Can You Drink Too Much Green Tea?

Although green tea is known to have health benefits, too much of it can actually be harmful to your body and sleeping habits.
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Green tea is packed with healthy antioxidants, and benefits of green tea may include reduced heart-disease risk and better-managed blood sugar. Some people also associate green tea with weight loss. But too much green tea can be harmful.

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Overdoing it on green tea consumption could cause unpleasant — or even dangerous — side effects. For your health, limit green tea intake to five or fewer cups per day.

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Although green tea is known to have health benefits, too much of it can actually be harmful to your body and sleeping habits.

Read more: Health Benefits of Green Tea With Lemon

Too Much Green Tea

Green tea is a caffeinated beverage and may cause side effects such as rapid heart rate, upset stomach, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia and tremors, according to Mayo Clinic. If you drink green tea regularly, your body may grow dependent on caffeine and you may get withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, drowsiness and headaches if you stop.

According to the USDA, green tea has 28.8 milligrams of caffeine per brewed bag. Drinking 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine is moderate consumption, although you may have side effects with less if you're sensitive to the substance.

Beware Impaired Iron Absorption

Tea contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which may have a protective effect on your health. Flavonoids, however, bind with nonheme iron — the main type of iron in plant foods such as beans, fruits and vegetables — and prevent your body from absorbing it.

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Drinking green tea at mealtime can reduce iron absorption by about 70 percent, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, so you may be better off limiting tea to between-meal sipping. If your dinner just isn't complete without a cup of tea, add a squeeze of lemon to help reduce the iron-binding effect.

Avoid Sweetened-Tea Woes

If your green tea comes from a bottle — or if you use a heavy hand with the sugar or honey — you may end up swallowing an unhealthy number of calories.

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Consuming more calories than you burn leads to increased body fat, so loading up on sweeteners can be dangerous for your waistline. Adding sugar to your home-brewed tea also boosts calories. Every teaspoon of sugar in your teacup will add 15.4 calories to your drink, according to the USDA.

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Read more: The Benefits of White Tea Versus Green Tea

Use Caution With Medical Conditions

Although green tea is typically safe, drinking too much — or any at all, in some cases — may worsen some preexisting medical conditions. For example, people with anxiety may grow more anxious, and those with diarrhea may experience greater bowel trouble.

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Green tea might be associated with liver problems, although the research isn't conclusive, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. It can also interact with certain heart medications, such as beta blockers, that are used to treat high blood pressure and other heart problems.

As with any teas or dietary supplements, be sure to inform your doctor if you regularly consume green tea.

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