You can change the amount of caffeine you drink
It’s easy to choose to lower the level of caffeine in your green tea when you know the answer to five important questions:
How do you select green tea for different caffeine levels?
Also the green tea caffeine level tends to be higher in those terrific “wake up in the morning” teas. That includes green teas with tightly curled leaves like Gunpowder Green.
Processing the tea leaf into tight balls called pearls, or tightly twisted shapes will preserve the caffeine as well as the antioxidant catechin polyphenols like EGCG.
How do you brew green tea to change your green tea caffeine level?
It’s best to follow instructions on each individual green tea for steeping time, water temperature, and number of infusions.
The caffeine levels will vary with the tea you have selected, the amount of green tea you use per cup, the length of steeping time, as well as tea garden agricultural variations and tea manufacturing practices.
If you add more tea leaf per cup and use longer steeping times, it will usually increase the total green tea caffeine level.
If you like, you can use a quick “hot water wash for tea” to eliminate some of the caffeine.
Of course, if you want to know for sure what your green tea caffeine level is before you drink your daily green tea, you would have to purchase high-performance liquid spectrogram equipment.
Until we can all afford that kind of equipment in our kitchens, we’ll just have to estimate the chemicals in our food.
What are decaffeinated green tea and decaffeinated green tea capsules?
Decaffeinated green tea is now widely available, including some delicious flavored varieties. Be careful about the specific decaffeination process as it can affect the polyphenol content and antioxidant activity.
Decaffeinated green tea capsules are available online and in some retail stores. The caffeine is removed for sensitive people and the polyphenols are retained, so you get all the antioxidants.
These are very convenient for busy living. Always read the label to make sure you are getting the polyphenol content level you want.
Can you change your absorption of caffeine?
You can slow down your absorption of caffeine when you drink green tea with a meal.
This may also increase cholesterol blocking, fat blocking, and help protect you against some food pathogens like bacterial and viruses.
On the other hand, there may be a slight nutrient loss of iron or fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E. Even though this is usually negligible, you can compensate for it with nutrient dense food or supplements if your diet is deficient.
You can also spread your intake of green tea caffeine throughout the day for a smoother effect while controlling your green tea caffeine level.
Be careful, though.
You'll need to prepare fresh tea several times. Drinking old tea is not worth the trouble–green tea catechin antioxidant polyphenols start reacting once they are in solution and disappear within a few hours, so you lose all the great antioxidants when you let tea sit too long.
Also never drink your tea uncomfortably hot. People in areas of the world that prefer to drink beverages while they are still boiling hot have more esophageal cancer because they burn the tissue in their throats.
If you have used boiling water, always let the brew cool at least 4 minutes before drinking, or until it is a comfortable temperature.
What are the effects of caffeine and green tea caffeine on your body?
For thousands of years, caffeine from natural plant sources like tea, chocolate, coffee, kola nuts, some herbs, and mate has been prized for its positive effects on mental performance and physical endurance. Among these natural sources of caffeine, tea is uniquely smooth in its positive effects because it also has theanine, a rare amino acid.
Caffeine also seems to work synergistically with the antioxidant polyphenol catechins in tea to increase protection from cancer. For another potential benefit, one new study shows caffeine and green tea catechins combined work best to prevent the accumulation of abdominal fat.
No wonder they say green tea is the “lucky cup.”
Negative effects from caffeine have developed with modern concentrated sources. Deaths have been reported from overdosing on caffeine tablets and more people are hospitalized with overdoses of new, popular “energy” drinks.
Individual differences can create caffeine sensitivity, caffeine intolerance, or caffeine allergies. Also, if you have a health condition, you may be using prescription drugs that would interact with any source of caffeine, no matter how small.
Pregnant women should restrict their daily caffeine to 150-200 milligrams. Healthy adults should stay under 300-500 milligrams.
Please consult with your health care provider for more information about your special needs and your caffeine intake.
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This page was last updated by Sharon Jones.
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