What Can Happen After Drinking a Lot of Tea per Day?

High Angle View of a Tea Cup Filled with Tea and a Tea Pot in the Background, Differential Focus, Close Up
A cup of tea next to a teapot. (Image: DAJ/amana images/Getty Images)

Tea is an ancient drink that is made by steeping the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant in boiling water. The resulting drink contains active ingredients such as caffeine, flavonoids and fluoride. Many health benefits have been linked to regular tea consumption, including one observational study that noted an 11 percent decrease in heart attack risk for subjects drinking three or more cups of tea per day. However, excessive consumption can lead to some adverse side effects.

Caffeine Consumption

According to Brown University, black and green teas both average 40 mg of caffeine per cup. While the average American consumes around 200 mg of caffeine per day and the caffeine in tea is only about half that of a single cup of coffee, consuming too much caffeine still can lead to negative side effects. If you drink a lot of tea per day, you may develop a caffeine dependency, find it difficult to concentrate or feel jittery, restless or experience disruptions in your sleeping pattern.

Health Benefits

Increasing your daily tea consumption can have significant health benefits. The Linus Pauling Institute reports that compared with drinking one cup of tea or less per day, drinking five cups or more of green tea per day is associated with a 26 percent reduction in mortality from cardiovascular disease. Regularly drinking green or black tea also has been strongly related to reduced cancer risk in animals, but as of 2011 human trials have proven inconclusive.

Drug Interactions

Tea can affect how well some medications work, and it may be advisable if you are on medication to avoid drinking large amounts of tea without first seeking permission from your doctor. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that drinking tea may increase the effectiveness of some antibiotics and blood-thinning medications. It may also lead to adverse side effects or reduced medication effectiveness in combinations with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), some chemotherapy drugs, clozapine and oral contraceptives.

Lowered Iron Absorption

Tea contains tannins, a chemical structure that is known to interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron. Colorado State University reports that tea may reduce your ability to absorb iron by 60 percent. For vegetarians or other individuals who consume a limited amount of iron in their diets, drinking a lot of tea per day could exacerbate the already existing risk of iron deficiency.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.