Everyone has heard of green tea. It is one of the world’s favorite beverages with a pleasant taste and some acclaimed health benefits (1).
It is interesting to note that when you choose to drink green tea may also determine how much benefits you reap from it, as well as the risk of developing side effects.
In this article, we will review the best time to drink green tea, as well as the worst.
Best times to drink green tea
Sometimes, timing determines how much benefits you will reap from drinking green tea.
In the morning
Many people prefer to drink a cup of beverage early in the morning. It helps to boost concentration and focus.
However, green tea has an edge over coffee and other caffeinated drink. It contains an amino acid called L-theanine. L-theanine has a calming effect (4).
This explains why you are better off starting your day with a cup of green tea.
Drink green tea just before exercise
Some studies have shown that drinking green tea just before exercise may be especially beneficial.
A study involving 12 men found that taking green tea extract before workout caused a 17% increase in fat burning, compared with a placebo (7).
Another study involving 13 women discovered that consuming 3 servings 24 hours before working out and another serving 2 hours before exercise increased the burning of fat during exercise (8).
It is also worth noting that tea may help you to recover faster after an intense workout. A study involving 20 men found that taking 500mg of green tea extract supplement caused drastic reductions in markers of muscle damage due to exercise (9).
Less desirable times to drink green tea
Green tea has many health benefits. However, it also has some demerits.
It interferes with nutrient absorption when taken at mealtimes
Some compounds in green tea can interfere with the absorption of some minerals in your body.
One of them is tannins. Tannins are compounds that act as antinutrients in green tea. They reduce the amount of iron absorbed by your body (10).
Also, studies have shown that epigallocatechin-3-gallate contained in green tea can mind to chromium, copper, and iron, and inhibit their absorption (11).
Thus, you are better off drinking green tea between meals, especially if you have iron deficiency or deficiency in other key minerals.
May interfere with sleep in some people
A cup of green tea (237 ml) contains 35mg of caffeine (15).
This is far less than what is obtained from a cup of coffee. A cup of coffee will provide 96mg of caffeine. But then, as small as it is, the caffeine in green tea may still cause side effects in individuals sensitive to it (16).
Side effects of caffeine intake include high blood pressure, anxiety, nervousness, and fidgeting. Caffeine is also a major cause of sleep disturbances – even when you take it 6 hours before bedtime (17, 18).
So, if you’re caffeine-sensitive, then you should avoid drinking green tea six hours before bed to prevent sleep disturbances.
When you choose to drink your green tea depends on personal preference.
While some people may be happy drinking it early in the morning or before exercise, others may like to take it at times that fit into their routines. It is worth noting that green tea contains caffeine, and other compounds that reduce the absorption of important minerals, so try not to drink it before bed or at mealtimes.