Tea or chai is one of the most popular beverages in India. Whether you travel to a roadside dhaba or a friend’s home, the first thing you will be offered is a cup of tea. Countless people begin their day with a hot cup of freshly-brewed tea and follow it up with many more cups during the day. Tea is not just a refreshing drink for us, it is also very comforting and the ideal accompaniment to yummy Indian snacks. Voluntarily or unknowingly, we often end up consuming tea in excess. This got us wondering – exactly how much tea is too much? Are there any side effects of excess tea consumption? This is all you need to know.
Health Benefits Of Tea
Tea is an excellent beverage, not just in terms of taste but also health. Chai offers a range of health benefits, including reduced inflammation, reduced risk of heart disease and increased life span. “It is increasingly appreciated that tea contains polyphenols and other components that may reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and diabetes. More recently, the beneficial properties associated with daily consumption of green tea are getting better recognized,” reads a study by the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Side Effects Of Excess Tea Consumption | Can Excess Tea Be Harmful?
However, just like any other drink, excess tea too can be harmful to our health. There are several factors to keep in mind for avid tea consumers. In case you spot any of these side effects or symptoms, it may be a sign that you need to cut back on your tea consumption.
Here Are 5 Side Effects Of Excess Tea Consumption:
Tea is acidic in nature, which is why those consuming excessive tea may experience side effects like acidity or heartburn. A special component in tea could cause acid reflux in those with a sensitive digestive system. Those who are suffering from stomach infections should also avoid consuming tea in excess.
Not many people know that even tea contains traces of caffeine. This is a compound that is a natural dehydrator and may cause dehydration in severe cases. “Excess consumption means excess consumption of caffeine, which can reduce the absorption abilities of your tubules, which can leave you dehydrated,” says Dr. Simran Saini, nutritionist at Fortis Hospital.
3. Iron Absorption
Experts often explain that excess tea consumption can hamper the absorption of nutrients in the body. Tea is rich in tannins that could bind with iron and make it unavailable for absorption in the digestive tract. Thus, if you have an iron deficiency, remember to consume tea in moderation.
4. Stress Or Lack of Sleep
Excess tea can increase stress levels in the body and be the reason behind lack of sleep or anxiety as well. This is due to the caffeine content in tea which is known to activate alertness in the body. If you are feeling stressed or are facing difficulty in sleeping, cut down on tea consumption.
Large doses of caffeine from excess consumption can cause dizziness, especially in those whose digestive system is particularly sensitive. Dr. Simran Saini explains, “When regular tea drinkers don’t get their daily cup at the same time, it can leave them weary, lethargic, and irritable and bring down their energy levels.”
How Much Tea Is Too Much? | How Much Tea Can I Drink In A Day?
Studies have shown that tea in small quantities can be beneficial for health. However, how much tea is too much and where to draw the line? A study by Harvard says that 3-4 cups a day is permissible and does not cause any major side effects. It is a good idea to consult a doctor or qualified nutritionist if you are facing any extreme health issues.