Side Effects of Drinking Too Much Green Tea

Green tea is renowned for its numerous health advantages and is often hailed as one of the healthiest beverages available. However, it’s important to recognize that green tea can also have some adverse effects. This beneficial tea is derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, containing compounds like EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) that can help in weight management and reducing the likelihood of cancer and heart diseases. Nonetheless, consuming green tea excessively can have negative impacts on your health.

Side Effects

Consuming an excessive amount of green tea can result in side effects. Below, you’ll find a list of 16 adverse effects that you should be cautious of.

Green Tea On Hair

When not used with care, green tea could have significant adverse effects on your hair. Reports from personal experiences suggest that consuming excessive amounts of green tea might exacerbate hair loss or worsen existing conditions, particularly in individuals sensitive to caffeine. The caffeine content in green tea could potentially disrupt hair growth cycles. Moreover, excessive use of highly concentrated green tea extracts, when applied directly to the scalp without proper dilution, could lead to dryness, coarseness, and potential harm to hair follicles. If you observe any of these negative impacts on your hair, consider adjusting your green tea intake or seek advice from a healthcare professional for an accurate evaluation.

May Stain Teeth

Consuming green tea following a teeth bleaching procedure can result in tooth discoloration (51). While there isn’t direct scientific evidence linking green tea consumption to stained teeth, anecdotal accounts indicate otherwise.

In summary, green tea can cause teeth staining. It’s advisable to refrain from consuming green tea for a few days after undergoing a bleaching treatment.

May Cause Infertility In Men

Green tea polyphenols possess healing qualities. However, when consumed in excessive amounts, they may lead to male infertility.

Researchers discovered that a concentration of 10 mg/ml of green tea decreased reproductive output in Drosophila melanogaster, commonly known as the fruit fly.

In an experiment, male albino rats received green tea leaf extract for 26 days. Following this period, there was a reduction in sperm production, sperm motility, and testosterone levels in the rats.

Furthermore, excessive caffeine intake could harm sperm DNA and have detrimental effects on the male reproductive system.

Cause Frequent Urination

Excessive consumption of green tea caffeine, exceeding 4.5 mg per kg per day, can lead to premature urgency and heightened frequency of urination. The diuretic impact of caffeine influences bladder functionality by elevating neuronal activation.

It’s worth noting that moderate doses of green tea might aid in mitigating urinary ailments.

In conclusion, an overabundance of green tea caffeine can heighten the frequency of urination.

Cause Stomach Upset And Pain

The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders emphasizes that caffeine has laxative effects. Intaking over 3 cups of green tea per day can lead to diarrhea.

Additionally, green tea extract with high caffeine levels might induce abdominal discomfort, jaundice, and darkened urine.

In summary, exceeding 3 cups of green tea consumption daily could result in diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and darkened urine.

Cause Heartburn

Heartburn, a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is often associated with factors such as smoking, obesity, poor dietary habits, and excessive green tea intake.

Studies conducted by Japanese researchers suggest that a sedentary lifestyle combined with frequent consumption of green tea could elevate the risk of GERD. Additionally, research on Asian populations indicates that theophylline, a component found in tea, may contribute to acid reflux.

Consuming excessive amounts of green tea has been linked to asymptomatic erosive esophagitis (AEE), a type of acid reflux. Individuals who both drink tea and consume alcohol have a 3.8 times higher incidence of AEE.

In conclusion, a sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary choices, and excessive consumption of green tea can contribute to heartburn and acidity.

Prevent Blood Clotting

Warfarin is a widely used medication for preventing blood clots and lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Studies indicate that the caffeine present in green tea can interfere with the effectiveness of Warfarin.

Research demonstrates that caffeine hinders the breakdown of Warfarin in the body. Therefore, individuals undergoing Warfarin therapy should steer clear of caffeine-rich substances such as green tea extracts or excessive green tea consumption.

Furthermore, the presence of vitamin K in green tea also interferes with the action of Warfarin.

In summary, it is advisable to avoid consuming green tea if you are taking Warfarin or any other anticoagulant medication.

Cause Anxiety And Insomnia

Although moderate amounts of green tea can promote relaxation and reduce stress, excessive consumption can have the opposite effect, causing insomnia and anxiety.

Green tea contains caffeine, which acts as a stimulant to the nervous system. Intaking more than 300 mg of caffeine daily can diminish sleep quality and trigger symptoms like insomnia, irritability, depression, anger, and anxiety.

In conclusion, consuming large quantities of green tea daily may heighten feelings of anxiety and irritability, disrupt sleep patterns, and decrease sleep quality.

Cause Bone Weakness

The National Osteoporosis Foundation cautions against excessive caffeine intake due to its potential to hinder calcium absorption.

Both animal and human studies have indicated that consuming green tea extract (GTE) or elevated levels of green tea is associated with a decreased rate of bone accumulation, heightened risk of fractures, and reduced bone mineral density. This effect may be particularly significant in the elderly population.

It’s important to note that while there are numerous studies highlighting the bone-strengthening benefits of green tea flavonoids, in this specific context, higher doses of green tea could negatively impact bone growth and density.

In summary, consuming excessive amounts of green tea or using green tea extract pills or supplements may impede bone growth and elevate the risk of fractures.

Impair Thyroid Function

Green tea catechins have been shown to lower the likelihood of thyroid cancer. However, consuming too much green tea caffeine can negatively affect thyroid function. Rat studies have indicated that a daily caffeine intake ranging from 120 to 150 mg/kg during pregnancy may result in reduced baby weight, a condition resembling maternal hyperthyroidism.

Caffeine Toxicity: Symptoms Include Headaches, Dizziness, and Nausea

Ingesting more than 400 mg of caffeine per day can lead to caffeine toxicity, typically characterized by symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, chills, palpitations, and flushing.

Excessive doses of caffeine may also result in a drop in blood pressure. However, individuals who are particularly sensitive to caffeine may experience symptoms of caffeine intoxication at lower doses. Additionally, there have been reports of elevated blood pressure even with normal doses of caffeine found in green tea.

It’s worth noting that while caffeine is sometimes used to alleviate migraines, only a licensed physician should determine the appropriate dosage and necessity for migraine treatment.

In summary, caffeine can be toxic in excessive amounts, potentially causing symptoms like headaches, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, flushing, and atrial fibrillation.

Toxic For The Liver

Many individuals turn to green tea for weight loss and to capitalize on its other health benefits. However, research suggests that excessive consumption of green tea can have adverse effects, including liver damage.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), comprising 10% of green tea extract, is a key component. Higher levels of EGCG may induce mitochondrial toxicity, potentially leading to liver toxicity. A case study involving a 37-year-old woman with no prior history of liver damage or alcohol consumption demonstrated increased inflammation, necrosis (tissue or cell death due to oxygen deprivation), and elevated aminotransferase levels (indicative of liver damage) after using a weight loss pill containing a significant amount of green tea extract as its primary ingredient.

In summary, elevated concentrations of EGCG present in green tea pills and supplements may contribute to liver damage.

Cause Hypokalemia And Seizures

Hypokalemia refers to abnormally low levels of potassium in the bloodstream. Potassium plays a crucial role in muscle contraction and the proper functioning of bodily proteins. Overconsumption of green tea can lead to decreased potassium levels, resulting in symptoms such as muscle weakness, twitching, cramping, and irregular heart rhythms.

Two patients diagnosed with hypokalemia were advised to reduce their intake of green tea. Following this recommendation, their potassium levels returned to normal within a few days. However, when green tea was combined with other medications, it was associated with inducing hypokalemia. Interestingly, a study published in the British Medical Journal found that consuming green tea alone did not produce this effect.

Researchers have also observed that green tea’s ability to lower potassium and calcium levels may potentially trigger pre-convulsive symptoms such as muscle tremors and epilepsy.

Furthermore, studies have indicated that individuals with epilepsy who consume high amounts of caffeine, including that found in green tea, may experience an increase in seizure frequency.

In summary, excessive consumption of green tea can lead to hypokalemia and may elevate the risk and frequency of seizures.

During Pregnancy May Cause Birth Defects

Numerous studies indicate that consuming excessive amounts of green tea during pregnancy can negatively affect both the mother and the newborn. Intake of more than 300 mg of caffeine per day is associated with an increased risk of hypertension during pregnancy.

Researchers have also observed that caffeine and tannins present in green tea can lower folic acid levels. Folic acid, a vital water-soluble B-vitamin, is essential for preventing miscarriages and birth defects such as spina bifida. While there isn’t a definitive risk associated with overall tea consumption, the potential anti-folate effects of green tea warrant further investigation.

Furthermore, excessive green tea consumption may elevate the risk of preterm birth, although more research is needed to fully understand this connection.

On the other hand, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has been shown to prevent neural tube defects induced by maternal diabetes. Consequently, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating green tea into your diet during pregnancy.

In summary, consuming excessive amounts of green tea during pregnancy may increase the risk of preterm birth, spina bifida, and maternal hypertension. It’s crucial to seek advice from your doctor before including green tea in your pregnancy diet.

What’s the Optimal Daily Green Tea Intake?

It’s advisable to restrict your green tea consumption to 2-3 cups daily. Additionally, it’s important not to surpass a caffeine intake of 200-300 mg per day. Opting for decaffeinated green tea is permissible, but it’s best to adhere to the standard dosage of 2-3 cups daily.

Research indicates that a daily intake of 338 mg of EGCG is potentially safe for most adults.

Tip: To determine the caffeine or EGCG content per cup of green tea, refer to the nutrition label.

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Bottom Line

Green tea has gained popularity due to its wide range of health benefits, but it’s important to acknowledge the potential side effects and allergic reactions associated with it. These may include iron deficiency, interactions with certain medications, an elevated risk of congenital disabilities and seizures, as well as symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, vomiting, bone fragility, anxiety, heartburn, and increased frequency of urination. Therefore, it’s recommended to limit green tea intake to 2-3 cups per day to mitigate these risks. Moreover, if you are experiencing any abdominal issues, are pregnant, or have a heightened risk of bladder cancer, it’s advisable to approach green tea consumption with caution.

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