Health & Wellness

What Is the Best Time to Drink Green Tea?

Approximately 600,000 tons of green tea are consumed annually worldwide, making it one-fifth of the total tea consumption globally. The nations that lead in green tea consumption include Japan, Vietnam, China, and Indonesia. However, the important question is whether people are consuming it in the right way. Should you have green tea before or after your meal? While green tea is known for its excellent antioxidant properties and various health benefits, including weight loss, it’s essential to consider the timing of its consumption. In this article, we will explore the best time to drink green tea and whether you should have it before or after a meal.

History of Green Tea

Green tea has a rich history that dates back to ancient China, with origins tracing to the year 2737 BC. The credit for its discovery is often attributed to Emperor Shennong, who is considered the founder of this renowned beverage. In its early days, green tea was considered a luxury, accessible to only a select few due to its high cost. However, as time progressed, particularly in the 14th century, green tea became more widely available to the general public, not only as a refreshing drink but also for its medicinal uses.

Over the last few decades, green tea has earned a reputation as one of the healthiest beverages, primarily due to its remarkable antioxidant content, surpassing that of most other drinks. Green tea is known to contain approximately 20-45 percent polyphenols, natural chemicals that play a significant role in providing anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects. These health-promoting properties have contributed to the widespread popularity of green tea.

Today, green tea can be found in virtually every coffee and tea shop, offering a wide range of versatile flavors to suit diverse preferences. From hot jasmine green tea to refreshing iced matcha lattes and many more, green tea continues to captivate the taste buds of people worldwide while contributing to their well-being.

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Factors Influencing the Variety of Green Tea

The diversity of green tea varieties is influenced by several key factors:

1. Harvest Time and Season: The time and season when the tea leaves are plucked play a significant role in determining the flavor and characteristics of the green tea. Spring-harvested tea leaves, known as “first flush,” are often prized for their delicate and fresh flavors.

2. Organic vs. Conventional Farming: Whether the tea is grown organically or using chemical methods can impact its flavor profile. Organic green tea is often associated with a cleaner and more natural taste.

3. Leaf Processing: The way in which the tea leaves are shaped, rolled, and dried during processing can influence the appearance and taste of the final product. Different processing methods can result in various textures and flavors.

4. Cultivation Practices: The cultivation practices, including soil quality, altitude, and climate, contribute to the unique characteristics of green tea from different regions. Terroir, or the environmental factors of the tea-growing region, plays a crucial role.

5. Types of Green Tea and Processing Techniques: Different types of green tea, such as sencha, matcha, and gyokuro, undergo distinct processing techniques, affecting their flavor, color, and aroma.

6. Plant Parts Plucked: The specific parts of the tea plant that are plucked, whether it’s the young leaves, buds, or a combination, can impact the taste and quality of the green tea.

7. Leaf Integrity: Whether the tea leaves are left whole or cut into smaller pieces during processing can influence the brewing process and flavor extraction.

8. Environmental Factors: The environmental conditions in which the tea is grown, including factors like soil composition, rainfall, and temperature, can contribute to the tea’s unique terroir and flavor characteristics.

Each of these factors contributes to the diverse world of green tea, offering a wide range of flavors and experiences for tea enthusiasts to explore.

How to Drink Green Tea?

Green tea is not only about choosing the right time but also about the preparation and ingredients. Here’s a guide on how to enjoy green tea to the fullest:

  • Consider the optimal time for green tea consumption based on your preference, whether it’s in the morning, evening, or both. Select a time that suits your routine and complements your lifestyle.
  • Opt for green tea leaves for a richer and more authentic tea experience. While flavored green teas are available, using natural green tea leaves allows you to enjoy the true essence of the tea.
  • Enhance the flavor and health benefits of your green tea by adding a squeeze of fresh lemon and a drizzle of honey. Lemon adds a zesty brightness, while honey offers sweetness and potential health benefits.
  • To maintain the health benefits of green tea, it’s advisable to avoid adding excessive sugar. Enjoy the natural flavors and subtle sweetness brought by honey, and minimize the use of refined sugars.

By following these steps, you can savor the delightful and healthful qualities of green tea while tailoring it to your taste preferences and wellness goals.

Benefits of Green Tea After a Meal:

Health Benefits Of Green Tea

Green tea offers numerous benefits when consumed after a meal, making it a healthy and enjoyable addition to your post-meal routine. Here are some advantages:

1. Improve Sleep and Reduce Stress: Green tea contains theanine, a compound known for its relaxing properties. It can help calm your mind and promote better sleep, making it particularly beneficial for those dealing with stress-related sleeplessness.

2. Reduce Risks of Heart Problems & Cancer: Adding lemon or citrus to your green tea enhances its heart-protective properties due to polyphenols and catechins. Regular consumption of green tea can lower the risk of cardiac events. It is also associated with a reduced risk of various cancers and boosts the immune system.

3. Fasten Your Metabolism: Green tea can increase metabolic activity, aiding in weight management. It contains caffeine, which acts as a fat-burning stimulator, helping you burn calories more efficiently. It can also reduce hunger, supporting your calorie-burning efforts.

4. Keep You Younger: Green tea’s EGCG compound has antioxidant properties that benefit skin health. Applying green tea to your skin can help protect it from UV damage and aging effects. It is also known for reducing eye puffiness.

5. Aid in Digestion: Green tea stimulates the production of digestive enzymes, promoting better food breakdown and reducing symptoms of indigestion. It can provide relief from intestinal gas and irregular gastrointestinal issues.

6. Relieve from Cramps: Green tea, rich in catechins, can help alleviate menstrual cramps by reducing the production of prostaglandins. Women who consume green tea during menstruation often experience reduced bloating.

7. Help Relieve Cold and Flu: Green tea, especially when warm, can soothe a sore throat and provide hydration to fight off bacteria and viruses. It can be beneficial during the flu and cold seasons, helping to boost your immunity.

8. Promote Good Oral Health: Certain types of green tea, like bancha, contain fluoride, which is beneficial for oral health. It can help combat tooth decay and bad breath, providing a refreshing boost to your oral hygiene.

Incorporating green tea into your post-meal routine can offer these health benefits while providing a delightful and refreshing experience.

Benefits of Green Tea Before a Meal:

Green tea offers various advantages when consumed before a meal, making it a healthy choice to kickstart your day or boost your energy. Here are some benefits:

1. Keeps You Energetic and Reduces Fatigue: Green tea contains zinc, magnesium, and chromium, which can enhance blood flow and help maintain blood pressure. Sipping green tea before a meal or in the morning can boost your energy levels and reduce fatigue. Kukicha green tea is particularly known for its refreshing properties.

2. Green Tea for Diabetic Type 2: Green tea is an excellent choice for individuals with type 2 diabetes. It contains high levels of polyphenols, which can help improve blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that regular consumption of green tea can significantly lower the risk of diabetes type 2.

By incorporating green tea into your routine before meals, you can benefit from improved energy levels and better blood sugar control, making it a smart choice for your overall health.

Not Always a Good Idea to Drink Green Tea After a Meal

side effects of green tea

While green tea offers numerous health benefits, it may not be ideal to consume it immediately after a meal. Some studies suggest that drinking green tea after meals can negatively affect nutrient absorption due to the presence of caffeine and tannins. These compounds can dilute gastric juice during digestion, potentially leading to improper digestion. To maximize the benefits of green tea and minimize any adverse effects, it’s recommended to have it 30-45 minutes before your meals.

Bad Impact of Green Tea Before a Meal or on an Empty Stomach

Consuming green tea on an empty stomach or before a meal may have certain drawbacks, including:

1. Causes Acidity or Stomach Issues: Green tea contains tannins, which can increase acidity in the stomach and lead to symptoms like constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting (in some cases), and diarrhea. Preparing green tea with boiling hot water can help reduce these effects.

2. Quantity Matters: Excessive consumption of green tea can disrupt blood sugar and blood pressure levels. It’s advisable to consult a doctor to determine an appropriate diet plan tailored to your body’s needs.

3. Causes Headaches: Green tea contains caffeine, which can trigger headaches, especially in individuals prone to migraines. Consuming excessive amounts of green tea may increase the likelihood of headaches.

4. Not Good for Bones: Green tea may hinder calcium absorption, potentially contributing to conditions like osteoporosis, particularly in females. Those with existing bone issues should limit their green tea intake.

5. Risks in Pregnancy: While green tea is not entirely prohibited during pregnancy, excessive consumption can pose risks. Drinking more than 2 cups per day may increase the risk of miscarriage and congenital disabilities in children. It can also hinder the absorption of folic acid, vital for conception.

6. Can Cause Iron Deficiency: Green tea has been shown to limit the absorption of iron, which can be dangerous for individuals with anemia. To mitigate this effect, adding lemon drops to your green tea can enhance iron absorption. However, it’s advisable to avoid excessive green tea consumption if you have iron deficiency.


Green tea’s popularity has grown as people increasingly prioritize their health. However, like any beverage, green tea has both positive and negative effects that can vary from person to person. Many of these issues can be mitigated by moderate consumption of green tea. Caffeine and tannins, while beneficial in some ways, can pose risks for individuals with conditions like high blood pressure, pregnancy, osteoporosis, or sleep problems.

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Individuals with specific health concerns or conditions should consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.


Q1. Can you drink green tea in pregnancy?

Ans. No, as it contains caffeine and reduces the absorption rate of folic acid that can be harmful to you and your child.

Q2. Green tea helps in weight loss?

Ans. Yes, it helps in weight loss; it fastens your metabolism because of that, you feel more energetic.

Q3. How many cups of green tea can you drink per day?

Ans. 2 to 3 cups, or only 1-2 cups, but if it causes any other problem, then limit your green tea use. Track yourself after consuming green tea; if you feel anything problematic, stop taking it.

Q4. Heart and the diabetic patient can drink green tea?

Ans. Yes, as it is best for these patients, it reduces cholesterol levels in the body.

Q5. What if someone doesn’t like the flavor of green tea?

Ans. Nowadays, there are various flavors available in the market, so one can drink whatever flavor they like.

Q6. Green tea is good for people having sleeping disorders?

Ans. Yes, as L-theanine in green tea makes you feel relax and releases your stress. You sleep faster because of this.

Kelly Han

Dr. Kelly Han is a seasoned medical professional with a passion for holistic wellness and integrative health. Based in San Francisco, her expertise spans across various domains of health, from fitness and skincare to oral health and weight management. Understanding the intricate connections between different aspects of health, Dr. Han believes in a comprehensive approach. Whether it's the latest skincare regimen, effective weight loss strategies, or understanding hormonal imbalances, she's dedicated to providing readers with evidence-based advice and actionable insights on a wide array of health topics. Through her articles, Dr. Han aims to empower individuals to take charge of their well-being, offering them the knowledge and tools they need to lead healthier, more vibrant lives. Join her in exploring the multifaceted world of health, beauty, and wellness.

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