Should Green Tea Side Effects Concern You?

Are you frustrated by reading an article about the side effects of green tea and feel like you need to run to the nearest open window and throw out your freshly brewed green tea, cup and all? Then you are drinking a glass of lukewarm tap water and find an article that expounds on the great taste and many benefits of drinking green tea, with few side effects.

This article will review the positive and negative effects of green tea and offer some conclusions.

Common green tea side effects

The most widely publicized side effects are from the caffeine and probably most recognized as caffeine sensitivity. Many green tea side effects associated with the stimulant are not serious, but rather more of a disruption of daily life.

Most people do not exhibit these problems, but I am listing them for reference so you will be aware of them in case you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Heartburn
  • Tremors
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Convulsions and confusion

Some of the rarer but more serious green tea side effects are initiated by the polyphenol compounds found in the green leaf products. These compounds are referred to as catechins or antioxidants.

  • Be careful if you are pregnant or breast-feeding and drinking more than two cups per day of green tea. A major concern is that folic acid absorption, required for a baby's development, is impeded. Consuming more than two cups of the beverage could cause miscarriage, and caffeine passes through the breast milk to the child. Always consult your doctor for advice before drinking this beverage.
  • Some side effects of green tea could be experienced if consumed with prescription medications or if you already are suffering from serious disease. In these cases consult your physician first. The general rule is to avoid consuming any until two hours after taking the medications.
  • Nausea may be experienced, so try drinking this beverage two hours before or after a meal. However, because they are more concentrated than the tea, do not take pills or extracts of this green leaf plant on an empty stomach.
  • Diabetics should be aware that green tea can decrease blood sugar levels.
  • If you are anemic don't consume more than a couple of cups per day because this beverage can prevent iron absorption by up to 30 percent.
  • This green leaf product is produced on large tea plantations that are heavily sprayed with many pesticides. Because of the residue left on the leaves it would be wise to only brew the organically grown leaves.

As an aside, if you want to worry about the risks of consuming something, study the long-term side effects of drinking soda. The average person in the U.S. consumes one quart (one liter) per day.

Reasons not to be concerned with side effects of green tea

As long as the consumer is aware of known symptoms and precautions, they should be able to avoid most green tea side effects. I believe data proves that any risks from using this beverage with a long history of use are highly over-rated compared to the many proven health benefits.

  • The FDA categorizes tea as "generally recognized as safe". Drinking three to five cups a day is considered safe. The Chinese have consumed it for 4000 years or so, and have less cardiovascular disease than the U.S.
  • Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. Water is the most consumed drink, but is not classified as a beverage.
  • An eight ounce cup of the brew contains one-third to one half the caffeine of the same size cup of coffee. To avoid the caffeine, you can buy decaffeinated green leaf products. Most extracts are made from decaffeinated leaves.
  • There are mega health benefits compared to the few side effects. Major benefits include control or prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.


Don't miss out on the antioxidant properties available in green leaf products. Brew a cup, take the extracts in a pill form, or take a balanced nutritional supplement containing the tea compounds.

An extra layer of safety can be attained by only purchasing organically grown products and choosing the CO2 decaffeination process.

Regular moderate levels of consumption are the most beneficial and least disruptive to your system. To maintain optimum health, always include regular exercise in your routine and eat a healthful diet.

Put this to the test right away by deciding if green tea consumption is beneficial for your health, and if so... in which form to consume it.

To learn more about the supplements my family and I take, please visit my website.

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J. Peter Crane is an advocate of living a better life through better nutrition. Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, he'd rather spend money on good food and nutritional supplements than medical bills.

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