Updated: Jun 28, 2021
While sodas contain high sugar and calories, a simple green tea virtually does not provide any calories. Instead, it provides many antioxidants with benefits such as fat loss, improving brain function, lowering blood pressure and potentially protecting against cancer.
Teas, in general, contain polyphenols, a compound that can help with digestion, reduce blood sugar levels, and lower heart disease risk. Specifically, green tea contains catechin named epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Catechins are natural antioxidants that help to prevent cell damage by reducing the formation of free radicals. An excess amount of free radicals in the body may cause damage to muscle and tissue cells, which will influence the rate of ageing and the chances of developing diseases such as cancer. What's more, the EGCG can help inhibit an enzyme that breaks down the hormone norepinephrine, the hormone that is responsible for burning fat. When this enzyme is inhibited, the total concentration of norepinephrine increases, promoting fat breakdown.
Green tea may also increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood, which protects the LDL particles from oxidation, which is one part of the pathway toward heart disease, thus decreasing the risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease.
Green tea may also improve brain function as it contains caffeine and L-theanine. Caffeine is famous for its function in helping us stay awake, as it works by blocking an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine. "This way, it increases the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine," which helps to contribute to better vigilance, reaction time, mood, and memory. The L-theanine is a type of amino acid. L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain, further helping to relieve stress and boosting energy. Thus, even though green tea contains caffeine, it will produce more stable energy and promotes stable blood pressure to the consumer than with a dose of coffee.
Beware that the price of green tea may vary from the quality of leaves and their processing procedures. In addition, some lower quality brands can contain excessive amounts of fluoride, which may cause fluorosis -- faint streaks of lines in your teeth.
Here is a list of recommended brands to buy green tea: Best Green Tea
A few ideas for your next beverage!
Classic Green Tea: simply steep 1-2 bags depending on taste for 2-3 minutes (again, depending on how concentrated the flavour you want!)
Cold-Brewed Ice Tea