Tea is a refreshment beverage that gives an enriching experience to many people in the morning. One of the most ancient beverages has been a part of many people’s lives for a long time. Undoubtedly it is the world’s most-consumed beverage. And the favourite varieties are green tea, loose leaf black tea, and oolong – all of them are processed using the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant.
Not only does a cup of tea refreshes our mind, but also, they have a lot of merits to share. It has been used as a medicine for centuries due to its healing properties. Some recent studies have also proved that it reduces the risk of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, and heart disease.
Furthermore, overconsumption of any food product is not advisable and it can cause some serious problems. This applies to tea also. In a day, 3-4 cups of tea is fine but anything beyond that can affect your body.
The following is a list of side effects of drinking too much tea:
It Reduces Iron Absorption
When it comes to the composition of tea, it consists of compounds called tannins in high volume. What tannins do is that binds certain foods and make them inaccessible for absorption in the digestive system.
Now, everyone knows that iron deficiency is one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in the world. In this case, tannins can play a negative role. It can bind itself to iron present in the food and can make it unavailable for digestions.
But this can happen only when you consume excessive tea. Moreover, tannins are more active on vegetarian food as compared to non-vegetarian food. So, for those who are into a vegan diet, you need to be careful while consuming tea.
The best way to deal with this is to limit the intake to three or fewer cups a day. For all the tea lovers who have low iron, you should drink the tea in between two meals. This will help you to dodge the tannins and also it will diffuse any possibility of hindering iron consumption.
It Increases Anxiety, Stress, and Restlessness
Almost all the beverages in the world contain caffeine. And we are all aware of the effect caffeine has. All the tea leaves contain caffeine. And overconsumption of caffeine from any source can increase anxiety, stress, and restlessness in the body.
A typical cup of tea has of 240ml contains around 12-60 mg of caffeine. The ratio may vary depending on the brewing method and the variety of tea. However, black tea has a more caffeine content as compared to green and white tea.
Caffeine intake of 200mg per day is fine as it will not cause any anxiety issues. But if it exceeds that mark, then it can cause some serious problems. Also, one needs to be aware of their caffeine intake capacity. If you are more sensitive to it, then you can get affected earlier.
The best way to measure your consumption by noticing your response to your daily consumption, if it makes you nervous; then it’s a sign of overconsumption. You can try some caffeine-free herbal tea as an alternative.
This side effect is a no-brainer as we discussed in the previous point about tea and caffeine being their natural content. And caffeine is known for making our metabolism active and thus excessive tea intake can affect your sleep cycle.
Let’s understand the process. Our brain is signalled by a hormone named Melatonin, which signals over the brain to sleep. Caffeine can hinder this hormone production and it can disbalance the sleep cycle or result in poor sleep quality.
Lack of sleep can act as a catalyst for issues such as reduced attention span, fatigue, and weakened memory. Any prolonged sleep deprivation is also connected to obesity and poor blood sugar control in our bodies.
Additionally, inadequate sleep is linked to a variety of mental issues, including fatigue, impaired memory, and reduced attention span. What’s more, chronic sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk of obesity and poor blood sugar control.
Overconsumption of any type of edible can cause nausea. On top of that, tea has certain compounds that can cause nausea. This reaction can multiply when you drink tea in large quantities or on empty stomach.
The bitter and dry taste of tea is the result of tannin compounds present in it. This caustic nature of tannins tingles your digestive tissue. This process can lead to some unbearable and uncomfortable symptoms like stomach aches and nausea.
The amount of tea required to have this effect can vary dramatically depending on the person.Some might feel nauseated after 5 cups of tea, while some sensitive people can feel it after 1-2 cups. So, it differs from person to person.
You can think of reducing the number of drinks at a given time. You can also use some milk while preparing tea or can have some food along with tea. As tannins havethe property to bind themselves to proteins and carbs, they can reduce those digestive irritations.
Every negative point is somehow connected with caffeine in tea. This caffeine can either cause heartburn or it can trigger a pre-existing acid reflux symptom. Some studies have found out that, caffeine in tea relaxes the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach.
This allows a free passage for acidic contents to roam around near the esophagus. This caffeine, as discussed earlier, can increase stomach acid production, which can lead to heartburn and uneasiness.
The aggravation of acidic fluids can happen by any food item, but tea may intensify the things for a few people. However, it can differ from person to person. Someone having more than 3-4 cups of tea in the day might not face any problem, while someone might face it by 2 cups alone.
If you are experiencing heartburn on a regular basis that too after consuming large quantities of tea, then you should reduce the consumption of the same. In the long run, it can result in some other stomach-related problems.
By now you all must’ve addressed the elephant in the room, i.e., caffeine. It becomes more dangerous when consumed excessively during pregnancy. For a pregnant lady, excessive caffeine can increase the risk of miscarriage or lower infant birth weight.
The available data on the studies addressing the effects of caffeine during pregnancy is mixed. So, there is no perfect measure to determine how much quantity is safe. Although, all the research has shown positive results when the caffeine intake is under 180-280mg.
So, one has to control an urge to drink tea. A normal cup consists of 20-50mg per cup of caffeine. Thus, one shouldn’t drink more than 3 cups of tea per day. There is an alternative to this and i.e., caffeine-free herbal tea.
But while consuming herbal tea, one has to be cautious. Not all herbal tea are safe while consuming them during pregnancy. It is always advisable to consult a doctor before deciding on your caffeine intake. They will guide you in a proper way and will suggest the right option.
Caffeine, if consumed in appropriate intervals, is known for its magical properties to relieve headaches. But, if you overconsume the same, then it can backfire. Daily consumption of tea in excess can result in recurring headaches.
Some studies have proved that 100mg of caffeine intake per day can trigger a recurring headache. But the same data differs from person to person based on their caffeine tolerance. As compared to other caffeinated beverages, tea has the least amount of caffeine.But that doesn’t mean you can overconsume it.
In case, you are noticing some recurring headaches. And if you think it is because of your tea drinking habit, then for starters, try your normal daily consumption. Once you are doing it, observe the symptoms and compare them with your tea consumption. Based on that you can decrease the quantity of tea. Focus more on decreasing the quantity as compared to increasing it.
Dependency on Caffeine
Caffeine is addictive in nature. It forms a habit in your mind; without its consumption, you think you are missing something. So, either you consume tea or any other caffeinated beverages, it can ultimately make you dependent on it.
If you try to withdraw it from your daily routine, then you will encounter symptoms like headache, fatigue, and increased heath rate. Depending on a person’s tolerance, the level of exposure will vary significantly.
Some studies have stated that consumption of caffeinated drinks for 3 consecutive days can make you dependent. And its dependency increases with each passing day. So, one has to stay alert with their consumption.
Consuming it more will create a set of side effects over and apart from its dependency.
When it comes to health benefits, tea is by far the most decorated beverage in the world. It reduces inflammation and reduces the risk of any chronic disease. Although, one must not go overboard while consuming the same. The best way to avoid any side effects of overconsumption is to limit the tea intake to 3-4 cups a day. In the end, try to understand how your tea drinking habit is affecting your daily life.