benefits of green teaOften times, we think of green tea as what fills the cup of an emperor who sits meditatively on his throne of pure zen. We don’t really consider a place of whole zen to be a place we could ever truly locate, considering all the ramblings and noise of our modern lives, so it almost seems that green tea isn’t realistic. Additionally, we think of green tea as a way to quit caffeine (or cut back). Green tea, however, is a caffeine container. The concept of green tea having less powerful caffeine isn’t really true, but, there is some science that shows green tea’s caffeine is better (I will get to that below).

Green tea has become a much more popular modern drink these days. Some of that is due to Starbucks making all types of green tea concoctions, often infusing green tea with all types of unhealthy ingredients, namely sugar. Please understand, the benefits of green tea can be voided out if you pair with ten “pumps” of sugar. You really do yourself little good when you do that. But know this, green tea can taste good without the frills. Sure, it is a little grassy, but that’s what makes it so healthy. Often, the supplements on my best green superfood powder drink list contain green tea. They do so because it is mega-healthy.

Why choose green tea over coffee?

I know there are a lot of articles out there citing all the health benefits of drinking coffee, but honestly, I mostly think the coffee industry puts that stuff out there. Sure, coffee might not be bad for you, but I don’t think it has a robust version of benefits. At least not in the way that green tea does. If you are going to drink caffeine, wouldn’t it make the most sense to drink it from a source that has the most bang for your health? That’s green tea, the most bang for your health. It isn’t that coffee is bad, it is that coffee isn’t as good as green tea when it comes to infusing your body with health.

Green Tea Benefits Alzheimer’s

Coffee is known to help lower risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia. This is absolutely true. But here’s the thing, that’s really a result of the caffeine found in coffee. THE SAME CAFFEINE THAT’S FOUND IN GREEN TEA. Because of this, coffee really has no upper-hand in terms of benefits. The whole debate immediately becomes a wash when you consider the facts.

Green Tea flavonoids | catechins

Those are two pretty “uncatchy” words, to say the least. But they are darn central to why green tea benefits our health so much. Both are antioxidants that contribute to our health in huge ways. The health benefits associated with these two antioxidants are mind-blowing. Here’s just one study to back up the claim.  By in large, these two substances help to break down, or thwart, free radicals which can serve to influence the spawning of cancer. Free radicals also cause us to age with less grace. This is why you always hear that one of the benefits of green tea is improved skin.

Green Tea and the metabolism

We’d all love a faster, more furious version of our metabolism. We aren’t 22 anymore, we can’t plow through a box of donuts after a night of drinking beer and still remain thin. Those days are long gone. A slower metabolism means watching what and how much we eat constantly. And even in doing that, results vary. But I’m here to deliver some great news: Green tea and thermogenesis are scientifically proven to co-exist. Yes, by drinking green tea, you ramp up your metabolic state, meaning, you burn calories faster and more efficiently. How great is that?

So yes, green tea can most definitely help you lose weight.

Caffeine Is Caffeine (Kind Of)

Green tea benefits

Because green tea contains natural L-Theanine, it can help you become a better “thinker” and more focused.

Often times we hear that green tea has “better caffeine in it than coffee.” Some people believe that the less harsh caffeine experience available when we drink green tea is due to green tea having less caffeine. That’s true, a green tea drink will most certainly yield you less caffeine, but that really depends on how much you drink of it. It is much easier to guzzle down green tea than it is coffee. If you drink enough green tea, your caffeine amount argument becomes become negligible in comparison. And for those who think that caffeine has “a different version of caffeine than coffee,” I hate to break it to you, but nothing could be further from the truth. Green tea possesses the exact same caffeine as your Folgers or Starbucks does.

So what then, causes so many people to say they feel the caffeine ride in green tea is more stable? They don’t feel the “crash” that they do with coffee. Well, there is some science to it. And it is amazing. Green tea contains what is called L-Theanine. L-Theanine is a non-essential amino acid that tends to lower anxiety as well as make you feel focused. When you have lower anxiety and increased focus, you feel darn good. Additionally, L-Theanine pairs super well with caffeine, causing many folks to feel “more stable.” In other words, L-Theanine can help you avoid the infamous caffeine crash. So yes, drinking green tea is a different experience in terms of how caffeine is experienced because it is paired with a natural infusion of L-Theanine. Yes, you can buy L-Theanine separately and take it with coffee and achieve the same results. But keep in mind, the coffee still lacks the benefits of green tea in so many other ways.

So when you hear that green tea can make you smarter, this is absolutely true.

The health benefits of green tea simply can’t be understated. That said, I’m not saying you have to totally give up your fun coffee. I’m just saying that at the very least, it might not be a bad idea to find some time to drink a little green tea each week.