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Barista pouring a green tea latteOn most long, busy workdays, caffeine may be your savior. Most employees cannot make it through a morning without it, usually consuming one or more large cups of steaming coffee. There are many ways to get a caffeine fix throughout the day – coffee, soda beverages, tea or even chocolate.

However, too much caffeine can create adverse effects, including insomnia, nervousness, stomach upset, irritability, increased heart rate and ultimately, caffeine dependence. A surplus of coffee may get you through the day, but it may not be beneficial for your long-term health. Green tea is an excellent substitute with similar energizing effects and far more health benefits.

Green Tea Benefits

Green tea is packed to the brim with essential nutrients. These nutrients are mostly comprised of antioxidants such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins. Antioxidants protect cells and molecules from damage by reducing the amount of free radicals in the body. Fewer free radicals mean more protection against disease and healthier, stronger cells.

Green tea reduces the risk of many diseases including different types of cancers, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The antioxidants present in green tea protect LDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) particles from oxidation, thus lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and breast, colorectal and prostate cancer.

Green tea also has the ability to increase metabolism and can help you lose fat and reduce the risk of obesity. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. In the United States, approximately 40% of adults are obese. An increased metabolism means increased energy expenditure and thus more calories burned. A few cups of green tea per day keeps your metabolism high, leading to weight loss and decreased fat, especially in the abdomen.

Additionally, green tea can improve your brain function. The caffeine in green tea pairs with an amino acid called L-Theanine and these interact to improve brain function, mood, reaction time and memory. Although green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, this unique interaction with L-Theanine may lead to better concentration and less brain fog. Green tea also has long-term brain health effects and may potentially lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

If you need an extra boost of caffeine, green tea is a better way to increase your energy and positively impact your short- and long-term health. Making the switch to this earthy, green drink even just a few times per week can lead to noticeable differences in your energy levels and help you calmly zone in on the long day ahead.

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