Maximum Antioxidant Absorption from Green Tea

Green tea is an excellent beverage. You can drink it hot in the morning to help you wake up with less caffeine than coffee. Or you can enjoy it cold on a sunny afternoon to cool off with zero calories! It’s a versatile, tasty drink.

Along with a delicious taste, green tea has health benefits. Green tea has antioxidants that fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. Many factors can impact how effectively you absorb the antioxidants. How it’s made, what you pair it with, your habits and more all change how the green tea will affect your body.

To get the most from your green tea, steep it for five minutes with boiling water. The piping hot water and long steeping time bolster the antioxidant capacity. But, if you steep it for too long, it will become bitter. Adding milk — either from cows or soy — decreases the amount of absorbable antioxidants. Adding lemon to your tea or pairing it with fruit may increase the antioxidants you absorb, as vitamin C can help uptake. Factors like if you smoke, your BMI and genetics may also impact how well you absorb antioxidants.

When it comes to timing, there is no hard-and-fast rule about the best time to drink green tea. “The more important point is to drink green tea when convenient for you, whether that is morning, afternoon or evening,” said Joy Dubost, a registered dietitian and Global Director of Regulatory Affairs and Health Science at Lipton Teas and Infusions.

Some research has suggested that it’s best to drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. That way, none of the antioxidants will get trapped in food — like fiber — and not be absorbed. There are ways you should avoid drinking green tea to reap the most rewards from it. Tannins from the tea lower how much iron you absorb from food. It’s better to drink it two hours before or after a meal. And, while it has less caffeine than coffee, it has around 30 milligrams per cup. So, it’s better to avoid it near bedtime.  
If you like matcha, you are in luck. Matcha is made from ground whole green tea leaves mixed with boiled water. The preparation boosts antioxidant levels. But be aware that it also boosts caffeine.

Iced tea can be as healthy as hot tea, depending on how it’s brewed. “Hot tea [may] have more antioxidants, since iced tea usually uses [fewer] tea bags and is watered down,” said Megan Casper, a registered dietitian nutritionist, “but tea that is cold-brewed over the course of a few hours has similar amounts of antioxidants as hot tea.”  

As you can see, there are many healthy ways to enjoy green tea. Observing a few simple rules lets you get the most out of the drink while staying refreshed and hydrated!

Banner image: Maria Tyutina via Pexels

Related Posts

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Please check your email to confirm your subscription.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
By clicking the "Subscribe" button you agree to our newsletter policy