Decaf green tea is great for people who are sensitive to caffeine or want to avoid it completely. It can still have many of the same health benefits as caffeinated green tea.
However, decaf green tea can contain small amounts of caffeine due to the processing methods used in production. This can be a concern if you are taking medication for high blood pressure or heart conditions.
How Much Can You Drink?
In moderation, drinking decaf green tea is safe and offers the same health perks as caffeinated green tea. However, it’s important to note that consuming too much caffeine can disrupt sleep, cause gastrointestinal distress, trigger migraine headaches and contribute to heart attacks and stroke. In most adults, consuming more than about 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day is not recommended.
The benefits of green tea are largely due to the antioxidants it contains, especially one called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which studies suggest may help fight cancer, prevent heart disease and lower blood cholesterol levels, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, green tea is a good source of an amino acid called L-theanine, which may improve mental focus.
It is worth noting, though, that the process of chemically decaffeinating tea leaves can strip them of some of their water-soluble nutrients. This may reduce the amount of beneficial flavanols and antioxidants in brewed decaf tea. To get the most out of your green tea, choose decaf that has been produced using steaming, drying or frying methods rather than by chemical oxidation.
Another possible downside of chemically decaffeinated green tea is that it may not have the same fat-burning effects as its caffeinated counterpart. A small March 2018 study in the journal Nutrients found that a decaf green tea extract helped decrease body fat and increase muscle mass in participants.
How Much Caffeine Is in Green Tea?
The exact amount of caffeine in green tea varies depending on the tea, the harvesting and processing methods, and how the tea is prepared and brewed. However, in general, green tea contains about 30-50 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounce cup (roughly half the amount in coffee). The amino acid L-theanine can also have a caffeine-like effect and may help counteract some of the negative effects of caffeine.
As a general rule of thumb, green tea tends to have less caffeine than black or oolong teas, and no more than herbal blends. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that caffeine is still a stimulant and shouldn’t be consumed in excessive amounts, as it can lead to anxiety, jitters, rapid heart rate, restlessness, nausea, and diarrhea.
Decaf green tea has undergone the same decaffeination process as regular green tea, which involves soaking the leaves in a solvent to remove the naturally occurring caffeine. This is typically done using water, although some manufacturers use chemical solvents. This may leave traces of the solvent in the final product, so it’s best to look for a decaf tea that is made using natural methods.
One thing to note is that the decaffeination process does remove some of the antioxidants found in green tea, which are known as flavanols. This reduces the free-radical-clobbering powers of green tea, but not to the extent that you should be worried about it.
How Much Caffeine Is in Decaf Green Tea?
Decaffeinated green tea does contain some caffeine, but it has much less than a cup of regular black tea or coffee. It also doesn’t have the same stimulant effects that can cause jitters, insomnia or stomach issues for some people.
However, you still need to watch how much decaf green tea you drink if you are sensitive to caffeine or want to prevent heartburn. It may have mild diuretic effects, which can lead to increased urination and potential dehydration if you drink too much of it.
Green tea is an antioxidant-rich beverage that’s known for its numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases. It also boosts the immune system, reduces cholesterol levels and helps with weight loss. However, it’s important to note that the decaffeination process can remove water-soluble vitamins and minerals, as well as some of the polyphenols and catechins that provide many of the tea’s health benefits.
Luckily, this isn’t the case with all decaf green teas. If you buy a decaf green tea that’s been naturally decaffeinated, such as this organic Sencha Green Tea, you can be sure that the tea retains all its antioxidants. This is because the tea was decaffeinated using a carbon dioxide process, as opposed to the chemical solvents like methylene chloride and ethyl acetate that are commonly used in grocery store decaf teas.
How Much Caffeine Should I Drink?
There is no need to limit the amount of decaf green tea you drink unless you have severe caffeine sensitivity. However, it’s important to note that the decaffeination process can also remove some of the polyphenols and antioxidants in green tea, so the health benefits of decaf green tea may be slightly less potent.
If you want to reap the most benefit from your green tea, look for decaf options that have been processed using carbon dioxide rather than water or chemical solvents. The carbon dioxide method helps to preserve the flavor and antioxidant content of your tea while also being the safest option for those with allergies.
You can find both loose leaf and tea bags that have been processed using this method, so you can enjoy the convenience of drinking decaf green tea with all of your favorite tea accessories. Additionally, the Edible Green decaf sencha green tea is processed using this technique and still has 95% of the catechins that you get from regular sencha.
In addition to helping you avoid the stimulant effects of caffeine, drinking decaf green tea can help support weight loss and improve your heart health. If you are interested in trying out green tea for weight loss, it’s best to pair your decaf tea with a diet full of healthy foods and exercise to see the most optimal results.