladies: Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, food poisoning, high cholesterol, heart attacks, hypertension, influenza, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, stress, stroke, tooth decay, type 2 diabetes and weight gain. It’s also supposed to be hydrating, helpful with gut bacteria, good for immune systems and skin and joints, and boost overall longevity as well.

      According to professor Hasan Mukhtar of the University of Wisconsin, the author of a comprehensive review of tea’s health effects in humans, most of these claims are weak, if interesting. Yet Mukhtar does believe that two of tea’s supposed benefits (its power to ward off some cancers and cardiovascular disease via antioxidant activity) have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. So though tea might not be as superpowered as the Health Council of the Netherlands’ guidelines suggest, it’s still probably good to work into your diet.

      Types of tisanes, or herbal teas

      Yet a trickle of stories over the past few years have led some to worry about the dangers of overdosing on tea. In 2009, researchers associated a man’s tendency to gulp overly hot brews with his esophageal cancer. In 2012, another team correlated drinking more than seven cups of tea a day to a 50 percent spike in a man’s likelihood of getting prostate cancer. In 2013, doctors tied an old lady’s brittle bones and tooth loss to drinking too much tea. And earlier this year, the media went into a tizzy when doctors linked a girl’s hepatitis to drinking three cups of green tea a day.

      For all these scary stories though, Mukhtar says there’s no evidence of tea itself causing negative effects. Drinking any boiling liquid would lead to esophageal problems. The prostate connection was not causal. The weak-boned lady was suffering from fluorosis, because she was drinking 12 cups of tea a day made with 100 to 150 tea bags, whose packaging contained fluoride. And the hepatitis was likely the result of buying from a poorly regulated internet provider.

      For most people, three to five cups a day is safe, unless they have caffeine sensitivities. Unfortunately, we can’t be sure that’s the right dosage to get tea’s known health benefits. We gathered very little data on the ratio of consumption to gain. Even if we did, measuring it in cups would be functionally useless. Each tea has its own concentration of antioxidants and amino acids based on its growing and brewing conditions.

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      Black teas, which get their color from oxidation, have as low as one-ninth the antioxidants of green tea. The water temperature at which you brew it and the interactions of milk and sugar with a tea may affect its health potential (although we’re not sure how). The infinite variability of strength, type and style mean that for some people three to five cups is ideal; other people might need a dozen.

      Mukhtar is hesitant to recommend a specific tea or dosage in place of the Dutch guidelines.

      “Data is not available yet on which tea is ,” he says. He will say that most existing data comes from studies on green tea. “So as of now, it definitely looks like green tea has more beneficial effects,” he advises. That’s an issue, because up to 75 percent of global tea consumption is black. In places like Britain where black tea is losing market share, unproven but well-marketed herbals are taking its place, not tried-and-true greens.

      While Mukhtar is hesitant, there are a few things we can say with relative confidence: Loose-leaf teas tend to be higher quality and contain less overdose-risk materials like fluoride. Shade-grown green teas (like high-quality Japanese gyokuros or senchas) have higher levels of L-theanine and lower levels of caffeine than many types of tea. And white teas have especially high levels of antioxidants. Although many guides advise you to stop steeping tea relatively quickly, you usually do better health-wise to steep longer until mild astringency. (Tea’s tannic bitterness comes from its antioxidants; its umami savor comes from amino acids.) And though we don’t know much about the ideal volumes and concentrations you’d want to consume of these teas, Mukhtar does think three to five cups a day is a good baseline. More probably wouldn’t hurt.

      “I have no hesitation in recommending that it may do some good,” he says. “If it’s not going to help you, it’s definitely not going to hurt you . . . I think it’s a reasonable recommendation.”