Most people can’t deny the health benefits of sipping on a cup of green tea, but one side effect of green tea drinking that’s underappreciated is nausea. For some unfortunate people, the stomach upset and nausea that comes from drinking green tea is so uncomfortable that they stop sipping tea entirely. What causes green tea nausea and is there a way to control it?
Green Tea and Nausea: What Causes It?
Most people blame the nausea that comes from drinking green tea on the caffeine. It’s true that caffeine can cause abdominal cramping, nausea, and stomach upset in some people, but this isn’t the entire story. There are people who experience nausea even when they drink decaffeinated green tea.
The ingredient in green that causes nausea is most likely the tannins present in the tea plant which give tea its slightly astringent taste. Studies show that tannins in high doses cause irritation of the stomach lining and bowels – which leads to stomach pain and nausea. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of tannins and experience nausea even at low doses.
Green Tea and Nausea: For Some, It’s the Caffeine
Caffeine, particularly at high doses, causes stomach irritation and nausea. Caffeine also causes the stomach lining to secrete more acid – which means it’s not a good choice for people with peptic ulcer disease. The caffeine in green tea and other caffeinated drinks can also make the symptoms of esophageal reflux worse.
Reducing the Nausea Associated with Drinking Green Tea
One way to reduce nausea when drinking green tea is to add a little milk to tea before sipping it. The problem is that the milk may inactivate some of the polyphenols that makes drinking green tea so healthy.
Another way to prevent nausea from drinking green tea is to eat some food first. This completely resolves the problem for some people. It also helps to add a small amount of ginger to green tea – since ginger is a good antidote for nausea.
If these solutions don’t work, try drinking a cup of decaffeinated green tea and see if you experience stomach discomfort. If not, the problem may come from the caffeine.
Green Tea and Nausea: The Bottom Line?
Don’t let nausea keep you from enjoying a healthy cup of green tea. Give these green tea anti-nausea solutions a try – and keep on sipping.