Is it ok for me to drink Green Tea before bed? You may be busy and as soon as you get up you start working on your projects. The best time for you to read is at the end of the day right before you go to sleep and of course, nothing compares to a cup of tea when you are reading.
Tea could also smoothen your state with its warmth and taste in such a way that it would permit you to fall asleep more easily and even offer a more restful sleep.
How do I know if I should drink Green Tea before bed or not?
To find out if drinking Green Tea before bed is good or bad, first we have to understand what it contains, how these compounds affect the body and if those effects will have a positive or negative impact on the quality of our sleep.
Green Tea Components:
So the following are some of the components which green tea contains. Information was taken from itoen.co.jp
- Catechins ( Decreases cholesterol, Antioxidant, prevents cancer and many others, lowers blood pressure and many other benefits )
- Theanine ( Calming effect, protects brain cells )
- Vitamins ( C ; B2 ; Folic Acid ; B-Carotene ; E )
- Saponins ( Lowers blood pressure )
- Fluorine ( Prevents Tooth Decay )
- γ-aminobutyric acid [GABA] ( Lowers blood pressure )
- Minerals ( Potassium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese and others )
- Chlorophyll ( Deodorizing effect )
- Caffeine ( Increases energy and alertness )
As we can see all the components are safe except for one and that would be caffeine. It seems that Green Tea contains somewhere between 30 to 60 mg (0.03g – 0.06g) of caffeine per cup.
Personal experience and findings
A couple of months ago I used to drink Green Tea every night before bed because that was the time when I would start reading. Books go well with steaming hot tea and it became my routine. I wasn’t concerned, it didn’t even run trough my mind at the time if and how it would affect my sleep.
I knew for a fact that Black Tea is a definite No No before bed. My thought process associated that with Green Tea and I told myself that maybe it does affect my sleep somehow so I stopped just in case.
I did my research and found out that Black Tea haves 14-61 mg (0.01g-0.06g) of caffeine. It turned out that when it comes to caffeine levels, between Green Tea and Black Tea there are no differences.
Depending on the growing conditions and brewing method some green tea may even have higher levels of caffeine than black tea.
– thekitchn.com (A highly trusted site around Cooking)
– foodwatch.com (A nutritionist’s blog about nutrition and dieting)
So I should avoid drinking green tea before bed…right?
Not exactly, if you read your book at night or you just like the nice warm feeling of tea, whichever the case may be, there’s still an option and I’m not talking about a substitute. I’m talking about green tea, more precisely decaffeinated green tea. Yes. It’s green tea but without caffeine and best of all, it’s organic!
The Carbon Dioxide method.
A process in which the tea leaves are first treated with heat and pressure. Then treated with carbon dioxide, a natural gas. The carbon dioxide bonds with the caffeine and both are evaporated.
The process was called “favorable because it is convenient, nonexplosive, and nontoxic” by Wikipedia, also, unfortunately, they also said that the process decreases “volatile, nonpolar compounds…green and floral flavor compounds…and some unknown compounds disappeared or decreased after decaffeination”. In other words, it reduced the taste and some of its compounds (Noting about reduced antioxidants or good benefits was written).
Hot Water treatment.
On the other hand green tea and tea, in general, can also be decaffeinated with hot water treatment. This process preserves 95% of the green tea’s taste and other components but eliminates a smaller quantity of caffeine, somewhere around 83% (The bright side is that this method is sure to preserve the tea in it’s most original form).
Ethyl Acetate is a toxic industrial solvent that it’s used in nail polish, it’s just something better not found in the human body. Decaffeination with Ethyl Acetate was made illegal in the U.S.A. by the FDA and made legal again for who knows why. This type of decaffeinated tea is best to be avoided.
Some decaffeinated green tea options:
1. Davidson’s Tea Bulk, Decaf Green Tea
If you like loose tea. Decaffeinated using the CO2 process.
I like loose tea the most. It’s the most natural form you can possibly consume tea, the taste is perfectly balanced and you’re sure to get the most benefits from it. The only issue is that, compared to the other two methods bellow, it takes some time to prepare and you will need a couple of things for it, at least an infuser or a strainer.
2. Stash Tea Decaf Premium Green Tea, Tea Bags in Foil
If you like teabags. Decaffeinated using the CO2 process.
I used teabags for the purpose of drinking before bed and I loved them, they are perfect for bedtime because they brew fast (3 to 5 minutes) and you don’t have to use your tea master brew kit, just a cup of hot water, add the little bag wait 3 minutes, toss the used bag and DONE! Enjoy your tea!
3. Sencha Green Tea Powder
If you like a powder form instead. Decaffeinated using the Hot Water Method
The powder version of green tea possesseses the same qualities and preparation is easy to make smilar to the teabags, all you need is a cup of water, add a spoon of powder, whisk and drink. I recommend a Tea Whisk to properly whisk the tea.
You can still drink green tea before bed without a care in the World. Just make sure that the one that you drink is Decaffeinated because green tea contains caffeine.
My recommendation for you is to choose the tea bags, they’re cheap, taste good and are also easy and fast to brew, perfect to be used right before bed due to its low preparation difficulty.
It’s best to avoid teas decaffeinated with Ethyl Acetate. Look on the bag for the decaffeination method, if it’s not written, ask the producer directly via phone or email.
In what form do you like your tea the most? Loose? Bags? Powder?