Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Is Green Tea Bad For You?



Short answer

Green tea is very good for you offering many health benefits - just be cautious if you are taking any medications.



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Long answer

Green tea is boasted about in the health world and for good reason. It contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties that all work to boost your immune system

The health benefits of green tea cover a wide range and include improving mental health, digestive system and colon health, heart and kidney health, promoting weight loss and even preventing cancer. Wow, so much for one little drink and these are just a few!

Green tea contains flavonoids and catechins - polyphenols that act as antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants reduce free radicals in the body that cause cell damage and lead to disease. Epigallocatechin Gallate, or EGCG, is one of the most powerful of these in green tea. EGCG is well researched for its anti-cancer and cardiovascular health benefits. Studies have shown that 200-300 mg of EGCG per day can maintain both heart and metabolic health. By keeping the metabolism at peak performance green tea also helps with fat burning and weight loss. Catechins also protect the brain from long-term neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Those at risk for type 2 diabetes would also do well to include green tea in their diets. A study by Lui et al. in 2013 determined that green tea can decrease fasting glucose and HbA1c, while another study by Iso et al. in 2006 showed that green tea consumption can decrease type 2 diabetes development by up to 42%.

Green tea can pose a threat to your health if you are on certain medications or are affected by specific health conditions. Those taking stimulants, antibiotics, blood thinners, or hormone replacement medications should discuss drinking green tea with their doctor because of possible interactions. 

Other possible side effects of drinking green tea are the standard symptoms of caffeine. These can include jitters, nervousness, heart arrhythmias, and shakiness. There is an upside to caffeine that no one really talks about, though. Caffeine blocks the neurotransmitter Adenosine in the brain causing an increase in neuronal firing and dopamine and norepinephrine concentration. This reaction leads to improved mood, memory, reaction time and brain function. Brain function is also increased by the L-theanine present in green tea which increases GABA and minimizes anxiety.

It should be noted that caffeine can also prevent your body from absorbing the necessary amounts of calcium which can cause weak and brittle bones over a prolonged period of time. Iron absorption can further be hindered by green tea, but this is easily preventable by adding a little vitamin C like lemon juice to your tea or drinking it separate from meals.

Possible short-term side effects

  • jitters, shakiness
  • nervousness, anxiety
  • heart arrhythmias
  • inhibited iron and calcium absorption
  • medication interactions

Ingredients to be aware of


  • improved mood, reaction time, memory
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant effects
  • cancer prevention
  • prevents neurodegenerative diseases
  • decreased risk of type 2 diabetes
  • promotes weight loss

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Yogi Green Tea Antioxidant

  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Organic green tea blend
  • Supports immune health
  • Includes jasmine, licorice
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Kristin Brown, DC, MS
Published on: 07-28-2016
Last updated: 12-01-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Kristin Brown, DC, MS
Published on: 07-28-2016
Last updated: 12-01-2023

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