Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Should I Be Worried About the Caffeine in Green Tea?

It seems to be that we are increasingly being made aware of what some ingredients like caffeine are doing to our health. It’s a sign of the times, that the food and drink we consume is coming under more and more scrutiny. Legions of nutritionists and food experts are always giving us advice and tips on what to avoid and often it’s just a case of following our common sense.
So, when I was told I may have to avoid caffeine in what I drink because of a treatment I was under, I learnt that my daily cuppa was on the list of items to cut back on or avoid. As I actually enjoy a cup of refreshing and invigorating green tea I tend to make a brew three or four times a day. This advice prompted me to find something out about caffeine in green tea.
Well, it definitely has less than coffee, about a quarter of whats in coffee when compared on a cup by cup basis. I then focused my attention on the levels of caffeine in normal green tea and the decaffeinated variety. A curious fact emerged which stated that decaffeinated green tea does indeed have lower levels of antioxidants and flavenols. These are all important compounds and substances within it, that are linked to many of the claimed health benefits we get when drinking it.
Some clam this can be simply overcome by drinking more of the decaffeinated green tea to make up for any perceived shortfall in these nutrients.
There are also many people that drink green tea as part of their dietary regime and weight loss program. Again it’s these same substances, known as catechins that play a part in reducing levels of body fat by raising our metabolic rate. That’s essentially the rate at which we burn up the food we eat. Here again, the decaffeinated green tea was less effective at this level than the normal tea which contained caffeine.
So, while those of us who don’t mind the caffeine in green tea can carry on as usual with next to nothing to worry about, the others who do mind need to weigh up the pro’s and con’s.

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