It’s no secret that tea is one of the most popular beverages in the entire world. People drink it before bed, in the morning to wake up, or during the afternoon for, well, some tea time. If you’re in the southern United States, you can even expect to see it packed full of sugar and poured over ice in every restaurant you visit! But is tea really all that good for you? Are there any negative effects of drinking it, especially if you’re sipping on it daily?
We talked with Amanda Sevilla RDN, about drinking tea on a daily basis. She believes that drinking tea regularly is perfectly OK, and that it actually has many useful benefits for our overall health.
“The oldest and longest-living populations in the world drink tea on a daily basis,” Sevilla points out. “The Okinawans in Okinawa, Japan drink green tea or matcha every single day.”
We were intrigued by this popular miracle drink, so we asked all the necessary questions to uncover what drinking tea every day actually does to your body.
But first things first…
How is drinking tea different from drinking coffee?
Well, depending on the type of tea you drink, there may not be many differences between drinking tea and drinking coffee. If you’re drinking a tea that is higher in caffeine content, say a black or Earl Grey tea, your body may experience similar effects as it would with drinking a cup of coffee. Sevilla points out, however, that “even teas with the highest amount of caffeine, say black tea for example, still has less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee.”
Now that we have that sorted, here is what happens if you drink tea every day.
You’ll get more phytonutrients.
Tea is packed with nutrients that you don’t get in many other beverages, especially coffee.
“Teas contain a variety of phytochemicals and phytonutrients, since they are coming from different types of plants,” says Sevilla. According to the National Library of Medicine, phytonutrients are common plant nutrients that produce certain biological activity and support human health in many different ways. Some ways that the phytonutrients found in teas can benefit our health is through antioxidants, fighting certain allergies, lowering risk of some cancers, and supporting the anti-aging process.
You can regulate your metabolism.
There are even certain teas that help you regulate your metabolism if it’s been off balance for various reasons. A study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences states found that green tea specifically has a positive effect on regulating metabolism, which is also directly correlated with controlling glucose levels and weight management. The study found this to be true for diabetes patients, as well.
Sevilla says that if you’re wanting to drink tea for the purpose of recentering your metabolism, try drinking black, green, or oolong tea. And for more, you can learn how to harness the power of tea to lose weight.
You can lower inflammation.
Sevilla says that tea is also commonly known for its anti-inflammatory properties. According to a study from the International Journal of Molecular Science, there is a hefty amount of research that can prove the positive anti-inflammatory benefits to drinking tea on a regular basis. This study in particular looks at green tea and black tea. What researchers discovered is that the properties found in green and black tea can have an enormous impact on lowering inflammation in red blood cells. They even found that people with lupus who consumed green tea on a daily basis for 12 weeks, reported less inflammation in their bodies. It’s no wonder it’s on our list of the best anti-inflammatory foods!
You may need to use the bathroom more.
There are certain types of teas that actually cause you to urinate more frequently. Sevilla explains that Dandelion tea, green tea, barley tea, and hibiscus tea all have diuretic properties. Diuretics are the nutrients that cause our body to get rid of salt and water in the form of urine. Tea with diuretic properties is often recommended for people with kidney issues, diabetes, or certain heart problems. Because of the strength of diuretics, Sevilla suggests avoiding these teas after 4 p.m., unless you want to spend your night going to the bathroom!
It can help with weight control.
There has been plenty of research done on the positive effects of daily green tea consumption on weight control. According to the International Journal of Molecular Science, a 12-week study on the daily consumption of green tea in women showed a significant decrease in weight and fat around the stomach area. The reason behind this is largely due to the increased energy levels people have reported with green tea, as well as metabolism control and help with lipid production.
Are there negative side effects of drinking tea regularly?
According to Sevilla, there are no obvious harmful effects of drinking tea regularly. She recommends no more than three cups a day, though. She says it’s best to avoid drinking tea too late in the day if it contains caffeine, too. With drinking tea, it’s important to keep an eye on your caffeine levels. Although a cup of black tea has less caffeine than a cup of coffee, it will add up quickly if you’re drinking multiple cups.
Sevilla also mentions that it’s important to watch your hydration levels. She says that “tea can be a really great way for people who don’t like to drink water a lot to get in some hydration, although, “if someone is using this as a way to get more hydration, to use a tea that is not caffeinated or a diuretic.”
It’s also important to note that tea should not replace our consumption of water throughout the day.
Ready for your cup of tea now?