Green tea, unlike traditional tea, has a reputation of being more health-friendly with a lot of health benefits while weight loss stands at the top of the list. It has replaced the “traditional” tea to a great extent because of its medicinal properties, and people also consider it trendy. However, there is a perception in people about green tea that green tea is “caffeine-free.” But, that’s a myth. Obviously, green tea contains caffeine. So, how much caffeine is in green tea?
According to USDA, 1 cup (8 oz/237ml) of brewed green tea contains approximately 28.4 mg of caffeine. However, this is not a standard proportion as it can vary from 20 mg to 50 mg per cup.
Well, if green tea is something you like and your internal system does not behave well to caffeine, you might have concerns about the presence of caffeine in green tea.
In this article, we will discuss caffeine content in green tea and compare it with other types of tea and beverages. We’ll also discuss the health benefits, side effects of caffeine in green tea, and how you can consume green tea without worrying about caffeine.
However, before jumping to that, let’s have a general overview of caffeine and its presence in different types of tea.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural substance, a chemical that is present in coffee beans, leaves of tea plants, fruits, and more than 50 plants. It is a stimulant that stimulates the central nervous system to reduce the effects of fatigue and tiredness. Moreover, caffeine is an alertness booster and keeps the brain fresh and productive.
Caffeine blocks or reduces the effects of adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter. Adenosine keeps building up as the day goes on and produces a feeling of tiredness or fatigue.
Although people consume caffeine to boost mood and increase brain functionality, caffeine actually has a lot of other health benefits. It fastens the metabolism to help weight loss, increases energy levels to help exercise, improves heart health, reduces the risk of cancer.
However, there are some side effects associated with caffeine, especially when taken in large doses and its excessive use can cause rapid heart rate, insomnia, restlessness, high blood pressure, etc.
But some people react differently to caffeine due to its internal sensitivity, even when taken in small doses. So let’s take a look at the amount of caffeine content in green tea and if it’s optimal for health.
How Much Caffeine is in Green Tea?
The amount of caffeine in green tea can vary from 20 mg to 50 mg per cup as mentioned earlier. It depends on different factors such as:
- Type or variety of green tea – Caffeine content can vary depending on type of green tea. Loose leaf tea have a lesser amount of caffeine as compared to teabags. Also, powdered green tea also known as matcha has a higher amount of caffeine as compared to loose leaf or teabags.
- Conditions in which the plant grows – Generally, shade grown tea leaves contains more caffeine than the ones that were grown in sunlight.
- Processing method – Another factor that can be a variant in the amount of caffeine in green tea is its processing method. For instance, younger tea leaves have a higher amount of caffeine as compared to older tea leaves. Moreover, the drying process also have an impact on caffeine content.
- Brewing method – This is the important part. The caffeine content can vary depending on the temperature of the water and the duration of steep. The longer the leaves is in the hot water, the more caffeine it releases.
Caffeine in Green Tea Compared to Other Types of Tea
There is a long list of beverages, including energy drinks, soft drinks, coffee, black tea, etc., which contain caffeine. Although among all the popular drinks mentioned, green tea contains the least amount of caffeine, green tea actually has more caffeine than some other types of tea, Here is a comparison between the caffeine in green tea and other types of tea.
|Tea Type||Caffeine Content|
|Herbal Tea||0 mg|
|Decaf Tea||2 mg to 15 mg|
|White Tea||8 mg to 20 mg|
|Green Tea||20 mg to 50 mg|
|Oolong Tea||30 mg to 60 mg|
|Black tea||40 mg to 80 mg|
|Matcha||60 mg to 80 mg|
|Yerba Mates||70 mg to 85 mg|
There is a clear reflection of the amount of caffeine in green tea and other types of tea, as green tea has a moderate amount of caffeine in it.
Should You Worry About Caffeine in Green Tea?
Caffeine is a stimulant, and it is one of the most frequently consumed substances all over the world. If you consume it in the recommended proportion, there is nothing to worry about because it is a safe substance.
Based on researches, moderate caffeine consumption of up to 400 mg in a day carries no significant adverse effects on health for adults. However, to be on the safer side, it is highly recommended to consume in divided portions. Try not to consume all 400 mg caffeine at a time.
5 cups (8 ounces/cup) of green tea in a day would mean you have consumed up to 250 mg caffeine, and this ratio is safe and healthy for adults.
But if you are a healthy person, you shouldn’t worry about caffeine in green tea. It actually offers many health benefits.
Health Benefits of Caffeine in Green Tea
The caffeine found in green tea is considered a stimulant, and it has many associated health benefits including:
Improved Mood and Brain Activity
Enhanced alertness, memory, mood are among the most studied positive outcomes of caffeine consumption. The caffeine in green tea is comparatively low but still enough to enhance your mood and brain function.
Increased Energy Levels
Not only can the caffeine in green tea enhance your mood and memory, but it can also act as a mild performance enhancer and reduce muscle soreness, increase stamina, energy levels and make your workouts feel easier. A cup of green tea an hour or so before your workout should be enough to demonstrate the effects.
Improved Heart Health
A daily intake of 2 – 4 cups of green tea has been shown to have a potentially protective cardiovascular effect. Emerging scientific evidence suggests that regular caffeine consumption can decrease your risk of a heart attack, stroke, or developing type II diabetes.
Some individuals may experience an increased heart rate if they are new to consuming caffeine, however, this effect does not generally last long, and decreases with increased caffeine exposure. In this case, green tea can be a perfect drink with caffeine for starters.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
More recent studies suggest that regular caffeine consumers may be up to 65% less likely to develop certain types of cancers in their lifetime, including liver cancer, colon cancer, and skin cancer. While the evidence is still emerging, and more studies are required to understand the impacts of caffeine and green tea on individuals, the research is promising!
There is some evidence to suggest that the stimulatory effect of caffeine with ECGC in green tea can help you burn fat and lose weight. This is achieved through a mild boost of your metabolism and increasing energy expenditure. It is worth noting, however, long-term study results, based on regular caffeine consumption, showed minimal benefits for weight loss.
Side Effects of Caffeine in Green Tea
Caffeine has some side effects, especially when taken in large doses. However, consuming caffeine with green tea is generally considered to be safe for healthy individuals because of the amount of caffeine present in green tea.
The side effects of caffeine are typically rare and affect each individual differently. You may need to experiment with the level of caffeine your body can tolerate if you are experiencing any ill effects.
Caffeine is considered a stimulant, and the main drawback of this substance is that it is habit-forming. However, when consumed in normal amounts, it is considered safe and without excessive risks. Some users experience slight withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches and irritability, and poor concentration, when they do not consume their daily dose of caffeine.
Large doses of caffeine can result in some unpleasant side effects including:
- Nausea or dizziness
- Anxiety or paranoia
- Restlessness and/or trouble sleeping
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
Caffeine, especially in higher doses, is not always appropriate for all individuals. It has the ability to interact with certain medications and nutrients, such as iron and calcium, and has been studied for links between consumption during pregnancy and poor birth outcomes.
For this reason, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medication, or prone to nutritional deficiencies, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to discuss the potential impacts that caffeine may have on your health.
How Can You Reduce Caffeine in Green Tea?
If you are still worried about caffeine in green tea and want to reduce caffeine consumption, here are few techniques you can follow:
- Less Caffeinated Green Tea – Not all green tea contains same amount of caffeine. The caffeine amount in green tea can vary depending on such factors as how and where the tea leaves were grown, how they were picked, what season they were from, how they were processed, and how the final product is prepared. Check the label while buying to make sure the caffeine amount.
- Decaffeinated Green Tea – Decaf tea is not actually caffeine free. But it contains significantly lesser amount of caffeine to reduce your caffeine consumption.
- Try Green Tea Blends – You can find green tea blended with mint, lemongrass, herbs etc. This way you can reduce half the caffeine but you’ll miss out half the antioxidants green tea offers.
- Brewing Method – You can reduce the caffeine in green tea by brewing it for shorter with less temperature.
The amount of caffeine in green tea is relatively lesser as compared to many caffeinated beverages, and green tea is safer as compared to them. A recommended usage (200 to 400 mg per day) is not harmful at all.
However, the experts say, rather than consuming that recommended amount of caffeine at once, it is better to consume it in divided proportions to avoid any side effects. Generally, green tea is a safe drink if consumed properly.