When is the right time to consume green tea and how much should you have?

Whether for shedding extra pounds or sipping on it for its antioxidant properties, green tea must be consumed in moderation.

The one widely-believed adage is ‘everything should be consumed in moderation’. Green tea is no different. Over the years, green tea has become a favourite among health enthusiasts for its myriad health benefits.

As an anti-bacterial tea, it is rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, and has innumerable benefits including helping in weight loss, improving body’s metabolism, promoting oral health, exhibiting anti-ageing properties and aiding in reducing the risk of heart diseases and cancer.

But 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 the benefits of this drink. But green tea as your morning cuppa may have adverse effect 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 antioxidant 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. While drinking green tea in-between your meals will ensure that the catechins (antioxidants) does not react with the caseins present in animal protein or milk, consuming green tea with your meal will minimise the nutrient-intake and inhibit the absorption of iron and minerals from food.

Three to five cups a day and not more

Though it is well considered that drinking green tea regularly is beneficial for health, it is essential to understand that three to five cups a day is ideal. Over consumption can cause some serious side effects on your body including anemia.

Not before going to bed

One 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, even the lower caffeine content may affect one’s ability to sleep. Furthermore, since its diuretic, consuming it before going to bed, will make you run to the washroom and disturb your sleep. So consume green tea at least one to 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 tea as your bed-time drink which promotes sleep.

Pair green tea with exercise

Green tea helps boost the body’s metabolism and helps inhibit the absorption of fat. If you are looking for shedding those extra pounds, consuming just green tea will not help. It is essential to pair green tea with exercise for optimum benefits. Doctors, fitness trainers, dieticians and nutritionists recommend green tea with adequate workout.

(With inputs from Dolly Kumar, Director, GAIA)

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