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How To Enjoy Green Tea By Reducing Caffeine In It

How To Enjoy Green Tea By Reducing Caffeine In It

Green tea originates from China and Japan and has been drunk there for hundreds of years, valued for its taste as much as for its health benefits.  One thing that leads people to hesitate before diving into that cup of green tea is that they are afraid of the amount of caffeine it contains.  There are, however, ways to reduce this while still enjoying your favorite drink!

A Look at Caffeinated Drinks

To give you an idea of where green tea stands in regard to caffeine, it is good to compare it to other caffeinated drinks. You might be surprised at how much of a difference there is!

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So here’s where green tea stands in relation to other kinds of teas as well as coffee and cola:

  • Green tea (1 cup) = 25mg (though this can vary)
  • Black tea (1 cup) = 16-25 mg
  • White tea (1 cup) = 6-25mg
  • Coffee (1 cup) = 100-150mg
  • Cola (1 can) = 30-60mg

Generally speaking, green tea is going to give you less caffeine than colas and coffees or coffee-based drinks. But it might come as a surprise to learn that even different brands of green tea can have a different caffeine content.  For instance, Stash Green Tea clocks in at only 7.6mg per cup, but Lipton more than doubles that amount at 16.4 mg and Peet’s is even stronger at 33.4 mg.

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Tips for Cutting Down on Caffeine in Green Tea

If you are really concerned about the amount of caffeine in your green tea, there are some ways that you can cut down on it without sacrificing quality or flavor. Here are some general ideas:

  • Read your labels.  As noted above, the brand you buy can make a big difference in regard to green tea caffeine levels.
  • Keep L-theanine in mind.  Green tea is a rich source of L-theanine. Why is this important?  This amino acid acts as caffeine antagonist: in other words, rather than revving up your central nervous system like caffeine does, L-theanine calms it down, thus counter-acting the caffeine’s affects. This is probably why green tea drinkers report feeling energized but not jittery after their morning cup. Drinking your green tea while it is hot means that the L-theanine will have more of an effect.
  • Know the type of tea you are drinking. Brand names are not the only issue here.  It is also good to know what type of green tea your are drinking.  Teas like matcha and gyokura green teas are highest in caffeine, while hougicha tea ranks near the bottom. Again, reading your labels can help you decide which type of green tea to opt for.
  • Another good way to reduce the caffeine in your tea is to infuse the leaves for around 45 seconds, throw that water out, then start again with a fresh cup of hot water.  This second infusion will not have as much caffeine as the first.
  • Consider buying a good decaffeinated green tea. On average, this will have between 4 and 10mg of caffeine per serving. But be careful: read the label to make sure that your green tea has been de-caffeinated naturally through effervescence, of the use of carbonated water.  Otherwise, it might have been decaffeinated with a chemical solvent called ethyl acetate — and this is not something you want to be drinking up.

Keep in Mind that Caffeine’s Not all Bad!

Before you get too wild about cutting down on the caffeine in green tea, though, keep in mind that it is not the scapegoat that many doctors once thought it was.  It used to be that physicians would recommend cutting caffeine out of the diet for a wide variety of medical conditions, but later research has proven that this is not always the best thing to do.

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As a matter of fact, there are some definite health benefits to caffeine: it has been shown to help protect the neurons of the brain from serious degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and it has also shown to be protective against certain forms of cancer, particularly of the breast, bladder and colon. Catechins — the best known of which is EGCG — have been shown to boost the metabolism and make it easier for the body to burn fat. Studies have also shown that it can help prevent heart disease. In short, there are some great reasons to consider allowing at least some caffeine into your diet: 300mg is the recommended daily allowance for an adult; this drops down to 200mg daily for pregnant women.

Tea and Coffee Infographic

To get a better visual on the comparisons between coffee and tea in regard to caffeine — as well as the health benefits it can bring you — check out the infographic below from courtesy of Greatist.com:

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Why-Coffee-and-Tea-are-Amazing-for-You

    So whether you are trying to cut down on caffeine or simply enjoy one of the healthiest drinks on the planet, green tea is something you should definitely try to work into your daily routine!

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    Brian Wu

    Health Writer, Author

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    Last Updated on October 5, 2020

    Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

    Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

    Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

    I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

    This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

    What Is Intermittent Fasting?

    As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

    While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

    The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

    Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

    Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

    The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

    It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

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    My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

    You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

    Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

    1. Drink Plenty of Water

    Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

    2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

    The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

    3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

    One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[2] like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

    4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

    The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

    To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

    5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

    While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

    Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

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    You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

    How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

    Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

    This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[3].

    Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

    Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[4].

    The influence intermittent fasting weight loss has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

    Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

    Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

    One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[5].

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    This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fa-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

    Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

    Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

    Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

    Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

    How Much Weight Will I Lose?

    The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

    While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

    Can I Work out While Fasting?

    Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

    The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

    Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

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    Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

    First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

    Is Fasting Safe?

    As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

    I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

    Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

    As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

    I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

    For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

    Conclusion

    Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

    If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with you lifestyle and give it a go.

    More About Intermittent Fasting

    Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

    Reference

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