How much tea is too much tea?
Drinking tea offers numerous health benefits, paired with a few adverse effects as well. We take a look at how to make most of this wonder beverage.
Whether it’s Friday or Tuesday, morning or evening, rain or shine, is there an occasion a cup of tea cannot elevate? With milk or without, we can all agree that tea is a marvellous drink. A cup of it can pick you up or calm you down. A perfect beverage to enjoy as you congregate with a friend or a bunch; you know, when you can’t (or won’t) have something stronger. Oh, and do we enjoy a crisp, steaming cup after a hearty meal? The only correct answer is: yes. Yes, we do.
But ever do we stop and wonder where this magnificent drink comes from? How did it become so popular globally? And while we take tea’s benefits for granted, are there any risks to human health? Also, do we know what the benefits are, really?
We at VIVO Clinic decided that it’s time we took a deeper look into what answers the mighty internet has to offer regarding the musings presented above. And just so we are clear, we are talking about good old regular tea, the ones extracted and processed from the Camellia sinensis plant. Based on the processing time, the leaves of this magic plant can become green, black or oolong tea.
Tea: the origin story
Once upon a time, Emperor Shennong decreed that all his subjects must drink boiled water only. One day, as the emperor drank from a bowl of boiled water, a gust blew leaves of a nearby tree into his bowl. Shennong watched with wonder as the colour of his water changed. He took a sip, and behold, it tasted great.
There are many tellings of this olden Chinese legend; some explore how Emperor Shennong tried and tested herbs on himself until he discovered the restorative properties of tea.
Myths and legends aside, the earliest record of tea drinking has been found in centuries-old medical texts written by Hua Tao, a Chinese physician. It was drunk by the Han Dynasty as early as the 2nd Century. By the 7th Century, its custom and cultivation had spread as far as Japan and Korea.
It wasn’t until the 17th Century that tea had come to the Western parts of the world. The first tea leaves came to Europe via a ship of the Dutch East India Company. The popularity of the drink quickly became widespread throughout the continent. Unfortunately, loose tea was excruciatingly expensive for what it was, and many smuggling enterprises popped up.
The Chinese monopoly over the drink and cultivation of its leaves was dismantled when Britain introduced commercial production of tea in India in the 1800s. In the following centuries, tea consumption became common across the globe. In fact, so much that, tea is the most consumed drink after water.
The health benefits of drinking tea
Besides being ever so flavoursome and refreshing, the drink offers a whole host of health benefits. Some of the more common ones include concentration boost, digestive system aid and immune system enhancement. And, of course, hydration.
The presence of antioxidants and other beneficial elements contribute to the overall benefits one can expect. However, we found a few very specific health advantages.
Lowers the risk of heart diseases
A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that regular tea drinkers have less chance of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Moreover, if you were to drink four or more cups of green tea a day, it would reduce the possibility of having a heart attack by 32% and lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Prevention of tooth decay
Regular consumption of tea can help strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay. While tea contains a healthy amount of fluoride, which is sure to reinforce your tooth’s enamel, its antioxidants will also help fight against gum disease and bacteria.
Aids in weight loss
A Journal of Research in Medical Sciences study states that tea (green in particular) positively impacts the body’s metabolism. Drinking tea can help with steady glucose levels and weight management.
A different study published in the International Journal of Molecular Science found that daily green tea drinkers shed weight and fat significantly around the abdomen region. This happens due to increased energy levels derived from the tea and improved lipid production.
Since we are on the topic, VIVO Clinic’s Cryolipolysis treatment is a highly effective and completely non-invasive way to remove the excess fat from the abdomen.
Potential harms from drinking tea
While there aren’t many notable risks associated with drinking tea regularly, however, too much of anything can be bad.
Excessive tea drinking is known to cause anxiety and restlessness. There are also cases of sleep cycle disruption. Many people also complain of heartburn after drinking a strong brew. The most common drawback may be the development of dependence/addiction to tea from regular drinking.
All of these, and oft-times more, can be attributed to caffeine. Although the caffeine content in tea is a lot less when compared to coffee and certain soft drinks, it can add up through excessive consumption.
Nevertheless, the benefits of drinking tea daily and in moderation outweigh the risks. So, drink away!