4 Benefits of Green and Black Tea

Since their origination in China, green and black tea have been known to be some of the most beneficial beverages to drink. Both types are full of antioxidants and offer a number of health benefits.

The benefits and reasons for drinking do differ between the two types. So, what are some of these benefits of drinking green and black tea?

Benefit #1: Caffeine

Both green and black tea contain traces of caffeine. This is a benefit to you if you need a little pick-me-up and do not consume coffee or energy drinks.

According to Mayo Clinic, eight ounces of brewed black tea contains 47 milligrams of caffeine while the same amount of green contains 28 milligrams. If you are looking to benefit from the caffeine in tea, we recommend brewing a fresh cup of black tea.

Why is black tea stronger than green tea? Why are the caffeine levels higher? It’s all dependent on the production process, also known as oxidation.

Simply put, oxidation is a scientific process using oxygen. Black tea, is oxidized (left to react with oxygen) for longer, which turns the leaves into a dark color. Therefore, black tea has a stronger and deeper taste.

In contrast, green tea is not oxidized for a long time – the leaves are heated and dried before any oxygen can react with the leaves. This is why green tea has a lighter color and taste.

So, if you need a little boost of energy, black tea might just do the trick!

Benefit #2: Antioxidants

Both green and black tea contain many antioxidants. However, according to Healthline, green tea tends to have “stronger antioxidant properties.” What would the antioxidants in green tea do for you?

For starters, they prevent free radicals, which lead to the breaking down of cells in your body. Consequently, your body’s damaged cells make you prone to getting sick.

It is important to note that the formation of free radicals occurs naturally in the body. Therefore, drinking green tea does not rid of all free radicals. What it does is provide your body with antioxidants to decrease or prevent the impacts of free radicals.

Sources such as WebMD cite studies that show the antioxidants in tea have been proven to:

  • Decrease the chances of heart disease
  • Decrease the chances of stroke
  • Lower “bad” LDL cholesterol

If you are trying to add more antioxidants into your diet, brewing a fresh cup of green tea is a simple way to incorporate them!

Benefit #3: Improving digestion

Black tea has been found to aid in supporting digestion and promoting gut health. Due to the probiotics in black tea (there are some in green tea too), the beverage assists in balancing out your microbiome.

As explained by Susanne Henning, PhD on Well and Good, “black teas are prebiotics, substances that induce the growth of good microorganisms that contribute to a person’s well-being.”

Some ways you can incorporate black tea into your diet include fresh brew (both hot and cold) and kombucha. The best way to reap the benefit of black tea is by consuming it in its natural form and without a lot of added sugar.

Benefit #4: Great for skincare

Both black and green tea are often used in skincare products. You can often find them in face masks, eye patches and lotion.

For example, StyleCraze lists black tea as beneficial to decrease puffiness. They recommend placing cotton pads soaked in black tea under your eyes to reduce under-eye inflammation.

Similarly, green tea is very soothing for your skin, especially when it comes to combating acne. Due to the antioxidants and antimicrobial characteristics of green tea, it helps to reduce oil from your skin.

The most popular ways to implement green tea into your skincare is often through products that contain green tea extract. These can include face washes/scrubs, face masks or topical serums.

Whether you decide to consume it daily or implement it into your skincare routine weekly, green and black tea come with many benefits.

Either way, these natural brewed beverages are a great way to boost your antioxidant intake and improve digestion.

Caffeine – What’s the Buzz?

Coffee. Energy drinks. Tea. Soda. Almost everyone is familiar with these beverages and may or may not consciously know that they contain caffeine. With March being Caffeine Awareness Month, there is no better time than to dive deeper into what the substance is, where it is found and if there is an intake limit.

What is caffeine?

As stated on Healthline, caffeine is “a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee and cacao plants.” The substance is consumed primarily for an increase in energy to combat feelings of tiredness. When you consume caffeine, the bloodstream absorbs and breaks down into various compounds. This then impacts places such as your brain, heart and muscles.

As a result,  your body reacts by feeling more energized, alert and focused. As a result, it tends to keep you awake and active for longer. This is because it inhibits normal chemical reactions that make you sleepy or lethargic (adenosine). The caffeine molecule heightens brain signaling molecules, resulting in feeling more alert and active.

Essentially, caffeine is a drug that takes the form of a stimulant. In a sense, it is the most popular drug addiction as explained by The Atlantic.

Where is it found?

Since it is one of the most common drug/substance addictions out there, it is no secret that caffeine is easy to find. The obvious answer to this question is the usual culprits of tea, coffee, soda and energy drinks. However, there are other items that might not be so obvious. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Chocolate
  • Decaffeinated coffee
  • Ice cream/frozen yogurt products
  • Pain relievers
  • Energy/vitamin water

If you are not actively searching for caffeine, it is important to note that it could be hidden in your food. If you are worried or want to be more aware of your intake, it is helpful to look at the ingredients list of a product before purchasing or consuming.

Side effects of caffeine

As hinted above, there are a lot of effects that caffeine has on the body both physically and mentally. While positive and negative benefits will vary from person to person, there are a variety of common impacts it can have on your body.

For example, caffeine increases mental alertness if you are feeling tired or sluggish. This is why consumers tend to gravitate to a cup of coffee or tea in the morning. Often times, it can boost your mood and result in an increase of alertness, focus and energy.

To some, it is also seen as an appetite suppressor. This means it can leave you feeling full for a period of time. This could be viewed as either negative or positive, depending on the person. Nevertheless, it is a common side effect of consuming caffeine.

Insomnia or a lack of sleep is another major side effect that is commonly viewed as negative. As mentioned above, caffeine molecules allow for a continuous flow of stimulation to the brain. Consequently, you are more likely to feel more awake and energized.

Typically, people will stray away from consuming caffeine past a certain time in the day to avoid feeling a surge of energy in the evening. As a result, people with sleep disorders (such as insomnia) are recommended to avoid consumption closer to bed time.

Depending on the person, caffeine can also create feelings of heightened anxiety, fatigue, heart rate and headaches. It is hard to gauge the universal impacts of these issues as these feelings will differ person to person. Some consumers may not experience all of the above effects, while others will.

Are there limits?

Since caffeine intake varies, it is difficult to tell how much really is too much. While avid consumers can usually tell what their limits are, it is not always so obvious or black and white.

According to Mayo Clinic, “400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults.” However, depending on a person’s tolerance level this amount may or may not suffice. Similarly, not everyone will feel its effects after 400 milligrams.

Due to this inconsistency, it is best to listen to your body when trying to identify a maximum caffeine intake. If you find yourself feeling extremely jittery, anxious or hyper-energized, make note of how many cups of coffee you consumed. Additionally, reading ingredients and labels can help you regulate your caffeine consumption and find a limit that works for you.

If you are a coffee drinker, another thing to look out for is the type of coffee you are consuming. For instance, the type of brew matters when drinking caffeinated coffee.

Medical News Today reports that cold brew can contain anywhere from 153 – 238 milligrams of caffeine in a 12 ounce cup. In contrast, a shot of espresso tends to have less due to its shorter roasting time.

So, while it is difficult to judge a universal caffeine limit, there are things you can do to regulate your intake.

Caffeine more often than not has a bad rap. However, like most things, it is more than okay to consume it in moderation. Whatever “moderation” means to you will vary depending on what your body needs.