Green tea is a favourite drink among health lovers for its myriad health benefits. An anti-bacterial tea, it is rich in anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins and has innumerable health benefits including helping in weight loss, improving body’s metabolism, promoting oral health, exhibiting anti-aging properties and reducing the risk of heart diseases and cancer. But whether for shedding extra pounds or just as a healthy drink, green tea, though the most excellent beverage of all, it must be consumed in moderation. But having said that, what is the best time to drink green tea and how much should be consumed in a day?
NOT AS YOUR EARLY MORNING TEA
Most people think that consuming green tea on an empty stomach is the best way to gain its benefits. But the answer turns out to be just the opposite! In fact, green tea as your morning cuppa may have adverse effects on your liver and might as well damage it. Also, the caffeine in it may lead to dehydration and stimulate the release of gastric acid which can cause stomach upset or even ulcer.
AS YOUR IN-BETWEEN-MEALS TEA
To avail the full anti-oxidant powers of green tea, it must be consumed in-between-meals. This means, you should consume it, at least, two hours before and two hours after your meal. Consuming green tea with your meal will minimise the nutrient intake and inhibit the absorption of iron and minerals from food. While drinking green tea in between your meals will ensure the catechins (anti-oxidants) do not react with the caseins present in animal protein or milk. Further on, drinking green tea along with your meal will also inhibit the digestion of calcium.
THREE TO FIVE CUPS A DAY AND NOT MORE
By now you know that drinking green tea regularly will be beneficial for your health in a number of ways. In fact, studies have found that green tea drinkers are better in health than those who do not drink at all. But unless you have it in moderation, green tea could cause some serious side effects in your body including causing anemia. Thus, three-five cups of green tea a day is ideally recommended.
NOT BEFORE GOING TO BED
You must not consume green tea before going to bed because it contains caffeine and is diuretic. Though green tea contains relatively less caffeine as compared to other teas, but even the lower caffeine content may affect your ability to sleep. Furthermore, green tea being diuretic, consuming it before going to bed will make you run to washroom and thus disturb your sleep. So consume green tea, at least, one-two hours before going to bed. This will help you burn fat even as you are asleep. Alternately, you can opt for infusions like camomile as your bed-time drink which promotes sleep.
PAIR GREEN TEA WITH EXERCISE
Green tea helps boost the body’s metabolism and helps inhibits the absorption of fat. If you are looking for shedding those extra pounds, consuming green tea will not help alone. But green tea alone will not take you anywhere to your weight loss regime. Pairing green tea with exercise is quintessential for weight loss and doctors, fitness trainers, dieticians and nutritionists will recommend green tea with adequate workout.
The writer is founder-director, GAIA, a health and wellness brand