Green tea has loads of health benefits, and really importantly it is generally regarded as being calorie free. What many people don’t know is that drinking green tea before bed can help you even more.
In this article we’ll look at some of the great things about green tea and why you should think about adding it to your diet.
Specifically we’ll cover:
- Why green tea is so popular
- The surprising benefits of drinking green tea at night
- Whether green tea can disturb your sleep
Continue reading or use the links below to jump to the relevant section.
Benefits of Green Tea
Today green tea is found in thousands of mugs and cups across the Western world.
Okay, maybe more than thousands. According to research by WebMD, green tea is the second most popular beverage in the United States, with a few hundred million people recognizing its many health benefits. And Medical Daily reports that so many Americans are going green that the hot drink accounts for 15 percent of all tea drunk in the country.
As a means of rehydrating the body after exercise, drinking green tea makes a lot of sense. While the leaf-based beverage is 99 percent water, and drinking it warm helps your gut benefit from its hydrating properties quickly and efficiently, it’s that 1 extra 1 percent that packs a punch, comprised of a surprising number of weird and wonderful natural nutrients and chemical components, all of which are excellent for your health in a number of ways.
Here are just four benefits of green tea you might not have expected:
- Green Tea Fights Cancer – Your cup of green tea is filled with flavonoids, plant metabolites that may play a major role in targeting cells associated with the development of skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal and bladder cancer.
- Green Tea Prevents Heart Disease – Two other key compounds, right there in your steaming cup: polyphenols and catechins, which are known to play a role in protecting your heart and arteries from disease, and in helping reduce bad cholesterol.
- Green Tea Boosts Your Brainpower – Yes, green tea contains caffeine, although not nearly as much as a similarly sized cup of coffee. And that’s a good thing: according to a study published in Brain Research Reviews, caffeine boosts the firing power of your neurons, as well as the accumulation of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
- Green Tea Burns Fat – One cup of the stuff contains all of 1 calorie, yet the results of a human trial by the American Physiological Association show that green tea can stimulate your metabolism and increase your body’s ability to burn fat.
That’s a lot of goodness in one small cup – but to experience the full range of perks, it pays to drink up right before you head to bed.
Other teas also have a range of benefits. For example, check out our article on the benefits of Oolong tea.
Green Tea Before Bed
Bedtime might not seem the most natural teatime. But research shows that just a few sips of green tea before bed can maximize the effects of its benefits on your body.
Regular sleep patterns are essential to a long and healthy life. Sure, a solid eight hours of shut-eye will help you feel rested and relaxed, but it will also play a key role in flushing harmful toxins out of your body and promote your natural healing process.
After a long and busy day, you might think there are few things more appealing than hitting the sack. Well, here’s one: putting a quick cup of green tea on the boil, to ensure your body spends those sleepy hours mending to the max.
How exactly does drinking green tea at night help you? Let’s take a look:
- Helps You Sleep – This unprocessed, organic tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that assists with relaxation, soothing your nerves and leaving you de-stressed enough to enjoy a few hours of deep sleep.
- Drives Your Metabolism – Good-quality sleep naturally motors your met
abolism, and green tea will help give that process an extra kick. This means that several hours of REM sleep, stimulated by a cup of green tea, can lead you to lose weight even as you doze.
- Wards Off the Flu – Ever heard of EGCG? A 2011 study showed that Epigallocatechin-3-gallate in green tea supplements could help prevent colds and flu by up to 75 percent – far higher than vaccinations.
- Flushes Toxins Out of Your Body – Green tea is packed with catechins, naturally occurring antioxidants that fight inflammation and promote liver function – both of which will help eradicate harmful toxins from your system, while you sleep.
Does Green Tea Keep You Awake at Night?
To most people, caffeine means instant energy. And while that’s great first thing in the morning, when you’re bleary-eyed and can barely make it to the front door, drinking a caffeine-laden hot drink at night might leave you counting sheep until the early hours.
So will green tea keep you up late? Short answer: it depends. While green tea does contain a relatively low amount of caffeine, research shows that those who are usually sensitive to caffeine may struggle to fall asleep after even a single cup of green tea at night, due to the fact that it can have the effect of stimulating the central nervous system.
How to Prepare Green Tea
Add 2 teaspoons of loose tea leaves (or 2 tea bags) per 8-oz cup. Fill the cup or mug halfway with boiling water. Let the tea steep for 3 to 5 minutes, then fill the cup or mug the rest of the way with cold water. Remove the leaves or tea bag, and enjoy.
The short video below shows how to prepare green tea the right way, whether using leaves or tea bags:
Time to put the kettle on?
Whether your goal is to lose weight, or if you just want to feel fitter and healthier, green tea could be an excellent addition to your diet.
Now that it is widely available, relatively inexpensive and easy to prepare, there is little excuse for not giving it a try.
Drinking a cup of green tea at night, a little while before bed will help you get to sleep feeling nice and relaxed, and you’ll wake up feeling great in the morning.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you might want to give this tip a miss, or at least leave yourself plenty of time for it to wear off! Remember, you can always drink green team alongside one of our low calorie breakfast ideas to kick start your day.