Green tea is a popular beverage, with numerous studies to back up its many health claims. But, just like black tea or coffee, most green tea’s do contain caffeine. In this blog, we’ll explore just how much caffeine a cup of green tea contains and how it compares to other varieties of tea.
What is caffeine?
Firstly, what is caffeine? Caffeine is a naturally occurring chemical found in over 60 plants, including leaves, beans and fruits. It stimulates the central nervous system and is known for its ability to boost alertness and combat fatigue.
Caffeine works by blocking the effects of a neurotransmitter known as adenosine, which over the course of the day can build up and makes you feel tired. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others, and people who consume too much may experience insomnia, restlessness, or an irregular heartbeat.
How much caffeine is in green tea?
The quantity of caffeine in a cup of tea depends on several factors, such as the type of tea and the size of the cup.
As a guide, a 230ml cup of green tea can contain anywhere from 20 to 50mg of caffeine. The average is around 35mg, which is considered a relatively low dose according to experts.
Different variations of green tea
It’s important to note that not all green tea is the same. As with black tea, there are various varieties and the caffeine in each one will vary, along with how it’s brewed and for how long.
The most common type of green tea is sencha. This has a moderate amount of caffeine when it’s made in the most common way, with the leaves steamed and rolled. Some types of matcha, on the other hand, can have higher levels of caffeine.
Tea made with older leaves often has less caffeine than tea made from fresh, young leaves. Whichever variety you choose, green tea portion sizes tend to be small which naturally reduces the quantity of caffeine.
How does it compare to other caffeinated beverages?
Caffeine isn’t just found in tea, of course. It’s also in coffee and energy drinks, and even some soft drinks. So how does each type of caffeinated beverage compare? Using a 230ml cup as a guide, here are the average caffeine contents of some of the most popular beverages:
- Green tea – 30-50mg
- Instant coffee – 27-173mg
- Plain brewed coffee – 102-200mg
- Espresso – 240-720mg
- Black tea – 25-110mg
- Yerba mate – 65-130mg
- Soft drinks – 23-37mg
- Energy drinks – 72-80mg
As you can see, caffeine contents vary considerably, but green tea sits pretty low compared to other drinks.
It’s also important to note that green tea offers additional benefits that other drinks don’t necessarily contain. Green tea can also help to improve focus and alertness, so it’s a good option if you are carrying out tasks that need you to pay attention.
Should you be worried about the caffeine in green tea?
Caffeine is widely used as a stimulant the world over, and providing you consume it in the recommended amounts, it’s considered to be safe.
For adults over the age of 19, the safe limit is around 400mg per day, or 6mg/kg of body weight. But to prevent the negative effects of caffeine, it’s also recommended that you pace out your caffeinated beverages, drink plenty of water and limit each beverage to around 200mg of caffeine each time. In this case, 200mg of caffeine is around 4 230ml cups of green tea.
Green tea is a delicious drink that offers a lower caffeine hit compared to coffee or energy drinks, as well as being more nutritious and beneficial for your health.
As with any ingredient, it’s important to know your limits and enjoy it responsibly without overdoing it, especially if you’re someone who is sensitive to caffeine. Explore the different types of green tea out there to find a variety that works for you and enjoy the odd cup every day to enjoy the delicious taste and health benefits that this drink provides.