Since I started this polyphasic sleep schedule, I started looking for alternative to drinking coffee. So far, all the sources are leading me to drink green tea. But is green tea good for you?
Why Green tea? Green tea has caffeine which I need to operate properly. It contains about 40-75mg of caffeine per cup compare to around 150-200mg with coffee. So it has the basic ingredient I need but it doesn’t stop here like coffee. Green tea also contains EGCG, theanine, theaflavins, theobromine, theophylline, and phenolic acids. I started replacing my coffee with multiple cup of tea and the effect is a lot milder than coffee. It seems to wire me and relax me at the same time(more details below). Another cool thing I found since starting to drink tea, is that I can drink a lot more, and I dont feel jittery at all. I can drink loads of it and just feel super energize and in a very calm states.
So I started wondering why did i felt that way and why is everybody’s talking about green tea. So I did some research. I found out that from all the active ingredients in the tea, mostly three gives me the most benefits. Caffeine, EGCG and l-theanine. I won’t go in details about the benefit of caffeine in this post(which are many) but I was mainly surprised to see all the effects of EGCG and L-theanine. Here’s what I found.
EGCG AKA Antioxidant, the effect of green Tea
There’s a lot of good stuff in the green tea, but the one that seems to be the most potent is EGCG. Green tea has polyphenolic catechins(antioxidant) which 65% of it is made of EGCG. EGCG seems the most potent antioxidant and it has been link to a whole lot of beneficial effects for the body. EGCG basically scavenge your body of the bad stuff. The bad stuff are free radicals and certain reactive molecules containing oxygen. Because oxidation is what happen to your body when it degenerate, antioxidant like EGCG get rid of those molecules that cause it.
An 8 oz. cup of green tea contains about 320 milligrams of polyphenols, which roughly has 190 mg of EGCG. So now that we know what is EGCG let’s have a look at what it does.
So what does exactly EGCG does on the body? Researchers made a study on over 8,000 Japanese men and women and they follow them for 12 years. The research clearly showed increased consumption of green tea was associated with greater health benefits. Actually it was a 58% greater! those who consumed ~32 ounces a day over a 12 year period had a 58% lower risk of dying from coronary heart disease than those who consumed about ~10 ounces a day. Cutting your risk of heart disease in half by switching your coffee for a green tea. This is a pretty impressive faith.
One of the most studied effect of green tea is against Cancer. There isn’t any long term research made on humans yet, but there is plenty that have been done on animals. They have clearly demonstrated the preventative effects of green tea and EGCG against all sort of cancer (liver, stomach, breast, prostate, lung and skin cancers and at any stage) How does EGCG achieve that? EGCG scavenge oxidants before those oxidant have time to attack the cells. EGCG would also inhibit the growth of tumor cells.
Parkinson’s disease is caused by the death of certain cells in the brain. Cells Oxidation seems to be the principal cause of the death of those cells. Multiple studies have shown an effect of green tea in the prevention of Parkinson’s disease and EGCG is believed to be the principal reason because of its antioxidant property.
L-theanine, the calming ingrediant
L-Theanine is another very potent component of tea. It is primarly found in plants. Green tea has about 1% of its weight in it. L-Theanine act on the body as a relaxant. It has an opposite effect than caffeine, that’s probably why tea gives a boost of energy but in a much more controlled fashion. L-theanine reduce the stress level in the body and increase the amount of alpha-wave in the brain. Brain wave can be measured with electrode and alpha wave is the results of a calm but alert state. Exactly the kind of state I’m looking for.
The other good stuff in green tea
Leptin is the hormones that tells you to eat. Studies on mice have shown that green tea decreased the amount of serum leptin in the body, (the hunger hormones) which lead to significant weight loss on the studied mice. Also, green tea increase thermogenesis (how many calorie you spend without doing anything) in a greater amount than it’s caffeine level would justify it. So there would be a compounding effect of polyphenol and caffeine.
Tooth Caries and HIV
Green tea has been proven to prevent Mircrobial disease. It prevent dental caries by blocking the bacteria that causes caries. It also increases the tooth resistance to acid and reduce gum diseases. Researchers even started to see an impact of green tea on preventing HIV infection at the early stage.
Is green tea a super food?
EGCG and L-Theanine are the 2 component mostly responsible of the benefits of green tea. in my eyes, green tea is like a super beverage. It has caffeine which i need to get stuff done and it has health protective benefits that are hard to find anywhere else. If you ask me is green tea good for you? I’d say it’s not only good, but you should actually switch your coffee for green tea.
If you never made tea before, do not worry, it is very easy: boil some water, put some tea leafs in it, infuse for 1 minute and poor the liquid in a cup. I’m going to prepare myself another cup and I hope I convinced you that you should do the same. If you think i’m missing something or you want to add anything, please comment and stir a debate.
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Great blog about aging problem and health in general, read it here